Dear Readers: Someone in Heloise Central had a mishap, SPILLING WATER all over her desk and keyboard. Luckily, the keyboard was saved. So, if this happens to you, keep these Heloise Hints in mind:

First, turn off the computer, unplug the keyboard and disconnect it. Turn the keyboard upside down on some paper towels and let as much of the liquid drain out as possible. This may take a few hours.

Water and other nonsugary liquids sometimes can be removed from the keyboard by blowing air over it using a hair dryer. Move the dryer around, and don’t allow the keyboard to get too hot.

Liquids like coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages and soda can damage keyboards beyond repair, because they can be sticky and may leave a residue behind. More than likely, this type of spill will result in the purchase of a new keyboard.

If the spill is on a laptop, notebook, e-reader, etc., the device will need to be taken to a repair shop immediately. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I need to wear reading glasses, but not all the time. This was frustrating when sorting laundry, as I could not read the labels in the clothing. I now keep a magnifying glass by the washing machine, which allows me to read the labels quickly without having to get my glasses. Thank you. -- Susan, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I have two elderly cats that are sloppy eaters. Their canned food frequently gets pushed off their plates and onto the floor. I came up with an easy and inexpensive solution. I cut a piece of newspaper into quarters and use it for a place mat under their plates.

When they are done eating, I pick up their “plates,” throw away the newspaper place mats, and my floor stays clean! -- Karen V. in Cleveland


Dear Heloise: I always took a book to read whenever I knew I’d be somewhere I’d have to spend time waiting, particularly at a doctor’s office. However, I found that every time I’d get into the story, I’d be interrupted — my name would be called, the nurse would come in, another question would be asked, etc. — and I’d lose the thread of the story once again. Now, I take the crossword from the morning paper to work on while I wait. It is easier to carry, put down and resume where I left off! -- Mary, via e-mail

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