Dear Heloise: I read your column in the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. I recently bought some new cotton bath towels, which I thought were 100 percent cotton. When I used them, I found out that they are not absorbent. I looked at the label and found that they are 100 percent cotton and 100 percent ALGODON. Can you tell me what algodon is, and why they use it? Also, can I do something to the towels to make them absorb moisture? -- Janice K. in Nebraska

Janice, be assured that the towels you bought are 100 percent cotton. “Algodon” is simply the Spanish word for “cotton,” and you purchased towels with a bilingual label.

Now, how to make them more absorbent? Make certain that when you wash the towels, you do not use fabric softener (liquid or sheets). Fabric softener makes towels absorb less water. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Someone asked about bringing back the natural color of a leather recliner. We had the exact same problem with a chocolate-brown recliner and couldn’t find any answers. The furniture company had no ideas except to replace the chair, or the footrest — both very expensive alternatives. Finally, I had a flash. Our local shoemaker deals in leather bags and shoes every day. Bet he has an idea! For $10.50, he sold us a bottle of polish, which we rubbed onto the bad place on the chair. Problem solved! -- Grayce U., Davie, Fla.


Dear Heloise: When packing for a move, purchase “swim noodles.” Cut one side lengthwise and slip over the frame of large pictures to prevent damage. Then pictures can be stacked on top of each other or side by side with no damage. -- Louise M., Waco, Tex.


Dear Heloise: I put on my eye makeup last thing in the morning. When I am done applying it, I take my powder brush and do one last quick swipe under my eyes. It takes away any loose eye shadow that may have fallen. -- S.P., San Angelo, Tex.


Dear Heloise: I found a great use for an old, faded denim shoulder bag that I’ve had for a number of years: It is now my clothespin bag. The center section holds all the clothespins, the front pocket holds my sunglasses, and the back pocket holds an old pair of socks that I use to wipe off the lines with. That’s what I call handy! -- A.S., Harrisonburg, Va.


Dear Heloise: My husband wears black socks all the time. We were having a hard time keeping the pairs matched because they all look so similar. I took out my sewing kit and sewed a few stitches into each, with a designating color for each pair. Now, I can easily match up the socks. -- Helen in San Antonio

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

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