Dear Heloise: The inspector general of Social Security has issued a warning about fraudulent letters. These letters inform people that due to the novel coronavirus, there will be a suspension of Social Security benefits because the offices are now closed. The scammers then pretend to be you and notify Social Security that they are moving to a new address and ask to have all future Social Security payments made to the new address. Since you assume your benefits are on hold, and you know nothing about the scammer's lies and schemes to steal your identity, you're unaware that your payments are being illegally sent to the scammers. If for any reason your monthly payments stop, call your Social Security office immediately.

— Henry H., Washington, D.C.

Dear Heloise: You wrote about using mayonnaise on white water spots on wood furniture. At the time I thought it would never work, but when I found a white water mark on my antique dresser, I tried it. I rubbed the mayonnaise on the water mark, left it over night and wiped off the area in the morning. The water mark was gone! Thanks for a simple, effective hint!

— Gracie W., Tulsa

Gracie W.: Just make sure it’s REAL mayo, and rub it in with a clean cloth.

Dear Heloise: When I buy soda, I buy the cans that are sold in packs, which are held together with plastic. Before I discard the plastic, I cut it up into tiny pieces so that small animals do not get caught in them and they don't try to eat them. It's safer for animals and takes only a minute to do.

— Vickie T., Mesa, Ariz.

Dear Heloise: My husband and I have lived in the same house for nearly 40 years. As you might imagine, we have several duplicates of kitchen gadgets, all of which are in very good condition. Still, I don't need five potato peelers, four strainers, six lemon squeezers or four garlic presses. And that's the tip of the iceberg! We went through the house and started to gather up all the duplicates we could find of various useful things, including 10 tablecloths! I called our local battered women's shelter, and they said they'd love to have the items. Not only did they use them, but they could go to women setting up a new place to live.

— Margaret J., Knoxville, Tenn.

Dear Heloise: My doctor wanted me to rub arthritis cream on my hands every night to help alleviate the pain I experience. The problem was that I'd get it all over the pillows and sheets. My daughter gave me a box of inexpensive vinyl gloves (disposable ones) to wear over the cream, and it worked like a charm. No more messy sheets. My daughter uses the disposable gloves when she applies oily hand cream to her own hands.

— Viola Y., Newcastle, Calif.

Viola Y.: You also can apply creams to your feet and use a plain cotton sock over your feet to have soft, smooth feet in the morning.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

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