Dear Heloise: Small ceramic magnets, available at many fabric and hobby stores, are well-suited to hold kitchen knives in a vertical position, particularly if you just want to keep a few favorites handy. Range hoods, microwaves and refrigerator sides make good supports. The flat sides of magnets will hold to steel surfaces, and can be optimally spaced out. But, they should be reinforced by either a small drop of super glue or double-sided tape so the magnet does not come off with the knife. (Later, if you need to remove a magnet, heat it up with a blow dryer.)

If no metal is available, a piece of nice wood a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick attached to a wall will hold the magnets and make space for thick knife handles. Magnets attached to steel can be doubled if needed to make room for a thick-handled knife. (No need to glue two magnets together.) A 1-inch-wide nicely planed wood can do the job — oak, if you want it stained and varnished. Many knives are made from stainless steel and should be tested with a magnet, since some are weakly magnetic. The flexibility of using these magnets allows a person to fit in many different kitchen arrangements. — Bob Salter, Morganton, North Carolina


Dear Heloise: We’ve used baking powder and a number of deodorizers in our trash can over the years. But, we have a cat, and nothing at all worked until I decided to put a handful of (cheap) coffee in the container. It worked miracles, to say the least. There’s no longer a smell of something dead being in the there. Maybe this has been suggested before, but I’ve never read it in your terrific column. — Catherine from Edinburg, Virginia


Dear Heloise: I had some furniture to sell, so I posted an ad on Craigslist. One person said she would take three items and send a check to me for $400. A check then arrived for $2,750. I emailed the lady, and she said that when the mover comes to pick up the furniture, give him the moving fee of $2,350 and keep $400. The address on the check was in New Jersey. I googled the name and address on the check, which revealed the person was 91 years old living in New Jersey, while I am in California. I thought, “Could this be a scam?”

I contacted the police department in her city, and they did a welfare check on her. She was unaware her checks were gone and had the bank close the account. I ended up donating the furniture to a charity thrift store. — Bernie, Orange County, California


Dear Heloise: I was recently reminded of something very important. Never, never, never use Clorox anywhere near a brown rug! Funny, but true. — Sandy Payton, Summerfield, Florida


Dear Heloise: Bailey Ann, my black and white Maine Coon cat, was adopted in 2014 when she was 14 months old. She was a mother, but all her four babies had died. I named her after my grandfather’s grandmother Anna Bailey, who lost at least four of her young children. — Kathy Dehen, via email

Readers, to see Bailey Ann and our other Pet Pals, go to and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Do you have a furry friend to share with our readers? Send a photo and a brief description to — Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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