Fit for freshening up

Dear Heloise: I often travel for business, and I try to arrive extra early. When hotels are not able to accommodate my request for early check-in and I need to FRESHEN UP, I head to the fitness room at the hotel.

There’s a shower, and I have been able to change, curl my hair, etc. The room usually is empty, and I have even rehearsed my presentation in there. The hotel can store your luggage until check-in time. – Heather A., via email

Heather, you are brilliant! – Hugs, Heloise


Take a picture

Dear Heloise: Whenever I need to purchase more materials for any project that I am working on, I pull out my cellphone and take pictures of what I need. This is my “list” of materials. – Juana, via email


Dear Heloise: What’s the best way to remove rust spots? I got some on my white blouse, and before I pitch it, I thought I’d ask you. I tried bleach, and it didn’t work. Any ideas? – Claire B. in Indianapolis

As you found out, chlorine bleach doesn’t work on rust, whether the stain is on a sink, tub or material. The time-tested Heloise hint is to use lemon juice and salt on it. If that doesn’t work, your best bet is to use a commercial rust remover made for fabric. Follow the directions on the label. Dealing with stains is just a part of life! My pamphlet can help you treat stains. To get a copy of Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing pamphlet, visit to order online, or send $5 and a stamped (68 cents), self-addressed, business-size envelope to: Heloise/Stains, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. The sooner you get to the stain, the easier it’ll be to remove. But please stop and think before trying any stain-removal procedure – they are not all the same.

Some white clothing is made with an optical whitener and brightener, so do NOT use chlorine bleach. And no putting the garment out in the sun to “bleach out” the stain. It won’t work! – Heloise

Watering terrariums

Dear Heloise: I have multiple plant terrariums in my home. To water them, I use an ordinary basting bulb syringe.

It is perfect for getting the right amount of water into the terrariums, especially the ones that are “bottle-necked.” The plants are undisturbed, and there is no splashing on the sides. – Brian G., via email

How clever! A terrarium is a partially enclosed glass container with small living plants in them. The plants usually need high humidity to survive. They are perfect for a small apartment or an office desk. – Heloise

Swing-canopy fix

Dear Heloise: Our swing canopy was destroyed in a windstorm. We bought a market umbrella and matching cushions. We tethered the umbrella over the frame of the swing and fastened it with heavy-duty plastic ties. Now we have the prettiest swing. – Dorothy R., Pittston, Pa.