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Remove nail polish stains

By on May 28, 2012

Dear Sara:

I spilled nail polish on my comforter. How do I remove it? — Julie Ann, Illinois

Dear Julie Ann:

You can use Off bug spray (aerosol). Place a cloth under the stain to catch anything that might bleed through. Saturate the stained area, then rub with a cloth or toothbrush. Repeat as the stain lifts and then launder as usual. If there’s still a bit of stain remaining, don’t place the comforter in the dryer. Try spraying the stained area with hairspray and launder again. You can try pure acetone, too. I suggest purposely staining a scrap piece of cotton fabric and testing stain-removing methods before attempting the comforter. This will allow you to use the least amount of chemicals on your comforter.

Dear Sara:

Your recent column with a homemade Malt-O-Meal recipe appeared in my local newspaper without the cup amounts for the ingredients. Can you please tell me how much sugar, chocolate syrup and white cornmeal to use for the recipe? — Margaret W., forums

Dear Margaret:

I’m sorry the recipe didn’t appear in its entirety. Here is a link to the full recipe:

Dear Sara:

My oatmeal cookies didn’t turn out well, and now no one will eat them. The flavor is fine, but the texture is mushy. I’d hate to throw them out. Do you have any suggestions for something I can do with them? — Janelle W., email

Dear Janelle:

You can crumble them and use them as an ice cream, pudding or yogurt topping. Or take the crumbled cookies and bake them until they’re crunchy and use them as a pie crust or incorporate them into your breakfast cereal, trail mix or a trifle.

Dear Sara:

Can you please tell me how to make a windshield cleaner for my car? Also, can you tell me how to get rid of rust stains on my cement basement floor? — Dan S., email

Dear Dan S.:

There are recipes for windshield wiper fluid, but it’s hard to beat the price of buying it. Plus, many homemade recipes include ingredients such as vinegar, alcohol, dish soap, etc. that might cause damage to paint finish and car parts, so I don’t recommend them for filling the reservoir. As for the rust on your cement floor, try using vinegar and baking soda with a scrub brush. You can try products such as Bar Keeper’s Friend, washing soda and Spic and Span, too. Home improvement stores carry stronger rust removers (products that contain oxalic acid, for example). Be sure to read product directions and wear rubber gloves.

Dear Sara:

Can cinnamon sticks be dried and reused? Last night I made sweet potato soup from a recipe that called for one cinnamon stick. I forgot to put it in until the soup was almost done, so it was cooking for only about 10 minutes and then I took it out, rinsed it off and put it aside to dry. I’m sure it lost some of its strength, but do I really need to throw it away? — G.G., forums

Dear G.G.:

While some will argue my opinion, I would not reuse cinnamon sticks for food if they’ve already been used in food. I’d be fearful of contamination. However, I would reuse them for simmering potpourri, or if the original use was in something such as tea and I drank several cups per day, I’d reuse the stick.

photo by J. Ronald Lee

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