Salt Stains on Leather Boots? Old Paint on Carpet? No Worries! And Lots More

It’s March 14 or 3-14 … which looks curiously similar to 3.14 or Pi (Greek letter “π”) …. which means it’s PI Day! And we’re celebrating in the DPL Bookstore. TODAY all of Mary Hunt books and DVDs in stock are just $3.14 each plus shipping, only while supplies last. Scroll down for details.

Salt. It’s mandatory in a human diet. But salt can be as destructive as it is needful due to its ability to eat holes through metal and leave ugly stains on footwear. Here’s a terrific way to take care of that problem—quick and easy!

SALT STAINS. Olive oil removes salt and stains from leather boots and shoes. Shines the leather, too. It’s an Italian thing!

SUPER-QUICK DRY. Need to dry a pair of jeans or pajamas in a hurry? Put them and a completely dry bath towel into the dryer. They’ll be dry in a fraction of the time they would have taken on their own.

ICE BAG. Pour 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol into a quart-size Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Put it into another bag and seal it for double protection. Label clearly as non-edible and freeze. It will remain slushy because the alcohol cannot freeze. Perfect to mold to the wounded area when you need an ice pack

PAINT STAINS. Even if it’s been there for a long time, you can get latex paint out of carpet or fabric with lacquer thinner (not paint thinner), available at hardware or home improvement centers. Using a clean white cloth, wet the dried paint with the thinner. Allow it to penetrate then gently blot with the cloth. Be sure to test the carpet or fabric for color fastness in an inconspicuous place first, keep the thinner out of the reach of children and pets and use in a well-ventilated area.

CLOSET STRATEGY. When you change your closets over for a new season, put the hangers on the rod backwards. When you wear an item, turn the hangers the conventional way. At the end of the season you can easily see what you haven’t worn and the items you need to evaluate for culling.

POWER BRUSH.  If you use an electric toothbrush and are like me you hate throwing away those old, not so cheap but need-to-be replaced toothbrush heads. Hang onto them because I recently found a use for them. The stones in my wedding rings tend to get dull and dirty from everyday wear but now I just place an old head on the toothbrush and spin the dirt away. Once you decide to replace the entire toothbrush hang on to the old one to be used for deep down house cleaning in smaller places such as baseboards, corners or between the knobs on your faucets.

VISIT THE MEN’S DEPARTMENT. Buy mens toiletries if you have a choice when it comes to unscented deodorant, shaving foam and hair colorings, for example. Products manufactured specifically for men are significantly cheaper ounce for ounce than those made for women. Go figure.

STRAIGHT CUT. Ladies: Need only the bottom of your long hair trimmed a barber can cut just as straight as a beautician. And the cost? Typically, less than half the salon price.

HEARTBREAK IN THE DRYER. Melted-on crayon can be removed by first applying WD-40 to the area, working it into the stain with your fingers. Once the WD-40 has begun to break down the petroleum base of the crayon, apply concentrated detergent to remove both the stain and and the WD-40. Put back into the washer and launder as usual. It works like a charm.

SUEDE SPOT REMOVER. Most leather cleaning products caution that they should not be used on suede. Recently I managed to some kind of ugly gunk on the suede portion of my leather shoe. I grabbed the Folex Carpet Spot Remover (my favorite for carpet spots) and an old tooth brush and went to work on it. It worked fabulously to remove the stain. Stains treated with Folex just don’t reappear either—in carpet or suede shoes.

CUCUMBERS. You know how the expensive English cucumbers at the store are wrapped in plastic? The guys at Cooks Illustrated tested wrapping regular uncut and cut cucumbers in plastic wrap. Both work and amazingly to allow you to keep any cucumber fresh for up to a week!


We’re celebrating PI DAY in the DPL Bookstore. TODAY all of Mary Hunt books and DVDs in stock are just $3.14 each plus shipping, but only while supplies last!

The following titles are available at this writing (as titles sell out they’ll disappear from the bookstore, showing only what remains.)

Debt-Proof Your Marriage

The Smart Woman’s Guide to Saving for Retirement

Debt-Proof Living

Live Your Life for Half the Price

7 Money Rules for Life

DPL Live! 2-Hour Seminar DVD Set

Cheaper Better Faster


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  • Linda Fassiotto Votaw

    Sorry, but the advice to use lacquer thinner to remove old paint just didn’t work for me. I had read this hint before and used it on a beloved quilt that I managed to hit with a paint roller. Since the quilt was folded, the paint made a streak right down the center of the quilt. I did it in the summer and didn’t realize it until December. I was heartbroken. I knew I had seen the hint before so I looked it up, bought lacquer thinner and tried over and over to remove the latex paint. It did lessen it, but it also made the paint “spread” somewhat so the overall effect was disappointing. Then I tried other methods of removal but none worked so ultimately, it was get rid of the quilt or use it anyway and accept the paint stains as part of its character. I chose the latter, haven’t looked back, and love my quilt, stains and all!