Dear Heloise: DRIVEWAY CONCRETE: How do I make it look new again? It seems a worker parked a leaky truck on our driveway. Then he tried to clean it by power washing. Not a good result. Can you help? -- Catherine G., via e-mail

Catherine, this is a common problem, because cars, trucks, etc., do sometimes leak oil and other fluids onto driveways.

Since power washing didn’t remove the stain, it may be oil, and might need a grease-cutting cleaner to tackle the problem.

Try this Heloise homemade cleaner: Make a thick paste using sudsy household ammonia and baking soda. Take a stiff bristle brush, scrub the paste into the stain really well and let it sit until dry (being sure to keep pets and small children away). Rinse well. You may need to do this more than once for stubborn stains.

If a couple of tries doesn’t achieve good results, there are commercial oil-stain removers available at hardware or home-improvement stores. Have other stain or cleaning problems around the house? For a copy of my Heloise’s Homemade Cleaning Solutions, just send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cleaners, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. It includes money-saving “recipes” to remove many stains from carpet, grout, drains, etc. Why buy commercial products when you can make most at home for just pennies? If the stain on your driveway is orange-looking, it might be rust, and that requires a good rust remover. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Avalon in Grapeland, Tex., sent in a photo of her cute little tan-and-white Chihuahua, Tippy, standing by the phone. Avalon says, “My dear little Tippy would run and stand by the telephone when it rang and wait until I came and picked it up.” To see Tippy, the “answering machine,” visit -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: When remodeling our kitchen, we had several 6-by-6-inch ceramic tiles left over from redoing the backsplash. My husband came up with the idea of putting round, felt, self-stick pads used for chair legs, etc., on the back of a couple of the tiles, and now we use them on the counter for trivets (hot pads). Since the pads are felt, I also can use them on my wood table to hold hot pans, and there are no scratches on the table or the countertop. Best of all, I can wash and stack them by the stove, and they match the backsplash. -- Kathleen, via e-mail

Isn’t it nice to be able to use “left-overs” for something else convenient? -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We have two pairs of rechargeable batteries for our digital camera. I could never remember if the extra batteries in the case were good. I put two rubber bands in the camera case. One is blue and one is red. The blue band goes around the good batteries, and the red will go around the batteries that need recharging. -- Guy W., Oshkosh, Wis.

Send a 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.

2012, King Features Syndicate