Dear Heloise: I just figured out an excellent way to wash the exterior of windows! All you need is a paint roller with the long-handle attachment as well as a paint tray to hold the washing liquid of your choice. Then, for drying, you just need a squeegee that also has a long handle.

I also have one other tip that’s about using microfiber cloths for cleaning. Fold them before wiping for streak-free cleaning. Wadding them up in your hand is not going to do the job. — Mary Anderson, Vancouver, Washington

Fast food math hint

Dear Heloise: I know that many of your readers have children, and as they might know, learning math is a part of children’s daily lives.

So, when my son was in early elementary school, my husband would play this game with him when we went out for fast food.

My son and I would stake out a table, and my husband would order. He would have a receipt with the order number on it.

Then, using just the last two numbers of the order (let’s say 24), my husband would say, “When you add them together, you get 6. And when you multiply them together, you get 8. What are the two numbers?”

It was a fun game to enjoy, and my son used it with his daughters when he had children. — Margaret Nelson, Buena Park, California

Oven racks

Dear Heloise: After many years of cleaning all the racks in my ovens, I finally realized that I only use one or maybe two of them at a time, so now I just store the extra racks until I need them, thus eliminating many hours of laborious scrubbing. — Marilyn Rice, Vancouver, Washington

Leaving a message

Dear Heloise: I wanted to write in concerning Carrie H.’s comments about people not leaving a message on her phones. Both my cell and landline phones’ voicemail greetings state: “I screen calls, so if I do not pick up, please leave a message. I will call you back as soon as possible.” This has worked well for me for many years. If I am expecting a call back from a repair or service company, I will add their number to my contact list so I can recognize their incoming call. — Tom Cryer, Anaheim, California

Pet Pal

Dear Heloise: This is Penny Rose Poodle in a sit-stay command waiting patiently for her reward. She is a 2-year-old Toy Poodle. She’s very bright and full of mischief. She loves everyone and also loves shoes! — Patsy Spindler, in Springfield, Missouri

Readers, to see Penny Rose and our other Pet Pals, go to and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Do you have a furry friend to share with our readers? Send a photo and a brief description to — Heloise

— Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.