Dear Readers: Today's Sound Off is about the early holiday decorations already up in many stores. A reader wrote: "We are barely out of 'Back to School' sales, and already stores are setting up for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! What's up with that?

"Why can't these stores let us breathe a little bit before the holiday rushes begin? These stores put out so many decorations that I dread going in to shop. It's just too much, too soon." — Rita T., Austin, Texas

Rita, you do make a valid complaint, as I've heard many people lament about this same issue. But let me give you another perspective to consider.

Many of these stores are generally craft stores or have sections devoted to crafting. People who make things to sell before the holidays or to give as gifts during the holidays need to get a head start on their projects. These stores "bank" on crafters buying their supplies from them. — Heloise

Dear Readers: Don't throw out those cute little baby hairbrushes. Here are some other uses for them:

* To clean the fuzz off mushroom heads.

* As a gentle facial exfoliator.

* To clean dryer lint screens.

* Put under a bar of soap to keep it from getting slimy.

* As a scrubber to get dirt out from under your nails.

— Heloise

Dear Readers: Recently, we had a question about underarm stains. Here's yet another hint on how to remove them:

Dear Heloise: My husband wears old white T-shirts when working outside. They can get pretty nasty, especially during the summer months in Texas. The armpits are the worst, and I can't seem to get the stains out as well as I'd like to. I'd appreciate any ideas you might have on dealing with this laundry problem?" — Vicky R. in San Antonio

Vicky, sweat and odor stains can be removed easily enough. Turn the shirts inside out and place inside a sink or large bowl. Pour full-strength household vinegar and allow to soak for 30 minutes or so, then wash as normal. For more hints on how you can use vinegar around the house, I've created a pamphlet just for this acidic liquid. To order a copy, visit www.Heloise.com, or send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (68 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Vinegar is safe to use over and over again, so treating his shirts as often as needed will be OK. — Heloise

Heloise@heloise.com