Dear Readers: Have you noticed the new laundry and dishwasher “packs’ that are on the market today? They may be convenient to use, but there can be a downside if you have small children in your household.

Some children are mistaking the packs for candy and trying to eat them, which has resulted in visits to the emergency room. Due to the issue, some manufacturers are working on changing the packaging.

If there are young ones around, please be sure to keep these products out of the reach of curious hands. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I saw the reader comment in your column published in the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News, and I have another idea for the use of small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotions, shampoo caps, soaps, etc.

My wife and I travel a lot and always bring back these things. Every couple of months, we take a large grocery sack of the stuff to a nearby women’s crisis center. They tell us it’s always appreciated. -- A Texas Panhandle Couple, via e-mail

I hope this hint will inspire my readers to do the same! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Here is a hint for cat owners: Watch out for collars that fray. When cleaning themselves, a cat’s tongue can get stuck on the frayed strings.

My cat was cleaning himself, got a string of frayed collar on his tongue and was stuck. I was able to release it right away, but if I had not been near, it would have been an ordeal for him. -- Ann J., Deer Park, Wash.


Dear Heloise: Resale clothing shops are popular, and you can find some great buys there. For the best merchandise, head to the shops in the more affluent areas of town. They usually have more designer and higher-quality merchandise, with a great markdown.

Some stores sell on consignment. Others are associated with a particular church or charity organization. Check them out for some great bargains! -- Joan in Kentucky


Dear Heloise: When we are having houseguests, I “assign” a towel for each person and put it on a clothes hanger. When they have used the towel, they put it on the hanger and leave in the bathroom. -- Priscilla R., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: Often when working around the house, I need a small container for paint or other uses. As empty cans become available in the kitchen, I remove the labels and put them in the dishwasher. Now I have several handy in my garage. Since they are various sizes, they can be nested to save space. -- Doug J., Denham Springs, La.


Dear Heloise: Small paint touch-up jobs can be done with a cotton swab. Simply throw it away when you are finished. It avoids having to clean a brush. I do this all the time, and it works perfectly! -- Joseph in White Castle, La.

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