Dear Heloise: Sometimes service-repair workers show up without covers to protect the carpets/floors when they have to walk through. That makes me pretty nervous! I have found that the cheapest white TABLECLOTHS from the discount store work great. Fold lengthwise for double-strength coverage. Tape the ends with a wide tape that does not leave residue on the carpet/floor. The tape will keep the temporary floor runner in place and keep the ends from tripping up the repair person. I still wonder why all services don’t have disposable booties available if their work requires going inside the home. -- Mary A., via e-mail

A good point, and thanks for the hint. I’d love to hear from the professionals on this issue. You could ask them to take their shoes off, like folks in Hawaii do. It keeps the floors clean! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Help! I shrunk one of my favorite sweaters. Is there anything I can do to reshape it? -- A Reader, via e-mail

I do have an old-fashioned remedy that might help. It works if the sweater has shrunk only a small bit, not several sizes. Fill your sink with cool water and add 2 tablespoons of regular hair shampoo. Soak the sweater for 30 minutes, then gently squeeze out the excess water. Do not rinse the sweater -- simply lay it on a towel and roll it up to remove moisture. Unroll and gently stretch it back into shape, and block it on a flat towel. Have any other clothing disasters that you need help with? Order my pamphlet Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. Send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Stain Guide, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Prior to washing, trace around the sweater. Once out of the washing machine, you now have a guide for reshaping your sweater. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: When my father died, I fell heir to a couple dozen unused check registers. Hating to throw away good paper, I have developed some ways to use them:

* Keep one with my blood pressure monitor to record blood pressures, pulse, dates and times.

* Carry one in my purse on which to jot notes, addresses, etc.

* Keep one on my desk to keep track of passwords, etc.

* One for birthday and Christmas presents.

Thanks so much for your dedication to making life easier for all of us. -- Jessie in Kerrville, Tex.


Dear Heloise: As a mechanic most of my life, I’ve lost many a tool due to failure to return, or abusive damage of the tool. I solved this problem by insisting that a deposit, the approximate price of the tool, be given before the tool is loaned out. If the tool was not returned or was broken due to abuse, I would keep the deposit and purchase a brand-new tool. Every tool I have loaned out since has been returned or replaced. -- C.G. in New Hampshire

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