Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about assistance bars in public restrooms:

“Why don’t public restrooms, restaurants, theaters, etc., put assistance bars in all facilities, not just those for the handicapped? The potties are so low that it is difficult to rise from them without assistance. A female of any age with a broken arm is an example. All public facilities should install assistance bars in all restroom stalls. -- Chris, via e-mail”

Many readers agree with you. One reason, however, might be the cost to install grab bars in all stalls. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Other uses for metal mint tins:

* Hold long pieces of gum.

* Small first-aid kit (bandages, gauze, etc.).

* Store change in one.

* Use as a pillbox.

* Small sewing kit.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have some everyday silverware that looks stained. Every morning, I drink my coffee and add creamer with a spoon. I then set the spoon down and enjoy my cup of joe. When the silverware comes out of the dishwasher, there is a circular stain. What can I do? -- Cathy S. in Texas

The stain probably is the fat that’s in the creamer. Here’s what was tested in Heloise Central: A little dish soap on a microfiber cloth (rubbing the stain) did the trick! If that does not work, mix a little baking soda and dish soap to make a paste, and rub-a-dub-dub! The baking soda won’t scratch as long as it’s wet. Baking soda is a great household product to have around. I have compiled a pamphlet full of helpful, money-saving baking-soda hints. To order, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. To prevent the stained spoon, rinse under water or keep a small cup of water by the pot to dip the spoon into after use. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I recently attended the wedding of a longtime friend. I bought a nice card and placed some cash in it for the couple. I did not seal the envelope; I just tucked in the flap. The card went straight from my purse into the card box at the wedding. I found out that by the time the card got to the couple, the cash was gone.

I searched my purse, etc. The conclusion I came to is that someone took the cash because the card was not sealed. Lesson learned. I will always seal envelopes from now on. -- A Reader in Texas


Dear Heloise: I vacuum often, but I was noticing that my vacuum couldn’t get the stuff that was right up next to the baseboards. Every other week or so (not every time) before I vacuum, I take my broom and sweep along the baseboards. It gets the stuff out from next to the baseboards and makes it easy to vacuum up. -- Sydney in Minnesota

Send a 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.

2013, King Features Syndicate