Want to get latex paint out of carpet, upholstery or any other kind of fabric―even if it’s old and dried up? No problem!

Saturate the stain with any brand of 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 the lacquer thinner to sit for a few moments to soften the paint so you can scrape, blot and or scrub it out with the application cloth.

Depending on how old the paint stain is, you may have to repeat a couple of times, but it will come out without leaving a bigger problem in its wake.

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, then launder or dispose of appropriately.

Every day, readers of this column send in their favorite tips. Here’s a sampling for your reading pleasure:

HANDY ZIPPER PULL. The pull on the zipper of my snow boot broke, and I replaced it with a circle key ring (any kind will do, but this type is especially useful and attractive, too). Now I can grab it quickly, even when I’m wearing gloves. Ronald

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 tubes of Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon Rolls. Each tube will have five rolls and a tub of icing. Set both icing tubs aside. Arrange the rolls in a 9 x 13 baking pan (4 down the middle and 3 on either side). Whisk together 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup heavy whipping cream and pour over the rolls. Bake for about 35 minutes in a 350F oven. Spread the icing over the top. That’s it. They’re amazing. Everyone thinks I’ve slaved all morning and I’m not going to tell them differently! Nancy

CLEANING MACHINE. I use my dishwasher to clean lots of things. I just make sure to put delicate items on the top rack and also 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. I use my regular amount of automatic dishwasher detergent. It works better than any other cleaning method for just about anything I can fit in there. Colleen

LIKE PEDIALYTE. At more than $5 per quart, Pedialyte (an over-the-counter product that contains balanced amounts of sugar and sodium to help prevent dehydration symptoms in adults and children caused by stomach flu, food poisoning and more) is not cheap! But making it yourself is. Here’s how: Mix 1 quart sterile (boiled) water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon unsweetened Kool-Aid powder (or to taste). Keep refrigerated and use within a couple of days. Tom

(NOTE: Always consult with your healthcare professional before substituting a prescribed treatment with a homemade version. –mh)

Got a great time- and or money-saving tip you’d like to share? Please!

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