Helpful Hints

DEAR HELOISE – My mother, a Texan, was the first to introduce me to Hints from Heloise. She gave it to my mother as a young lady. Since then, I’ve been enjoying Heloise’s columns, books, and columns.

I have seen care labels printed with white ink in the backs dark-colored T-shirts, and other garments, many times over the past few years. These labels can wear away long before the garments, even if they are washed in cold water and dried on low. It’s difficult to decide whether to wash the garment in “warm” water or “cold”.

While I understand the reasons manufacturers and some wearers don’t want tags in the seams of their garments, it is possible to attach or print labels that last the life of the garment. My husband and I use the best magnifying glass we have to try to read what’s left of a label if possible, and then find an inconspicuous place on the collar or hem of the garment to mark “C” or “W” to indicate wash temperature (cold or warm) and then “L,””W,” or “LD” to indicate its drying process (low, warm or line dry). There are very few laundry marking pens that come in black.

I hope that manufacturers will pay attention to this. We are grateful for your help over the years.

— Cynthia E. Lyle,

San Antonio

DEAR HELOISE, I was shocked to read about the car repair shops ripping off women. However, they also do it with men. A catalytic converter was needed to fix my check engine light. I got an estimate of $2,200.

I know a lot about cars, but I thought it sounded totally wrong. I went to another mechanic and discovered that the problem was with an EGR valve. The repair cost me $175.

— Gregg Kreamer,

Fort Dodge, Iowa

DEAR HELOISE, I used to joke at my mother for doing it, but now I do it. Take the box of cereal out, shake off the cereal crumbs, then wrap or store your chicken or meat in the bag. You can then put it in the freezer.

I also use the plastic bags some pastas come with, such as egg noodles, to do the same. These bags are great for storing ground beef or chicken breasts. They’re easy to fold, seal and wrap. Thanks, Mom!

— Valerie Andrukiewicz,

Plainville, Conn.

DEAR HELOISE – After many years of using a spoon and a knife to remove seeds from cantaloupe (or any other similar melons), it was time for me to use an ice cream scooper. Works fantastic.

Dick House

Pinellas Park, Fla.

Heloise at P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio (Texas) 78279-5000. Fax to (210) 435 6473. Email

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