Get rid of pesky stains

Dear Heloise: One of your readers asked about removing an ink stain. The answer is hairspray! Spray on the stain prior to washing and watch the ink disappear. My mother also used hairspray to freshen up dried-flower arrangements. And for blood stains, try hydrogen peroxide, which comes in a convenient spray bottle. Cold water is generally the best for stain removal. Also, when of your favorites, baking soda, is added to wash cycles, it helps immensely to freshen and clean laundry.

As vacation-rental owners, we pride ourselves on clean linens and towels, which takes a variety of stain-removal techniques. Good luck! — Deb G., Bozeman, Montana


Dear Heloise: Please advise your readers to contact their states’ Native Plant Society to learn about the local ground cover plants and shrubs that can be used to replace lawn grass. In California, our California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is very active in educating residents about native California plants and our coastal sage scrub.

We have a real problem with invasive plants that try to take over our native plants. Every yard can offer a suitable living space for wildlife and protect our environment. For information on plants that are suitable for your location in California, go to www.Calscape.org and follow the instructions. — Nancy Harris, Huntington Beach, California


Dear Heloise: My husband organizes his nails and screws in the garage by putting them in clean, clear, used plastic peanut butter jars. He nails the lids underneath the wooden shelf so that he can attach the jars and easily see the contents. He also attaches a label to describe the contents.

No more searching for screws/nails for repairs and projects! This idea can be used for other items as well. I read your column regularly in the Houston Chronicle every day. Thanks for all the tips! — Laura Bissey, via email


Dear Heloise: Please empty all bottles of liquid and remove the caps before recycling them. (Caps are not recyclable.) There are millions of bottles around the world that have water in them and are in the dumps. Just empty them down the drain or on the ground. — Kathrine Mayrose, in San Antonio


Dear Heloise: I have macular degeneration, and it is difficult for me to read. I have found that if I use my tablet or cellphone to take a picture of things like medications, bottles, labels, or instructions on a package, I can enlarge the picture on my device and read them more easily. — P.C., in Texas

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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.


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