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Whose Kids Know How to Turn Off Lights? I got a good chuckle when I read today's first reader tip from "Dad." For a split second there, I could hear my own father asking the age-old parent/child question: Don't you know how to turn off the light when you leave the room? MOTION SENSOR …Read more. Of Pet Accidents and Malfunctioning Keurig Machines Dear Mary: I saw in your column a long while back an article about the carpet scrubber (was it Bissell?) and poo-pooed it at the time. Now I am ready to cry UNCLE since I discovered to my horror that one of my cats was shut in a bedroom and peed on …Read more. Like Finding Money You Didn't Know You Had You know the feeling when reach into the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for awhile and pull out a $20 bill? What would it feel like if you pulled out hundreds of dollars? And what if you found money like that month after month? It's not magic &#…Read more. Best Holiday Gifts for Grandparents As far as gifting seasons go, the biggest one of all is just around the corner. The longer you wait to make or buy gifts, the fewer options you'll have. Last minute shopping is a surefire way to run up mountains of unintentional debt. Been there, …Read more.
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3 Recipes for Total Magic From Ordinary Ingredients


Several weeks ago, I told you that I was going to participate in my own experiment, to see whether the Miracle Whip facial I'd heard about was, in fact, miraculous. This condiment from the folks at Kraft Foods contains vinegar (acid), oil (moisturizer) and egg (protein), ingredients that resemble the ingredients in any number of skin care products. Using Miracle Whip on your face is supposed to produce great cleansing results, with mild exfoliation as a bonus.

Skin Care Magic. The instructions are to slather Miracle Whip on your face, leave it for 20 minutes, gently massage, rinse well and follow with a good moisturizer.

My Miracle Whip facial had a strong odor of vinegar at first, but it dissipated quickly. My conclusion is that this unconventional skin care routine works as well as my regular facial cleanser and does seem to have exfoliating properties. I was pleased with how it left my skin feeling.

It is worth noting that I have extremely sensitive skin and am allergic to many brands of skin care products. Miracle Whip presented no problem.

The jury is still out on whether I'll continue doing this, but I love knowing that I have such a cheap alternative when it comes to skin care. How cheap? I got that handy 12-ounce squeeze bottle of Miracle Whip at the 99 Cents Only Store for, you guessed it, 99 cents. You can find it for about $3.79 at the supermarket.

Tub and Shower Magic. If you haven't experienced the power of original blue Dawn plus white vinegar, you are in for a treat.

Remove the top of a plastic spray bottle, and fill half of it with white vinegar. Carefully heat it in the microwave until the vinegar is hot, taking care not to melt the bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with blue Dawn liquid dishwashing soap. Apply the top tightly. Gently shake the bottle to mix. That's it. You now have a powerful cleaning product that will melt soap scum and tub and shower buildup and clean sinks, appliances and just about anything else. Just spray it on, scrub, rinse and be amazed. For tough soap scum buildup, spray the mixture on and allow it to sit as long as overnight. Then scrub and rinse.

Garden Magic. Here's a recipe for weedkiller that has the power of Roundup for a fraction of the price. Mix 2 cups of ordinary table salt into 1 gallon of white vinegar that has 5 percent acidity. Add 8 drops of liquid dishwashing soap. Label it, and keep it out of the reach of children. This is not toxic, but it will kill any and all vegetation, even the good stuff, so be careful where you spray it. Another caution: Spraying this multiple times in the same area will sterilize the soil so that nothing will grow there for a long time. It is ideal for killing weeds that grow between cracks in your sidewalk and other areas where you don't want vegetation.

Mary Hunt is the founder of and author of 18 books, including her latest, "Can I Pay My Credit Card Bill With a Credit Card?" You can e-mail her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



4 Comments | Post Comment
May I suggest one alternative method in your instructions on the Dawn/white vinegar solution? Use a glass jar or container to heat the vinegar and mix in the Dawn. If you accidentally overheat the vinegar you can let it cool before adding the detergent, and either way, no worries about melting the bottle.
Comment: #1
Posted by: moon
Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 AM
I think you'll find with some research and thought that adding salt to your soil has a long-term deleterious effect. Check with your local county extension agent. Suppose you change your mind about the use of that area? Suppose you sell the house and the next owner wants to plant flowers, vegetables, a tree in that area? Washing the salt down requires a lot of water and then you've added salt to the ground water. It's just not a good way to take care of our resources.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Pugo
Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:22 AM
The vinegar + soap combination will do the job just the same. No salt needed. The vinegar kills the plants (and will likely work alone), but the soap helps the solution stick to the plant leaves. This works wonders, and I don't need to worry nearly as much about my dog walking where we've sprayed.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Erin
Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:11 PM
Are you sure about the 1/2 bottle being filled up with Dawn? That seems like an awful lot of soap to me. Doesn't it get too sudsy?
Comment: #4
Posted by: Angelynn
Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:57 AM
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