Dear Heloise: I am retired and live in an upstairs walk-up. So I sort laundry upstairs and pour a capful of LIQUID DETERGENT onto a towel or other very absorbent item in each batch rather than carry the detergent to the laundry room. -- A Reader, via e-mail

Love it! Why carry extra weight if you don’t have to? Just be careful, because sometimes pouring some detergents directly onto a piece of clothing and not washing quickly may leave a spot. Here are the three Heloise Golden Rules of Stain Removal for you and other readers:

Get to the stain as soon as possible. The longer it sets, the harder it is to get out.

Work at the stain slowly. It takes time to remove some stains.

Some stains are stubborn, and you may need to repeat the stain-removal steps several times. Want to know other ways to deal with tough laundry stains? Just send for my Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. This guide is a must for every household. To receive a copy, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Always read care labels so that you know the way to wash a garment -- you don’t want to damage it. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Several years ago, wanting to do something to help animals, I decided to distribute free dog and cat food at the food bank here on Maui to people who are there to obtain food for themselves.

I reasoned that if they are having difficulty feeding themselves, they would no doubt have difficulty feeding their pets. It is a big success and an idea I wish would catch on across the country.

At first we paid for the food ourselves, but now I have pet stores and other animal lovers who help. I thought that if you might publish this idea, it would be an enormous gift to our furry friends. Love your column, and thank you so much. -- Nancy Fisher in Hawaii

Aloha to my furry and nonfurry friends in Hawaii! Yes, many food banks do provide pet food, when available. Readers, why not pick up an extra can or two of pet food and donate it? -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My friend’s husband died, and since I couldn’t attend the funeral, I sent a card and flowers. Then every week or so, I sent a card with a note, and did this for several months. She later told me that the cards came on days when she was really down.

She said that after the funeral, people went back to their lives, but she was left to rebuild hers alone, and the cards really helped. -- Ann Jorgensen, Deer Park, Wash.

How thoughtful, and a lovely gesture on your part. You are a good friend. -- 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