Barbara M., Freehold, N.J.
Barbara M.: A clever idea, but you also can use sanitizing sprays or wipes, which are formulated to kill bacteria.
Dear Heloise: Just a brief reminder that a few safety pins or a needle and thread tucked into your suitcase can come in handy when a button pops off or a hem comes unraveled.
Linda-Mae N., Shelbyville, Tenn.
Dear Heloise: I keep forgetting certain items when I pack. It might be an evening bag, a pair of shoes to go with an outfit or makeup items. How can I get it all together?
Emily R., Metairie, La.
Emily R.: Try making a master list and keeping it in your suitcase. Forgetting items for a trip can be annoying but avoidable. You also might want to lay out each outfit on a bed and select the jewelry you plan to wear with it, along with underwear and shoes, before packing.
Dear Heloise: We're having a family reunion soon, and I'm worried about members who don't get along. At the last reunion, about 10 years ago, there was a verbal fight, and I just don't want to go through that again.
Beverly H. in Michigan
Beverly H. in Michigan: If people are really having problems with one another, sit them on the same side of a table, one or two people apart, so they won’t have to see one another. If they get argumentative, ask them to stop. As usual, no politics or religion.
Dear Heloise: How do I hand-wash a silk blouse?
Ashley G., Wheatfield, Ind.
Ashley G.: Use a mild detergent and cool water, along with a gentle swishing action. No twisting or wringing out, but instead roll the blouse in a clean towel first, then hang to dry, out of direct sunlight. If you have a spot you’re trying to remove, take it to a professional cleaner and let them handle it. Iron on the “wrong side” of the blouse.
Dear Heloise: My cabinet doors have magnetic catches that are very difficult to open. Is there anything I can do to make it easier to open them?
Erin B, Carrizo Springs, Tex.
Erin B: Try putting a piece of clear tape over the magnetic catches. This should decrease the power of the magnets.
Dear Readers: Missing a few dishes from your set? Try mixing in solid-colored plates that coordinate with your dinnerware.