The winner: When I recently opened a can of shoe polish to take care of some shoes, the polish was cracked and brittle. I whipped out my heat gun (hair dryer could be used) and melted the polish right in the container. After cooling the container of polish looked brand new again and I was able to give my shoes a good shine. Ken Remley, Charlotte
Butter slicer works on bananas
When making a banana pudding, I use a butter slicer to make even slices. I cut the banana to fit the slicer. Quick and easy. I also freeze the extra slices to put on cereal. Margaret Wright, Cherryville
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After last week’s tip about using a foil-lined pan, baking soda and hot water to clean silver, a few readers wrote to say that it could harm silverware in the long run. Multiple web sites stand by the suggestion, but as always with reader tips, proceed at your own risk. That goes for the tip a few weeks ago about using an essential oil in your vacuum cleaner to add fragrance to your home. In some circumstances, the oils can be hazardous to young children, the elderly and pets. So use caution and read instructions.
Send your clever tip, address and phone to email@example.com, Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308. Each week the best idea wins an “I’m So Clever” book.