How to Protect Your Plumbing while on Vacation

We all need a break some time, right?  However, before you get all carried away with excitement with that planned vacation, make sure that you protect your home plumbing system.  This will ensure that you do not come home to a flooded property or something worse.

Taking some time to look after your plumbing before going on vacation will allow you to enjoy it even more.  Here are some tips that you must consider before you get out of the house.

Laundry Hoses

laundry hoses

It is important to regularly check the hoses of your laundry machine, more so before you head off to a vacation.  Did you know that the service life of a laundry machine hose is around 3 years?

Make a visual inspection of the hose and look for cracks, calcium deposit buildup, or any type of breakdown that can cause plumbing problems while you are on vacation.  Replace the hose if necessary.

Keeping the Heat

The common thinking is that since no one will be in the home, there is no need for the water heater to be turned on.  Unfortunately, this is not true, because even if you think that the weather is getting warmer, nights will remain to be relatively cold.

This means that there is still a possibility for your pipes to freeze.  The only way to prevent this is to leave your water heater on, but at a lower temperature of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  This will help protect your pipes without jacking up your energy bill while you are away.

Do not forget to do a visual inspection of the water heater as well.  Any sign of water outside the unit should be a cause for alarm.

This is normally a sign that the water heater may need repair or even replacement.  If you really want to make sure, place a service call to have the water heater checked by a professional for your peace of mind.  If the unit has a vacation mode setting, leave it at that until you return.

Sump Pumps

Will it flood?  It is hard to assume that it will not.  That is why it is better to be on the safe side by making sure that your sump pump is in working condition before you leave.  Simply test it by pouring some water into the inlet valve and see if the pump would automatically activate.  Another thing to consider is if you have any backup system in case your sump pump fails while you are on vacation.

If you have a backup system, make sure that you test it as well.  If not, then consult a professional plumbing service for your options.  Check how you can get a battery backup system up and running before you go on your trip.  This can spell the difference between going back to a dry home and a flooded one.

Odor Protection

What causes odor to come up from your drains?  One is food particles clinging to the sides of the pipe lining, and the other is that the trap has gone dry allowing odors from the septic system to creep into your home.

Now that you know, the first thing to do is to pour in about a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes.  Wash it down with a kettle of hot water to flush away any food particles.

For dry traps, make sure that you do this not only with seldom used drains, but with all the drains in your home as a precaution.  Pour about a cup of water into the drain followed by a about a spoonful of cooking oil.  Since the oil floats on top of the water, evaporation will not happen to allow the drain to hold the water in the trap for a longer period.

These are pretty easy to follow tips that will help protect your home plumbing system while you are on vacation.  If you want better protection, have a professional plumber like www.plumbinglosangeles.us check your system before you go on your trip.

Using Creative Lighting and Color to Improve Your Home

Using Creative Lighting and Color to Improve Your Home

One of the best ways to improve the overall look of your home is to use colors and lighting.  Changing the color of a room or how light is used can make a huge difference on its appeal and the atmosphere it produces.  The great thing with using lighting and color is that you can make it work even with a small budget.  Here are some tips on how to maximize the use of lighting and color to change the look of your home.

white ceilingWhite Ceiling

How can painting the ceiling white improve your home?  Darker colors on ceilings or putting dark-colored wooden beams will give the room a gloomy ambience.  About two cans of white paint can give a fresher look not only to the ceiling but the entire room in general.  Bright white will also be able to reflect light to make it look bigger.  Even if the walls are white, using white on the ceiling will still have a positive effect.

stop-634941_1280-min

Limit Accents

Most of us have our favorite colors and would want to use it as the theme for our rooms.  However, when playing with colors, it is important to remember that bold and bright colors work better when used for walls or trimmings.  Rooms that have a dark color will have a feeling of space or emptiness.

Do you really want to use dark colors?  Settle for green, red, dark blue, or some rich color and use it for a smaller wall.  Use lighter colors on the other walls.  Incorporating colors will eliminate the feeling of darkness especially if the accent trim is placed along the ceiling.  For a more festive mood, use contrasting colors for the door trim and the baseboards.

natural light

Natural Light

Working with a dark room means dealing with limited amounts of natural light.  Windows are the best sources of natural light, but, if they are blocked with blinds or dark shades, you have to find other ways of brightening the room.

One way to brighten the room is to choose light-colored and airy window covers.  This allows for ample amounts of light to enter the room without sacrificing its ability to filter it.  You can also use blinds, but stick with cloth blinds made from light fabrics and not totally opaque.  Wooden and plastic blinds will completely block out all natural light.

overhead lighting

Overhead Lighting

Opt for soft perimeter lights for your overhead lighting.  Harsh overhead lights will only emphasize the natural dark characteristics of the room.  Be careful in choosing the type of artificial lighting you use.  Do not overdo it with fluorescent lights, you want to preserve a pleasant and natural look as much as possible.

Track lighting is an option you can explore because of its ability to brighten the room without the harsh atmosphere effect.  Strategically place floor lamps fitted with light-colored shades to allow light to be diffused to the entire room.

brighter bulb

Brighter Bulbs

Another way to brighten and liven the room is to replace your current bulbs with higher intensity ones.  There was a time when CFL (Compact Fluorescent bulbs) were the choice because of their lower wattage and significantly higher light output.  However, today, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting are more preferred because even with a lower wattage, it can still produce higher intensity light levels compared to CFL bulbs.

lantern and cozy

Dark and Cozy

If you truly and really must or want to go dark, at least make it dark and cozy.  Adding a more natural feel will make the room more comfortable.  Use deep and rich colors with heavy decorations will give it that old-fashioned appeal.

With a bit of creativity, you can actually mix and match these tips to find what works best for you.  Home improvement after all is still a matter of preference.

How to do Home Improvement for Spring

How to do Home Improvement for Spring

It is not surprising that some homeowners may find spring cleaning challenging.  Considering you are coming off a cold weather and looking forward to a relaxing season, doing home improvements are not really a priority.  However, it is necessary to do some home improvements to make sure that you are not faced with problems as spring passes.  Here are some tips on how to make your spring home improvement efforts easier.

Locks

The common problem with locks coming off winter is that they normally become sticky.  The good thing is that you really do not have to replace them.  All you need is a bit of lubricant and you are all set to go.  However, before you get carried away spraying those locks with lubricant, make sure that you put a piece of cloth underneath to prevent the lubricant from staining your floors.  Test the locks a couple of times before moving to the next one.

Mold Formation

During spring, it is not surprising to see thick mold forming in the area of the shower stall.  Undoubtedly, it is not a very attractive sight.  In case you are not sure how to deal with the mold, here is a relatively easy solution.  Mix 2 parts of ammonia with 1 part of baking soda and 1 part of white vinegar.  Prepare 30 parts of warm water and place it in a bucket.

Take a sponge and scrub the mixture all over the mold formation.  You will be surprised at how easy it comes off.  Rinse it all away and let it go down the drain.  Throw that sponge in the garbage after using it to avoid causing cross contamination.  This mixture is almost as strong as any solution you can buy commercially.  The only difference is that this mixture is safer for you and your family.

While you are in the bathroom, take a look if the grout is already dirty and needs cleaning.  You can buy a detergent that can be sprayed directly to the grout and works almost instantly.

Kitchen Issues

In the kitchen, there are actually two areas that you want to check; the sink and the fridge.  Make sure that you clear the fridge of any leftover food and other items that may be going stale.  These items are responsible for leaving a bad odor in the fridge.  An excellent way to deodorize the fridge is to keep an open box of baking soda inside.  This will absorb all that unwanted odor.  You can also wipe down the walls of the fridge using a cloth dampened with a mixture of water and baking soda.  Make sure that the fridge is unplugged as you do this.

Make sure that the kitchen sink is not clogged.  It is never a good practice to dump greasy food down the sink or anything that does not really belong there.  Not only will it ruin your drains, but the clogging can also cause backflow that is very unhealthy.  Sometimes small pieces of jewelry tend to fall into the sink.  To prevent this from happening, always keep a small jewelry box near the kitchen sink to store your jewelries as you wash the dishes or prepare food.

If your kitchen sink does not have a drain strainer, buy one for about $10 from your local hardware store.  If there is already a drain strainer, make sure that it is clean and does not need replacement.  Pour boiling water down the sink drain to make sure that greasy residue does not cause a problem for you.

Air Conditioning

air conditioning

You may find yourself using the air conditioning more during spring.  That is why it is important to make sure that it is in proper working order.  Dirt will eventually accumulate and affect your air conditioning unit.  If you find yourself sneezing when the unit is on, then it is possible that it is very dirty and needs cleaning.

Remove the cover and take out the filter.  Check with the manual on how to do this if you are not familiar.  The filter can be found just behind the grill of the air conditioner.  Once you have the filter, clean off any dirt and grime on it.  Scrape it off if necessary before putting the filter back.  Use a vacuum cleaner for the rest of the air conditioner.

These few steps will do wonders for your efforts of improving your home during spring.

3 Common Questions on Water Pressure

3 Common Questions on Water Pressure

When it comes to issues of water pressure and water flow, the problems can often be puzzling.  This is where the services of highly trained, skilled, and experienced plumbing technicians really become handy.

Would you really want to challenge yourself why the water flow is weak or why water pressure in some rooms is strong while almost non-existent in other parts of your home?

However, it is good to have an idea of the problem before calling for professional help. You can contact www.valleyglenplumbing.com if you need one. They has skillful team to help you.

So here are some of the more common concerns when it comes to water pressure and water flow.

  1. Why is it that there is no water flowing anywhere in the home except for a single area?

no water flowing

This is the rule of thumb, when it comes to no or low water flow, always look at the simplest solution.  Remove and clear the strainers of the faucets.  Remove top of toilet fill valves, flushed, and replaced.  This is done to compensate for the flushing being done by the local water district that breaks debris and eventually ends in the pipes of many homes.

In this instance the debris are scattered all over the plumbing system of your home clogging up the faucets and valves resulting in this condition.

  1. How can calcium buildup be removed and prevented?

Calcium buildup

Did you know that calcium buildup in copper pipes is a very rare condition?  This does not mean that it is impossible.  Calcium buildup can happen when excessively high calcium levels are present in the water.  Having said this, the best way to remove and prevent calcium buildup is to have water softeners installed in your system.

The water softener will treat the water, save your pipes, and other plumbing appliances like dishwashers, washing machine, and toilets.  There is no way to remove the calcium in the pipes using any commercial or industrial solution that will not endanger your potable water supply. In fact, government regulations prevent plumbers from treating the insides of copper pipes because of the potential dangers.

Is it hopeless?  Not exactly!  Vinegar is often used for treating pipes, but this translates to huge amounts of vinegar that must be allowed to sit in your pipes overnight at the very least.  All the water in the pipe must also be flushed out.

Does this work?  Presumably yes, because of the ability of vinegar to dissolve calcium and minerals.  After this treatment you have to flush the pipes and you would have to live with the harmless vinegar-like taste of your water for some time.

Is there an easier solution?  For one, you can replace the copper pipes with PEX plastic ones.  This material is totally resistant to mineral buildups and has comparatively higher water pressure and flow rates compared to copper piping.  Seek professional advice before going through with this solution for proper evaluation of your plumbing pipes.

  1. Why is the inside water pressure poor even if the outside pressure is at normal level?

water pipe

When you are fairly certain that the outside pressure is roughly around 60 psi, there are some things that you must check in your home.

  • Verify all faucet strainers are not blocked;
  • Check for mineral buildup in aerators or strainers;
  • Make sure that the main valve is not halfway open; and
  • The meter valve should be completely turned on.

Are your pipes made from galvanized metal?  If so, the cause of the low inside pressure can be calcium and mineral deposits.  You have to be aware that galvanized pipes that are 30 to 50 years old can cause calcium to leech into the water and attach to the inside lining of the pipes.

The ion exchange will take place over time and will coat the entire length of the pipe causing the inner diameter to drastically reduce until water flow becomes almost impossible.

Did you know that deposits are almost as hard as the bones in your body making it difficult to remove them?  Using tools or liquid treatments can make the water dangerous for drinking afterwards.

4 Easy Ways to Fix Pipe Leaks

4 Easy Ways to Fix Pipe Leaks

It is a given that somehow, somewhere down the line, our plumbing pipes will spring a leak.  When simply brushed aside, small leaks tend to get bigger and waste more water.  The result, higher water bills and quite possibly more damage as well as repair costs.  This is why it is important to know what to do if your pipes are leaking.

  1. Waterproof Tape

Waterproof Tape

Do you have a leak that is small enough to be taped over?  If so, one of the quickest and easiest solutions is to use a waterproof tape and wrap the damaged portion of the pipe.  When using this quick fix, it is important to make sure that the pipe is completely dry; so you need to turn off the water supply first.

Taping should begin approximately 2 to 3 inches from the damaged portion and extend the same length beyond it.  If there is a hole on the pipe instead of a crack, get a material that can be plugged into the hole before taping over it.  This will ensure that the plug is kept in place and the leak is temporarily addressed.  Remember that this is a temporary fix and should never be taken as a long-term solution for any type of leaks.

  1. Patch Kits

patch kits

Another option that can help in addressing pipe leaks in your home are patch kits that can be bought from your local hardware stores or home center.  These kits come with a rubber pad that should be placed over the damaged portion of your pipe.  It will be held in place by metal plates that are screwed and tightened to ensure that the rubber does not get displaced.

If you have a spare inner tube or an old hose, you can cut out a piece from these and use them in place of the rubber pad.  You would need C-clamps to make sure that these materials hold and stay in place.  Make sure that there is adequate pressure applied to the rubber to maintain the pressure inside the pipes and ensure that this temporary solution works.

  1. Putty or Compound Sticks

epoxy putty

For many homes, epoxy putty and compound sticks have become popular remedies for leaky pipes.  This is primarily because they are widely available and easy to use.  Simply follow the direction on how to apply them on the leaky pipe and you are almost done.

You have to make sure that the damaged portion is completely dry before applying the solution and you must leave it there for a substantially long time.  This means that your water supply will also be turned off for quite some time depending on how big the damaged portion is.  For almost pinhole-sized leaks, you can use the compound stick and still allow the water to run.  However, over time, there is a huge possibility that the pinhole-sized leak can suddenly balloon into something huge, especially if the water pipe condition is no longer sound.

  1. Professional Plumber

professional plumbing

Did you notice anything about the first 3 ways to stop pipe leaks?  Yes, they are all temporary fixes for a considerably serious plumbing problem!  Keep in mind that there are several types of plumbing leaks that can occur on your pipes; and there is no one-size fits all solution for these.

What does this mean?  What do you do if your pipes are leaking?  You can use the abovementioned temporary fixes as you call on a professional plumber and wait for them to arrive.  It is entirely possible that the leaks you are seeing are merely symptoms or offshoots of something bigger just waiting to burst.  Professional plumbers will also give you an accurate assessment on the condition of your water pipes.

What to do if your pipes are leaking?  Head on over to plumbinglongbeach.us to get professional and reliable plumbing services 24 hours a day!

Understanding Wood Stove Installation Cost

Understanding Wood Stove Installation Cost

Wood stove installation cost

source : http://mammothwoodstoves.com/

Do you know that installing a wood stove provides you with an energy-efficient way of making your home more comfortable?  It is important to remind everyone that although a wood stove increases the value of your home, it can also be a fire hazard if not properly installed.  This is why when considering the wood stove installation cost, you need to factor in all the essentials.

Wood stove installation cost

souce : http://moneycrux.com/

The Cost of the Wood Stove

Choosing a reputable brand from a dependable manufacturer is one of the most basic steps in ensuring safety for your home.  Normally, a good wood stove would cost about $3,000 to $4,200.  Smaller pieces can go for as low as $1,000 while more elegant ones can be as high as $10,000 or even more.

You can get back some of this amount through biomass tax credit by the federal government or if you were to sell your home.  Properties that have a wood stove installed can be sold about $2,000 to $3,000 more for every wood stove installed.

Wood stove installation cost

source : http://i1.wp.com/

UL Chimney

Still in terms of safety, you need to make sure that you are installing an Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) approved chimney for your wood stove.  These types of chimneys usually have stainless steel insulation.  Kits can be priced differently based on its length and manner of installation.  Normally, a 3-foot UL chimney can go for $86 while double-wall variants can be around $25.  The rain caps are in the price range of $28 to $68 with the t-sections going as high as $45.

Wood stove installation cost

source : http://www.hearthtools.com/

The Stovepipe

This allows you to connect the wood stove to the chimney.  It should be painted with high temperature paint and made from 22-gauge steel.  The diameter is from 6 to 8 inches and come in either single- or double-wall variants.  The venting technology widely depends on the stovepipe manufacturer.  Average price is about $20 with stovepipe kits going for at least $79.

Wood stove installation cost

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UL Wall Shield

For smaller homes, installation of a wood stove should include the covering of wall with non-combustible materials to protect it from fire.  If there is enough space, the stovepipe should be positioned 18 inches from the walls and ceiling at the very least.  Make sure that you use a UL approved wall shield that can be bought for about $10 for a 15 square foot sheet.

The cement boards used to protect your walls can also be used to protect your floor.  Although newer wood stove models have pre-installed heat shields, safety dictates that it should be placed on top of a non-combustible surface.

Extend the protective surface 8 inches from all sides and about 18 inches away from the front door.  Combine the UL approved cement boards with UL standard custom hearth pads that sell for $423 and you benefit from ember protection.

Wood stove installation cost

source : http://www.comfortservices.com/

Professional Installation

All of the above safety precautions would be for naught if you do not hire a professional to do the installation.  Factor in the delivery charge for the supplies and the wood stove that normally is around $200.  Professional installation will set you back another $1,700 depending on your actual location.  Colder cities usually have higher professional installation fees that would average around $2,600.  This cost however will save you as much as 39 hours of installation time.

Are all of these costs worth it?  When you consider the kind of ambience that a wood stove brings into a room, yes it is!  You are paying for more than just a wood stove, you are getting a centerpiece that drastically increases the value of your home in a clean, efficient, and safe way.  Contact your professional installer today and start enjoying your wood stove.

Reason Why Air Conditioner not Cooling House

Reason Why Air Conditioner not Cooling House

Air conditioner not cooling house

source : http://www.todayshomeowner.com/

How would you feel if your air conditioner fails to deliver cold air into your house?  Frustrating and probably even irritating, right?  Well, for most people, they would immediately jump to the conclusion that it is a lack of refrigerant causing the problem.  Guess what, it is not always the refrigerant’s fault.

When the air conditioner not cooling house, it is time to call in professional help to get to the root of the problem.  Here are some possible areas of concern that you should focus on.

Air conditioner not cooling house

source : www.uq.edu.au

Thermostat Settings

In many instances, when an air conditioner fails to blow cold air it has something to do with the thermostat settings.  Sometimes the settings are accidentally changed, for example if it has been moved to the heat setting, there is no way that it will deliver cold air.

Check the fan settings as well to make sure that it is in the right position.  If the fan is set to on it will continue to blow air into the house even if it is not getting colder.  Because there is no cold air produced, it would seem logical that the unit is low on refrigerant, which is not really the case.  Put the thermostat in auto mode to make the unit blow cold air only.

Air conditioner not cooling house

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Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of your air conditioner should always be clean to ensure that it does not affect the cold air delivery system.  A dirty outdoor unit will obviously impact how the rest of your air conditioner functions.  The outdoor unit should be cleaned once a year at the very least.

Visually check that there are no physical obstructions to the outdoor unit like bushes, grass, or tree branches for example.  The obstructions can prevent the refrigerant from effectively cooling the air that is delivered into your house.  When cleaning the outdoor unit use a water sprayer or to be on the safe side, have a professional air conditioning technician do the cooling to have it checked as well.

Air conditioner not cooling house

souce : http://comcocontrols.com/

Electrical Panel

Since the air conditioner runs on electricity, any problem with its main electrical panel or any of its secondary circuits will eventually affect its cold air delivery system.  Although a blown fuse or tripped breaker may stop the unit’s operation completely, more subtle electrical problems can affect how cold air is produced by the unit.  Have a professional check it immediately for your safety.

Air conditioner not cooling house

source : http://img.directindustry.com/

Air Filters

Having a clean air filter is critical to ensuring that your air conditioner continuous to deliver cold air into your house.  The dirt of the air filter blocks the airflow return making it more difficult the cold air back into your house.  This is why it is important to have the air filter replaced or cleaned regularly.

Air conditioner not cooling house

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Thermostat Sensor

Aside from the thermostat settings, you also need to consider the thermostat sensor as a potential source of the problem why your air conditioner is not blowing cold air.  Because this is located inside the unit, it is important to have a professional check it to make sure it has not been knocked out of position.  When not functioning properly it fails to accurately measure the air temperature from the evaporative coil resulting in erratic operation.

Air conditioner not cooling house

source : http://www.hiwtc.com/

Leaking Refrigerant

And the most common and well known cause for an air conditioner not cooling a house is the refrigerant leak.  It is important to point out that adding more refrigerant is not the right solution.  Professional air conditioner technicians first have to fix the leak and test it before the system is recharged with the right amount of refrigerant.  Maintaining the proper level of refrigerant is best for the air conditioner unit.

Now that you know that when an air conditioner fails to cool a house it is not always because of the refrigerant.  Always keep your unit in good working condition by contacting a professional technician to have it checked regularly to save you money.

How to Make Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent ?

How to Make Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent ?

how to make homemade liquid laundry detergent

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If you buy a commercial laundry detergent from the store, you would be paying nearly $100 for 5 gallons depending on the brand you prefer.  Would you like to know how to make homemade liquid laundry detergent for significantly less?  In fact, how about making 5 gallons of liquid laundry detergent that is only about $2 worth?  Read on and find out how.

how to make homemade liquid laundry detergent

source : http://anupjadhav.com/

What You Need

For many homemakers, the value of making homemade liquid laundry detergent is the enormous savings it brings as well as the flexibility of choosing the type of scent they want.  There are many places where you can buy the necessary ingredients making this project quite easy to accomplish.  Here are the ingredients that you will need and the average cost.

  • Washing Soda ($2.99)
  • Borax ($2.99)
  • Fels Naptha ($0.97)
  • Water
  • 5 Gallon Bucket with lid
  • Essential Oils ($5.00/4 ounces – optional, for added scent)

As you can see, the basic ingredients of washing soda, borax, and Fels Naptha comes to a total of $6.95 only!  But, you will not use up these ingredients for a 5-gallon liquid laundry detergent.  This means that you can actually do two batches for this recipe by adding just a bit of Fels Naptha.

It should be pointed out that the essential oils do not contribute anything in terms of cleaning power.  However, it does enhance the smell of your homemade liquid laundry detergent, comparable or even better than most commercial brands.  For a 5-gallon batch you will only use about half an ounce to 1 oz at the most.  A 4 oz bottle can therefore last for 4 batches at the very least.

how to make homemade liquid laundry detergent

source : http://www.ineedmotivation.com/

What to Do

The key to coming up with a great cleaning homemade liquid laundry detergent is to make sure that all the ingredients come together properly.  Just follow these simple steps and you will not go wrong.

  1. Grate the Fels Naptha soap until it is completely shredded.
  2. Put the shredded Fels Naptha in 4 cups of hot water. Place in medium to high heat and frequently stir until all the soap shreds are melted.  This should take roughly about 10 minutes.
  3. Get your 5-gallon bucket and fill it halfway with hot water. Add in your melted soap mixture to dilute it.
  4. Stir in a cup of borax as well as a cup of washing soda to the mix.
  5. The optional essential oils should be added at this point if you decide to use it. Use half an ounce to 1oz of the essential oils based on the intensity of the scent you want.  You can add more if desired; just make sure the scent is not overpowering.
  6. Fill the 5-gallon bucket to the brim with warm water and stir the mixture again. Make sure that your stirrer reaches all the way to the bottom of the bucket; otherwise, get a pair of rubber dish gloves and use your hands.
  7. Snap on the lid of the bucket and allow it to sit for about 24 hours on the average.

After 24 hours you can now start using your homemade liquid laundry detergent.  Just to be safe, try it on a small piece of cloth first to avoid damaging any of your laundry.

how to make homemade liquid laundry detergent

source : http://cdn.awesomecuisine.com/

Proper Storage

Obviously, you will not use the entire 5 gallons of your homemade liquid laundry detergent in one washing.  To properly store your product, divide it into smaller container or use one container that you can refill as need be.

If the detergent becomes gel-like in appearance, you can dilute it in more hot water.  You do not have to add the other ingredients, just the water.  The gel-like detergent will liquefy anyway as it is mixed into your laundry water.  Not diluting the product will keep its cleaning power intact.

Now that you know how to make homemade liquid laundry detergent, you can look forward to more washes with significant savings!

The Best Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipes

The Best Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipes

best homemade floor cleaner

source : http://cleaningallstars.com/

Why would anyone want a homemade floor cleaner?  This is a valid question considering that there are many commercially available ones that are extremely affordable.  One of the most common reasons is that homemade floor cleaners can clean as good, but without the harsh and possibly dangerous chemical ingredients.

Commercially available floor cleaners can also negatively impact the quality of air in your home.  With all of these in mind and most ingredients readily available in your home, here are some of the best homemade floor cleaner recipes you can try to get a safe shine.

best homemade floor cleaner

source : http://sevaniskin.com/

Scented Floor Cleaner

Having shiny and nice smelling floors may well just be the best combination ever.  You can try this concoction at home simply by mixing 2 cups of warm water with half a cup of vinegar and a fourth of a cup of isopropyl rubbing alcohol.  Add in about 3 drops of liquid dish washing soap with around 5 to 10 drops of essential oils.

Keep in mind to use dish washing soap that DOES NOT HAVE oxygen bleach, moisturizer, or antibacterial ingredients.  This is to ensure that your floors remain streak-free when everything is clean and dry.

Choose essential oils that are not compound oils like those with grape seed for example.  You can mix equal parts of orange and peppermint essential oils to get that summer appeal; or lavender and cedar mixture that is appropriate for the winter season.

Did you know that using peppermint essential oils can help deter mice and ants?  A bonus is that when you get a scent mixture that you love you can also use it as an air freshener in your home.

best homemade floor cleaner

source : http://www.shopwoodstockhardware.com/

All-Purpose Floor Cleaner

In the search for the best homemade floor cleaner, there are few that can be as desirable as an all-purpose floor cleaner.  The basic recipe requires mixing equal parts of water, alcohol, and vinegar, plus a few drops of dish washing soap.  Alcohol ensures a streak-free shiny floor because of its ability to quickly evaporate.  The dish washing soap helps to clean off those tough dirt and grime that may stick to your floor.

This cleaner can work well even with laminated flooring material or even tile floors normally installed in your kitchen.  The great thing about homemade floor cleaners like this one is that you can easily tweak it to suit your preference.  For example, if you find the smell of vinegar overpowering, you can add a mixture of essential oils, which incidentally also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

This particular recipe that includes antimicrobial and antiseptic properties require:

  • 1 cup of water;
  • ¾ cup of alcohol;
  • ¾ cup of vinegar; and
  • 10 drops of dish washing soap; and
  • 5 drops of tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and orange essential oils

An added bonus with this particular homemade mixture is that it can work well with mirrors, windows, and even stainless steel appliances.  That is why it is considered as an all-around floor cleaner; it cleans all kinds of floors and then some as well!

best homemade floor cleaner

source : http://cdn.sheknows.com/

Homemade Floor Cleaner for Natural Wood

For many homeowners, natural wood floors cost a lot of money.  This is why cleaning and protecting them can be quite challenging.  However, with this homemade floor cleaner, you can rest assure that your investment will be well taken care of.

Mix half a cup of white vinegar with a teaspoon of vegetable oil.  Make sure that they are mixed in well before you rub it into your wooden floor.  Rubbing lightly will clean the dirty spots and bring back the original shine of the floor without damaging it.  As with the other recipes, essential oils will do wonders in terms of improving the fragrance of your homemade floor cleaner.

Just a few reminders before you jump up for joy for discovering the best homemade floor cleaner solution for your home.  First, make sure to test the cleaning solution in a small part of your floor first to make sure that there will be no damage.  Second, always dry the floor completely to make sure that no one will accidentally slip.  Here’s to keeping your floors safe and clean!

Easy Ways to Watering Plants While on Vacation

Easy Ways to Watering Plants While on Vacation

watering plants while on vacation

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So how do you make sure that your little green friends remain lush and healthy as you go on a much needed vacation?  The truth is that not all plants can be properly hydrated by sealing a plastic bag over them to have a makeshift greenhouse that will keep the soil moist.

Being a caring and responsible plant lover need not be that difficult.  Successfully watering plants while on vacation is not as difficult as you may think; let us show you how.

watering plants while on vacation

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1. Drip Water Irrigation System

This is both an ideal and cheap solution to watering your garden plants as you take your vacation.  Just get a plastic bottle for every plant that you have.  If you have potted trees, make sure to use a double-bottle for proper hydration.  Make sure that there is enough saturation for every plant before you insert the plastic bottle.  This ensures that the bottle will not become empty too fast.

To prevent dirt from blocking the bottle mouth, put a small screen on it.  This quick and easy solution can last for about 3 days (just enough for a weekend trip) and takes only about 5 minutes or less for every plant.  Aqua globes are more elegant and expensive alternatives; make sure you buy the right size for your plants.  Push in the globe angled to prevent dirt from clogging.

watering plants while on vacation

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2. Soak and Mulch

Are you going on vacation longer than 3 days?  This solution would give you about a week or so of adequate plant hydration.  Did you know that mulched plants lose water at a rate of 25 percent slower than those that are unmulched?  This of course would depend on the current season or weather.

Soak your plants generously before adding the mulch layer.  Although this may stress some of the plants, it will never come to a point that they may die.  You do not have to add more mulch if there is an existing one.  You simply need to make sure that the water seeps in deeper under the surface soil.  Adequate mulch around the roots of the plant is enough.

watering plants while on vacation

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3. Rain Barrels

As its name suggests, this is used to store rain or free water.  To use it to water your plants while you are on vacation, you need to attach the soaker hose so that you can run it through the garden.  This allows the water to slowly saturate the ground as it gently leeches through the hose.  Make sure that the ground is well soaked before you leave to allow it to absorb better.

Make sure to fill the rain barrel to the brim as well to make sure it does not run out of water.  You can fill it with tap water, it does not necessarily have to store rain water.  Use a mosquito control solution to ensure that you do not come home to an infestation and health hazard.

watering plants while on vacation

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4. String Watering System

You would have never thought that solving your watering problems could be so simple.  With a simple nylon string or cotton you can create a watering system that will keep your plants fully hydrated while you are away on vacation.  To maintain the efficiency of this system use a string that is completely water absorbent.  This allows the water to make its way up the string and to the roots of your plants.

When you use a thin cord, always braid the pieces together so that it can hold the water better.  Make sure that the container you will use can hold enough water for the size of the plant it will keep watered.

When choosing any of these solutions to watering plants while on vacation, make sure that you do your test run before packing your bags and heading out the door.  These will help you enjoy your vacation without worrying about your beloved plants.