Dear Heloise: When my children were infants (25 and 30 years ago), you had a recipe for a laundry soak that removed "baby" stains. I believe it was a mixture of powdered dishwasher detergent and bleach. Can you please help me? It is grandbaby time now. —Lynn Loomer, via e-mail

Lynn, this is a tried-and-true, "last chance" Heloise stain-removal solution that many moms have sworn by. This recipe works great at removing stains from cotton and cotton-blend blankets and baby clothes. DO NOT USE it on fine washables such as rayon and silk or bright colors, since the bleach in the formula could cause the fabric to discolor.

In a nonaluminum large container, kitchen or laundry sink, put 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent, 1/4 cup household liquid chlorine bleach and 1 gallon hot water, and mix well until the powder is dissolved. Test for colorfastness of the item on an area that won't show. Place the garments in the solution and soak for five to 10 minutes. If the stains are still there, soak for up to 20 minutes more — any longer (like overnight) will not work any better! Rinse and launder following the care instructions. That is all there is to it! Do you have other stains you need to deal with? The hints to get rid of them are probably in my Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. If you would like a copy, please send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (59 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or visit Many stains are easy to treat, and you can save that favorite garment as well as money. Don't toss it, save it! —Heloise

Dear Heloise: I am always losing my rings while in the kitchen. I take them off, put them in my pocket or lay them on the countertop. I panicked when I realized they were in my pocket and the pants were in the washer.

Now I take them off and put them on the dowel that sticks up on the paper-towel holder. This keeps the rings in view, and I know they are secure. —Kathie Welch, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: I use dual-textured disposable pads to wash my face. After I'm done with one, I use the textured side to clean the sink. It provides an already-soaped sponge and keeps my sink clean on a daily basis. —L.A., Seattle

This is a good way to "repurpose" an everyday item, keep the sink clean and save money on cleaning supplies. —Heloise

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