Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about return envelopes from businesses:

“I wish that envelopes for bills had the company name on them (Heloise here: The reader means envelopes with a clear window). I have several bills (especially medical) with these envelopes. But at times they get mixed up, and nowhere can I find the company name. Sometimes the way the name fits in the envelope window is a clue, but not always! -- Laurie in Mississippi”

-- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Readers: Uses for extra ice cubes:

* Put in a pet’s water bowl.

* Give to a cat or dog to play with.

* Place in plants to water.

* Save in a separate bag to use for ice packs.

* Put in a bowl of soup to cool it.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We recently visited my parents’ grave. We noticed that there is a lot of mold on the headstone. Could you tell me how to remove it? -- Peggy in Arkansas

Peggy, be careful. Make sure the stone really needs to be cleaned before beginning. Improper or excessive cleaning can lead to faster deterioration of the stone. Check the entire stone for flaking, cracking, erosion or any other suspicious areas. If you notice any of these, do not clean the stone.

Start with just clean water and a soft-bristled brush. Make sure you have access to a lot of water. Wet the stone and softly scrub in a circular motion. Rinse the brush and stone frequently. Working from the top of the stone down can cause streaking, so always work from the bottom up to avoid this.

If that does not work, there are a few products available that are acceptable to use. Make sure the product is biodegradable, nonacidic and nonabrasive. Do not use bleach or hydrochloric or muriatic acid. If you must use a product, thoroughly wet the stone before starting, rinse often during cleaning and rinse for at least five minutes when finished. If you are at all unsure about cleaning the stone yourself, consult a professional. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: When my family goes to crowded locations, I make emergency cards for my children. I cut index cards in half and put important information on them in case we get separated or lost. It has names and numbers of contact people. I have each child tuck it into his or her pocket before we leave, and I tell them to only take it out in an emergency. So far, luckily, we haven’t had to use them. -- Amy in Minnesota


Dear Heloise: I have a fabric shower curtain, and I used to waste time ironing it after I washed it. Now I just hang it back up, and after a couple of really steamy showers, the wrinkles are gone. If it is really bad, sometimes I will take a spray bottle of just water and mist it. -- A Reader, 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.

2013, King Features Syndicate