DEAR SUN SPOTS: Recently my washing machine leaves behind a urine smell on the washed clothes and inside the tub. I use a good brand of liquid soap and a cup of Downy. How can I resolve this issue? — No Name, Auburn

ANSWER: There were several suggestions online. Nearly all recommended running your empty washer through a cycle with some kind of cleanser to eliminate the smell. Some suggested using bleach in that empty cycle, another a combination of vinegar and baking soda.

There are also several commercial products designed to eliminate washer smells, including one made by Tide and another appropriately named Smelly Washer.

Years ago, Sun Spots came across a hint that suggested adding a bit of ammonia to loads of clothes that tend to be smelly, such as wet towels or especially grubby work clothes, and she does that regularly with some success.

If you have a front-loader washer, you need to keep the rubber seal clean and should wipe out under the “lip” periodically to remove debris. Leaving the door open after washing will give the washer a chance to dry out and reduce opportunities for growing mold.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Can you help me? My garage has a moldy smell — not all the time, just once in a while. Is there someone I can have come over to remedy the situation? Thank you. — H.G., Lewiston

ANSWER: Sun Spots suggests you note which days your garage smells moldy. Are they the days with higher humidity? If so, then a dehumidifier might be the answer to you garage problems. Another option could be using a fan to circulate/exhaust the air out of your garage.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have some Avon Christmas memories series porcelain plates with 22K gold trim, dates 1981. 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1988. Address on box is Avon Products Inc., Distr. New York, NY 10019 (made in Japan). I would like to know their value, maybe an Avon representative can tell me what they are worth. Thank you for any help you can give. — H.G., Lewiston

ANSWER: Sun Spots checked on eBay, where some of the plates you have were listed for prices from $4 to $15. Because so many of these plates were made and sold, it seems unlikely that they would appreciate greatly.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I would like to know if anyone has any artificial trees that they want to get rid of. I take them apart and make Christmas wreaths out of them. I would need them to be free or fairly cheap as I am on a very fixed income.

Please call 344-5299 and leave a message if there’s no answer. Thank you in advance. — Dan Smead, [email protected]

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Our team, “The Gastro Crew,” is having a garage sale to raise money for the Dempsey Challenge from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 27 and 28. You can find us at 415 Court St., at the top of the hill, in Auburn.

Follow the signs because there will be something for everyone. So please come out and support the Dempsey Challenge. — A Crew Member

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Park Avenue Elementary School PTO is planning its annual Harvest Festival at Wallingford’s apple orchard on Sept. 18. Our PTO provides field trips and enrichment resources to our students.

We need at least 250 baby onesies for our “scarecrow babies.” Please call me at 333-3626 or e-mail me at [email protected] for a pickup or delivery plan. Thanks so much. — Carla Gill, Auburn

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]

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