Hints From Heloise: A uniform discussion

Dear Heloise: My husband is retired from the military and has some old UNIFORMS we’d like to store. Some are heavily starched. Should I wash out the starch before I store them? -- A.L., Huntsville, Ala.

Good question! Before storing a uniform, you want to make sure it is clean, of course. Some experts say you don’t have to remove the starch, but it can cause permanent creases in uniforms when stored. Others (me included) think you should wash (if the uniform is washable) out the starch. If they are “dress” uniforms, do have them professionally cleaned.

Before storing, wrap it in acid-free paper. Remove small pieces, like belt, nameplate, etc., and wrap separately, and it’s recommended to store uniforms flat. Store in a box in a cool, dry spot. The perfect place? Under your bed. -- Heloise

MELTED CRAYON

Dear Heloise: My daughter left a pink crayon in the backseat of my car. The seats are cloth, and it melted! How do I remove it? -- Melisa B., via e-mail

Melisa, this can be a difficult stain to remove, but let’s give it a try. Put a couple of ice cubes in a metal pan and place the pan over the wax until it hardens. Next, scrape off as much of the wax as you can using a plastic credit card or a dull knife.

Next, put some dry-cleaning solvent (found at the grocery store) on the stain using a clean, white cloth. Let it absorb, and then blot it. The color should start to come up. Use a clean section of the cloth each time you blot.

You may need to reapply the solvent, continuing to blot until all of the stain has been removed, then blot using a damp (only water) microfiber cloth. Good luck! Stains are never fun to deal with! For my pamphlet filled with stain-removal hints, Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide, just send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Always test a stain remover on a hidden section of fabric first! -- Heloise

PET PAL

Dear Readers: Marylu Larkin of Xenia, Ohio, sent in a photo of her little Meggie, a 5-year-old, 3-pound Yorkie who loves to eat strawberries. Marylu says: “She loves the outdoors -- especially when the strawberries are ripe! She eats the ones that hang over the sides of the raised bed!” To see the strawberry lover, Meggie, visit my Web site at www.Heloise.com and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise

EASY REFILL

Dear Heloise: I had a nearly full sport water bottle handy when I needed to refill my steam iron. I grabbed it, and it was perfect to get just the amount of water needed into the small opening on the iron without spilling onto the board (Heloise here: Do NOT refill with water while the iron is hot). -- A Reader, via e-mail

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

, King Features Syndicate

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