Dear Heloise: Help! I had a party, and now I have RED-WINE STAINS on my beige-colored carpet. Is there anything I can do? -- Lorraine D., via e-mail

In your case, at this point, it is best to use a commercial stain remover. In the future, as soon as the spill happens, blot up as much of the wine as you can. Then mix a solution of 1 part mild liquid dishwashing detergent and 20 parts water. With a clean microfiber cloth, blot the stain until color stops coming out.

Then take half-vinegar/half-water and blot the stain to get the last remnants of color out. If you still see the red color, put a 3 percent-5 percent hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and blot.

As always, try out a hidden area of carpet first to make sure you won’t fade the color. Finally, rinse with cold water, blot dry and then allow to air-dry. This is another reason to keep vinegar in your household. I use it regularly, which is why I wrote my Heloise’s Fantabulous Vinegar Hints and More pamphlet. To receive a copy, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Use any leftover vinegar-and-water solution to wipe down and clean plastic, dusty outside furniture. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: When we first moved into our home, the dishwasher did a poor job of cleaning the dishes. I realized that the water heater was on the opposite side of the house, and a full cycle had run before the water entering the washer was hot. We always opened the hot-water tap in the kitchen and let the water get warm before hitting the “Start” button on the washer.

To avoid wasting water, I use the water flow to flush the garbage disposal or for other uses while waiting for it to warm. -- Doug J. in Louisiana

It can be a long travel time from where the water heater is to the kitchen. Thanks for the reminder! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have a hint for cushioning metal bed-frame legs and sofa legs. It seems manufacturers place these legs right where you crack your toes. I use soft, foam soda-can covers, removing the bottom to form a sleeve. I place the sleeve around the leg so the furniture can still be shoved around. I use these covers on chair legs that have skirts as well. They don’t show, and they save toes. -- Marlene P., Decatur, Ala.


Dear Heloise: I cannot lift my mattress to tuck my top sheet between the mattress and box spring. I use a plastic coat hanger to push the sheet into the opening between the mattress and box spring. I lift up the bottom of the sheet that is hanging over and tuck it in as I go. I also use the hanger to smooth out the sheet when finishing. -- Beverly G. in Louisiana

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