Dear Heloise: Unsightly YELLOW STAINS have appeared on the off-white vinyl tile in my bathroom where the rugs had been. I got rid of the rugs, but I cannot get rid of the stains. Do you know of a method or product I could use to eliminate these stains without ruining the finish on the floor? -- Kathleen W. in Michigan

Sorry to say, Kathleen, there isn’t much you can do at this point. The rubber backing on the rugs is the culprit. Because vinyl and rubber don’t mix, it creates a reaction and causes the vinyl to actually turn yellow.

Also, other things can react and cause stains. Be careful when placing items like flowerpots, rubber wheels, anything made of plastic, etc., on a vinyl floor.

When buying rugs, look for tags labeled “nonstaining rubber backing,” or stay away from rubber-backed rugs on vinyl or linoleum floors, as experts recommend. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: Here are a few travel tips I find helpful:

* Put your driver’s license (identity card) in a plastic cardholder, and wear it as a necklace so it’s easily available at the airport.

* After checking into a room, wipe down the TV remote control.

* Carry a small flashlight to be kept at bedside.

* Save those perfume paper strips that are in magazines and take them along rather than liquid.

-- A Helpful Reader in the USA

Great hints! Thanks for the reminders. When you wipe down the remote, don’t forget to wipe the door handles and light switches, too! I use the hand sanitizer I carry in my purse. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Great hint about turning boxes inside out for mailing. Plastic mailing bags work the same way. If you are returning something you ordered, or are just mailing something else, you can turn the mailing bag inside out and tape your labels on the plain surface. -- Bonita in Cleveland


Dear Heloise: Here are some organizational hints I use when buying a new appliance: I keep a file of all my manuals. If the appliance has a serial number, I write it on the top of the owners manual. I also attach the receipt, warranty card and any other paperwork I was given upon purchase. That way, I have all the information I need if I must look something up or have it repaired. This has saved tons of hassle and frustration. -- Craig in Indiana


Dear Heloise: Whenever I bake a cake, I place it on whatever plate I am going to serve it on, then place it on a circular, rotating platter before icing. Because the platter rotates, it makes it much easier to turn the cake when icing. I don’t have to constantly stop to turn the plate. I think it makes the icing look smoother and neater. -- Wendy in San Francisco

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.

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