Dear Heloise:

Please tell me how to get packaging creases out of vinyl tablecloths. I've tried using weights on them and tried washing them in hot water and hanging them to dry. Nothing seems to work.

Rose from New Jersey

All you need to do is put the tablecloth in the dryer on low heat for a couple of minutes along with a couple of damp bath towels.

Take the tablecloth out, and while it is still warm, smooth out the wrinkles.

Still there? Just put it back into the dryer for a couple more minutes. Check every minute to be sure that it doesn't get too hot. Now, place flat on your table surface. Voila -- wrinkle-free!

Speaking of tablecloths, here is a hint from Nancy Fallon, via e-mail: "I've often read suggestions to use sheets as a cheap source of fabric for window treatments, etc., but I haven't seen anyone suggest tablecloths. Most are made of heavier, richer fabric than sheets, making them great for drapes. All the sewing that is needed is to form a casing at the top and let the excess drape to the floor, or you can fold the excess fabric over the top to form a valance."

Dear Heloise:

I found that the fastest way to clean the garage floor is to use the leaf blower. It blows away the finest dust, saves time, and no more sweeping with a broom or hosing down with water.

Carmella Almquist

North East, Pa.

Dear Heloise:

I always dreaded watering my inside hanging plants. It sometimes caused lots of overflow water on the floors and carpets.

To keep that from happening, I pull a plastic bag up around the bottom of the plant pot and attach it with clothespins to the wire hangers. I use grocery sacks (after I check to make sure they don't have holes) so that I can water the plants really well, and the extra water is caught in the bag. I unclip the bag after the plant has drained, dump the extra water and throw the bag away.

No drips on anything, and my plants love the good watering.

Judy Moulton

Amarillo, Tex.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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