Dear Readers: Here are some more “Blast From the Past” hints. See if there is one that is just right for you. -- Heloise

SILK FLOWERS

Dear Heloise: I have some beautiful silk flower arrangements around my home. They are in need of a serious cleaning. Can you tell me the best and easiest way to clean them? -- Natalie A., Colorado Springs, Colo.

A favorite method of yesterday was to swish the flowers in some water, but today some of the silk flowers or arrangements are hand-wrapped and more difficult to clean. The first step in cleaning any silk flowers is to dust them with a clean, soft toothbrush or makeup brush to remove as much of the dust as you can. Most silk flowers that aren’t hand-wrapped can be swished in warm, soapy water to remove dust and dirt, then gently rinsed and placed on clean, white paper towels to dry. For expensive or hand-wrapped flowers, you can buy silk-flower cleaner in a spray can at your local florist for under $6. Just follow the directions on the can, and voila -- great-looking flowers. -- Heloise

LEMON JUICE

Dear Heloise: Freeze fresh lemon juice in an ice-cube tray, put in a plastic bag and use as you need it. Works for me! -- Barbara K., Hendersonville, N.C.

CLEANING HINT

Dear Heloise: I try to clean two to three drawers a week to stay ahead of the junk accumulation. I also keep a certain place on the kitchen counter where I slip (by date) items that need attention, like bills, tickets to plays, etc. -- Dorothy H., La Marque, Tex.

FIRST-AID TACKLE BOXES

Dear Heloise: Even in our family of non-fishermen, we always have had tackle boxes. We use them as portable first-aid kits. It started with our family camping trips and many Girl Scout field trips. Now all of the kids have their own kits for their own family outings.

I hope this helps other families travel better protected and prepared for the unexpected. -- Mrs. David S., Houston

NEAT WORKSHOP

Dear Heloise: My father has always kept a neat workshop. He began using plastic peanut-butter jars to sort and organize nails and screws. The right size is always easily visible. Pretty smart, huh? -- Andrea M., Durham, N.C.

UPDATE: A couple more uses:

* Store craft items in one.

* Attach the lids to the underside of a shelf and then screw jars on for storage of small items.

-- Heloise

TRAVEL CASE FOR CROCHET EQUIPMENT

Dear Heloise: I love to crochet. If you take it with you, like I do, I have a handy hint for you: Place your crochet needles and pencils in a toothbrush travel case. The case usually has a tight lid, and it can easily slip into your crochet bag or purse. I also have a pair of small, fold-up scissors that fit in the case, too. -- Jo B., Haskell, Tex.

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

2011, King Features Syndicate