Dear Heloise: Help! I washed and dried clothes with some Crayons in a pocket. I need to know how to get the crayon out of my family's clothes. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and very helpful. —Amy H., via e-mail

Oops! This happens more than you know! You need to wash everything again with hot water, laundry detergent and 1-2 cups of baking soda. If the spots are still there, wash bleach-safe clothes with chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach, using the correct amount on the package, in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric. Air-dry — do not put them into the dryer.

If the stain is small, put paper toweling down and then the stain facedown. Dab the area from the back side with cleaning fluid or remover until the crayon color stops bleeding through to the toweling. Launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric, using plenty of detergent.

When clothes have gone through the dryer, spray both sides of the stain with petroleum-based prewash stain remover and rub into the fabric. Let sit for a while and then wash as usual. If there is crayon wax on the dryer drum, dampen a small cloth with the stain remover and then wipe out the drum. Be sure to then clean with a damp cloth. —Heloise

Dear Heloise: I cut the legs off pantyhose and use one to dry my broomstick skirts. I roll the waist of the skirt from one side to the other, put the waist of the skirt into the toe of the hose, then pull the hose over the length of the skirt with enough left to tie a loose knot. I run my hand down the hose top to bottom, put the skirt into the dryer for one cycle, then hang it up (still in the pantyhose) to finish drying. —Mary Allen of San Angelo, Texas

Dear Heloise: When dish towels get too stained or worn to be on display on a kitchen towel rack, I replace them with bathroom face or hand towels that are past their prime but still acceptable to hang in the kitchen. They are very absorbent and still quite attractive. —Susan from San Jose, Calif.

Dear Heloise: I have a packing method that I found useful. When you buy bedding, it usually comes in zippered clear-plastic bags. I use these for packing when I travel. I make a pile of folded clothes and slip them into one of these bags. I don't close the zipper completely so that air can escape. This keeps clothes contained, and I can slip the bags out of my suitcase, see what is inside and pull out an item. —Cecilia Op de Beke, Falls Church, Va.

Dear Heloise: Do not discard the water collected by your dehumidifier. Use it to water houseplants. —Galia, via e-mail

Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax: 210-435-6473; e-mail: [email protected]. © King Features Syndicate Inc.