The difference between baking soda and the chemicals in commercial cleaning brands is the non-toxic nature of baking soda. It is good for the following:
1) Cleaning porcelain sinks. All you have to do is sprinkle baking soda into the sink and scrub with the cut side of a half lemon. Great cleaning and deodorizing.
2) Adding shine to a stainless steel sink. Sprinkle baking soda on the sink use a wet sponge to scrub clean. You'll be amazed at the sparkle left behind.
3) Deodorizing small spaces. We're all familiar with adding an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb odors. You can use this same strategy for closets.more
Lemons add a fresh cleansing scent, but it is their natural acidity that makes them valuable as a natural cleaner. Here's a few uses we recommend.
1) Deodorizing your microwave. Put some sliced lemons in a bowl of water inside the microwave and cook on high for a minute, but do not open the door when done. This allows the lemon water to steam the inside of the compartment. After 10 minutes or so, remove the bowl and wipe down the inside of the microwave with a damp sponge.
2) Cleaning your faucets. Before discarding your used lemons, use the pieces to wipe down your kitchen faucets. Let the lemon juice sit on the metal for a few minutes before wiping the faucets clean.
3) Sanitizing your garbage disposal. Rather than throwing your lemon (or lime) slices in the trash...more
White vinegar is adapt at cutting through grime, dissolving hard water deposits, and even ridding some types of household bacteria. Here's a few things to consider using it for in your home.
1) Refreshing a drain. Pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda into a sink drain, followed by a cup or two of white vinegar. The mixture will bubble and react. Let sit for around five minutes and then rinse with warm water.
2) Cleaning hard water stains around faucets. Soak paper towels with vinegar until completely wet. Wrap the paper towels around the base of the sink fixtures. Let sit for several hours (or overnight). Remove the paper and use a sponge to wipe the area clean.
3) Cleaning windows. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray onto dirty windows and...more
Most times a running toilet is the result of the flapper valve not sealing completely after a flush. If the flapper valve is worn it may not be containing the water in the tank anymore, resulting in water trickling into the bowl on a non-stop basis. When this occurs its usually time to replace the flapper, which is a relatively easy maintenance task. You can buy a replacement flapper valve at any home improvement store. When you get home, turn the water supply off to the toilet, remove the old valve and replace with the new valve. You would be surprised how much water is wasted when this occurs - up to 200 to 300 gallons per day.more
When your refrigerator's condenser coils become dirty and dust covered, the refrigerant running through the coils cannot disperse the heat easily, because the dust is acting as an insulator. Dirty coils can also shorten the life expectancy of your refrigerator. Cleaning the coils is recommended once per year but may have to be completed more often with dogs and/or cats in the home.more
In Mitch Albom's book, Have a Little Faith: A True Story, the following story was told within the book .
A young man sought employment on a farm. He handed a letter to his potential employer that read, "He sleeps in a storm." The desperate farmer needed help, so he hired the young man despite this enigmatic letter.
Several weeks passed and in the middle of the night, a powerful storm ripped through the valley. Awakened by the storm, the farmer jumped out of bed. He called for his new employee, but the young man was sound asleep. The farmer dashed to the barn and to his amazement, the animals were safe with plenty of food. He hurried to the nearby field only to see that the bales of wheat were already bound and wrapped in tarpaulins. He ran to the silo. The doors were...more
As part of your regular vacuuming around the house, its helpful to clean your air vents too! This task is fairly easy to do. Remove the vent covers and vacuum the inside of the ductwork a foot or two (or as far as your hand attachment will reach). Cleaning your air vents on a regular basis will help improve indoor air quality for everyone in your home! If you start to notice significant dust buildup in your vents, it’s likely time to get the entirety of your air ducts professionally cleaned.more
For many homeowners, Thanksgiving weekend is the start of stringing ornamental lights on their homes for the upcoming Holiday season. We offer the following precautions:
- If it’s rainy, windy, icy, or your driveway or roof is covered with snow or ice, Don't attempt it! It’s just not worth it.
- Test that all your lights are working before installing.
- Use extension cords that are rated for the environment where you’re hanging them and don't overload your...
This year, we have had an incredibly dry Autumn along the Colorado Front Range. According to the Colorado State University Extension, fall and winter watering during pro-longed dry periods will help your landscape stay healthy. Newly planted grass, trees, plants and shrubs are most susceptible to damage but established landscapes deserve a good drink of water too.
You only need to water about two times a month, unless your location is particularly sunny and windy. Be sure to only water when both the air and soil temperatures are at or above 40°F and there is no snow cover on the ground.
Per our earlier blog post, don't forget to disconnect your garden hose from the hose bib when you are done.more
Now that the autumn leaves have for the most part fallen off the trees and no longer to be admired, its time for some homeowners to get down to a challenging home maintenance chore. For those that live in older neighborhoods with mature trees, the leaves from these trees can be quite a nuisance when they fill up the rain gutters. Clogged gutters impede the proper flow of water, causing rainwater to overflow. This overflowing water has the potential to damage your gutters and your roof and possibly require expensive repairs. Cleaning your rain gutters can also be a challenging task, especially if you don't feel comfortable of heights or being on a ladder. Its best to hire professionals if this applies to you.more
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are 3,000 dryer fires per year caused by an accumulation of lint. Below, are simple steps to take to make sure your home is not part of these statistics.
1) Remove the lint from the dryer's lint screen after every load.
2) Make sure the duct connecting your dryer to the exterior vent is tightly connected and not pinched.
3) Once a year, pull the dryer out from the wall and clean behind and beneath it.
If you notice your dryer getting hot to the touch or taking longer to dry laundry than it usually does, these are clues that there may be a blockage in the dryer vent and the need to have professionals come out to clean the ducts.more
As colder days and nights approach, it’s important to remember to disconnect your garden hose after every use. Here in Colorado, our temperatures fluctuate quite a bit in the winter and we tend to use our garden hoses on those sunny warm days to wash our car or water our trees and then forget to disconnect the hose from the spigot after we are done. This increases our risk of the pipes freezing and bursting.
Why? Water expands when it freezes. When we leave our garden hose attached and filled with water, bad things can happen. When that water freezes, ice takes up nearly 10% more space than the same amount of liquid water does. Unfortunately, in the case of a water pipe, there’s no room for expansion. This can result in burst pipes and broken valves and joints. Be sure and...more
Garbage disposals are bit of a misnomer. Your disposal and pipes can handle a few scraps, but a lot of people think they can grind everything up in the disposal, which is not true at all. Its best to scrape leftover food from your plate into the trash can and then rinse the remainder into the disposal. To avoid clogs, scraps should be put your garbage disposal in moderation. Here are a few things to avoid putting down your garbage disposal:
- Starchy items like pasta, rice, and potato peels.
- Any type of meat.
- Seeds, coffee grounds, eggshells, and popcorn kernels.
- Hard items like bones or corn cobs.
- Stringy things like celery and rhubarb.
Over time your garbage disposal will likely get a coating of gunk which can...more
Houses collect dust - there really is no way of stopping it. Dust constantly finds its way around our homes. But what's in house dust? The answer is a bit disgusting. House dust is a mix of sloughed-off skin cells, pet hair, bacteria, dust mites, soil particles, and pollen, just to name a few. These particles also soak up contaminants originally imbedded in consumer products that we brought into our homes or tracked in on the soles of our shoes. When disturbed, it recirculates before landing somewhere else in the home.
This is why one of the most important maintenance steps is to change your air filters on a regular basis, as their purpose is to capture as much of these dust particles as they can. Once the filter is full (dirty or clogged), it can't capture any more particles...more
The mechanical components and appliances in your home all have different anticipated life spans. It only goes to reason, that properly maintained appliances will likely last longer than those whose care is neglected, not to mention the likelihood of having fewer break downs along the way. The goal of our service tiers is to help you get the most out of your home's mechanical components and appliances for the least amount of costs. Below is a link to a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders providing ball park estimates for the life expectancy of the components that make up your home.
As shared by Kidde - maker of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms for the home.
It's a sound many homeowners have heard: the 3 a.m. alarm chirp. Why does it happen? Well, it's a simple matter of the battery's charge level and a home's air temperature.
As a smoke alarm's battery nears the end of its life, the amount of power it produces causes an internal resistance. A drop in room temperature increases this resistance, which may impact the battery's ability to deliver the power necessary to operate the unit in an alarm situation.
This battery characteristic can cause a smoke alarm to enter the low battery chirp mode when air temperatures drop. Most homes are the coolest between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. That's why the alarm may sound a low-battery chirp...more
With this blog, we'll share with you our knowledge and insights, as well as that of other professionals, on the value of preventive home maintenance. We'll mix in short stories and images that are educational, trivial, and sometimes light-hearted, as we share in the trials and tribulations of home ownership!more