Dear Heloise: My son’s BASEBALL CAPS get filthy with sweat and dirt. Do you have hints on how to clean the caps while keeping their shape? -- Sandra L. in Oklahoma

As long as the caps are washable, and not old or valuable, there are a couple of things to try.

Try hand-washing the caps using a gentle soap (laundry detergent or shampoo) and water. Scrub the stains gently, inside and out, with a toothbrush. Under running water, rinse the caps, then shake out the water or pat the caps with a towel. Hang to dry, then place on an upside-down bowl or canister to keep its shape.

Another Heloise hint is to use the dishwasher. Attach the caps with clothespins to the TOP rack of the dishwasher. After the rinse cycle, take out the caps to air-dry. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: T.V. sent a picture, via e-mail, of her Chihuahua, Booter, peeking his head over the blankets. Booter loves to be held in her arms like a baby, and is always ready to have his picture taken. To see Booter’s picture, go to my Web site,, and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: One of our much-loved Labs fell and hurt her leg. The leg has healed, but she still licks it! We tried several collars on her, but she’s so smart that she finds ways to get out of the collars. There is a spot where she won’t let the hair grow back, and this is driving us crazy. Do you happen to know of a home remedy that we can safely put on her leg that might stop her from licking? -- A Yellow Lab Mom, via e-mail

I don’t know if there is anything topically you can put on her to stop the licking, but I do have a suggestion: Have you tried putting a sock or something like that over the spot? The spot will be protected and let the hair grow back, and you can work on breaking the licking habit. I think it would be safer to put something topical on the sock to deter the licking instead of on her actual leg. Talk to your veterinarian about this. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: When I read your column about rooms being too bright to sleep and you said to check for light-emitting things, I had to share what I do. I bought a square of black felt. I cut it to the size I needed and covered my VCR clock, light on the answering machine, etc. It makes a world of difference in the room. -- Roberta S., Judsonia, Ark.


Dear Heloise: I have found another use for aluminum foil. Whenever my scissors need a quick sharpening, I cut through several layers of aluminum foil, and they work like new! Hope this helps your other readers! -- Sandy in Tennessee

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