Please enjoy our Tip of the Day. Keep scrolling for more tips! We hope you'll take some time to browse through our archived list below. We strive to include tips that will make your busy days easier, eliminate time and work intensive household chores and occasionally remind you of upkeep and maintainence that sometimes gets overlooked.
TODAY'S TIP OF THE DAY :
Now is a good time to meet with various contractors for work you need/want done in and around your home. The winter months are usually easier to have appointments and get on their schedule for the spring!
Make a list of everything that needs doing in the lead up to the holidays and delegate tasks to everyone in the family.
Last minute guests stopping by? Feather dusters work great for a quick cleaning in a hurry. Pick one up next time you’re at the store and keep it handy during the holidays…and all year for that matter!
The easy way to clean an artificial house plant: Give the leaves a quick wipe with a baby wipe, it will remove dust and get that brilliant sheen back!
Do the kids have the glitter out again? Clean the spilled glitter with a piece of tape or a roller brush.
Tired of cleaning spots off the faucet? Clean it as usual and dry it. Now rub some wax paper over it. The wax paper leaves a residue you can't see, and it will keep water spots from showing.
Mildew in the bathroom shower can easily happen. Put hydrogen peroxide in a trigger-spray bottle, spray it on and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It will kill the fungus and clean off easily.
Check the air pressure in your tires. Cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
When the rodents sneak in during these colder months, homeowners often turn to rat and mouse poisons. Please remember these products are highly toxic to pets and, if ingested, the results could be fatal. Use with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.
The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center classifies all ice melt products as being chemical irritants that can cause gastrointestinal signs, like vomiting and diarrhea, and topical irritation to the paw pads and skin.
Thanksgiving Prep Tip - Use your cooler as a warming drawer — it's insulated, after all. Line your cooler with aluminum foil, add some folded towels and fill it with hot dishes keeping them hot while freeing the oven for the next dishes that need to cook.
So busy getting ready for the holidays, but take a moment, sit back, does everything really need to get done? Re-evaluate, shorten the must-do, to 'nope, doesn't need to do'!
Your sump pump is a very important component of your home so make sure it’s working properly. Slowly pour a few gallons of water into the pit to make sure the pump turns on. Better to test it now than to find out it isn’t working when you really need it.
We found this tip online. Remove water stains from shower glass by applying shaving cream and let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe off. Really? Has anyone tried this? Does anyone want to and let us know if it works?!
Most of us only put dishes in our dishwasher but why? A dishwasher is an excellent tool for cleaning lots of items! Plastic hair bushes, combs, headbands, barrettes, clogged shower heads, grungy faucets, sponges and brushes, fake plastic flowers, teething rings, plastic toys. With a little common sense, the list is endless!
Ok, so we're getting a wake up call with snow! It'll be gone soon but take notes of what you need to do before we get hit hard!
Add motion-activated outdoor lights so you don’t have to walk up to a dark house now that it gets dark so early. Plus, when the snow and ice come the lighting could help make your walk safer.
Don’t forget to shut off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing.
Wrap burlap around young tree trunks. Add 12 to 18 inches of soil in a mound around the base of rosebushes.
When you know you won’t be needing them anymore, empty out unused fuel from any gas-powered equipment stored in the garage.
Do you really have to rake the leaves, or can you leave them for nature to take care of? Leaves on a lawn over winter in a snowy area can inhibit spring growth…so yes…you need to rake the leaves!
We’ve told you this before and we’ll tell you again because it’s so important. Clean your dryer vents! Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire.
With falling leaves comes some dangerous situations driving especially when raining. Children love to play in leaf piles. Be aware!
You think your home is sealed but mice need only a tiny gap to be able to sneak in. As the weather gets colder they'll be looking for a home. Seal all gaps wherever you see them no matter how small!
Clean grout with toilet bowl cleaner. Seriously, especially one that is a bleach gel. Just squeeze a bit on the grout, scrub with a small brush and then mop with clean warm water.
What do you do with those silica gel packs that come in many products we buy? Most of us throw them away but think about it....their purpose is absorbing moisture. There are many places you can re-use them including your jewelry box, silica gel packs will prevent corrosion and tarnish!
As much as we don't want to think about it, the s-n-o-w and i-c-e will be coming soon. Get your car ready with maintenance, snow tires, and stocked with ice scraper, de-icer, blankets, flares, etc. Be prepared!
Squeaky floorboards? It’s probably because pieces of wood are rubbing together. To fix the issue, try squeezing a small amount of baby powder in the cracks (you can use a makeup brush also).
Cooking spray works wonders on those squeaky doors or cabinets when you’re out of WD-40.
Get ready for the holidays! Tackle those cleaning jobs now and get ahead of the deadline!
Make sure your furniture isn't blocking the heating vents in your home.
Use an apple slicer to quickly cut potatoes into perfect wedges.
Take some hours to volunteer, animal shelters have all kinds of various chores that need done!
This was an interesting tip we heard recently. On a metal tile ceiling (like they had in the olden days and some lucky people have!) Use dry ice to clean the tarnish and dirt off!
People tend to light candles when the weather cools off. Just remember, never leave candles burning if you go out or go to sleep, and keep candles safely away from pets and kids.
When sitting in an office chair, a good lumbar back support should be flush against the small of the back. By rolling or folding a towel to the desired thickness, this support can be placed wherever the user deems fit for the most comfort and support while sitting in an office chair.
Baking Soda can eliminate pet (and other) odors. Simply sprinkle on the area you want to freshen, let it sit for about 30 minutes, and vacuum.
We haven’t tried this, but we’d love to know if it works. We’ve found a tip that states you can use a can of compressed air sprayed directly onto gum that is stuck to upholstery. Once the gum ‘freezes’ you should be able to scrape it off with a butter knife. Let us know if you try it and if it works!
Don’t wait until it’s needed, go ahead and haul your generator out of the garage and give it a test run to make sure it is in good working order, before you need it.
Take a breather, Give yourself time to enjoy the beautiful weather, the changing of the leaves (before you have to rake!). Time for your family and yourself.
Air vents can get quite dirty and dusty, that dirt and dust can come right back into the room. It also blocks the air from getting out. Take the time to clean those vents!
Did you know you can pop a wet sponge in the microwave for 30 seconds to remove any bacteria? You can! (Just give it a few seconds to cool off before picking it up after.)
Pretty soon the hummingbirds will be leaving our area, clean and refill the feeders, they hit them hard before they head out!
Have a professional (Big Ash Fireplace & Stove) inspect your chimney before the heating season begins.
Give your garage door a good cleaning to remove grime and mildew from the summer’s heat and lawn chores. Use a rag to wipe dirt and debris out of the garage door tracks and lightly lubricate if necessary.
Did you know that many pieces of furniture have a cleaning code tag?
W – Clean with a water-based cleaner.
S – Clean with a solvent cleaner.
S-W – Clean with either a solvent cleaner or water-based cleaner.
X – Vacuum clean only, without using any type of cleaning solution.
Fall is coming, I know, you don't want to even think about it! However, now is a good time to look over your gutters for cracks, leaks, and to clean them out before the leaves get in them! There may be debris that's adding weight and will get worse once the leaves hit! Don't feel safe doing it yourself-smart! Contact All County Gutter 585-538-4226.
Check for and remove any material blocking the drain in your dishwasher. Clean the holes in the spray arm. Now, fill a small mug with white vinegar and place it in the top rack. Run a full cycle with nothing but the cup of vinegar. Once that is complete, remove the cup and sprinkle baking soda on the entire bottom of the dishwasher and run another full cycle. You’ll be surprised how sparkly clean (and odor free) your dishwasher will be when this process is complete!
Be sure to change the air filter in your furnace and check its efficiency before the colder weather begins.
Trim tree limbs growing close to the chimney, making sure you have at least ten feet of clearance around all sides of the chimney flue.
Make a plan, put it on your calendar, inspect and clean your gutters a FEW times during the fall months.
Are you planning to do some outdoor staining? Most stains manufacturers suggest 70 degrees Fahrenheit as the optimum outdoor temperature for staining. They do add that the safety range is from 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Who wants to be staining when it’s 90 degrees out?!
In an especially warm room where the A.C. isn’t keeping up you can try placing box fans near vents to help keep air circulating.
According to The National Audubon Society; in hot weather, hummingbird feeders should be emptied and cleaned twice per week. In cooler weather, once per week is enough.
When power washing a vinyl sided home, hold the nozzle at an angle and use an extender wand for the higher areas. You want the spray to hit the siding from above and at an angle. Otherwise the force of the spray can get behind the siding and cause moisture problems later.
Make sure there is at least 18” of room around the sides of your air conditioner and three feet or more above the unit. If the shrubs have grown closer than that it’s time to get the clippers out!
Check your vacuum cleaner - if it has a removeable/throw away collection bag, there should also be a foam filter. Take a look at that, chances are good it's clogged and isn't filtering or making your vacuum work harder. Just shake it out and run water through it, dry thoroughly and replace.
Bathroom ceiling vent fans collect a lot of dust making them less efficient than they should be. They’re simple to clean, just remove the cover and vacuum out the dust!
Did you know mold and mildew can grow in the filter of your ice maker or disposable water filter? Yes, it can! Most manufacturers recommend replacing filters every six months.
Summer is the time to clean your garage, pick a free weekend and put it on the schedule!
Toothpaste erases marker stains from wood.
We all know standing water invites mosquitoes. After a rain take a few minutes to dump out collected water from items like empty gardening pots or trash cans.
Take a walk around your air conditioner to check for weeds, those cotton fluffy seeds, any debris that could clog the fan unit.
Grass should be mowed no more than once or twice a week during the hotter temperatures. Keep your mower deck 3 to 4 inches off the ground to hold in moisture
Place an opened box of baking soda anywhere that smells a bit musty; closets, basements, campers, etc.
A wood deck should be pressure-washed and re-stained about every 3 years.
Leaving your pet - or child, in an air conditioned vehicle IS NOT SAFE! There have been instances where the A/C failed resulting in death. It is NOT a guarantee of safety.
Do NOT take your dog with you today! Not even to the park. It's too hot outside and it's only going to get hotter as the day goes on. Show your dogs how much you love them by leaving them home in the comfort of the air conditioning today!
From the National Audubon Society; Protect birds "Reduce or eliminate pesticide and herbicide use.", "Plant native plants", Clean bird and hummingbird feeders at least weekly, if the weather is especially hot &/or rainy mold can grow quickly so more frequent cleanings are necessary, but use hot, soapy water, not chemical cleaners.
Window A.C. units should be checked to make sure they are not creating moisture that is causing damage to a window frame or sill, porch, or the siding of your house.
If you must work outside in extreme heat be aware of warning signs. Heat cramps are painful cramps in the body’s muscles due to low salt levels and are typically caused by excessive sweating. Symptoms of heat cramps and/or muscle spasms are usually felt in the abdomen, arms or legs.
Always keep an eye on your pets in the heat, very important to have (clean) fresh water available. If they have to be outside, have them in shade, a dog house still gets extremely hot and is not a place for the dog to get cool.
This is NOT for marble or granite but works great on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs. Get ½ of a lemon and ½ cup of borax powder. Dip the lemon into the borax and then scrub the tub or sink. It works better than commercial cleaners!
Don’t forget that snacking on fresh fruits that are rich in water, like berries, watermelon, peaches, and nectarines will help you stay hydrated. It’s a great way to keep the kids hydrated if they won’t drink their water!
Did you know that knotted necklaces can be loosened by sprinkling with baby powder? It’s true. Sprinkle baby powder on the necklace and then use a pin to untangle the knot!
Microfiber cloths work best when they are used dry or with water only, cleaning products could stop the microfiber from working as effectively. Which also means, avoid using fabric conditioner or laundry detergent when cleaning them, just plain water works best.
Jim gave this out on the WHAM Home Repair Clinic and yes, he will take credit for it if it works,, if not, he knows nothing! wink
1 CUP OF WATER
2 TABLESPOONS OF BAKING SODA
1/2 CUP WHITE VINEGAR
JUICE FROM 1/2 A LEMON OR 15 DROPS ESSENTIAL OIL
COMBINE IN A SPRAY BOTTLE
WEED-BE-GONE NATURAL FORMULA:
Instead of using Round-Up try this. Safer for the environment.
1 gallon white vinegar
2 cups Epsom Salt
1/4 cup Dawn Dish Soap-blue original
Combine in a sprayer container and apply to weeds or grass you want to get rid of. Spray in the morning after the dew has evaporated. Natural News claims weeds will be gone by end of day-maybe a little longer!
This concoction costs about $5.00!
Try cleaning the car with a lint roller rather than a vacuum. A lint roller picks up pet hair and crumbs and fits in places a vacuum can’t reach.
The Cottonwood Tree is releasing it's seeds causing that white fluffy stuff all over. It can clog your A/C, pool filter, anything outside with a motor & fan that runs. Check them daily and clean it out.
Sunscreen should be kept at temperatures under 77 degrees. Storing it in places where the temperature is higher can weaken the sunscreen or make it ineffective.
This is a safety tip you should make sure to do every year - Remove the dryer vent cover on the outside of the house, and/or pull the dryer out and detach the flexible hose from the back. Use a special lint brush with a long handle or a vacuum cleaner with a small brush attachment to thoroughly clean the inside of the pipe and hose. Reattach the dryer vent cover and dryer hose.
Don't freak out if you see a raccoon during the daytime at this time of year, nursing mama's are looking for food.
This is how florists keep potted plants so bright and healthy looking: Clean dusty potted plants with some mild soap and water, then use a paper towel to rub a drop of mayo into the tops of leaves to make them extra vibrant.
Eliminate germs periodically from your cell phone with an alcohol wipe, you’d be surprised how ‘germy’ a cell phone can get!
Are you doing extra work and inadvertently harming your lawn? The only time it is necessary to remove grass clippings is when they accumulate in a thick layer. Grass clippings left on the lawn shade the soil and reduce moisture loss due to evaporation.
Check your windshield wiper blades before you take off on your summer vacation.
Look around your yard for free foliage and flowers to create a last-minute outdoor table centerpiece.
Brick pavers last a long time, but a little extra attention can go a long way. Grit will slowly deteriorate brick over time. Routine sweeping to remove dirt and debris will help extend the long life of paver bricks to an even longer life.
Sunscreen generally lasts about 3 years. If you have an old tube lying around it would be wise to replace it.
With all the rain and then warm (hopefully) weather, your birdfeeders, pet dishes etc. get moldy quickly. Keep them cleaned regularly.
If you haven’t done it recently, now would be a good time (before the air conditioner is in full use) to change the air filter. A quality filter will help reduce the amount of dust in your home and remove some of the pollutants from the air.
Freshen and clean the garbage disposal by tossing in orange or lemon peels and grind them up. The oil from the citrus peels will help remove buildup and it will leave a nice fresh scent.
For an easy and affordable change, consider purchasing an indoor/outdoor rug to define the seating area on your deck or patio.
Feeding the birds but not sure which type of feed to purchase? Black oil sunflower seed appeals to the greatest number of birds.
Tree stumps serve as woodsy and rustic outdoor side tables, with a little de-barking (only if you want) and a quick coat of sealer, you can have a very inexpensive beautiful side table.
For stubborn mildew stains on outdoor cushions try cleaning with Oxiclean, a 1:1 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, or a 1:1 ratio of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the mildew stains and scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry thoroughly. Always do a test spot first!
Faucets develop a build up around them which can be very difficult to clean, try soaking a paper towel in vinegar and tucking it around the faucet where the build up has developed. Let it sit for an hour or more. It should clean easier now!
According to the Audubon Society, approximately one billion birds die each year from flying into windows in the United States. Opaque decorations hanging outside windows help to prevent bird strikes.
Spring brings lots of physical activity including yard work. Yard work brings lots of backache! If you’re planting or weeding, instead of being on both knees, try having one leg up (bending on one knee) to stabilize your lower back.
To de-thatch or not to de-thatch? Thatch on your lawn can form a barrier that will reduce the amount of water, fertilizer, and oxygen reaching the root zone as well as harbor diseases and insects. For a healthier lawn grab a stiff rake and get rid of thatch!
Clean your blender the easy way, after removing any large debris, add warm water and a little dish soap and turn it on pulse. Pour that out and do it again with just warm water. Much easier!
With all this rain, how are your gutters? A little filled with debris? Leaking? Not draining as they should? Check them over and take care of the issues before it starts to affect your basement with water, moisture, mildew, etc.
Hummingbirds are back! Remember to clean the feeders every week at least or more if it ever gets hot out!
Carpets looking a bit tired? Steam cleaning helps lift stains and refresh the fibers bringing some freshness back into them!
Check your sump pump to make sure it’s draining properly. You do not want to wait until you need it to find out that the pump’s motor is no longer working!
Spring cleaning short cut: use a sticky lint roller to remove a winter’s worth of dust from curtains.
When mowing keep an eye for bunnies nesting in the grass, and if your grass is quite high-and you're in an area with deer, there may be a fawn nestled down in that grass.
Winter can leave all sorts of debris in the gutters, Spring is a good time to get them cleaned out!
When was the last time you cleaned your mattress? Start by vacuuming the surface and then sprinkle with baking soda. Leave this while you read a few chapters of your book, when you return, vacuum the baking soda and put a nice clean set of sheets on.
Pressure washing your deck is a great way to clean it, but make sure to use the correct spray nozzle, a powerful stream can damage the wood. Hold the spray at an angle and use a consistent motion.
Get a home inspection just to know the condition of your home and any updates or repairs that should be done sooner than later! Jim Salmon Home Inspections 585-589-5650
Use A Lint Roller to Clean Screen Doors.
Schedule your HVAC system’s bi-annual checkup and servicing now between the heating & cooling seasons.
Adopt a pet! Also be sure to have it neutered or spayed so not to add to the population of unwanted pets.
It should be warm enough this weekend to get the outdoor furniture ready! If you find your cushions have mildew stains, mix half water and half distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the mildew stains and scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry. If the cushions are simply dirty scrub them with sudsy water (dish soap and water) and rinse thoroughly.
Crock pots can be a wonderful way to have dinner ready but sometimes they get to be a baked on, caked on, mess! If this happens fill the pot with water & 1/4 cup of baking soda, then cook on high for three to four hours. Dump out the water and clean with soap and water.
This is a good time of the year to prune branches that didn’t make it through the winter.
Yeah! Some sunshine!! How clean do your windows look? Don't want to do it yourself? Rochester Window Cleaning will! 585-235-1200
It's time to store your snow blower for the season. Yay! Make sure you drain the fuel or add a stabilizer before you tuck it far away and out of sight!
Keep your tomatoes at room temperature instead of in the fridge. Take it one step further and store them stem side down to keep them fresh longer.
The sun is shining, get ahead of the game and begin cutting back perennials and pulling up old annuals.
Good time to go through your "outdoor" tools! Rakes, pruners, hoses, sprayers, etc. Are your's shot? Need to get new?
Have you checked your vehicle registration and inspection sticker lately? Up-to-date?
Once a week or so, when you’re ready to run the dishwasher, add your sink strainers and run them through to keep them clean and sanitary.
You use a toilet brush to clean the toilet…but what cleans the toilet brush? Try this…add a bit of Pine-Sol in the bottom of the brush container.
You should regularly clean your pet's water & food dishes. Doesn't take much for bacteria to grow.
Do you throw away scissors when they don’t cut well anymore? You don’t need to. Rip several pieces of aluminum foil the size of the scissor blades and cut through the pile multiple times. You’ll find your scissors will cut well again!
Anxious for spring? According to The Farmer’s Almanac this is a good time to begin tomato plants inside. If you begin them from Mar 7th -22nd, they’ll be perfect to transplant outside between May 10th and May 31st.
Check over your house and yard to evaluate any wind, snow etc. damage. May need to put a claim into your insurance agency or start booking contractors.
Not sure when you would have a potato peeler available and not a Phillips head screw driver but…it’s a fun piece of knowledge to have just in case. The end of a potato peeler will often work on a Phillips head screw when there is no Phillips head screwdriver available!
A lot of ice melts burn dogs & cats paws, even some of the "pet friendly" can too, so be aware and also, remember antifreeze is sweet tasting to them but can make them very sick - or worse, could be fatal.
PLEASE! Limit the time your pets are outside and when they are-watch them! They get disoriented in the snow, and their paws easily freeze leaving them painful to walk where your pet is stuck and can't get back to the house.
Ok, we've had one pretty good snowstorm, how did that cheap plastic shovel hold up? Before the next storm why not get yourself a decent shovel and car snowbrush!
Vacuum out your furnace vents, intake and outake, they accumulate a lot of dust.
Can't stress this enough-clear away snow from your furnace vent pipes! Blowing snow can get packed inside or drifts can block the open pipe, causing potential for the furnace to quit.
If you must drive during a storm or in any bad weather, prepare yourself, have a blanket, water, snacks, extra clothing, gloves, hat, etc. in your car. Also, if you go off the road the best thing is to stay with the vehicle (unless there's danger of gas leak or fire). If you're in the car and stuck in snow check the exhaust pipe to make sure it's not clogged with snow if you run the car to stay warm.
Make sure your car windshield fluid is filled-get one for ice!
Get some snow lately? Realize you weren't ready afterall? Get a new snow brush, shovel, fill your windshield washer with one for cold temperatures, put blankets in your car, sand or cat litter. Be Prepared you've heard it million times!
Mold & Mildew clean up recipe Jim spoke about on the WHAM Home Repair Clinic
published on Monday, January 7th, 2019
Many people freak out when they see that black stuff on walls, etc. I think their first impression is "dirty". Importantly mold and mildew issues should be inspected for the source of the problem, not just to look for a cover up.
Ok, let's just say you actively took care of that but want to clean up what's there.
Bleach mixtures tend to make the mold spores jump to another spot nearby therefore really not "killing" the mold just moving it to grow in another location.
This mixture can kill mold and help with that mildewy smell.
1 cup of (cheap) vodka
1 cup of distilled water
10 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drops of lemon essential oil
Mix together in a spray bottle and use it to clean items such as a refrigerator, bathtub, shower, toilet area, garage, basement, etc. wipe or rinse afterward.
Start the New Year out by volunteering! So many various organizations need help.
Don't burn wrapping paper in the fireplace because it can contain metallic materials that could be hazardous to breathe in.
Once a week, pour 1/4 cup baking soda down each of your kitchen drains, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Let this sit in the drain for 20 minutes or more. Flush the drains with the boiling water.
Keep fire extinguishers in easy to reach places throughout your home.
Test your garage door opener to ensure that it reverses when it hits an obstruction or when its sensor beam is interrupted.
You have reversed the rotation of your ceiling fans, haven’t you?
Cut a lemon in half, sprinkle it with baking soda, and scrub the countertop to make it sparkle and the whole kitchen will smell nice too! (You could always put the other half in the garbage disposal to keep that smelling nice.)
Have your dryer vents cleaned, incredible how much lint collects.
Never connect more than three strings of Christmas lights together.
If you own a front-loading washing machine, leave the machine open to dry after each load and wipe down the inside of the machine and the seal every couple of loads.
Cover the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil when you're baking something that may overflow.
Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
Keep a cold-weather kit in your trunk. It should include a blanket or sleeping bag, gloves, bottled water, folding shovel, first aid kit, flashlight and cell phone charger.
Your water may be good clean water, but all water has sediment in it. Over time the sediment will settle at the bottom of your water heater which can eventually cause expensive problems. You should flush and clean your water heater annually.
Make sure your furniture isn't blocking your home’s heating vents.
Every year on April 1, DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services) promotes the day as a reminder to regularly change smoke alarm batteries. Even if you did it then but you didn’t do it this past weekend with daylight savings time (another reminder time) check them now. Check that the batteries are good, and the smoke alarm is working.
Before winter hits, take a moment to save the numbers for your auto club, insurance agent and towing service into your cell phone.
Only a few weeks till Thanksgiving, maybe need to make an appointment to get your carpets cleaned, air ducts, gutters, etc.!
Do you own a pressure washer? Don’t forget that it needs to be ‘winterized’. Disconnect the hoses and spray in a pump antifreeze so it won’t freeze and be damaged over the winter.
Now is a good time to top off/add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid.
With Halloween coming and trick or treating, have your porches, steps sidewalks & driveways clear of debris and try to have them well-lit so the little kids can see their way around.
‘Prepare your grill for the winter’…unless you use the grill all year long (like some of us diehard grillers do). If you leave your grill outside during the winter keep the propane tank connected (but shut off) and put a protective cover over the entire grill. It goes without saying that you should really clean the grill before covering it for the season!
A general rule of thumb is that oil-based paint can be applied when the temperatures are between 40°- 90° F and latex between 50°- 85° F. Be sure to check the instructions on the paint you’ll be using for specific instructions on application temperatures.
Before winter hits full force, make sure your attic and walls are properly insulated. If you find the insulation is inadequate add insulation to prevent cold air from seeping into your home.
Check your snowblower for oil, gas, blades in good shape(?)-And might want to buy a new snow shovel!
Check out all our information on JimSalmon.com!
Leaves are starting to turn colors-which are beautiful,, however, then they fall, and you have to clean them up. Do you have a new, solid rake or that one from years ago that's broken? How about a leaf blower, not as much exercise but works well! Be ready!
Keeping your vehicle’s glove compartment organized is a good policy. Ready access to your current car registration and proof of insurance helps eliminate anxiety if you ever get pulled over! While you’re organizing make sure that all your paperwork is current.
Regularly clean out bird feeders, scrape old wet seed, let air out, refill.
Hummingbirds have left our area, take down the feeders and clean thoroughly in soapy water, no bleach or other chemicals, save for next spring!
Soak paper towels in vinegar and apply them to areas in your sink or bath where there are lime-deposit hard-water stains. Let them sit for a few minutes and then wipe the stains away.
Now is a good time to go through your closet, pull out those unwanted/un-needed clothes and donate them!
Fall is the time of year to remove dead or diseased limbs. Cut back excessive growth and trim to the desired shape.
Purchase Gain beads and add a small amount into a new spray bottle and fill with warm water. Let this sit for about ten minutes (shake it up to help mix). Use as an air freshener or spray on carpets, couches, pet beds etc. The scent last much longer than most spray air fresheners!
Start the fall with a complete check up of your furnace! If you need a company, may we recommend Crossfield Heating 585-872-4420.
We haven’t tested this tip but it sounds like a real winner if it works!! Apparently you can “lift” rust right off your patio furniture by dabbing some ketchup on it and rubbing it away with a clean cloth. Not so sure about this but we'd love to hear if anyone tries it!
Ladders look simple and harmless, but, according to OSHA, falls from ladders are among the leading causes of work-related injury and death. When using a ladder use common sense and be safe!
A thermos, lunchbox, or even a travel mug that is beginning to smell unpleasant can be cleaned by pouring 1/4 cup salt into it and close it up for the night. In the morning, rinse and wipe clean, this should make it smell fresh again.
Here is a homemade tip that claims to keep many types of ‘critters’ away including mice, rats, snakes and others. Cut “V” shapes towards the top of plastic containers, about ¼ from the top, (you can leave the “V” shaped flap attached). Fill the containers with water up to the cuts. Put four to six mothballs in each container. The mothballs last a long time but every now and then check the containers and add more water. Apparently, pests do not like the aroma and stay away. It’s worth a try, inside or out!
It's coming, fall and winter. Trees take a beating. Look yours over for weak branches, diseased trees, if you're not sure - get a tree specialist involved.
Leaving an open box of baking soda inside any cupboard, linen closet, camper cabinet or anywhere that doesn’t get used regularly will keep the contents fresh and odor free.
A squeegee run across a carpet will loosen and pull up a lot of pet hair. The best part of this is that kids love doing this! You get the squeegee the kids do the work...can't beat that!
Remember to check your dryer vents, they get clogged with lint and critters might have made a nest. Also, always clean the dryer filter after each load, then occasionally wash the filter, it's such a fine screen a toothbrush works well clearing the dirt.
Air vents get very dirty and dusty over time. That dust can easily make it back into the room and what doesn’t can block the air from getting out. If you haven’t cleaned the air vents lately it’s probably time to!
Pick up the small pieces of broken glass with a slice of bread. Seriously! No matter how careful you are you can’t always pick it all up…but the sliced bread can!
Your dog doesn’t mind slobbery dirty toys but if you would feel better cleaning them once in a while you can toss them into the washer with one tablespoon of baking soda for a thorough cleaning.
So with this rain we are getting, have any leaks in your house? Did your gutters clog? Give us a call if you have questions or need some advice, 585-589-5650
Most homeowners have this product in their garage at the ready but for those that don’t you may want to purchase some…Clay kitty litter... it works to absorb oil quickly. In the event of an oil stain on the garage floor simply pour some kitty litter over the top of the stain and let it sit for a day or two and then clean it up...kitty litter and stain!
We certainly don't want to even think about the weather changing, just can't say that 4 letter word!! But,, now is the time to get your furnace cleaned, your ducts cleaned, have an energy audit, have a serious discussion about spray foaming the band joist in your basement, etc.. Also, have a home inspection, you don't need to be selling to have one. Give us a call, 585-589-5650 we will be happy to discuss it with you.
What is Humidity? The ratio of actual water vapor in the air compared to the amount it can hold is called relative humidity. Excessive humidity can make you feel uncomfortable but can also cause other problems:
• Makes you feel sick to your stomach, especially when combined with high temperatures
• Disrupts your body's ability to cool itself, which can lead to various health problems
• Triggers asthma and allergy symptoms
• Makes rooms feel stuffy
• Can cause a home or office to start smelling musty
• Can affect the structural integrity of your home, lead to an increase in mold and dust mites
• Attracts unwanted pests, including various bugs and centipedes
Dehumidifiers are the perfect solution if you're suffering from unwanted or excessive humidity in your home or office.
A humidity level below 30% is too dry, while a level above 50% is too high.
Buy an extra dish wand and fill it with half vinegar and half dish soap. Now you have an easy to grab cleaning tool for scrubbing the bathroom (and other areas). And the best part is you can replace the sponge end as needed.
It doesn’t hurt to repeat this tip. Never leave pets in a parked car in summer, even with windows partially open. The temperature inside a parked car rises very quickly and can kill a pet in less than 10 minutes!
Seems like everything is smelling musty with this rain and humidity. Run fans, A/C anything to circulate the air.
Is everyone’s house ‘damp’ with this crazy humidity this summer? Charcoal briquettes can help remove humidity. Buy a cheap bag of charcoal, fill a basket and set it in the room (or rooms) that feel humid. Any type will work but the best type is coconut shell charcoal which has a high absorption power.
Scuff marks on linoleum can usually be removed by rubbing the spot with white toothpaste and a dry cloth.
Take the time to remove all the window screens on your house and gently scrub them with hot soapy water. (And of course, you should wash the windows while the screens are off!)
Before that white stuff comes down have your trees checked for broken branches, disease etc. to avoid damage in the middle of freezing weather.
For stinky microwaves, put two tablespoons of vanilla in a glass bowl, heat for 30 seconds, then let it sit inside the microwave for a few hours.
The weather will be cooling off before we know it. Take the time now while it’s still hot/warm to power wash your home…why now while it’s hot/warm out? Because you know you’ll get soaking wet!
Now is the time to check over your lawn mower, grills, trimmers, even your snowblower, etc. Do you need to order parts? Arrange to have them serviced?
August is a good time to start seeds for fall crops including spinach, lettuce and greens.
In the old days…instead of throwing away a stained article, such as a white tablecloth, they added four or five black tea bags to a bucket of hot water and let them steep for 10 minutes or so. Then they would remove the tea bags, add the cloth (swish it around so it absorbs the water), and let it sit until it became a beautiful antique creamy brown. Lessons from the past!
Spend a few minutes and wipe off the sill over doors, you may be surprised at how much dust collects up there!
Rid the musty smell from a washing machine by running it on the hottest cycle with the tub empty except for a cup of baking soda in the drum and distilled white vinegar in the detergent dispenser.
Take time to enjoy what's left of summer! Don't work so much!
Remove a stripped screw by laying a rubber band over the stripped screw’s head to give your drill (or screwdriver) enough traction to remove it.
Replace the cabin air filter in your vehicle if you haven’t done so in a while (or ever)!
Check your A/C unit vents to make sure it isn't clogged up with debris.
Dom Genova owner of Genesee Valley Motors has a tip for us! Check out safercar.gov for recalls on your vehicle.
While it may seem like a good idea to shut all of the windows when it is hot out, you need to let air circulate through your home or the humidity levels will rise. When the air is stagnant the humidity in the house will actually feel worse because there is no release of the air.
Look for visible condensation on cooler surfaces like windows, mirrors, pipes, and in your basement. If you do find it, feel and check the surrounding area to ensure the moisture is not spreading to walls and nearby surfaces.
Do you know that you can listen to the Home Repair Clinic on podcasts? On your 'smart' device, download-if you haven't already done so, the IHeart app, search for Home Repair Clinic! There ya go!
Make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires are subject to excessive friction, which causes heat. When conditions are already hot, under-inflated tires are even more likely to fail. But remember air expands with heat so don’t over-inflated tires in hot weather driving.
Keep in mind to clean vents, intake & out-take. Also your dryer filter should be washed regularly-(use an old toothbrush to clean out the screening), it gets clogged up even if you take off the lint after each use.
To reduce humidity in home, temporarily place house plants outside or concentrate them in one room. Plants release moisture vapor to the air. When you have lots of plants their role in home humidity levels can be significant. Also make sure not to overwater them.
Energy Star states that ideal indoor humidity levels are between 30 and 50%. Keeping the humidity levels in that range help reduce dust mites and allergens. And bonus: a better night’s sleep because humidity levels in that range are healthier on your mucous membranes!
It is said that the scent of peppermint and cloves are natural repellents for mice. Soak a piece of rag or cotton balls with clove and peppermint oils and place them where you suspect mice are getting in.
This is a general tip,, be aware of your surroundings; walking to & from a store, while getting gas-lock your car, simple everyday tasks when out in public.
Too short to clean the ceiling fans? No excuse! Attach a dryer sheet to a paint roller and you can clean the fans very easily! Don't forget the bathroom vent fans while you have your new cleaning tool with you!
Cleaning your washing machine sounds redundant but the truth is dirt and grime can get (and stay) in the seals and even in the drum. You might find new stains on clothes that you've washed and wonder where they came from...likely the washer itself. Occasionally clean the washer seals and drum with a mixture of 3/4 cup chlorine bleach and a gallon of warm water. Wipe the areas with the solution and let it sit for about 5 minutes and then wipe dry with a clean cloth and leave it open to air dry. Stop avoiding the baseboards when you clean! Eventually the build up really shows, use a damp cloth and wipe them down every now and then.
Maybe this doesn't cross your mind, but your pet food and water dishes should be washed frequently, whether they're indoor or outdoor.
Windshield covers protect the dashboard against ultraviolet rays and help keep the cabin cooler. It’s a wise purchase for our beautiful sunny summer we’re having!
When do you replace hoses for your washer, dehumidifier, dishwasher, ice maker, and refrigerator? Not until/unless they leak (like most of us)? The recommended maintenance is to replace these hoses once every 3-5 years, but even if you don't do that it is important to at least regularly check for any signs of leaking.
Along with not leaving pets or children alone in cars during any weather, really, but in this heat, the metal car seat buckles can get burning hot.
For a special treat make and freeze some chicken or beef broth ice cubes for your best friend. And yes, we mean your dog.
The next few days promise to be above comfortable temperatures. Stay hydrated! And please remember: Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa or near water of any kind, not even for 1 second!
Get ahead of the game this year: Stock up on summer essentials especially sun block, aloe and insect repellent. It doesn't hurt to have an extra supply, one at home and one in the car!
You can keep your AC running smoothly and your energy expense down by changing out your air filters often. Experts advise changing them once a month when using your unit on a daily basis.
When was the last time you checked the inspection sticker on your vehicle? Those dates sneak up on us fast! If it's been a while and you don't remember when it's due you better take a peak!
Maintaining your home's exterior means routinely cleaning it. The best way to do that is with a pressure washer. If it's been a year or two you might want to consider pressure washing it again, you'll be surprised how quickly the dirt builds up.
Worn wipers leave streaks across the windshield and can affect your vision while driving, if this is happening to you it's time to change the wipers!
Gutters should be cleaned twice a year. The best plan is to clean them once in the late fall after all of the leaves have fallen and once in the late spring after seeds and blossoms are done blowing off. If you haven't cleaned them this spring get to it!!
Please please please! Don't put pets in your car and leave them even for a quick run into the bank, store, or whatever excuse you use.
Don't neglect your roof. Checking your roof regularly allows you to find a small problem before it becomes a large, leaky one.
Place a big rubber band around a paint can to wipe your brush on and save it from dripping and filling the can edges.
Pool filters need to be cleaned out a few times a day - they get clogged up with cottonwood very quickly.
All these white floating things -cottonwood & dandelions seeds- all over, Check your fans, air conditioners, mower engines, etc, anything with intake fans, clean them out. They easily clog and slow down or burn out.
You know that struggle trying to add a new key to a key chain? Use a staple remover to pull the rings apart and save yourself the frustration!
Do you have a spot with an excess of cords? Label those little bread clips and clip over the cord so you can identify which cord is which.
It's bug season...check your window screens for holes and tears.
If you have an attic fan, make sure it's working properly before the heat of summer arrives.
Put this to memory - PASS - (and teach everyone in your home) in the event that you ever need to use your fire extinguisher:
Pull the fire extinguisher's safety pin.
Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the extinguisher's handle.
Sweep the extinguisher's nozzle in a side-to-side motion until the flames are out.
Make your ice coffee even better (and stronger) by freezing coffee in the ice cube trays and use instead of ice.
It's getting warmer, don't leave your pet in the car. It gets too hot too soon!
Taking your 'best friend' with you on a long walk or hike? Remember dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot. Other than panting they really have no way to cool themselves down. Make sure you allow plenty of breaks for shade and water stops.
Check the ground around the foundation of your home and re-grade it if necessary.
Springtime! Sun & warm (hopefully!). Allergies? Try getting a good quality home air purifier, run it in your bedroom so you can get a good night's sleep! Indoor Air Professionals is a great company to contact! 585-427-8020.
Mosquito bites can ruin a good outdoor event. If the itching gets unbearable it's best to use a cortisone cream. A Cortisone (or steroid) cream work by constricting the blood vessels and reducing the inflammation that's at the root of the itchiness. Keep a tube in your outdoor bag so you have it when you really need it!
Vacuum out air registers to remove dust and debris.
Use salt for your margarita and throw some over those dandelions growing in your yard!
Vacuum the lint from the hose of your clothes dryer.
Look over your gas grill - spiders, chipmunks, etc. could have built a nest which could block it from functioning and cause a fire or an explosion.
Would you like to plant some herbs this year? Two of the most popular herbs are Parsley and Basil. Parsley can withstand a hard frost. That won't happen again will it?? If you want to plant basil wait until the threat of a frost is completely gone. But be sure to plant basil...it is rich in vitamin K, A, potassium, and calcium!
Found this tip but haven't tried it yet. What a great trick if it works!! 'You can sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda around paving stones to kill plant life between the gaps'.
Do you know if your home has radon? Might want to have it tested.
Use a starter fertilizer whenever you plant anything. Starter fertilizers can provide a tremendous boost to new plantings!
Check your vehicles' registration & inspection stickers!
Don't get too anxious to get that garden started! If the soil is too wet and you begin planting you could be compacting the soil too much. Wait until it's dry. If you grab a handful of soil and can squeeze it into a 'blob' it's still too wet!
Don't rush...LATE spring and summer are classic exterior painting months. Precipitation is low and temperatures are warm which helps the paint cure at a proper rate.
Keep up on your sidewalk/concrete maintenance this spring. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
Most people put a collar with a leash on their dog. But a harness makes so much more sense, no chance of the dog pulling out of the collar, much less pull on their neck. There are strap type and cloth ones-which would be comfortable!
While you can choose any finish to paint an exterior door, glossy paints are typically preferred because they stand out and tend to stand up to nicks and scrapes better than flat or eggshell paint. Another tip is to remember that the type of primer you use needs to match the type of paint you use (latex or oil-based).
We definitely love and welcome warmer weather! However, keep in mind not to take your pet in your car and then go into a store, leaving them in the car. Try a short time yourself sitting in a closed or slightly opened windows vehicle without it running. See how quickly it gets too warm, don't do that to your pet!
Determined not to spend all spring and summer cleaning and recleaning your windows? Try this: Clean windows with 1 drop of blue Dawn dish soap mixed with warm water then apply Rain-X Original, wipe dry and your windows (auto and home) should stay cleaner much longer!
Stumped about what to do with that stump in your yard? Drill some holes about six or eight inches deep, fill with dirt and plant flowers to create a beautiful flower bed incorporating your previously unsightly stump!
You're getting a 'little' up there in age, may need to re-think some things around the house. If you're planning on some remodeling did you know? You can change the height of your kitchen counters? Lower to possibly get in close with a wheelchair, etc. Bathroom remodel? How about a walk-in shower? Easier if you have problems with your knees or legs so you're not trying to get over a tub or ledge.
Who doesn't hate cleaning blinds?! Mix equal parts vinegar and water. Take an old (clean) sock and put it over your hand. Now dip your fingers/hand in the mixture and slide the sock along the blinds. Both sides at once! It doesn't get any better than that!
Winter damage or potholes in your gravel driveway? Widen the pothole a bit and then fill in the hole with layers of gravel. Compact each layer as you go.
MOVE! Only kidding, somewhat. We have to start getting some better weather, problem is it's not good in most of the country!
So in the meantime, do interior maintenance, have you had your duct work cleaned? Need painting? A nice fresh coat of paint makes all the difference in brightening your mood and the room! How about some new light fixtures? Look around at what you can do to spruce up the interior so you'll be ready to move to outdoor work!
We received an email from a WHAM HRC listener and thought it was worth passing along:
"I bought a Moen strainer from (a big box store); took it home; installed it..the strainer leaked. I went through 4 Moen strainers from (the big box store). Frustrated, I took the last strainer down to Moen depot nearby; picked up a new one; installed it into the sink and the leaking stopped. I measured both strainers. The strainer from (the big box store) was 1/16 of an inch smaller than the Moen depot strainer. The moral of the story-----GO WITH THE ORIGINAL!!!!!!"
We will have nice weather--eventually,,,(?) Time to clean up your yard, pick up all the branches, rake the yard to smooth it out, get some topsoil to fill in dips and holes, plant grass seed so it'll be ready to grow! Of course, then you'll have to mow!!
Give your plants, trees, and shrubs an extra boost of nutrients with a homemade egg shell powder! Make yourself a big breakfast (not actually required!) and put the egg shells in the blender then sprinkle the powder around your plants!
If you are repainting a, door for example, you need to use the same type of paint as what is on it now. You don't know or can't remember what type of paint you used years ago? Determine what finish exists by rubbing it with a denatured alcohol soaked clean rag. If paint comes off, it is latex. If not, it is oil.
Take a thorough walk around your house, look at the grading, is the dirt sinking toward the house? That will cause water to flow into your basement, get some topsoil (or hire it done) and fill in to create a positive grade away from the foundation.
Pet smells in your furniture? Buy an extra box of baking soda this week and sprinkle it on the furniture (I know this just feels wrong but do it anyway). Come back in a half hour or so and vacume the furniture. Ah, much better!
The kids have the glitter out again...it will be everywhere but on their project...again. Clean the scattered (spilled) glitter with a piece of tape or a roller brush.
Did you know that radishes, peas, lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower survive frosty weather? If you're anxious to get started and the ground can be worked go ahead and get these planted!
Did you know you can put your sponge in the dishwasher to get it nice and clean again? A sponge picks up a lot of bacteria, try popping it in the dishwasher every few days and keeping it bacteria free!
We've said it before and we'll say it again! Is it time to replace the filter for your HVAC? Check the recommendations for your furnace but generally it should be changed every four to six wee
The winter was a cold one! Now is a good time to examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
Out of window cleaner? Mix rubbing alcohol and water (50/50) to make a homemade cleaner that really shines!
Afraid to use your oven's self cleaning option? Many people are! If you prefer, try this: Remove the wire oven racks and set them aside. Make a paste with baking soda and water. Use an old sponge with an abrasive pad to rub the baking soda paste over the sides and bottom of the oven. You can either leave it overnight or sprinkle vinegar on it and when the fizzing stops wipe it clean with a cloth.
It's been noted that the item in a hotel room that has the highest germ level is the t.v. remote control. Apparently the remote rarely, if ever, gets cleaned but is used by most guests. Keep a pack of baby wipes in your suitcase and wipe the remote control down before you use it!
Is the mouse outsmarting you? Mice scurry around the perimeter of rooms close to the walls where their whiskers help them navigate. Place mouse traps along walls where the mice travel. Face the bait and trigger end of the mouse trap so it is facing the wall.
The easy way to clean an artifical house plant: Give the leaves a quick wipe with a baby wipe, it will remove dust and get that brilliant sheen back!
A good post-winter maintenance tip is to check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
Stain on your vinyl siding? Most household cleaners are safe to use (Simple Green, Armour All, etc.) but be sure to spot check any general or stain cleaner before using it. After cleaning be sure to rinse thoroughly with water. Do not use cleaners containing undiluted chlorine bleach as it can affect the surface of the siding.
Now's the time to get your pet to the vet for a check up, test for heartworm & get on preventatives.
Spring = Dirty Sneakers
Sprinkle inside of sneakers with baking soda and let them sit for hours (overnight is perfect) then brush all loose dirt and mud off, wash with a load of towels using the cold water setting and liquid detergent. Allow to air dry.
Rusty tools? For smaller tools put them in a container filled with distilled white vinegar and let them soak overnight. Scrub with a brush. When the rust is off, rinse, dry, and coat them with a spray of WD-40. (For added strength you can add a cup of salt per gallon of vinegar.)
Tired of cleaning spots off the faucet? Clean it as usual and dry it. Now rub some wax paper over it. The wax paper leaves a residue you can't see and it will keep water spots from showing.
Washing your vehicle before winter is over might seem counter-productive since it’s just going to get dirty again BUT road salt, snow, and moisture can cause rust on a car, and once rust starts it’s hard to stop. Pick a day when the temperatures are moderate (high 30’s or low 40’s) and get to the car wash!
Kids making slime is a big thing these days. So is dried slime in the carpet that they forgot to tell you about. Pour straight white vinegar on the hardened slime and let it sit for a few minutes until it has softened. It will then scoop off easily with a knife. (Of course you should always do a spot test first to make sure it doesn't harm your carpet...worse than the slime!)
When someone tracks mud into the carpet don't be too quick to clean it up. Let it dry first. This might seem counterintuitive but the mud will be much easier to remove dry and you want to avoid rubbing the mud deeper into your carpets fibers.
Take time for yourself! The best way to get things done is if you're refreshed and ready to go! During your busy hectic day take a few minutes to regroup, breathe, even if you have to hide in a closet!
Now that the snow is off the roof and spring is on its way it's a good time to examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during the winter.
Is there a musty scent or odor coming from your furniture? Eliminate smells from chairs, couches, mattresses and even pet beds by sprinkling surfaces with baking soda, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up.
It's always a good idea (especially in the winter) to be sure you refill prescription medications in advance so you don't run out and have to worry about getting them filled at the last minute. You never know what the next day will bring. Be prepared!
Clean or change your furnace filter. Dirty filters can dramatically reduce the heat production ability of a furnace.
Out of laundry detergent? You can use dishwashing liquid for laundry (Dawn brand is excellent for this) but because it produces a lot of bubbles you don’t have to use very much, just use about an 1/8 cup and add to your washing machine just like you would regular detergent.
Always clear your vehicle of snow before heading out. You will see better and other drivers will see you!
A dog safety tip from the ASPCA:
Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents.
Check the air pressure in your tires. Cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
Don't forget that you can run your ceiling fan on low with the paddles reversed (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air during these cold days!
Coat a toilet paper roll in peanut butter, roll it in birdseed, and you have a classic bird feeder.
Onion Quick Fix: Don't peel the whole onion when you only want one slice. Slice through the middle of the onion, cut a slice, put the two parts back together wrap and refrigerate.
Light therapy boxes can offer some treatment for seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs each year during fall and winter. Eat foods that are high in Vitamin D, maintain hobbies, and get outside and try to get some sun!
When the rain freezes on the road, that's black ice. It's there on the road, but you can't see it. You may not see the danger until you are in it. Reduce your speed and proceed with caution!
To prevent frostbite: Dress in loose, light, comfortable layers, Protect your feet and toes, Protect your head,
Protect your hands, Make sure snow cannot get inside of your boots or clothing, Keep yourself hydrated!
Dress for the cold! Use many thin,layers rather than a few thick layers. It will insulate better and allow you to remove layers if the temperature climbs.
Cold Feet?- Try wool socks! Stay Warm!
*A great insulator
*Can absorb moisture
*Dries more quickly
If you are using a space heater place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away- things such as paper,clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
When you lift snow,pick up small amounts and lift with your legs, not your back, Do not toss snow over your shoulder or to the side.
Clean your humidifiers regularly during the heating season.
Apply salt to your sidewalks and driveway before it snows. This will help keep them from icing over when the snow or ice hits the treated areas.
Every wonder how to get rid of rust spots on floors, patios or porches? The acid in lemon juice will dissolve rust. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice onto the stain and let it soak in for about 10 minutes. If the stains have been there for a long time you might have to scrub with a hard bristle brush. Rinse off the lemon juice and rust with clean water.
This tip is for a slow-moving drain not a fully clogged drain. Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain then heat up a cup of vinegar and pour it on top of the baking soda. Wait 10 minutes. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. This works wonders!
Cold Weather Tip: Warm air rises to the ceiling. Run your ceiling fan on its lowest setting in a clockwise direction. to push the warm air back down to where you can feel it. Stay warm!
Heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide alarm!
It's baking season...keep the chocolate chips and blueberries from dropping to the bottom of the muffins by coating them with a spoonful of flour before adding to the batter. This helps the add-in to adhere to the batter and prevents them from sinking. If you're using frozen blueberries the flour also minimizes how much the berries bleed into the batter.
No one wants to admit when they see mildew or mold in their bathroom shower but it can easily happen. Put hydrogen peroxide in a trigger-spray bottle, spray it on and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It will kill the fungus and clean off easily.
To clean your coffee grinder: Put a 1/4 cup of rice in your coffee grinder and grind for about a minute, the oils should cling to the rice, leaving behind just a dusting of rice flour. Dump out the flour and wipe with a damp cloth.
Check your home’s exterior doors for cold air leaks. Do this from inside the house. Move a lit candle around the door frames and if the flame blows toward you there is a draft. Seal with foam or felt weatherstripping inside the door frame.
Has your faucet started dripping and you can't get it fixed immediately but the sound of the dripping is making you crazy? You can stop the sound of dripping water by tying a long string around the end of the faucet. The water will drip on the string and run down silently.
Winter Weather Tip: Check insulation around exterior pipes that are exposed to freezing weather to be sure that water cannot seep under the insulation.
No one wants to admit when they see mildew or mold in their bathroom shower but it can easily happen. Put hydrogen peroxide in a trigger-spray bottle, spray it on and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It will kill the fungus and clean off easily.
Having all the tools and cleaning products you need in a caddy or bucket saves you a ton of time walking back and forth to the cabinet or under the sink.
Use a leaf blower to remove leaves along foundations. Removing leaves helps eliminate hiding places for rodents to get into your home. Allow some leaves to remain under shrubs to provide winter cover for beneficial insects.
Are you tired of your salad greens 'expiring' before you've had a chance to use them up? After washing and drying the greens lay them out on paper towels and then roll it up and place it in a plastic bag. Press out as much air as possible and seal the top, and of course refrigerate. The paper towels absorb moisture and keeps the greens from wilting, getting 'slimy', and 'expiring' as quickly.
When the power window won't go down because it's frozen shut DO NOT keep pushing the button. If you keep trying to roll the window down you can damage the window motor which can be an expensive repair. Some say you can slide a credit card between the window and strip to help break the ice up but the best thing to do is just wait until the vehicle warms up!
Fill up when your gas tank is half-full .The more gas you have in your tank the less air there is and gasoline evaporates rapidly.
Keeping half a tank is also good in case of emergency.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes on them in most situations according to the cdc. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Pull back attic insulation to find and seal cutouts in drywall for electrical fixtures, pipes, fans and outlets. Also check wiring, chimneys, flues, vent stacks and ducts, and seal them on the inside. Use caulk to fill smaller gaps and pressurized expanding foam for bigger openings.
The Amercian flag should be displayed on all days but especially on: New Year's Day, January 1; Inauguration Day, January 20; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, the third Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, February 12; Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February; National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29, Easter Sunday (variable); Mother's Day, second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May; Flag Day, June 14; Father's Day, third Sunday in June; Independence Day, July 4; National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, July 27; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Constitution Day, September 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October; Navy Day, October 27; Veterans Day, November 11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day, December 25; and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays.
Old ice absorbs food odors, clean and sanitize your icemaker or cube trays twice per year .Wash the bin and ice maker with vinegar, or put the bin in the dishwasher if your manual says it’s safe to do so. Wipe the ice maker with a dry rag to remove moisture.
Hot water heaters typically are set at 140 degrees. Lower the temperature on yours to 120 for fuel savings. You’ll reduce the chance of accidental burns, and the water still will be plenty hot for bathing, washing clothes and doing dishes.
Heated or cooled air flies up the chimney when you leave the fireplace damper open. Make it a habit to shut the flue after the fireplace has cooled.
Use Pool Noodles cut in half to keep your boots upright and dry.
When you are sure you won't be using your outside hose anymore drain and store it for the winter. Install insulating covers on all exterior spigots.
Water-based exterior paint requires certain conditions to cure properly, or you’ll be repainting your house sooner than you planned. “It should be at least 50° F when applying the paint and shouldn’t drop below 32° F at night for several days after,” says Rico DePaz, the paint pro at Consumer Reports.
We went in search of auto tips today and this is what we found:
The conventional wisdom that you should idle your car up to operating temperature comes from the days of carburetors, which needed several minutes of idling to get to an operating temperature where they'd run smoothly. With fuel-injected engines, the ECU can adjust itself to idle perfectly even in sub-zero weather.
But what about being toasty warm?
Start it up, make sure all your windows are clear of ice/snow/fog, and just drive, the engine will warm up faster, and therefore you'll get nice warm heat coming out of the vents sooner.
How often should you water Succulents? Rather than giving small amounts of water frequently, give them a good soaking. Let the soil dry out completely before watering again.
Wish you could be more productive? Prioritize! There are usually only one or two things that absolutely must get done, do those things first. You'll get the most important things done which is a win! And it will usually motivate you to keep going! Win-Win!!
Check your roof for problems before cold weather hits! Check for loose shingles and make any necessary repairs now. Don’t forget to check your gutters while you’re on the roof.
By replacing summer sheers with winter drapes, you can cozy up and actually save on your heating bill. Winter drapes have a liner that repels cold air and temperature from the glass window panes.
Tips to transition mentally into the winter season:
Take your vitamins.
Stay hydrated. ...
Get outside and stay active.
As you are preparing for winter don't forget to empty soil from pots and planters. Dirt left in clay pots will freeze and cause the pots to crack if left outside.
As the temperatures get cooler rodents will try to find shelter inside and homeowners often turn to rat and mouse poisons. Please remember these products are highly toxic to pets and, if ingested, the results could be fatal. Use with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.
Anti-freeze is known to taste sweet to cats and dogs. Make sure to check your car for leaks and make sure all bottles are stored far away from your pets.
Quick Tip for cleaning rust from Chrome. Scrunch up a piece of tin foil and dip into cold water. Rub gently to remove rust. Dry with a towel.
Now that it's getting closer to winter take the time to inspect external doors and garage doors. If they don't seal tightly install weather-stripping or even door thresholds if needed.
Excellent Tips From the National Fire Protection Association:
*Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
*Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
*Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
*Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
*Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
Inspect your driveway for cracks. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer. Sealing the driveway now will help extend the life of the asphalt through the winter and beyond.
Work Smarter, not harder when raking leaves. Rake your leaves into small piles onto a tarp or a piece of plastic, then drag that pile to your main pile or compost. Enjoy the fall weather by raking leaves!
While the temperatures are still decent take the time to caulk around windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping when the temperatures are not so decent!
October is Fire Safety Month make sure everyone in your home knows how to use a fire extinguisher.
Should you ever need to use it, just remember the acronym PASS:
Pull the pin to release the handle;
Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire;
Squeeze the trigger;
Sweep the discharge stream at the base of the fire.
Before you turn your heat on for the season take a quick walk through each room and make sure the heating vents aren't blocked by anything.
Keep a cardboard box in your laundry room for clothes that need to go to the thrift store. When sorting the laundry toss in the clothes kids have outgrown, or you have gotten tired of. When it's full, put the box in the car and drop it off at a local shelter or thrift store.
We can't say it enough. Clean Your Gutters! Leaves cause clogged gutters which then can form ice dams in the colder months. Drainage becomes a problem and the next thing you know you have leaks that can cost you a great deal of money. Clean Your Gutters!
You'll be putting your heating system to the test before long. Now is the perfect time to schedule a heating system check up.
Soon we'll really begin to notice the shorter days and therefore less daylight. Now would be a good time to install some lighting along your walkway. Solar push in lights are fairly inexpensive and can be very helpful when you return home on those dark evenings.
Even in nice Hotels, TV remotes tend to be highly contaminated. Slip the remote into a ziploc bag to keep the germs away. The buttons and signal will still work.
This summer like weather won't last forever. Now is the perfect time to have your chimneys and flues inspected (and cleaned if necessary).
To ensure that your refrigerator is doing its job, it's important to keep its temperature at 40 °F or below; the freezer should be at 0 °F.
We all know we're supposed to keep the lawn mower deck high in the summer but come fall drop it down as low as it’ll go without scalping the turf. Short grass gives leaves less to get caught on and the mower will chew up any leaves that have already fallen.
It's the season for campfires. In September it gets darker earlier, which is great for gathering around the campfire for some stories.
Clean an empty wipes container (baby or cleaning product) and then use it to store your empty plastic grocery bags. If you are really crafty you can cover the container with contact paper and line the bags up end to end so they actually feed through the slots!
Clean your gutters at least once a year and more often if you have overhanging trees. Once you've cleaned the debris, flush the gutters and downspouts with a hose. This completes the cleaning but also serves to locate any leaks/damage in the gutters.
Moss between the pavers? Moss has no roots so you can easily brush it off with a stiff bristle brush. If there is a large area to scrub get a stiff bristle broom. To prevent moss from returning you can spray the areas with a bleach solution : 90% water 10% bleach, but be sure to do a spot test first to make sure it doesn't discolor the pavers.
Tips for Daylilies: Just after the flowers fade in early fall is the best time to divide and transplant day lilies. Before the move, cut the foliage back to 6 to 8 inches high. This will make the plants easier to work with while still leaving enough foliage to provide energy to the roots. After the transplant, leave the remaining foliage until it dies back.
A fall tip for gardeners - use golf tees to mark perennials so when they have gone dormant you'll still know where they are!
Once the garden has been picked for the last time add organic amendments (homemade compost, manure, blood meal, bone meal, cottonseed meal, greensand, etc) to improve the long term health of your soil. By adding them in the fall, they have time to break down into a form that plants can use, just in time for spring!
Are you a little ocd about closing apps as soon as you finish using them? Research shows that this can actually make your battery life worse if you do it on a regular basis. When you open an app your device has to load it into the memory which can use more battery life than leaving it open. This is especially useful for people checking social media over and over, just leave it open!
Deadhead Black-eyed Susans weekly during the blooming period, which lasts from early June until October. Remove each spent flower to encourage the plant to produce more flowers.
To keep your refrigerator running as efficiently as possible vacuum the refrigerator coils at least twice a year.
Habits may be hard to break but don’t deadhead or fertilize anything that won’t make it through the cold months. These practices encourage growth which you should wait until spring to do again, now is the time to simply prune as needed.
It's only a couple weeks before the kids head back to school. This is a good time to begin the adjustment back to a school year bedtime routine.
If spiders are a problem in your basement (or anywhere) fill a spray bottle with water and mix in 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil. Spray down all the cracks and corners of the room (or rooms) and you should find this eliminates your spider problem.
Odor absorbers like baking soda, charcoal briquettes, and kitty litter are all effective to help eliminate those musty mildew smells that may pop up in certain rooms of your home. The permanent solution is to find the source and remove it (boxes of clothing, papers, many things will get damp and hold the dampness) but in the meantime place a container in the offending room and change it every month.
To get rid of fruit flies or gnats mix two tablespoons of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar, a few drops of soap, and 4 cups of water in a container. Mix it well then place the container around the area where you see the most gnats.
Place a sock containing cat litter in musty closets or smelly shoes to eliminate odors.
Every time it rains the windows get dirty again! Try this. Clean the windows with an equal mixture of vinegar and warm water. If you want to take it a step further you can even apply a glass sealant to provide an invisible barrier between a window's surface and dust, dirt and other air pollutants.
If ground bees have become a problem in your outdoor area try to find the entrance to their nests and spray it with water. The entrances are small piles or patches of bare soil. If the entrance to their nest gets wet they will move to another area as they prefer dry soil to nest in.
GRILL YOUR MEAT TO THE PROPER INTERNAL TEMPERATURE.
-Steaks, Roasts and Chops- 145F
-Ground Poultry- 165F
-Ground Meats- 160F
For Maximum tomato yields always stake or cage your plants.
Rust marks on stainless steel? Just a small amount of lighter fluid on a rag to rub the rust away. Wipe with a clean rag to remove any lighter fluid residue.
Tip for getting rid of Fruit Flies- Vinegar and dish soap. Add three drops of dish soap to a bowl of vinegar, and leave it uncovered. The soap will cut the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies will sink and drown.
Tired of seeing water stains on the ceiling tile? Try mixing 2 parts bleach with 1 part water in a clean spray bottle. Spray the stain and then wait for at least 30 minutes. You may have to repeat this process a few times until the stain disappears.
Is your garden producing more summer squash or zucchini than you can eat? Be generous with your friends and neighbors and then be creative with what is left. If you type either in to Google you will find LOTS of great and easy recipes!
Grill Safety: Inspect the hoses on a gas grill for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing and that all connections are secure. Replace if necessary. Keep the grill hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
Washing Machine Cleaning Tips
For a Front Loader Washing Machine Gasket:
Pack the rubber folds of the gasket with paper towels soaked in hydrogen peroxide. Leave it to soak for a few hours before wiping down clean and dry.
For a Top Loader Washing Machine :
Use a paper towel soaked in hydrogen peroxide to wipe around the opening of the machine. Try to get between the tub rim and top edges, and all the areas that the water can’t get to.
Place pots of herbs such as basil, mint or lavender around your patio or deck to help eliminate pesky flies. Flies dislike the fragrance of these herbs!
Clean out your window wells. Debris can accumulate quickly.
A listener is suggesting a solution for carpenter ants. Look to ePestsupply.com, KM ant pro liquid ant bait station with gourmet liquid ant bait, and Advance carpenter ant bait. Apparently they work better than ant hotels, etc and sprays. The queen needs to be killed. Also, ants will come in from other areas, so you just need to repeat and put in other areas. Work on tiny ants also. We haven't tried it, but hey, it's worth a shot!
Are you pruning your tomato plants? Don't forget to spend a few minutes removing unneeded growth tips (the new growth–the small leafy-bud growth–located in the “V” or crotch between two stems). This type of pruning allows the tomato plant to 'focus' on the development of the tomato rather than the plant which results in better flavor, larger growth and overall healthier tomatoes.
3 ways to add Curb Appeal to your home. Paint the front door, Upgrade your mailbox and Install new house numbers!
Apples turn brown when they are cut because the enzymes and iron phenols in the fruit oxidize when exposed to air. If you or your children prefer an apple sliced but you don't pack them in the lunch box because of the browning try this: slice the apple and then place a rubber band around it to hold it tightly together. When it's time to eat remove the rubber band and you have a nice fresh sliced apple!
For several days prior to aeration, water your lawn until you can easily push your finger roughly one inch into the ground. If the ground is hard, the aerator won't be able to penetrate the soil.
Water your plants with leftover brewed coffee! Coffee contains potasium, calcium,nitrogen, phosphorus and other minerals to boost plant growth.
Does everyone in the family know how to use a fire extinguisher? Make sure you have one, make sure it's accessible, make sure everyone knows how to use it and finally make sure you check it to see that the gauge shows adequate pressure and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.
If you have a dehumidifier, turn it on when the temperature rises. Ridding your house of humidity will make you feel a lot more comfortable and could save you money but not having to keep your air conditioner set too low.
This seems like common sense but in the hectic busy days of summer sometimes a reminder is a good idea...Always supervise the activities of small children around a pool and remove dangerous chemicals such as chlorine from areas where they can be accessed by children or pets.
Take care of weeds in between sidewalks and pavers by spraying with vinegar.
Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze. Then run the ice cubes through the sink garbage disposal. This serves two functions, it freshens the garbage disposal and the ice sharpens the blades.
*Fireworks Safety Tips*
*Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
*Never light fireworks indoors or next to dry grass.
*Point fireworks away from homes.
*Closely supervise children at all times.
*Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Option: Let your young children use glow sticks instead.
Over the summer months, dirt, mold, pollen and tree sap steadily accumulate on your siding. Take the time to powerwash your siding. Not only is it unsightly but left unchecked it could shorten the life of your siding.
Top 5 Survival Uses for a Bandana 1. A Signal Flag, 2. A Bag, 3. A Tourniquet, 4. Cordage, 5. A Breathing Mask.
Wi-Fi Tip: Be aware of all the devices connected to your home network, including baby monitors, gaming consoles, TVs, appliances and computers. Make sure they are all protected by a strong password Check for updates periodically on each system.
How to pick strawberries …… Grasp the stem just above the berry between the forefinger and the thumbnail and pull with a slight twisting motion.
With the stem broken about one-half inch from the berry, allow it to roll into the palm of your hand.
Repeat these operations using both hands until each holds 3 or 4 berries.
Wash and Enjoy!
Wallpaper on one Wall adds drama to a dull room with less effort and expense than covering the entire room. Choose a bold pattern that can make a statement!
If you forgot to turn your air conditioner on or you realize you've set the temperature too high and want to cool it off quickly simply set the thermostat to the temperature you want it at. Setting it lower to cool it off faster does not work. The air conditioner cools at the same rate no matter where it's set.
Plant groundcover around trees to minimize trimming time. Suggestions are: Ajuga, Lungwort, creeping juniper,periwinkle and pachysandra.
With the weather getting nicer and summer vacation on its way, now is a good time to check the kids outdoor play sets. If you see mold clean it with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Tighten bolts and make sure things are still properly put together and safe to use. Check for sharp edges and splinters.
If you plan to resurface your driveway the warm summer months are the best time to do so.
The anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that helps rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage.
Cornell Cooperative Extension reminds us of this tree pruning tip: Rapid healing of a wound occurs when cuts are made nearly flush with the adjoining branch. When stubs are left, healing is prevented, and the stubs die back leaving entry for disease and rot organisms.
Prevent insect infestation by keeping the basement and attic dry and well-ventilated.
Ultra-Violet Rays are the greatest in the late Spring and Early Summer in North America. Protect yourself by wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
IDEAL PLANTING DISTANCE FOR SHRUBS. The closest a medium-height shrub should be to your home is 3 feet, but a tall shrub should be planted at least 5 feet from your home.
SAFETY DRIVING TIPS FROM THE NHTSA Stop along the way to take a group stretch, get something to eat and drink, return any calls or text messages, and change drivers if you’re feeling tired or drowsy. Consider staying overnight at a hotel or family resort.
Not too long now and you'll be cranking the A.C. Take the time to have your air conditioning unit serviced before you put it to the test!
According to STIHL you shouldn't put your power tools to work immediately after a season of storage. They suggest you let them warm up for a few minutes before their first use of the year.
Damp lawn ? Should you mow or not? If it sinks as you walk, it is too wet to mow. It is never safe to use an electric mower with an extension cord when mowing wet grass. Your mower blades need to be very sharp. If you meet all of those conditions and the grass is getting high you are free to mow that damp lawn.
It is important to regularly leak test your BBQ gas bottle, regulator and hose. Leaks from these items are frequently the cause of BBQ gas fires. Spray or brush a soapy solution on the gas value, the hose and the regulator. Stand back and take a look. Soap bubbles will instantly form and grow if there's a gas leak in any of the components.
Drinking a single cup of coffee, hot or iced, daily may lower your risk of developing skin cancer. I