Dear Readers: Have you ever taken a garment to a dry cleaner only to pick it up and find that the stain or other problem still remains? There are some things that even the best dry cleaner cannot remove or solve. Some stains cannot be removed without ruining the clothing. Some colors do bleed even in dry cleaning. Bleeding colors are a result of the manufacturer not thoroughly testing the dyes. Some fabrics may shrink during dry cleaning because some manufacturers do not preshrink the material used in making the garment.
Sometimes holes or tears appear after the dry-cleaning process; they may be caused by insects or acid spillage. Although they may not appear before dry cleaning, the weakened fibers fray or come apart during cleaning.
Excessive shine caused by home ironing cannot be removed by dry cleaning.
We would like to thank our friends at the International Fabricare Institute for this helpful information. And now, on to your questions and suggestions. Hugs! _ Heloise.
Dear Heloise: I bought a new mattress that is quilted with a shiny material and the sheets and mattress pad slide right off. Nothing I have tried has worked. Can you suggest anything? _ Lois Young, Baltimore, Md.
To help hold the pad and sheets in place, put a thin sheet of foam rubber over the mattress and then make the bed.
If the whole mattress is slipping around, put a piece of the foam over the springs. _ Heloise
Dear Heloise: One way I use address labels received from various organizations soliciting donations is to send a supply of them to aging relatives for use in writing to me.
It will help them in addressing the envelope and will lessen the possibility of their making a mistake in my address. _ R.E. Moore, New Braunfels, Texas
Dear Heloise: I was going to make some cracker crumbs and was looking for a less messy method when I noticed a zippered plastic bag on the counter.
I opened the bag, put in the crackers, expelled most of the air from the bag and rolled over the bag with my rolling pin.
It worked like a charm and there was no big mess. _ Terry Darnell, Indianapolis, Ind.
Crstal-free ice cream
Dear Heloise: How do you prevent ice cream from getting ice crystals on it? I have tried using an airtight plastic container but it has not helped. _ Linda Sue Pillai, Greensburg, Pa.
Ice crystals form on ice cream when the freezer temperature fluctuates from cold to warm and back to cold. The temperature fluctuation could be caused by frequent opening of the freezer or, less likely, a mechanical problem.
Try opening the freezer less often and for short periods when necessary. This will help to keep the cold air in and ice cream crystal-free. _ Heloise
Dear Heloise: There is one thing I have found that helps me when I buy fresh eggs and still have some older ones left over in the fridge.
I use a pencil and mark the older ones so they will be used first. _ E.C., Ruidosa, N.M.
Handy recipe cards
Dear Heloise: When preparing your recipes for stove-top cooking, take advantage of your range hood.
Recipes placed on paper or index cards from your file can be read more easily when attached to the range hood with a refrigerator magnet. This saves counter space necessary for things such as measuring ingredients, and no need to worry about getting them soiled. Works great! _ B. Laird, Marrero, La.
Dear Heloise: When a friend had a large family reunion, she was concerned about having enough extra-large serving containers for all the potato salads, pasta salads, etc.
She simply bought six new plastic dish pans. They come in pretty colors and can easily fit into the refrigerator. Plus they can be used later for the original purpose! _ Jan Lorette, McGaheysville, Va.
Dear Heloise: When your jar of honey goes to sugar, put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and it will return to usable honey. _ Marjorie Burkentine, North East, Md.
The microwave time will depend on how much honey needs to be heated. Remember that metal parts or containers should not be placed in a microwave.
To be extra safe, I'd put the jar in a microwave-safe dish just in case. _ Heloise
Dear Heloise: I'd like to share an idea that I used when my three girls started school.
When I pack their lunches, I always put some kind of simple drawing, favorite saying or a reminder on their napkins with colorful pens.
That lets them know I'm thinking of them. _ Margaret B., Lovelock, Nev.
Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279.