Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about product packaging:

“Packaging needs improvement. Bottles of detergent and softener are similar and need larger print identifying their content. This also goes for shampoos and conditioners, which are hard to distinguish in the shower.

“Transparent or clear bottles also would make it possible to see when the contents are almost used up. Flat lids make it possible to store containers upside down to use all the contents. I’d like to encourage your readers to use 800 numbers to voice suggestions or complaints. Most companies are grateful and responsive. -- M.B., via e-mail”

A common complaint from my millions and millions of readers across the country. Are you listening, manufacturers? -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Other uses for old pillowcases:

* Use to protect hanging clothes.

* Place on a pet’s favorite sleeping spot to catch hair.

* Store extra sheets in one.

* Use as a travel laundry bag.

* Make into a sewing-machine cover.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Do you have any hints for how to clean a mop? I can never seem to get mine clean between uses. -- Pamela in Indiana

Cleaning mops between uses is important — you don’t want to clean with a dirty mop! For mops without a detachable head, fill a bucket with hot, soapy water. Dunk the mop head in the water and swish it around until the dirt and debris are loosened. Then rinse in clean water. If the mop head comes off, simply remove it and wash in the washing machine on the delicate cycle. Would you like to know how to clean your other cleaning tools? Or the recipes for my homemade cleaning solutions? Just order my pamphlet Heloise’s Homemade Cleaning Solutions. Send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cleaners, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Need to clean a feather duster? Place it in a bag of cornstarch, hold the bag closed and shake. Remove the feather duster and shake until the cornstarch is gone. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My husband has a whole bunch of golf towels. They have a grommet (or hole) in the corner that has a hook so he can attach them to his golf bag. Since he has so many, I took one that matched my decor for the kitchen. I can clip it to the oven or refrigerator handle, and it is always handy when I need it. -- Brenda, via e-mail

I love this! I’m going to buy a set just for the kitchen, and then they won’t “go MIA” to any another part of the house. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My family and I love to play board games. Whenever we get a new one, before we start playing, I organize it. If there are paper cards, etc., I laminate them and place the pieces into plastic bags. It helps our games last much longer. -- Sheila in North Carolina

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.

, King Features Syndicate