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CONSUMERS : Lift Off Targets Home Cleaning

Lift Off, a non-fluorocarbon aerosol cleaner employed industrially and commercially for two years, now is available for household use.

Inventor Gregg Motsenbocker of San Diego formulated the cleaner as a chemical spray to remove stickers from grocery or hardware packages on which prices are changed often. Then he found that Lift Off not only removed adhesive but candle wax, chewing gum, lipstick, crayon and pencil marks as well. It does not work on ballpoint-pen marks and is not recommended for use on styrene plastics; consumers are advised to test before using the cleaner on other plastic surfaces.

Lift Off also can be an automotive degreaser, removing grease from tools, etc., or oil, bugs and road tar from cars, trucks and bicycles.

Lift Off can serve as a carpet or furniture spot remover and as a pre-wash treatment on “any type of fabric,” says a representative of the Loctite Corp., which distributes Lift Off. Suggested retail prices are $2.99 for a 5-ounce can, $3.99 for the 9 1/2-ounce can. It is available at Builders Emporium, Home Depot, National Lumber, Chief Auto Parts, Pep Boys, Vons Pavilions, Ace and True Value hardware stores. For more information, write Loctite Corp., 4450 Cranwood Court, Cleveland, Ohio, 44128; phone (800) 321-9188.

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Chill a Head Pain

Headache sufferers may want to try the Suboccipital Ice Pillow, an aid developed by a Southern California physician and headache research specialist.

Crescent-shaped and anatomically designed, the pillow fits around the neck and features a contoured, soft-gel freeze pack which cools blood vessels and muscles in the neck’s suboccipital area. That’s the spot that may be involved in causing some headaches.

The cold pack can be kept in the freezer until needed; it then simply slips in the pillow’s pocket.

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Dr. Lee Kudrow, director of the California Medical Clinic for Headache Inc. in Encino, developed the pillow and tested it on his patients for six months. His colleagues, Drs. Fred Sheftell and Alan Rapoport of the New England Center for Headache in Stamford, Conn., conducted a parallel study.

Kudrow said the studies showed the pillow helped headache sufferers, sometimes as much or more than did medications, many of which can have side effects or complications.

The cotton-filled, 100% polyester pillow is machine washable and dryable. The ice pack comes in a separate plastic bag filled with nontoxic gel.

The unit’s suggested retail is $39.95 and it is available at Southern California pharmacies and home health-care stores, including Horton & Converse, Rexall Square on La Cienega and Beverly boulevards, Dana Drug in Burbank, Northridge Pharmacy and Abbey Medical. For more information, contact SPF Incorporated, 1545 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale, Calif. 91208; phone (818) 242-7546.

Compact Stroller

For parents who run or jog and want to take their infants or toddlers along, Racing Strollers Inc. of Yakima, Wash., which introduced the Baby Jogger stroller five years ago, has a new, more portable, easier-to-store model, the Walkabout.

Like the Baby Jogger, it can be folded by pulling two quick-release pins to collapse its frame. But the new stroller, unlike its predecessor, stores with wheels on. It fits into a closet or car trunk.

“The Walkabout is an urban-survival stroller, designed for apartment dwellers,” said its developer, Phil Baechler. “It fits into elevators and is easier to store and transport. The Baby Jogger is more our all-terrain vehicle.”

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With three 12-inch wheels, the Walkabout can be easily pushed over pavement, dirt roads, curbs, gravel or grass. Because of the smaller wheels, Baechler advised, it won’t do as well in sand as the 20-inch wheel Baby Jogger.

Walkabout comes in a regular model with a 37 1/2-inch-high handle, and a taller model for those exceeding 6-feet-3.

With a deep canvas sling seat--in red, blue or yellow--it has a seat belt, a locking hand brake and a safety leash. It can accommodate youngsters weighing 50 pounds. The Walkabout’s other available accessories include a wire basket that folds flat against the stroller frame when not in use and an all-weather nylon canopy.

Available in the Los Angeles area in Sports Chalets and other athletic stores and children’s shops, the Walkabout retails for $279. It can be ordered from Racing Strollers Inc., 516 N. 20th Ave., Yakima, Wash. 98902; phone (509) 457-0925.

Card File Punch

Exec-U-Punch, a plastic gadget that punches holes in business cards so they’ll fit in a card file, has just gone to nationwide distribution in about 5,000 of the country’s 12,000 office-supply stores.

A small hand-held cutter, it puts two notches in business cards to make them fit the twin rails of card files, either rotary wheels or V-file trays, including those manufactured by Rolodex, Bates, Bostitch or Eldon and other 1-inch-track filing systems.

“Business cards are not limited to business people,” said the punch’s inventor, Robert Merrick of Sunnyvale, Calif. “Householders collect business cards from service people, such as plumbers, gardeners, etc., and also bring home business cards from shopping.”

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Besides the $5.95 Exec-U-Punch, Merrick also is marketing a $7.95 “complete system,” which includes the punch and a small V-file tray with eight A-Z dividers capable of holding up to 150 business cards. A larger Punch ‘N’ File system that holds up to 400 cards and has a built-in punch mechanism costs $16.95. For information on stores carrying the punch and file package, write Merrick Industries Inc., Box 2277 Sunnyvale, Calif. 94087; phone (408) 738-2200.


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