Dear Readers: I have gotten several letters asking how to get red wine stains out of light colored carpet. When you are having a gathering, a lively and good time with friends and family, this just seems to happen. And we know it’s not the end of the world! Here’s what to do:

Get to the stain quickly. The sooner you do, the better result you will have. Blot up all of the liquid you can. Then apply a mixture of 1 part mild liquid detergent to 20 parts water. Blot with a microfiber cloth until there’s no color left on the carpet. Last, finish with a mix of half white vinegar and half water for a final blot.

Vinegar is must-have in every home! It is so versatile; it can be used for cleaning, deodorizing and cooking. FYI: To freshen your toilet bowl, pour in full-strength vinegar. Leave in for five minutes, scrub and then flush.

— Heloise

Where to write: Got a hint you want to share? Send your tips and tricks to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. Send a fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email