Dear Heloise: Do you or your readers have any suggestions for preventing STATIC-ELECTRICITY SHOCK? Getting out of cars is especially painful, and it is really bad in dry winter months. I’d appreciate any help. -- Julie W. in Connecticut

Happy to pass along some hints to help prevent that shock! Static electricity can be a pain — and even dangerous. Here’s how to reduce it:

* When getting out of a car, touch the metal part of the door. Once your feet touch the ground, then you can let go of the car door.

* Sliding in and out of a car can create static electricity, depending on what clothes you are wearing. Use a seat cover to reduce this static.

* At home, try to “ground” yourself before touching metal. Touch a wooden door frame before touching the metal doorknob, for example.

* Try to wear 100 percent cotton clothing, and avoid polyester and synthetic materials, because they cause more static electricity.

* Moisturize your skin to reduce the buildup of static charges.

Hope these hints help reduce your shocking situation! Readers, do you have any other hints to reduce static electricity? -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: About two weeks before I leave on a trip, I place a laundry basket in my bedroom. Then, when I think of something I want to take or wear on my trip, I put that item in the basket. (I can always edit later!) When it comes time to get out the luggage, I never fear leaving important items behind. -- Joan D. in Virginia


Dear Heloise: I read your advice on putting “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) phone numbers in one’s cellphone. This is good advice, except if you have a “lock” on your phone that requires a code. (Which, by the way, is a must to keep your information secure. No one else will be able to access your contacts.) To get around this, I put my emergency contact information as part of the picture on my lock screen. I used a program to add the text to a picture of my grandchildren, saved it and selected it as my lock-screen background. -- Jo Ann P., via email

Good point! Thank you for the reminder. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Like many, I’m a faithful reader. I think I have discovered a clever solution for those irritating tiny splinters from cactus that you can barely see, much less remove. I have found that an ordinary emery board rubbed over the area in the direction of the splinter can provide instant comfort. -- Nanci in California


Dear Heloise: I discovered this when company was at the door! A dab of hand sanitizer and a quick polish with a clean tissue on a glass shelf (or the mirror -- Heloise) polishes off toothpaste and soap splatters! -- Charlotte in Bryan, Ohio

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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