Dear Heloise: Please warn your readers about purchasing gift cards. It is just as dangerous to send these cards through the mail as it is to send money. Anyone can redeem them. For Christmas, we sent some gift cards along with Christmas cards. Either the cards were not delivered or the gift cards were not removed from holiday cards and were destroyed or thrown in the garbage. There is no way you can go back to the store and ask for your money back. You are the loser, and the store is the winner! The only solution is to give the card to the individual in person. Rose Chestnut, Lisbon
If the card was not used for a period of time, it is possible the store might be able to cancel the card and reissue another one if you have your receipt. Check with the store where you bought the card to see what its policy is. Heloise
Here are some quick and easy cleaning hints from Heloise Central:
UWash windows with vinegar, and dry them with crumpled newspapers.
UFreshen draperies on the "fluff" cycle of the dryer with a fabric-softener sheet or two.
USprinkle baking soda on carpets, let sit, then vacuum. No more stale odors.
UGive the refrigerator a thorough cleaning. Take out vegetable bins and give them a good washing.
UClean out the medicine chest or drawer and properly dispose of expired items or unused portions of medications.
Dear Heloise: To replace one of the rubber pieces (feet) on a cutting board or small appliance, try gluing on (with a glue gun) a faucet washer of the same size. J.L. Anderson, Santa Paula, Calif.
Dear Heloise: I read with interest your answer to what to do with old keys. While I thought you had wonderful ideas, I would like to give a word of caution about giving children a "play" key chain. We gave our daughter some old keys to play with when she was a toddler. She inserted a key into an electrical outlet. While she was not hurt, it gave her a significant jolt. Kids have questioning minds and often like to test out their ideas. Patti Bammert, Anamosa, Iowa
How right you are! Children are very inquisitive, so you should make safety No. 1. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I wear blouses and skirts to work. When I do my laundry, I usually have about 20 blouses to wash and dry. You have to get the blouses out of the dryer very quickly or they wrinkle. I found that if I layer them over the back of a chair, I can then take my time and put them on a hanger, and they aren't wrinkled. Ellie Sarti, Lexington, S.C.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate