Dear Heloise: Somehow I missed my husband’s cherry lip balm when checking pockets before doing laundry. Needless to say, it got washed and dried with a large load of dark laundry. You can only imagine the grease spots that are all over now. What do you suggest? -- K.M., Greensboro, N.C.

What greasy, icky stains those lip balms can make! Here’s the scoop from a major manufacturer of lip balms, so read on. This happens a lot! Post this column right next to the washing machine.

First, treat each piece of clothing. Use dishwashing liquid that has a degreasing agent. Rub the liquid into the stains (yes, each piece of clothing) and then rewash in the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric. Let air-dry, and re-treat the spots, if necessary.

A letter from Bridget in Washington offers another idea: “I know this will sound too good to be true, but I promise it works on washable garments. Any oil-based stain, even if it’s been washed and dried, can be removed by rubbing the stain with any shampoo and then rewashing. (Heloise here: This is worth a try, especially since most hair shampoos are formulated to break down body oil. Put the shampoo on the oily stains, and either scrub with an old toothbrush or rub fabric together before putting in the washer. Let garment AIR-dry).

Hopefully, one of these methods will help you. Laundry stains are part of life and can make laundry day so much harder! To make it easier, I have a very helpful pamphlet filled with hints about how to remove clothing stains, and it is a must for every household. Just send $5 for Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. Send a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. If you added too much detergent and suds start bubbling over, just sprinkle plain ol’ table salt on the suds, and poof, they’re gone. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Carla Kincaid of Ventura, Calif., sent a photo of her two cats -- Echo, a tricolor with peach, and Pinot Noir, a calico. The cute cats are curled up together on a chair in front of a sunny window.

Carla says: “Echo is a rescue cat from the animal shelter, and we got Pinot from a co-worker. They look really cold, but they live in Southern California. We very seldom get below 50. Echo is a lover, and Pinot is always looking for trouble.”

To see these two adorable cats, visit and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I make drinks from the little individual powdered packets for water bottles, but they do not mix evenly. I used one of the beaters from my mixer and whisked the liquid in my cup. It did a wonderful job. -- Kelly in New York

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.

, King Features Syndicate