E. Chanin of Los Angeles has been unable to find a box of plain washing soda (sal soda) , which used to be made by Arm & Hammer. Can you help before Chanin is up to her elbows in dirt, or will she have to plain realize that this is a problem that just won't wash?
Florence Warsher of Laguna Hills is having a problem finding non-stretch, 100%-cotton socks for ladies or big girls in size 10. Those that are available (one-size-fits-all stretch socks made of 25% nylon and 75% cotton) are not suitable for her needs. Can you help, or will Warsher wonder whether we are socking it to her because she is stretching things too far?
Denise Irwin of Northridge is trying to locate a pattern for a child's playhouse that fits over a card table. The house features working doors and windows. As she recalls, the pattern is decorated with flowers around the edges. Can you help with this pattern, which should be child's play, or will Irwin be convinced that, this time, the cards are stacked against her?
Edward Hart of Lakewood is wondering where he can find a man's white cap similar to the one worn many years ago by Ben Hogan. He is not interested in the headgear currently in vogue. Can you help, or will Hart be teed off because he has once again been stymied?
Reader-to-Reader Help Line: Harriet at (818) 981-2634 or (213) 829-7317 needs the orange - juice strainer for the juice extractor that belongs to a 40- or 50-year-old Sunbeam Mixmaster. Please help, if only to relieve the strain in Harriet's kitchen--and on her nerves. . . . Cindy at (818) 246-0404 is trying to replace an item she bought many years ago. It's called a Hanger-Upper and is used for hanging lingerie and other lightweight items in the bathroom. It attaches to a wall and, when stretched, forms four thin lines for hanging things on. Please help, so that Cindy can get rid of some her laundry hang-ups.
Note: The Reader-to-Reader Help Line is only for one-time items and for products that are no longer available in stores. And you must give us written permission to publish your telephone number, so that other readers may contact you directly.
R. C. Sloan of Los Angeles, who was looking for someone to work on a plush Bugs Bunny, can stop tearing his "hare" out. Janet Jillson of Burbank suggests that Sloan contact Vickie Stanard of Fondest Memories, 1586 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, (213) 255-1079.
Mrs. Seymour Moreno of Long Beach, who was looking for an In-A-Door Murphy bed, need no longer be up against the wall at night. Murphy Beds of San Diego has just opened a store not far from Long Beach, at 4120-C Bristol Ave., Town & Country Shopping Center, Santa Ana; the number is (714) 546-6494. This came from the Rev. M. Machesny of Compton and from C. L. of San Diego. Ann Casserby of Long Beach says Double Space, 1022 W. Morena Blvd., San Diego, (619) 275-0531, has SICO Wall Beds (similar to Murphy beds). Marjorie Spiel of Thousand Oaks sent us SICO's address, which is 7525 Cahill Road, Minneapolis, Minn. 55440, (612) 941-1700, Ext. 118, in case Moreno or anyone else is looking for an outlet closer to Los Angeles. And Reba Adams reports that about a year and a half ago, she received some literature from a Murphy Bed Sales Co., 1513 S. Gardena Ave., Glendale 91204, (213) 247-8039.
Pauline Gustavson of Torrance, who was depressed about not being able to find an aluminum-can crusher, need no longer feel crushed. Susan Brumer of Huntington Beach says she saw the can crusher at a Sav-On drug store in Sherman Oaks. C. B. of Big Bear City and Katherine Dodson of Fontana suggest Smart & Final ($12.95). True-Value hardware stores are another source. Bill Blair, a partner in the Grand Hardware store, 6410 San Fernando Road, Glendale, says they stock a wall-mounted type, and Mrs. Charles Bundy of Westminster says Plains True-Value Hardware in Huntington Beach also carries the can crusher. (Now if Brumer would only do her shopping closer to home, she might have noticed that one too.) Another hardware outlet, according to Dean Heinlein, is McVey, 9556 E. Las Tunas Drive, Temple City.
We also have some mail-order sources. David and Ana Smith of Port Hueneme report that their Amway Personal Shopper's Catalogue lists a non-electric Jawz Can Cycler for $17.99. Nola Richards of Arcadia says Miles Kimball, 41 West 8th Ave., Oshkosh, Wis. 54906, has a can crusher for $12.98. And Walter Drake & Sons, Drake Building, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80940, is listed as a source for an $18.99 Can Cycler by six readers: Connie Metcalf of West Covina, Brentz A. Pearce of Canoga Park, Arlene Jenkins of Los Angeles, Mrs. E. F. Nickerson of Santa Barbara, Berte Herman of Buena Park and a Los Angeles reader named Helen. We also heard from two readers whom we might be able to pry away from their can crushers; if interested, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the names.
Herb Hain cannot answer mail personally but will, space permitting, respond in this column to readers who have--or need--helpful information. Write (do not telephone) to You Can Help!, You section, the Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.