Dear Heloise: Help! I washed a load of laundry with a colored lip balm in the pocket of my jeans. Now I have greasy spots on my favorite clothes. Is there anything I can do, or is it too late? -- Carol in Florida
Carol, don't worry -- it's not too late. First, find all of the grease spots, because you will have to treat each spot individually. Rub liquid laundry detergent with a degreasing agent into the stains, then wash the garments on the hottest water setting that's safe for the fabric. Let them air-dry. You may have to re-treat if the stains aren't gone. Laundry stains are always going to happen, but knowing how to handle them can save time and money. I have compiled a pamphlet full of stain-removal formulas that you can have by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stains, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can go online to order at www.Heloise.com. FYI: Overstuffing the washer can cause clothes to become dingy-looking, and don't forget to clean the lint filter before every dryer load.
Promising the moon
Dear Heloise: I saw a commercial saying that older people with knee problems should send for the company's pills, which would take care of the knees, but it didn't say how much, only to call the number. I wonder if it's true, or is it just a scam? -- Margaret A., Santa Ana, Calif.
Margaret, as wonderful as it sounds, and as much as we all want a pill to cure our aches and pains, it's always best to ask your doctor, who is a medically trained person, whether something like that is safe to take. A TV commercial can promise you the moon, but it can't diagnose the source of your pain or prescribe proper treatment.
Is it legal?
Dear Heloise: My husband wants to leave a large share of our estate to our daughter and son-in-law, but on the condition that they convert to our religion. My daughter converted to her husband's religion when they got married. I don't think it's legal to demand someone change faith or religious practices in a will. Could you weigh in? -- Erica S., Dover, N.H.
Erica, it's always best to consult with an attorney on matters like this (and I highly recommend it). However, our research shows that you cannot place conditions like that on someone. Demands such as divorcing a spouse, getting married or adopting a certain religion cannot be provisions in someone's will.
Dear Heloise: One of the best weedkillers I've found (and one of the cheapest) is to pour 1 cup of salt into a gallon of water. Stir well, then pour over weeds or over fire ant hills. -- Lois N., Dime Box, Texas
Dear Heloise: An easy cleanup idea for mechanics: Before working on anything greasy or heavily soiled, use a generous amount of hand cream on your hands first. It makes cleaning your nails and knuckles so much easier because that dirt can't penetrate the skin. -- Gavin D., Gary, Ind.