Monday, November 29, 2010

Grease Stains

The Thanksgiving holiday inevitably brings grease stains, what a mess! But not one that you have to live with! With these easy ideas, those stains won't be a problem anymore.

1. Work fast. The sooner you catch it, the better luck you'll have removing it.

2. If someone spills grease on your tablecloth or placemats, put some paper towels between the fabric and the table, and apply some grease cutting dish detergent or shampoo directly on the stain. After you have finished your meal, wash the fabric as usual, the soap should have cut up the grease and washing will rinse away the soap. (Never dry an item that is stained until you're sure the stain is gone, as heat will set the stain.)

3. If the stain is on upholstery, rub some cornmeal into the stain and leave it there for a little while. The cornmeal will absorb the oil and you will see it clump a little as it does. Once the grease is absorbed just vacuum the cornmeal.

4. If the stain is right on your table or other wood furniture, sprinkle the area with baby powder and rub the powder into the stain. This will absorb the grease, then just brush away the powder and polish the wood.

This week on Mrs. FIXIT

I'll help you get the perfect lighting scheme for your home!
Essential oils can help you clean and disinfect all over your home - I'll show you how!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Timeline

Thanksgiving, it sounds so peaceful getting together with friends and family. But if you're in charge it can be anything but. Well, I have some ideas to help out!

1. Sit down and make a cooking timeline, write down all of the dishes that go in the oven, the temperature they need and the cooking time. Then group things together so you're not scrambling and overstuffing the oven on the big day.

2. Chop and measure ingredients in advance, you shouldn't make the stuffing ahead of time, but there is no reason that you can't chop the celery and onions and store them in plastic in the fridge. This will save you time and mess on the big day.

3. Do yourself a favor and use a disposable roasting pan. You won't have to worry about the clean up, just remember to put a cookie sheet under the pan to make it sturdier for moving.

4. And finally, for those thanksgiving stains, have some white cloths, some club soda, lemons and shaving cream on hand. Inevitably something will get spilled. And these are all purpose stain removers.

I hope these tips help you enjoy your week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking for a Good Book?

Get yourself an autographed copy of Mrs. FIXIT's Easy Home Repair on my website! It's just that simple!

Build Up on Wood Furniture

Sometimes a build-up of wax and polish can cause a hazy film on your wood furniture. The good news is that it is usually pretty easy to clean up.

1. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a pint of tepid water. Soak a clean washcloth in the solution and wring it out. Rub the haze lightly with the cloth being careful not to get too much water onto the wood. Then, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe up any excess. If there are several layers of polish you may have to repeat the process.

2. A white haze can also be caused by moisture stuck in the wood's surface. Try taking some wood ashes from your fireplace, and mixing them with a little water to form a paste. Work that paste into the piece with a washcloth until you see the haze disappearing. Then clean the wood off with the vinegar and water mixture. (If you don't have a fireplace, you could also try some baking soda on a damp cloth. Rub it into the spot and wipe it away with a clean cloth.)

3. Once you've removed all that white film from your furniture, try polishing the surface with some lemon oil.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tips & Ideas to Paint a Room

I'm sure you know how to paint, but sometimes it's the little things that can make the project go a whole lot smoother, I have some tips to help you out.

1. When taping off your room, run a putty knife along the tape to ensure a tight seal and crisp edges.

2. When painting a large space it is sometimes easier to work with a bucket and a painting grid like this rather than a paint tray so you don't have to stop and refill so often.

3. I've said it before, but it warrants repeating, I love a wheeled paint pad for cutting in around a room. Professionals may disagree and opt for a brush, but for the amateur painter it gives nice control, coverage, and crisp clean edges!

4. A gallon milk jug with the side opposite the handle cut out makes a great "cutting in tote." Dip the small paint pad inside and scrape the excess off on your cut edge so it drips back into the jug!

5. When rolling walls, work in a "w" pattern in small three foot sections evening out the paint as you go.

6. If you need to stop in the middle of a job finish a whole wall and stop at a corner, otherwise you'll end up with lap marks that will be difficult to mask.

7. If you need to stop in the middle of a job finish a whole wall and stop at a corner, otherwise you'll end up with lap marks that will be difficult to mask.

If you're looking for hands on advice while working on a paint project - visit a specialty paint shop - My friends at Sherwin Williams never steer me wrong! To check out the lastest and greatest in paint visit

Bi-Fold Door Problems

Bi-fold doors are a common choice for many closets, but you can run into some problems. Generally it's one of three things. They don't meet in the center, they press too closely together and won't close, or they're uneven. All three are easy to fix!

1. Remove the door by lifting it up and out of the bottom pivot, swinging it away from the bottom bracket and then pulling the top pivot out of it's bracket.

2. Once the door is removed you can easily loosen the adjusting screw and slide the bracket into the position you want. If the doors don't meet, move the top and bottom brackets toward center. If the doors press together too hard and won't close at all, move the brackets away from center. As for the door that is uneven and looks like it's sagging towards center, move only the top bracket slightly away from the center.

3. Bi-fold doors have a liner down the inside to help hold them closed where normal wear & tear can bend them. If this is the case, gently bend them back into shape with a pair of pliers.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Shopping - Inventory Close Out

Check out Mrs. FIXIT's online store - we're having a holiday inventory closeout sale!

Looking for Cool Electrical Gadgets?

Mrs. FIXIT is Talking Electrical Safety & Conservation with Legrand, Pass & Seymour!
15 Minute Makeovers: Get a whole makeover in one, easy changeover. And get benefits that are hard to live without - energy efficiency, added safety, and a bright new look for years to come! You'll never get so much back for 15 minutes of your time. Installation is so easy, all you do is take out your old switch or outlet and replace it with a sleek, new Legrand/Pass & Seymour product in the same opening. You can do it - and you'll love it when you do!

Getting in Gear for Thanksgiving!

Are you ready to give thanks? Or maybe not, if you're hosting the party. I have some timesavers to help!

1. Use a three ring binder to organize your holidays. You can keep shopping lists, menu plans and recipes for every holiday in the binder. You'll always know where they are, you can add to it anytime!

2. Prepare and freeze anything that you can in advance. It will save you time and space on the holiday!

3. Whenever you're cooking in the oven, clip a battery powered timer to your clothes so that you don't have to worry about not hearing the timer and burning your dish!

4. For thanksgiving leftovers pick up take out containers at your local restaurant supply store. This way you can send leftovers home with your guests without worrying about getting your dishes back.

5. Finally, lay out all of your serving dishes in advance and use sticky notes to label what you want in each. This way, when people are trying to help, you can direct them to the notes and not send them searching through the cabinets!

Easy Ideas to help you through the holiday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blogging about Crackle Paint Teachniques on AOL!!

Check out AOL's DIY Life for a cool teachnique for crackle painting with school glue!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yard Work!

If you spend a lot of time working in your yard, there are a few annoying things that can crop up. Well, I have a few ideas that will make it a lot easier!

1. If you rake your lawn you know all about blisters. They're awful, but there's a way to rake and save your hands. Pick up some foam pipe insulation at your local hardware store. A 3/4 inch pipe is about the same size as your rake's handle. Just stretch the insulation over the length and say good-bye to those blisters.

2. To prevent garden tools from rusting, make sure that you clean them after you're done using them. An easy way to do that is to keep a bucket of sand mixed with some oil nearby. When you're finished in the garden, just jab the tools into the bucket several times. The sand will scour away stuck-on dirt and the oil will help prevent rusting.

3. Protect garden tools with automotive paste wax by simply applying a light coat to your tools.

Let it Dry~

Although it might be a test of will power there are some messes that you might want to let sit before you clean them up to get the best results.

1. If you spill nail polish on your carpet don't reach for the water, instead let it dry completely before you touch it. As the polish dries the solvents will evaporate out. Once it's dry, use a butter knife or an old spoon to go back and forth over the carpet working the spill out. The raking motion from the spoon will turn it back to dust and then you can simply vacuum it away!

2. Mud is another mess better left alone. If you add water to mud you just get more mud. Let the tracks dry up. Then use a broom to loosen the mess from the carpet fibers. Finally, vacuum the dirt away!

3. Paint, you might think I'm crazy but for drips on linoleum, vinyl, metal, glass and appliances let it dry, and then use a credit card to chip the drip off of the surface.

Stick it out - let it dry and you'll see!!! Weekly Poll!

Don't forget to take my weekly poll on! It's one of the ways I decide what to do in upcoming segments!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Need to Replace a Ceramic Tile?

You know that one ceramic tile that's loose -- or keeps popping off, only to glued back down? It's time to reset it the right way, for long-lasting results. For the step-by-step directions, check out my post on AOL's DIY Life! It's just that simple!

Bungee Cords

You may not think bungee cords are an essential, but they come in handy for all sorts of things!

1. For emergency childproofing, keep several small cords handy to secure cabinets and doors. Just stretch the cord around the handles.

2. If you've got a load a little too big for your trunk, just attach some cords to the hook at the back of the trunk and then to the top. It will secure the trunk door for your trip.

3. If you have to move furniture with drawers, secure a long cord all the way around the dresser from front to back, and watch those drawers stay in place.

4. If you can't find the cords in the size you want, make your own. Buy some bungee cording material with no hooks on it, then buy some hooks. Decide how long you need the cord, and snip it off giving yourself a few extra inches to connect the hooks. Thread the end through the hook and tie it off.

Now that's stretching an items uses!!

Talkin' Turkey Basters!!!

If you only pull out your turkey baster on thanksgiving you're missing out on some great alternative uses for these little wonders!

1. In the kitchen, sure it can baste a turkey, but it will also make filling muffin tins and making pancakes much easier, just suck up some batter and then squirt it right where you need it.

2. If you drop an egg you can use a turkey baster to easily suck up the majority of the mess, then simply wipe up whatever is remaining!

3. If you overfilled the coffeemaker, use a turkey baster to remove the excess water without making a big mess.

4. Fresh flowers last longer when you add freshwater every couple of days, rather than bringing the arrangement to the faucet, uses a turkey baster to get water down into the vase with no mess! It can also help you reach high plants to water them without climbing.

5. If you have a baby in the house, add a turkey baster to your bath supplies for a gentle rinse that won't scare the little one!

Simple uses for an old Thanksgiving staple!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Squeaky Wood Floor

Squeaky floors can be a real annoyance, especially if you can't get to them from below. I'll tell you how to silence these squeaks for good. Mark the squeaky areas with some painter's tape, so you have a visual of where you need to work. Your goal is to secure the floorboards to the sub-floor to eliminate the friction between them. That's what's causing the squeak Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your nails, drill two pilot holes into one floorboard, the holes should be angled towards each other at a forty-five degree angle. Drive ring-shanked nails into the holes. Using a nail set, counter sink the heads below the surface of the floor. Use some putty to fill the holes, and allow it to dry completely. Gently sand and polish the area to blend the repair into the floor. Stain the putty to match the floor. No squeaks!

Special Price Alert!!!

We're running a special on through the holidays - you can get my book Mrs. FIXIT's Easy Home Repair for only $6.99 - and it's autographed! Can't beat that!

Weekly Poll

Did you know that I have a weekly poll on my website - the results will often help me figure out what to do in upcoming segments - vote each week!! It's just that simple!