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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. 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. Solutions for Stains on Shirts and Windows, Too From time to time I reach into the proverbial EC mailbag and pull out a few of your questions to answer here. My goal is to select questions I believe the answers to which will have a wide appeal. But I can tell you for sure that when the question …Read more.
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How to Remove Latex Paint Stains From Carpet


Want to get latex paint out of carpet, upholstery or any other kind of fabric — even if it's old and dried up? Saturate the stain with lacquer thinner (not paint thinner, not mineral spirits or anything else you might be tempted to substitute) applied with a clean white cloth (so there is no chance of transferring the color from the cloth to the item to be cleaned). Allow it to sit for a few moments to soften the paint so you can scrape, blot and-or scrub it out with the white cloth.

Depending on how old the paint is, you may have to repeat a couple of times.

I don't know why this is such a favorite tip of mine. Maybe because it's such a dramatic rescue for a sloppy painter such as myself.

Caution: Lacquer thinner is highly combustible, so don't wad up that cloth and throw it in a bucket. Instead, allow it to air dry and then launder appropriately.

Here are more great tips from readers just like you:

HANDY ZIPPER PULL. The pull on the zipper of my snow boot broke, and I replaced it with a circle key ring. Now I can grab it when I'm wearing gloves. — Ronald, Michigan

SEMI-HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS. I have a recipe for cinnamon rolls that everyone thinks is homemade, but isn't. And it only takes about 45 minutes to make from start to finish. I use two tubs of Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls and discard the frosting that comes in the tubs. Arrange the rolls in a 9 x 13 inch pan (four down the middle and three on either side, spaced between the four in the middle).

Whisk together 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup heavy whipping cream, and pour over the rolls. Bake for about 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. That's it. They're amazing. Everyone thinks I've slaved all morning, and I'm not going to tell them differently! — Nancy, Texas

DISHWASHER CLEANS ALL. I use my dishwasher to clean lots of things. I just make sure to put most items on the top rack and also to secure the small items with clothespins or place in baskets so they don't fly around. I wash stove knobs, baby bottles, drain stoppers for the kitchen sink, small trash cans, kids toys and refrigerator shelves. I even wash diaper bags and baby bottle bags in the dishwasher so the insides get clean and sanitized. It works better than any other cleaning method. — Colleen, email

LIKE PEDIALYTE. At about $5 per quart, Pedialyte is not cheap. But making it yourself is. Here's how: Mix together 1 quart sterile water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 packet unsweetened Kool-Aid powder (or to taste). Keep refrigerated, and use within a couple of days. — Tom, Massachusetts (NOTE: Always consult with your healthcare professional before substituting a prescribed treatment with a homemade version. — mh)

Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can email her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. Include your first and last name and state. Mary Hunt is the founder of and author of 20 books, including her January 2012 release "7 Money Rules for Life." To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



2 Comments | Post Comment
Usually I love the reader-tips Mary chooses, but I can't believe she chose one that advocates buying something (pre-made cinnamon rolls) and then throwing half of it away! That tip belongs on a cooking website and doesn't help anybody recycle, reduce, reuse, or repurpose anything. Not to mention it is a complete waste of money. Making the whole recipe from scratch is much less wasteful.
Comment: #1
Posted by: LeafMama
Wed Feb 1, 2012 6:38 AM
I agree LeafMama, she should try the trader joe's cinnamon rolls, they taste much better and skip most of the nasty stuff in the other brands. My kids get hives from processed foods and they don't get hives from the TJs brand.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Laurie
Wed Feb 1, 2012 7:37 AM
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