Dear Readers: Do you have OLD PRESCRIPTION DRUGS in your home? National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, April 27, 2019. Studies have shown that the family medicine cabinet can contribute to addiction. Friends and family members can obtain these drugs if they are not properly disposed of.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity to dispose of unused and old medicine. The drugs are collected year-round, but having a dedicated day? This brings more attention to the issue.
Visit to find a collection site in your neighborhood, and for complete instructions. - Heloise

P.S. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ( has collected almost 11 million pounds of unused prescription drugs since 2010!


Dear Heloise: How can I get cat litter box odor out of my home? It’s everywhere. - Mary C., via email

Yes, Mary, our furry feline friends can leave a big stink “behind”! Let’s get to the root of the problem: Scoop out the box EVERY day. Remove solid and liquid wastes. A thorough scrub of the box every couple of days and a generous sprinkling of my go-to, baking soda, lays the foundation for fresh litter.

Baking soda is a workhorse in the home. Clean, safe and readily available, I grab it often and keep tons on hand! I’ve compiled a collection of my favorite baking soda hints, helps and recipes into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It’s easy! Simply send a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, business-size envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: Freshen up your dog’s coat between baths by sprinkling baking soda through the dry fur, letting it sit, then brushing it out. Also, look in the laundry aisle for giant-size boxes of baking soda to save even more! - Heloise 


Dear Heloise: I found it hard to open tin cans that have a metal ring on top. I put a screwdriver through the hole in the metal ring and pry the lid up. It comes up easily that way! -- Shirley H., Rochester, Ill. 


Dear Heloise: When I go on a trip lasting more than a week, I water my houseplants, place them inside transparent plastic bags (to trap air inside like a balloon), then twist and seal the top to close. Plants stay moist, and they love the humidity. 
 I often return home to find new buds and shoots! - Master Gardener in Mexia, Texas

The value of older workers

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about the lack of employment for older workers:

“Dear Heloise: There are many experienced, capable people over the age of 45 who want to continue to work, even if only part time, but no one will hire them. We’ve kept up with technology, become experts at problem-solving and have an old-fashioned work ethic that says you go to work every day, on time, and do your best. Yet an employer never stops to think that a great many of us are willing to work until we’re 70 or 75 because we’re in good health and want to stay engaged in the world around us. We’ve made our mistakes years ago and can help others avoid those pitfalls. So why won’t employers hire the older population of this country?” - Peter and Lois D., Pontiac, Mich.

Peter and Lois, that’s an excellent question. With so much to offer, why don’t employers hire more people over 50? - Heloise


Dear Readers: Here are some uses for junk mail envelopes:

• Keep one in the glove compartment to hold receipts for parking, credit cards, etc.

• Keep loose change in them for parking meters or toll fees.

• Keep seeds in them for next season’s planting.

• Place coupons in them so you won’t lose them before you get to the store.

 - Heloise


Dear Heloise: Please tell your readers to NEVER flush anything down the toilet other than toilet paper and anything created by their body’s digestive system. So many items can clog the sewer system and cause a backflow into the home. It doesn’t matter if you are on the city water system or a septic tank, never put these things down your toilet: 


grease or oil


disposable/flushable wipes

tampons or pads



kitty litter

paper towels 

- Freddie J., Springfield, Ill.


Dear Heloise: There’s a new scam going around that people need to be aware of. This latest attempt to extort money from people comes in an email - usually it looks like it’s from a friend - and claims you’ve been looking at porn sites, which they will show to all your friends because they have intercepted your email list of contacts. They demand money (over $500) to just go away and leave you alone, promising they’ll never contact you again.

The email I got looked as though it came from a friend who died three years ago. Since I’ve never received mail from the great beyond, I opened it to find a chatty letter from an illiterate hacker demanding money. Since I don’t visit porn sites and never have, I’m not worried. However, many people do go to those places on the web and shouldn’t fall victim to this extortion and threats. - Norah in Providence, R.I.

(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc