Keeping neckties nice is about more than the knot

Dear Readers: The necktie has been a part of men’s (and even women’s) fashion for hundreds of years, but experts agree that the main purpose of the tie is to add color and ornamentation. Let’s look at the care of the necktie — some CRAVAT CAVEATS, you might say!

* Neatness counts. Stain-repellent spray (available at the supermarket) will keep spills from becoming a problem.

* In the event of a spill, dab up as much as possible, and leave the rest to the dry cleaner. Club soda and water can permanently damage silk ties. An expert can clean the tie and keep it looking professional.

* If you choose to iron a tie, press it on a low temperature and on the back to avoid shine on the front.

* When you remove your tie at the end of the day, undo it completely. Sliding the tie by the knot will stretch out the tie. And hang it up, too.

* Keep cologne and aftershave off the tie; they can fade delicate colors.

As for tying a tie, that’s a five- to six-step process; definitely ask an expert! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: My grandkids are spending some time with us, and I need ideas for HEALTHY snacks. Care to chime in on this one? — Robert P., Elgin, Ill.

Robert, kudos for keeping the grandkids healthy! Here are some ideas:

Sweet snacks: yogurt with honey or fresh fruit, chocolate-covered nuts or seeds, and unsweetened applesauce.

Other snacks: celery with peanut butter, carrots and hummus, dried kale chips and string cheese.

Think low sugar and low fat. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: The obituary section of the newspaper prints the place of the family meal after a funeral. When my sister passed, at the table were two old men with my nephew. He asked whom they were related to.

They replied, “No one.” They just heard about a meal and they came to eat. They go to places to see where they can get a free meal. Very sad! — A Reader, Austintown, Ohio


Dear Heloise: Some time ago, a lady wrote to you saying her fridge had a terrible odor. You told her to wash the inside with baking soda.

You also should have told her to wash the drip pan underneath the refrigerator. When things spill in the refrigerator and the refrigerator defrosts, it goes into the drip pan and makes an awful smell until it’s washed out. — Mary M., Fort Wayne, Ind.

Thanks for your input, Mary. Readers, refer to your owners manual for the location of the drip pan. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I spray my bare feet with a fresh citrusy spray cologne at the end of a long workday. It revitalizes me for the ride home. — Cindy L. in Florida


Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.