Dear Heloise: Can you tell me how to remove "age" stains on linens that had been stained for many years? Any information would be appreciated. Josephine E. from Texas
These are called "mystery stains," because they seem to just appear out of nowhere! Usually the material looks clean when it is stored, but the problem is that it might not be completely clean. A clear spill that contains sugar is probably the culprit. As time passes, these spots start turning yellow and even brown and become difficult to remove. Also, if you have laundered the item and put it in the dryer, the heat may have set the stain, making it more difficult to remove.
Stains on white linens can usually be removed by using 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Simply dab a little on the stain using a cotton swab and let stand (it might take up to an hour or longer to work). Then launder using a product that is designed to "whiten and brighten," following the package directions. You can find the product near the laundry supplies where they sell dyes.
Good luck! Heloise
Dear Heloise: What can I use to get the oils from a hot chili pepper off my hands? Cassandra, via e-mail
Well, Cassandra, the best way to remove the oil is to soak your hands in some whole milk. The milk will help to "tame" the burn. Milk is also the best beverage to quickly cool down your mouth after you have bitten off more than you can chew.
To prevent the oils from getting on your hands when cutting hot peppers, wear rubber gloves or coat your hands with some cooking oil. Either of these will give you some protection.
Sure hope your discomfort is over. Heloise
Dear Friends: Instead of candy or other foodstuffs, try something a little different when those trick-or-treaters come to your door. Some great ideas to put in those Halloween sacks are: pencils, stickers, balloons, party favors, sports cards or even coins wrapped in plastic wrap and tied with black-and-orange ribbon. This might not cost as much as candy and will be a great surprise for the kids! Heloise
Dear Heloise: My fingers are not as strong as they used to be, so I keep a pair of small needle-nose pliers handy for peeling off the inner seal that is on so many containers these days. Lois from Vero Beach, Fla.
Dear Heloise: I thought you might like to pass this along. I mark my new fitted bottom sheets, top and bottom, with a black marking pen. I mark it generously with about a 2-inch line on the elastic, top and bottom. Now I don't have to turn the sheet several times to find which is the right position. Diane Osborne, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Send 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