Hints From Heloise: A whiter shade of pills

August 12, 2013

Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about prescription medications:

“I take a number of medications, most of which are white — prescription and nonprescription drugs. There are a number of colors in the rainbow. Why not make many colors of pills so that pharmacists and consumers can better tell them apart? I realize that the drugs that are being taken now need to continue to look the same. Pharmacy companies, please make new medications in a variety of colors and shapes. -- Christine V., Salem, Ore.”

They do make many different colored pills, and lots of different sizes and shapes. Ask the pharmacist or your doctor if another brand is available that comes in a different color. Keeping the pills in the original container is the best hint. -- Heloise

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Other uses for clean laundry-detergent caps:

* Put cotton swabs in one.

* Keep on the dryer to collect spare change.

* Collect dryer lint in one.

* Use as a scoop for birdseed.

* Use as a scoop for cat litter or pet food.

-- Heloise

MUSTY SEWING MACHINE

Dear Heloise: I recently purchased an antique sewing machine. I love the machine, but the case has a gosh-awful, musty smell. I opened the case and put it in the garage to air out. How do I get rid of that musty odor? -- Becky, via e-mail

Oh, how cool! I have my mother’s Singer sewing machine from about 1948. It still works, and the case did smell musty. There are a couple of things you can try. Sprinkle baking soda into the case. (Baking soda is a great odor neutralizer and will help remove the smell). Then stuff the case with newspaper to help absorb the odor.

You also can try wiping the inside with plain-white or apple-cider vinegar, or use a “fabric spray.” Baking soda is a great household product to keep around. It can help deodorize many things in the home. I have a pamphlet with all my favorite hints using baking soda. To order, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Did you spill something in the trunk of your car that left an odor? Sprinkle baking soda over the carpet, leave for a few days, then vacuum it up. -- Heloise

CHAIR COVERS

Dear Heloise: I have some folding chairs that need to be stored in the living room. I made some fabric covers that fit snugly over them. They are the same color as the walls, so you hardly even notice that they are there. -- Christine in Salem, Ore.

Here’s another hint from Christine:

STAIN SPOT

I have some yellow bath towels that stain easily. Even after using eye-makeup remover, my makeup does not all come off. When I am showering, I wipe my eyes near the tag. When it is time to wash the towels, I know that there is only one place to check for stains.

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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