Dear Heloise: While pretreating a piece of laundry for STAINS, I mistakenly grabbed a spray bottle of multipurpose cleaner, instead of my normal spot-remover product.

Happily, the cleaner removed the spot without damaging the fabric. I now often use it as a spot remover on light-colored laundry, although I haven’t tested it on darker-colored fabrics. I like the fact that this one product does double duty as both a general cleaning agent and a laundry spot remover! -- Debbie R. in Texas

Glad this worked for you! Readers, if you use this hint, test on a small area first to be sure it doesn’t fade or change the color, and wash the item as soon as possible. Do you have other stains that you are unable to remove? All you need to do is send for Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. It includes a lot of common stains that every household has to deal with on a daily basis. To receive a copy, just send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Never put an item in the dryer until you make sure the stain is gone. If it goes in the dryer, the stain will be very hard to remove. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Cathy Wilson of Lancaster, Calif., sent in a photo of her black dachshund/Chihuahua mix, Rascal, floating on his favorite pool float. Cathy says, “Rascal loves to join us in our pool, and he climbs the stairs and watches us until we put him on his raft. He loves to float that way but hates to swim.”

To see Rascal on his bright-colored float, visit my Web site, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Hello Heloise: I just read your column in the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, and one of the topics was how to recycle wire hangers.

I found that they can be taken to local domestic-abuse organizations. They have asked specifically for hangers as well as other items. This is a great way to help the organization and to recycle the hangers at the same time. -- Dawn in Nebraska

You should call first to make sure the agency accepts them. And remember, most dry cleaners will take them back. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I had back surgery and cannot bend down easily. I dropped the soap a couple of times in the shower and had difficulty getting it. I took an old pair of pantyhose and cut off one leg. I put the soap in and tied it to the soap holder (or wherever you can, like the faucet, etc.). Now I can still reach the pantyhose and pull it back up. — Simon, via e-mail

Good for anyone and all ages. Also, tie one on the outside faucet, or put by a work sink. -- Heloise

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