Dear Heloise: I read somewhere that it's not good to wear gold jewelry when in a chlorinated pool or hot tub. Is this true?

— Fran, via e-mail

Yes, it's true! And it's a good reminder with summer just around the corner. Many will be swimming or going to classes in chlorinated pools. Remember to remove your jewelry, especially if it is gold or silver, before going in. Chlorine has a harmful effect on gold and may, over time, even cause it to become brittle and break.

Just to be on the safe side, remove all of your jewelry and put it in a very safe place before getting into a swimming pool or hot tub. Also, be careful when using household cleaners that contain chlorine or any harsh chemicals. They also can be damaging to your jewelry and your skin.

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: Here are some great things to dust using a small, inexpensive paintbrush:



 louvered doors

 picture frames

 phones and remotes

— Dee from Kansas

Dear Heloise: I use a ballpoint pen to work crossword puzzles. I seem to always be getting ink stains on my clothing. Is there anything that will remove this type of ink?

— Lorraine D., Placerville, Calif.

There are some hints you can try! First, start with good old 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Place the clothing with the stain down on paper towels. Rub the alcohol into the stain, moving the paper towels often so there is always a clean area to absorb the stain. Wash in cold water and let air-dry. Repeat the steps if the stain is not completely gone. You also can try cleaning fluid using the same process.

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: Being the daughter of a mother who sold cosmetics, I have worn lipstick all my life. I don't leave the house without it, and I have many tubes of it. I take a blank address label, cut a small square of it, color it with my lipstick, cover it with tape and put it on the end of my lipstick tube. That way, I can see the shade of lipstick without opening each one up.

— Diane Costain, McMechen, W.Va.

Dear Heloise: My Sound Off is loud music! It seems that no matter where I go — stores, restaurants, etc. — I am subjected to it! The music makes it really hard for me to enjoy my shopping or meal. Instead of encouraging me to buy, it discourages me, and I have in fact left stores because of it. I have asked to speak with the manager and have expressed my displeasure, and the music has been turned down.

— Carolyn and friends, San Antonio

What? I can't hear you! Oh, the music is too loud! Sorry — since I can't hear you and you can't hear my order, I'm no longer a customer!

— Heloise

Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax: 210-435-6473; e-mail:

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