Hints From Heloise: Busy businesses

June 16

Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about trying to get through to businesses on the phone:

“My Sound Off is when you finally get through to a business on the phone, only to be told ‘All operators are busy now; please hang up and call again later.’ ” -- A Reader in Texas

That can be frustrating! Unfortunately, it is something we all have to deal with at times. Try calling at nonpeak hours, like after lunch, to see if that helps you get through a little more easily. -- Heloise

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Here are other uses for marbles:

* Place in a jar to use as a paperweight.

* Put in the bottom of a plant pot to keep soil in.

* Place in an aquarium.

* Use in steppingstones as decorations.

* Put in the bottom of a foot bath to massage feet.

-- Heloise

SWEAT SMELL

Dear Heloise: My son plays football, and his clothes always have an odor from the sweat. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get them clean. Can you help? -- Linda in Texas

Athletic clothing sure can get stinky! As soon as your son gets home, air out his clothes. Don’t stuff them in a hamper unless they are dry. Turn each piece inside-out before washing. For shirts, rub a little full-strength laundry detergent into the armpit area. Put the clothes into the washer, but don’t cram it full; the clothing won’t rinse clean if the washer is too full. Use a lot of water and rinse a second time, then air-dry. After washing, smell the clothes. If they still stink, pour vinegar onto the smelly area. Let sit for a few minutes and then repeat. Vinegar will kill any bacteria. Then wash again. Have another tough stain you need help getting out? Order my Handy Stain Guide for Clothing pamphlet. To receive, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain Guide, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. When treating a stain, place a paper towel underneath the stain to keep it from going through the fabric. -- Heloise

SOUND OFF FOLLOW-UP

Dear Readers: A Sound Off was written about bottles for medications being too large and only half-full. Here is what a couple of readers had to say about it:

Sue B. in Omaha, Neb., wrote: “I think the underlying reason is marketing. If consumers see a bigger bottle with 100 capsules in it next to a smaller bottle with 100 capsules in it, they tend to choose the larger bottle because it looks like the better deal.”

S.G. in Santa Ana, Calif., wrote, “There are so many requirements made for proper labeling information that they need the larger bottles, just to have space.”

Thanks for the letters. They definitely make you think. -- Heloise

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.

2014, King Features Syndicate

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