Dear Readers: Many of us like to get exercise or do yardwork. Our clothes get a workout, too. They do get stinky from all that sweat. Take these steps to clean them. First, air out clothes right away, if you can. Do not stuff the clothes into a hamper or hang in the closet.

When you wash activewear, turn it inside out to wash, because that's where the grime, stink and sweat is. Then pour full-strength laundry detergent on the underarm areas. Rub in and then put in the wash. Don't cram clothing in the washer. Use lots of water and then give the clothing a second rinse. It might be best to air-dry some of the clothes (read the labels) rather than put them in the dryer. — Heloise

Pet accidents on carpet

Dear Readers: If you have pets, accidents and emergencies do happen. Sometimes dogs can't make it outside or cats cannot get to the litter box in time. Here's how to clean up these accidents.

For solids: Scoop up the solid matter right away. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of warm water and apply to the stained area. Rinse several times with warm water to eliminate the soap residue and blot dry.

For liquids: Soak up as much of the urine as you can by using old bath towels and standing on them to absorb the urine. Then wipe with cool water. Apply the above mixture, rinse well with warm water and blot well. Then dab a solution of 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 2/3 cup of water and blot dry. You also should keep an enzyme-based pet stain and odor remover on hand. — Heloise

Caring for kittens

Dear Readers: If you are bringing new kittens into your home and you want to learn how to take care of them, you can talk to a vet or buy a book about cats that will be filled with good information. For example, be aware that ear infections are common in cats. It can be caused by allergies, mites, excessive ear wax or fleas. Here are some symptoms they could have. You will notice a change in your kitty's behavior. It will shake its head and paw or scratch at its ears.

The minute you notice any kind of sudden change in your pets, contact your vet. — Heloise

Have an unused foot locker?

Dear Readers: Bring it out of the basement or attic to repurpose it. Clean it up and then transform it to reuse. Paint or decorate it for your child's room or the den. Store toys or athletic equipment inside. For an extra seat, place a couple of pretty pillows on top. — Heloise

Stinky garbage disposal

Dear Readers: With all the use, garbage disposals do get smelly. Here's how to contain and prevent odors. Weekly, grind any leftover lemon or lime rinds down the disposal to freshen it. When you use the disposal, allow lots of water to run through it. Be aware that the splashguard also might be the source of odors, so wash it with hot, soapy water. — Heloise

Pet pal

Dear Heloise: This is Sadie, a 6-year-old terrier mix, adopted from the Animal Defense League.

She is sweet and loves any moving thing, even her cat siblings. — Nancy Pawlas

Readers, to see Sadie, go to and click on "Pet of the Week." — Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to

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