Dear Heloise: I remember that you had a simple PREWASH-SPRAY recipe. I can’t seem to find my copy. Could you please reprint it? -- Haddie in Chicago

You bet I will, and this will save you from spending money on commercial products. It is a really easy solution that you can mix up for just pennies. Mix equal parts water, household ammonia and dishwashing liquid. For example, combine 1 cup, 1 cup and 1 cup. Make sure to use dishwashing, NOT dishwasher, liquid. Mix well, and put into a clearly labeled spray bottle. Wash clothes immediately after using this solution. Do not let it sit.

Do keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Have other laundry problems you need answers to? I have put all of my stain solutions into one handy pamphlet, Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. To order, send $5 with a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain Guide, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Did you leave your clothes in the dryer too long? To remove wrinkles, place a damp towel in with the load, and restart the cycle for 15 minutes. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: One reader wrote that when she buys a new curling iron or blow-dryer, she takes the old one on a trip and leaves the new one at home. She makes a valid point, but I do just the opposite.

I take the new one with me to ensure that the appliance works while traveling, where it may be harder to find a replacement, especially in foreign countries. Also, you may have time restraints when on tour. I leave the old one at home because if it dies there, I can replace it. -- Ann in California


Dear Heloise: Putting fitted sheets in the dryer often ends up with a massed ball that is dry on the outside and damp on the inside. To avoid this, I pin together the ends of the fitted sheet before putting it into the dryer. No more ball of damp laundry. -- Yu-Chih in Colorado

Thanks for the hint. Just be careful of the hot safety pins when pulling the laundry out. Readers, what do you think? Do you have any laundry hints on how you wash bedding? Send them to me. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I just wanted to give your readers a hint about computer printers. A lot of people print only in black-and-white, or some people don’t use their printers often and only print something every few months. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but if you don’t use your printer much, the ink may dry up in the print head on some printers. So once a month, just print out a page in color to be sure the ink doesn’t dry up and become useless when you do need it. -- Jeff in Texas

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

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