And this is wild: NASA did a study trying to figure out how to clean the air in space stations. They came up with a list of almost 20 houseplants, and the spider plant was included, along with English ivy — a lovely, delicate-looking but hardy plant. Fill your home with houseplants; they can help keep your air clean.

Dear Readers: Darla H. in Punta Gorda, Fla., sent a picture of her cuddle boy, her beautiful brown, longhair cat, Sneaky Pete. Pete looks quite cozy, snuggled on the bed. To see our other Pet Pals, visit and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Send a picture and description of your furry and funny or feathery, slithery friend to

Dear Heloise: In response to a recent column about dried toothpaste blotches in bathroom sinks … I cover them with a damp sponge. In no time, the dried blotches wipe away with no scrubbing.

— Mary Anne Graham in Round Hill, Vir.

Dear Heloise: Would you please teach your readers that when referring to distance, whether a town or anything, use the word “farther” — as a town is farther north from here. “Further” refers to an extension of time or degree, such as a further study of something.

J.M.C: Yes, you are correct! English can be a complicated language! “Farther” refers to physical distances, while “further” typically refers to a more figurative distance. A teacher might say: We are getting further along in our study of the English language!

Dear Heloise: I never use ammonia on any gems, soft or hard. Most have color added, and that will significantly fade, as I found out the hard way. I use a glass cleaner without ammonia and a soft brush. No need to soak. I rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.

Dear Heloise: I never flush cat waste down the toilet. Cat litter with the waste often contains clay, which is terrible for the plumbing; it can gum up the pipes. I would advise your readers to dispose of cat litter and waste in the trash only.

— Barbara in New Mexico

2020, King Features Syndicate

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