Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about measuring lines on laundry-detergent caps:

“When pouring laundry detergent, you have to look for lines and numbers inside the cap for measurements. Most of these lines and numbers cannot be seen or read. Why can’t the manufacturers make the lines in color? -- Carol P. in Virginia”

You are right, and many, many readers agree with you, Carol. The lines are nearly impossible to read. When I open a new bottle, I use red nail polish to mark the line. Makes it much easier to see. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Readers: Here are your responses on what you would do with old encyclopedias:

“I gave our set of encyclopedias to our interior decorator. She used them toward decorating for other customers,” wrote Sarah, via e-mail

“I advertised for free in a local newspaper. The set was quickly taken by a home-schooling mom,” wrote Holly in California

“Put it in the recycling bin. It is full of out-of-date information that will lead a child trying to use it down the wrong path,” wrote B.M., via e-mail

“Check with group homes for senior citizens. Many of their residents are more comfortable using the books for research than using the Internet,” wrote Norma, via e-mail

“My sister gave our old set to a teacher at the grammar school that my nephews attended. The teacher was delighted that her students could use them in the classroom,” wrote Doug, via e-mail

Thanks for all the wonderful hints! I can’t wait to read what else you come up with! -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Other uses for leftover wrapping paper:

* Shred and use as filler.

* Scrapbook with it.

* Line drawers, shelves and pet cages.

* Wrap other gifts with it.

* Decorate storage boxes.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have small children who love to play with the Christmas tree. I tried many different things to try to keep them away from the tree. I hung the ornaments (especially if they are fragile) at the top of the tree, where they couldn’t reach. I tried to block off the tree with baby gates. Nothing worked. I was getting very frustrated until I found something that worked. I got them their own little tree and made ornaments. Now they decorate and undecorate their tree as much as they want, and my tree is left intact. -- Sandy in Wisconsin


Dear Heloise: I have found a great way of making hangers for slacks and other pants to keep them hanging without wrinkling. A plastic hanger is easy to cut into on the long bottom of it. Save the empty tube that comes with wax paper, plastic wrap and many other items, and insert the ends of the cut hanger into the tube. It makes a great way to hang pants without a crease. -- V.P. in Arizona

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