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Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Linty Dryer Balls and Grease Relief

Mary Hunt on

Does this happen to you: You get so involved in doing something that you completely lose track of time? You're shocked to look up and see it's time to go home when it feels like you just got back from lunch? Or you sit down to start reading a book and suddenly you're on chapter 21?

Happens to me when I open my email inbox. I can blow through four hours without flinching.

There is a theory floating around that smart people are more likely to lose track of time (we like that idea, right?), but there is good research to show that artists lose track of time when they are fully engaged in their artwork.

I suspect that the more often people tend to be fully engaged in whatever it is they are doing, the more likely they are to lose track of time. All that is to say I really enjoy the mail I get from you, my dear readers.

Dear Mary: I have not used fabric softener for more than a year. Instead, I now use white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser of my washer and wool dryer balls in the dryer. I love everything about this new routine except some of my dark-colored items are picking up white lint from the dryer balls. I have tried a sticky roller like one you would use for pet hair to get this lint off my dark wool socks, without success. The only thing that works is picking the lint off by hand. Any suggestions? -- Gail

Dear Gail: I know the problem -- and the solution. The dryer balls are like magnets for errant lint that doesn't make it to the lint trap. And it's mostly not a problem -- until, as you have discovered, those white wool balls carrying bits of white lint go into the dryer with a load of dark clothes. The solution is to invest in a set of black wool dryer balls that you use only in your dark loads. It's easy to switch back and forth. This fixed the problem for me, and I'm confident it will for you, too.

Dear Mary: I've thought many times about writing you with this question. Back in the early '70s, I used a product to wash dishes that was called Grease relief. It came in a red bottle with a white top that you pulled up to dispense the soap. The stuff worked great, and guess what. It was blue similar to the blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid that we use now. And then it went away and never came back again. Is it possible that the Dawn that we use today is the Grease relief that we used and loved back in the day? -- Kathy

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Dear Kathy: Interesting thought, however, my research says that Grease relief (yes, it's "relief" with a lowercase "r") was originally manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company and then sold to SC Johnson, which went on to discontinue it.

Curiously, I see that Grease relief is available online in a 22-ounce bottle for around $7 but now manufactured by Malco Products Inc. in Ohio. I can't say for certain it is the same formulation as the original Dow product, but the name, packaging and product description seem to match your description. I'd check it out if I were you.

In scouting around to discover the history and outcome of your beloved Grease relief, I've discovered Grease relief developed quite a cult following of folks for whom it was their favorite cleaning product, especially for challenging burned-on messes in the kitchen and grease stains on furniture and clothing. This news may give many of my readers a reason to jump for joy. Be sure to let us know your review should you give Grease relief by Malco Products a try.

For details on where to find products mentioned in this column, go to www.everydaycheapskate.com/linty/.

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Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

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