Dear Sun Spots: I love your column and am hoping for some help. My laundry is coming out of the washing machine with rust spots on it. I thought I had heard some kind of remedy you can run through the washing machine to eliminate the rust in there? However, I cannot remember what it is that I am supposed to run through the washing machine to get rid of the rust. It would be a lot cheaper than having to go buy a new washer, but it is starting to ruin a lot of our clothes. If you or anyone else knows a way to prevent or eliminate this, please let me know. I truly appreciate any and all responses. Thanks so very much in advance. – Salley in Lewiston.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, recommends you try the following steps: 1) Combat rust with 2 cups lime or lemon juice in a cycle of the hottest water setting. 2) Remove dye stains with 2 cups bleach run through two cycles on the hottest and highest settings. 3) Visit a hardware or appliance store for rust-removal products, such as Iron-Out. Know which brand of washer you have, and follow the product’s instructions. 4) Be aware that rusty spots on the washing machine barrel can indicate damage to that part. The only solution in that case is to replace the washing machine barrel (though it may be more cost effective to replace the entire washer).

To help remove rust discoloration from washable white fabrics (except silk and wool), consider using Rit Rust Remover. Do not use bleach; it will intensify discoloration. Dry clean rust-stained silk and wool.

Other tips also include running the cycle without clothes in the washer and clean the lint filter afterward. The site also cautions against sanding rust spots from the inside of your washer. This will further damage the barrel. Also, don’t mix chemicals. Combinations can be dangerous. Bleach, for instance, when mixed with rust inhibitor releases poisonous gases.

An effective and eco-friendly way offered by eHow Friend: Add 2-3 cups of vinegar and 5 teaspoons of salt to the hottest washing cycle. Run the cycle without any clothes in it. For the best effect, you can keep this solution in washing machine overnight.

Dear Sun Spots: Would anyone in the Berlin/Gorham, N.H., area have either a black-and-white or color snapshot of what is commonly know as Third Hole on Route 16 in Gorham that I could borrow just long enough to make a copy on my scanner? It is for art purposes. If possible I would in particular like to have a photo taken before the river was dredged. I can be reached at Janice Hayes, 23 Washington St., Gorham, NH 03581, 603-466-2251 or via e-mail at [email protected] – Janice Hayes, Gorham, NH.

Dear Sun Spots: I wrote in May and was pleased to see my e-mail posted so quickly in your column. I was hoping to make contact with two women who attended the GAHS Strut Your Mutt Walk. One of these women (who was in a wheelchair and wearing a white hat) was so pleased to hold my dachshund that it would mean a lot to me to share my photo with her and the woman accompanying her. I am attaching my original e-mail in with the hope you will kindly post it again. I am hoping someone will see this who can have these women contact me. I can be reached at 562-7602. Thanks again. – Sandra Kaynor, Peru.

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