Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about spray bottles:

“It seems I have problems with some spray bottles. The strawlike tube is right at the bottom of the bottle. It is a tight fit, and the last ounce cannot come up because of the way the tube is bent. I also find this in spray-perfume bottles. Perfume is expensive, and it makes me unhappy when I can’t use all of it. Why do they make spray bottles that you can’t get all the product out of? -- A Reader in Ohio”

Your guess is as good as anyone’s! This can be frustrating, as well as wasteful. Here is a Heloise hint: If the tube is a little too long, just snip a tiny amount off the end so it fits better in the bottle and then can draw up the remaining liquid. A few pennies saved! -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Other uses for binder clips:

* Use as bookmarks.

* Keep a tube of toothpaste rolled up.

* Hold a beach towel in place on a chair.

* Keep chip bags closed.

* Use on a wastebasket to keep the bag from slipping.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Love your hint that says to use baking soda as a carpet freshener. I took an empty Parmesan-cheese container, washed and dried it, then filled it with baking soda. The holes in the top make it easy to sprinkle out onto the carpet. Any large spice bottle with holes in the top will work. -- A Reader, via e-mail

This is a classic Heloise hint that saves money and makes housework just a little easier. Why stop at just the carpet? Use baking soda to freshen a trash can, shoes, an empty ice chest or a dishwasher! You can even use it as a dry shampoo for your pets! Just rub some baking soda through your pet’s fur (make sure it is dry), let sit for a minute or two and then brush out. Baking soda is a wonderful product to keep on hand. It has so many different uses. Want to know all the ways I use baking soda? Order my pamphlet Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints and Recipes. Send $5 with a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Use baking soda instead of scouring powder to clean counters and stovetops. Just sprinkle a little on a damp sponge and clean away. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We had a plethora of extra wipe boxes when my baby was a few months old. We also had dozens of baby washcloths. I took the washcloths and overlap-folded them like the wipes had been, stuck them in an empty box and made a messy-baby-cleanup kit (for sticky hands and face) for the kitchen! I just collect and toss in the wash, and refill. Simple, clean and not wasteful. -- Kelli-ann B. in Canada

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