Dear Readers: If you inherit or have a cedar-lined chest with that awful mothball smell, here’s what you can do to eliminate it. First, open the chest and let it sit outside in the sunshine and fresh air for a several days. This can help, but you might need to take additional steps to get rid of the odor.

Lightly sand the wood inside the chest with a fine-grade sandpaper, which will release a fresh cedar smell. Then vacuum up the wood residue and wipe with a microfiber cloth to get rid of dust. And to revive the cedar smell, add a bit of cedar-wood oil on a small area of the inside of the lid. Make certain that clothes or linens won’t come in contact with the oil. — Heloise

Safety tips for walkers

Dear Heloise: To follow up on the recent letter regarding safety tips for walkers, I am astounded by the number of pedestrians, joggers and cyclists I see wearing black, gray, dark blue or any combination thereof, all of which blend nicely with pavement. A driver blinded by sunlight as somebody travels the shady edge of the road is a recipe for disaster. I urge folks to wear at least one article of bright clothing: bright orange, lime green, bright yellow, whatever, if only a cap! — Jim D., Mirror Lake, New Hampshire

Jim, that’s good advice. The brighter the item, the better you can been seen! — Heloise

Another parking hint

Dear Heloise: I shared Robin W.’s problem of spotting my silver SUV in the supermarket and gym parking lots. It seemed that half the vehicles in the lots were silver SUVs! A flat 3-inch-by-6-inch spot on the sides of my vehicle’s roof rack gave me an idea. Our local auto-parts store offers red reflective, weatherproof tape. This little red patch on each side of my roof rack makes my SUV stand out from the crowd. — Dave E., Bozeman, Montana

Dave, thanks for sending another useful idea for the many car-parking issues. — Heloise

Have old ashtrays?

Dear Readers: If you find old ashtrays that no one is using, don’t throw them out. Instead, thoroughly clean them and then repurpose in the following ways: Place soap in one and put next to the sink. Contain small jewelry inside it. Fill it with a small amount of food for your pets. Or use as a water dish for a pet bird or gerbil. — Heloise.

Storing nuts

Dear Readers: Nuts are delicious and add so much crunch and flavor in cooking and baking. They can be pricey, and you don’t want them to spoil before you can use them. So, keep nuts in their shells in a cool, dark space. That way they won’t be exposed to light, air or moisture, which will make them spoil. Shelled nuts can last a lot longer, about a year, if they are stored in the freezer in a freezer-safe container. — Heloise

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