the toolbox

Re-using sheet bags

New sheets often come in one of those zippered, clear plastic bags that seem like they would be perfect for storing sheets in the linen closet, except it's hard to fold the fitted sheet neatly enough to cram the whole set back into the bag.

What to do with those bags that seem much too nice to throw away? Here are some ideas gleaned from Pinterest users:

• Create a portable greenhouse to germinate seeds.

• Assemble an indoor camping kit for kids. You could pack the bag with an old bed sheet, a flashlight, a glow stick, some clothespins or plastic clamps for holding the sheeting to chairs or other pieces of furniture, and anything else that would be useful for building a tent in the living room.

• Use the bag to hold craft or hobby supplies — yarn, sewing notions, fabric scraps, whatever.

• Store cookie cutters in it.

• Use multiple bags to containerize a suitcase. That way you can fit more into your luggage without everything springing out when you open your suitcase. You can even use the bags to pack individual outfits for children.

• Store stationery or greeting cards in it.

• Use it to store toys, games or puzzles with small pieces.

• Turn it into a toiletry case when you're traveling. You could even add an old hanger so you can hang the bag from a shower head.

• Store seasonal table linens, decorations or fake floral arrangements in it.

• Stash accessory scarves in it.

Cloudy glassware fix

Q: My 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup has a film on it. I have tried vinegar and bleach, and nothing helps. I use Cascade rinse in the dishwasher. Any suggestions?

A: Mineral deposits in water can turn glassware cloudy. Sometimes that film can be removed with vinegar or a product such as CLR.

However, since you've already tried vinegar without success, the cloudiness may be permanent. That happens when the heat of the dishwasher's drying cycle bakes the minerals into the pores of the glass and etches it. Make sure you're using no more than the recommended level of dishwasher detergent for your model.

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