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Refinancing Credit-Card Debt Can Get Tricky Dear Mary: What do you think about the idea of refinancing my credit-card debt with a loan from one of the peer-to-peer lenders out there? It seems like a good idea to me, but I don't know that much about it. I'd really like to know what you think …Read more. Secrets of a Cheapskate Gardener I love a beautiful yard, but I hate spending money to get it that way, which explains why I am always looking for do-it-yourself cheap ways to kill weeds, grow flowers and feed lawns. I have come across some very clever tips and tricks, not the …Read more. Insurance Coverage You Absolutely Don't Need Some kinds of insurance are necessary. The following, however, may not only be unnecessary but downright ridiculous. ACCIDENTAL DEATH INSURANCE. Why pay extra for this kind of insurance? Statistically, it is highly unlikely you will die in an …Read more. Beat the Clutter Improve Your Life Getting organized is like dieting. Everyone knows how to do it. The problem is getting around to it and then maintaining the results. A few years ago, when we remodeled our kitchen, I emptied every cupboard and drawer. When it was time to put …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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