Once again, it’s great reader tip day, when I reach into my overflowing email inbox to pull out handy hints and great ideas sent in by you, my Dear Readers. The tips you send me are always appreciated, often amusing, and frequently make me wonder, why didn’t I think of that?

preparing chocolate cake batter

CHOCOLATE CAKE. I use one cup of leftover coffee in my chocolate cake mixes instead of a cup of water. The bottom of the pot is the best! Vicki

PILLOW PROTECTORS. I used to iron cotton pillowcases but no more because I no longer use pillowcases! Instead, I use cotton pillow protectors with a zipper—two of these per pillow: One to protect the pillow and one to wash when I launder the sheets. The zipper has never been a problem. The pillows look neater and blend in with decorative pillows used on the bed. Ginny

Related: Best Inexpensive™: Mattress, Bed Pillow, Duvet Cover

REMOVE PERMANENT MARKER. You recently published a tip from a reader who had difficulty removing a permanent marker stain from her refrigerator. I am a teacher, and here’s what I do, no cleaner required: Simply use a dry erase marker to write over the top of the permanent mark, then wipe it away. This trick, which I actually learned from a student, has saved the whiteboard in my classroom on more than one occasion! By the way, thanks for all of the great tips! I’ve been reading your column for years and have learned so much from you! Jennifer Read more