Dear Heloise: Help! I left my plastic grocery bag too near a hot burner on my stove. The bag melted and stuck to the burner. How can I safely remove the melted plastic?

 — Phyllis in Texas

Phyllis, I’ve certainly heard this one before. It’s a very common problem. Don’t worry. It’s easy to fix. Fill the sink with enough hot water to completely cover the burner, and let it soak until the water cools. After draining the water, sprinkle salt on the melted plastic. Scrub with the rough side of a kitchen sponge. The salt should serve as a mild abrasive. Then rinse away the plastic.

— Heloise

Where to write: Got a hint you want to share? Send your tips and tricks to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. Send a fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email