Dear Heloise: I have a helpful hint that everyone will appreciate: WASH ALL SOCKS inside out. -- Hazel in Richmond, Va.

Hazel, you’ve made a good point. After your foot spends all day in a sock, the sock can be sweaty and collect dead skin cells and odors. Yuck!

A major manufacturer of footwear and a major detergent company said that it’s a matter of personal preference.

The detergent company says you’ll get adequate cleaning regardless of the how the sock goes in the washer. The sock company concurs with the detergent maker. Whichever one you choose is fine.

One time-tested Heloise Hint is to use a safety pin to hold your socks together so they don’t get separated in the wash! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We recently had a dog trainer scold us because our poodles were not secured in our car. We have found a pop-up dog crate, which comes in several sizes.

It has a wire frame, and it just pops up into a rectangular shape, with mesh sides and a zippered door. It has straps on it that you run your seat belt through to secure it.

Every dog owner needs to realize that if your dog is loose in the car and you have an accident, your dog becomes a projectile and can be easily killed or thrown from the car into traffic. Also, if a dog is in your lap or lying on the seat next to you, it can be killed by the air bag. We really like these crates, and so do our dogs. -- James E. Reveley, DDS, via e-mail


Dear Readers: Maggie in Indiana sent a picture of her dog, Hannah, who looks a bit like a rat terrier, “pushing” a cart of flowers! Hannah certainly is ready for spring. To see Hannah and our other Pet Pals, visit and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Here is a hint for those who enjoy powdered coffee drinks. The directions always say to stir with a spoon, which doesn’t always mix all the powder into the hot water. Next time, try a mini whisk. I find it works perfectly and quickly. -- L.G., Sturgis, S.D.

Love it, and try a fork, also! It is pretty easy to make different powdered coffee mixes, and they all are so delicious. I have compiled a pamphlet that has several different mixes of coffee that you can try, such as mocha, cinnamon and a delicious spiced coffee. To receive the pamphlet, just send $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Coffee and Tea, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Also in the pamphlet? A classic cold-water iced-tea recipe: Fill a quart-sized pitcher with cold tap water and eight to 10 tea bags. Let stand for six hours, then remove the tea bags and pour into ice-filled glasses. Sweeten as you would like. -- Heloise

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.

2012, King Features Syndicate