Dear Heloise: My favorite PATENT LEATHER SHOES got some scuffs and nicks from my 5-year-old daughter stomping around in them. I’m not sure how to clean them. -- Jaelynn R. in Arizona

Well, that’s what little girls do! Those favorite shoes can be fixed with some easy Heloise hints.

Use clear nail polish (or polish that is the same color) to fill in the nicks. For scuffs, grab plain old rubbing alcohol. Take a cotton swab or microfiber cloth, dampen with the rubbing alcohol and wipe away the scuffs. Then buff with a soft cloth. This is a cheap fix! You can find a variety of money-saving homemade cleaners to help you in my pamphlet Heloise’s Homemade Cleaning Solutions. To get one, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cleaners, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Need to clean up a germy mess? Mix 1 tablespoon of household bleach with 1 quart of water for a simple and effective sanitizing spray! Use this spray within a day, as it can lose its strength when exposed to light or heat. NOTE: Do keep all cleaners labeled and away from pets and children. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I love reading your column in the daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. I’d like to share this hint with you.

I have three daughters, and one had a beautiful flower arrangement sent to our door. No birthday or anniversary — “Just to show you my love.” I thanked her for such a surprise, told her that the flowers made my day and to “give me flowers when I’m alive and can enjoy them.” We started thinking of the beautiful flowers at a funeral and thought, “Let’s give more surprises of flowers to the living!” -- June H. in Arkansas

Flowers for those who can enjoy them and appreciate them is a heart hint for sure! Why wait until it’s too late? -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: For gift bags you keep, place them on a clothes hanger and put them in the back of your closet. One hanger will hold several bags.

Also, here is a neat way to store plastic bags: Get an empty tissue box and put them in it. It will hold several bags. -- Joyce W., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I don’t like putting my purse on the floor when I am somewhere like a restaurant. Even at work, I keep my purse off the floor. So, I pull out a bottom drawer of my desk to rest it on. Keeps germs off the bottom, and keeps people from tripping over it. -- Kristen S. in Maryland


Dear Heloise: I use the plastic bag that the newspaper comes in to tie up my plants in the yard and garden. I tie two or three together to be long enough. They usually last through the gardening season and are not very noticeable. -- Marie M. in Texas

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.

, King Features Syndicate