Dear Readers: How do you get the last bit of TOOTHPASTE OUT OF THE TUBE? This seems to be a hint readers ask about or share to help save money. Try these helpful hints:

* Slide the flat edge of a comb from the bottom of the tube to force the paste into the cap end.

* Hold both ends of the tube in your hands. Drag the tube against a sharp counter edge from bottom to cap to push the toothpaste to the top.

* Cut the tube about an inch from the cap. All of the toothpaste is still inside, and you can scoop it out with your toothbrush. Store the tube in a self-sealing plastic bag so it doesn’t dry out.

-- Heloise


Dear Readers: Lucille Friscia of Staten Island, N.Y., sent in a picture of her Shih Tzu, Bobby. Bobby’s favorite way to relax and cool off on a hot day is to float in the pool. To see Bobby’s photo, visit my Web site,, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I used to take tissue into the yard when I was working outside. When I did laundry, I would forget that there was tissue in the pockets. My solution: Take an old washcloth with me. I use it to wipe off sweat, as a handkerchief or to wipe off my hands. If I forget it in the pocket, I will not have pieces of tissue in the washer and dryer. I hope that this is useful for others. -- Bobbie K., Springfield, Ill.


Dear Heloise: To keep pills and tablets from rolling away, I saved the plastic lid from a potato-chip can and use it to “corral” them. This has been very effective and a way of recycling. Depending upon the number of pills, any plastic cap will work. -- Diane, via e-mail

Be sure to keep it out of reach of children. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I learned a simple step to prevent unsightly hard-water scale from accumulating around the base of faucets and drains: Keep a dedicated rag or towel to wipe up the water left after using the sink. I have one for the countertop and another for the basin. I change these out every two to three days for sanitary purposes. -- Valerie D., Lake Barrington, Ill.


Dear Heloise: Here’s a hint for cat lovers whose cats live indoors:

Spray nonstick vegetable spray on the bottom and sides of clean litter boxes before putting in the litter. The clumps won’t stick to the box, and it makes it much easier to keep the boxes clean.

My cats don’t mind. -- Irene B., Madison, Miss.

As long as it’s “plain” spray -- no butter! If your cat stops using the litter box, it could be the spray. Cats can be very particular about these things. -- Heloise

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

, King Features Syndicate