Dear Heloise: My two old tomcats sprayed my bottom kitchen cabinets (like male cats do) to mark their territory. How do I get rid of the smell? I’ve used soap and water, but still there is a small trace of odor. Help!

— Janet D., Exeter, R.I.

Janet, the soap and water was a good idea, but if it’s the smell you’re after, you would be better off by mixing a solution of 50 percent white vinegar with 50 percent water and about four drops of liquid detergent. This is an easy and simple method of eliminating odors.

FYI: To help eliminate cooking odors, add some cinnamon to a pan of water and vinegar on the stove and boil to fill your home with a lovely scent.

— Heloise

Where to write: Send your tips and tricks to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; or email