Dear Readers: In response to a reader who said that her towels were coming out of the washer and dryer with “MYSTERY” BLEACH SPOTS, I asked readers for input if they had this issue. Wow! Lots of replies came in, and here are just a few of them:

* Carol in Texas says the spots on her towels were caused by a cleaner (that included bleach) that wasn’t being completely rinsed off the shower walls. When her family would wipe the walls after showering, the cleaner would get on the towels. Once she started rinsing the walls thoroughly, the problem went away.

* Bill G. in Boca Raton, Fla., says that an acne medication caused the bleached-out spots on the towels.

* Mia C. in Freehold, N.J., says that the bleach dispenser on her washing machine was the culprit. She spoke to a washing-machine serviceman, who said that those dispensers don’t always release all the bleach that’s in them. Sometimes they release the rest of it into the next load. Once she stopped using the dispenser, there were no more problems.

* Linda P. in South Dakota says she believes it is not how the towels are used, but the poor-quality coloring at the factory.

* J. in Kansas says that if you are adding the towels to the washer before the detergent is diluted, this could cause the problem with bleach-stained wash. Make sure the detergent is totally diluted in your washer before adding any towels.

Thanks to all who took the time to drop us a line and share their experiences. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: The big containers that powdered drink mix comes in make great containers to take along on a trip for your pets. You can put water or food in them, and you will always have the lid to use as a bowl! -- Linda C., via e-mail


Dear Readers: Patty Lanser in Camarillo, Calif., sent in a photo of her black Lab/German short-hair mix, Black Jack. He smiles with every greeting and on command. He is very sweet and smart.

Like Patty, we were lucky enough to have had a sweet black Lab mix named Black Jack that smiled on command, too! If you want to see Patty’s Black Jack (and ours) smiling, visit and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: A friend suggested that I get some safety glasses with built-in readers. When I shopped online for them, I found some dark-tinted versions for around $15. I ordered a pair to try, and I love them!

I use them as my all-the-time sunglasses. Now I can look down at the map while driving or riding in the car and read labels easily. -- Kris in Colorado


Dear Heloise: Occasionally I find that the lipstick top won’t stay put, so I put double-sided sticky tape around the main tube. Then the top will stick tight! -- Sydney in Texas

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