Dear Heloise:

How do I get a lot of ink out of my dryer? My husband (grrrr) ran an ink pen in the dryer, which leaked all over his clothes and the dryer. I am afraid to dry anything until it is gone. What do I do?

Kelly Gallagher, via e-mail

Well, first of all, you will need to check the owner's manual or manufacturer's Web site to see if there are suggestions for cleaning this type of stain from your dryer drum. With that said, here are a couple of other methods that might help.

First, unplug the dryer, then try using a cloth and a soap-and-water solution. Scrub at the stains, then rinse with another clean cloth and plain water.

Or, spray a laundry prewash solution on a cloth and use this to scrub the ink stains. Let sit for a few minutes, follow with a cloth dampened with warm, soapy water and rinse.

Sometimes these stains don't want to budge, and you might have to resort to using a nonabrasive, all-purpose cleaner. Be sure to test the one you choose on a small area first to make sure it does not affect the finish. And remember, rinse the inside of the drum after each cleaning method to remove any traces of the cleaner.

Note: Run a couple of old, damp towels through a few drying cycles to see if there is any remaining ink that might transfer before using the dryer to dry laundry.

Dear Heloise:

When you have photos developed, some photo labs provide an index card with a tiny picture of each of the photos that were developed. These tiny photos are the perfect size for lockets and jewelry charms.

G. Curtis

Peterborough, Ontario

This is a wonderful hint! They are also cute to tape to letters and notes to friends and family.

Dear Heloise:

I have so much trouble getting my luggage checked when traveling that I have started to ship my belongings ahead of time. I have found that most hotels will store it for 24 to 36 hours, and I can travel light, carrying just important documents, traveler's checks and fine jewelry in a carry-on piece.

Martha Roberts


Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2004, King Features Syndicate