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Heloise: How to wash a necktie

FIT TO BE TIED

What is the proper way to clean and wash men's neckties without damaging or spoiling the interfacing material that is inside the necktie to keep and hold the shape in its original form?- Shafeeq, via e-mail

If the tie is made from silk or other delicate fabrics, your best bet is to have it professionally dry-cleaned. You probably won't be able to wash a tie without damaging the interfacing, but here are some hints to prolong the life of a necktie:

- If you get a stain on your tie, blot the stain and let it dry. Water or club soda may leave a water mark, so use care.

- Undo the knot before removing your tie. Sliding the knot (or leaving it in) can cause it to lose its shape.

- Don't iron your tie on the front side! If you must press it, press on the reverse side.

- When you get a new tie, spray it with a fabric protector to prevent future stains. - Heloise

FOLLOWING UP TEST RESULTS

I've worked for various doctors for more than 40 years. A recent reader recommended following up with the doctor's office regarding lab test/biopsy results. Not all doctors run their offices the same when it comes to giving the results to the patient.

Never should a doctor just assume that the staff called the patient. The information should be right in front of him. - Diane H., Colorado Springs, Colo.

LOST CELL-PHONE HINT

Here is a surefire way to get your lost cell phone back. Because a cell phone's contact list is in alphabetical order, enter the letter "A," then type in the words "cell phone owner." Enter your telephone contact numbers. This will be the first name to come up when someone checks the phone's address list.

I dropped my cell phone in a parking lot, and when I returned home, there was a message from a store saying someone had turned my cell phone in.

The address label is a good idea, but it's better not to give out more personal information than necessary. - O.G.K., Omaha, Neb.

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