Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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Care of Bedding

From the mattress to the pillows, bedding can be an investment, so you want to take care of it the best way to make it last longer.

1. When you change your bedding, vacuum it thoroughly to remove dust.

2. Buy a good mattress pad. It fits on snugly like a sheet and protects the mattress from excess dust and oils from your skin.

3. Protect your pillows with zip-on covers. This way you can just unzip and throw the cover in the wash, instead of washing the whole pillow.

4. When you wash your blankets, use the delicate cycle, to help prevent matting.

5. Bedspreads are generally too big to wash at home. Check the care label for instructions, then either take it to the laundromat or the dry cleaners.

6. If you're not sure, you should test for colorfastness before you wash it. Mix a little water with some soap and dip the corner of the bedspread into it. If the fabric dyes start to bleed, you may want to go with dry-cleaning.

7. To fluff and freshen A down comforter, pillows or a bedspread, put them in the dryer with a clean pair of sneakers and some dryer sheets.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cleaning Screens

Window screens help you enjoy the nice weather by circulating fresh air while eliminating any worry about insects. When screens get dirty, they make a mess of your windows. Every time it rains, the grime from those screens will spot the glass.

1. To clean without taking down the screens, wipe them every couple of weeks with an old pair of nylon stockings or an onion bag. Both of these items will scrub off dust without damaging your screens. You can also try the soft brush attachment on your vacuum.

2. Once a year you should pull your screens down and give them a good washing. The easiest way to do this is to lay them on a flat, cloth covered surface so you don't risk stretching them out. Scrub the screens with warm soapy water. For tougher dirt, add a little vinegar to the mix. When they're clean, just rinse them off with your garden hose.

3. An easy way to clean a screened porch is to use a sprayer attachment on your hose. Cover the floor with some old sheets or towels. Then spray from the inside out. The strong spray will clean away the dirt quickly and easily.

Grouping Pictures

Grouping pictures together on a wall can really make a statement, but it can be intimidating.

1. Lay a large sheet of paper out on the floor. Play with arranging the pictures on the paper. Remember that the top line of an arrangement should be level to guide the eye in the right direction.

2. When you're finished, trace around each picture frame to make a template.

3. Number each picture with a sticky note and write that number on the template.

4. Remove the pictures. As you do, flip each over and use a ruler to measure how far down you will need the nail and mark that on your template.

5. Attach the template to the wall with some tape, and gently tap an awl at each spot you've marked for your nails.

6. Take down the paper and put in the nails. Then you can hang the pictures according to the numbers on your map.

Problem Solvers - Some Bright Ideas!!

I have some solutions to some annoying household problems, coming up next.

1. Everyone runs into some little problems here and there. Well, I have some solutions that'll help.

2. If you need some targeted light while working in a dark area, attach a little clip on reading light to the visor of a baseball cap. The light will move with you and direct that beam just where you need it.

3. Cleaning the glass of a light fixture that can't be removed can be tricky. Well, once it's cool spritz some rubbing alcohol on a sponge tipped paintbrush. The brush will give you a longer reach and will easily clear the glass inside the fixture. These brushes also work great for reaching tight corners on windows and glass doors.

4. Vacuming and can't find the crevice tool. Well in a pinch, attach one end of a paper towel tube to your vacuum nozzle and flatten the other end. This will allow you to easily reach under your stone or refrigerator or cabinet.

5. Looking for a longer reach? Try a wrapping paper tube.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Potting Houseplants

Potting plants can be relaxing and enjoyable. Here are some easy tips you can follow to ensure that your plants stay healthy in the long run.

1. Make sure that your pots have plenty of drainage so there is someplace for excess water to go. To do this make sure there are holes in the bottom of your pots.

2. Add a drainage layer to the bottom. A couple of things you could use are crumpled coffee filters or foam packing peanuts. My favorite is to cut a circle out of a disposable diaper the size of the bottom of your pot. Stick the diaper in there and then finish potting the plant. Now, when you water, the diaper will absorb water that otherwise might leak all over your table!

3. When you've finished potting your plants, an easy way to keep them pest free is to stick a whole peeled garlic clove into the soil. It will keep bugs out.

4. Here's some easy ways to add minerals to your plant soil. First, cool the water after you've boiled eggs, and use it to water your plants. Or, water your plants using flat club soda.

Vodka? Really!

Vodka compliments more than a martini, I have some household solutions that may surprise you.

1. Use vodka to clean gold and gemstone jewelry. Soak your jewels in a dish of vodka and then scrub clean with a soft toothbrush. The vodka will dissolve grime and leave your rocks with a little more bling!

2. If you're having people over and you've run out of bathroom cleaner pour some vodka into a spray bottle. It will put a quick shine on chrome fixtures and mirrors and it will remove stains from bathtub caulk.

3. Vodka can also benefit your fresh cut flowers. Pour a tablespoon or so into the water in your vase, it will kill bacteria that can harm your plants and it will keep the water nice and clean.

4. Anytime you cut "bulb" flowers like tulips or irises, mix together three cups of water and a tablespoon of vodka. The vodka will keep the stems of the flowers nice and firm so that you don't end up with slumped over blooms. Gives new meaning to a stiff drink!!!!

Can It!! Recycling Tin Cans!

Can it be done? Can we find alternative uses to these empty tin cans? Of course we can!

1. First off - make sure that if you're re-using a can that you used a can opener to get into, use a sturdy pair of pliers to crimps the outside edge of the can, and this will press down any sharp edges so you won't risk a cut.

2. A big coffee can near your stove top is the perfect spot to corral frequently used cooking utensils.

3. Use a smaller coffee can to stash cash and valuables, and then hide it in the back of the pantry!

4. Line up cans on a desk, craft table or a workbench to store everything from pencils to screwdrivers. Several tin cans lined up across a window sill can make for a cute herb garden.

5. And if you need to shampoo a carpet, slip some tin cans under the feet of the furniture to protect those feet from water and shampoos!

6. If you need to put two card tables together for a party, slip the touching feet in a can to keep the tables from coming apart.

7. And speaking of parties put votive candles inside tin cans and lines them up outside your house to illuminate the walkway. The high sides of the cans will protect the flame from the wind.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Silver Polish

Silver is a beautiful accent in your home or on your table but it takes some care, I have some pointers to keep it looking its best.

1. The first key to keeping silver looking it's best is to protect it from tarnishing, the easiest way to do that is to use yours and enjoy it. Silver that is left out and enjoyed doesn't tarnish as quickly as if it is stored away.

2. Silver has enemies that can damage it and speed up the tarnishing process. Food items to avoid, mustard, mayonnaise, eggs and onions. These items have a lot of sulfur in them which can damage the silver.

3. Other enemies include rubber bands, felt, wood, wool, newspaper and humidity. So if you do need to store your silver, avoid those items and opt to keep it wrapped in an acid free tissue paper or treated bag and keep the area dry.

4. Now, I always get questions about cleaning silver. Simply wash it with warm soapy water and dry it with a nice soft dish towel.

5. And remember after washing it, don't lay the silver on a rubber mat or in a rubber dish drainer, both will jump start the tarnishing process!

6. Some easy ways to keep your silver looking it's best.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Toddler Tips

If you have a curious lil' toddler at home you know they can be a handful, well I have some ideas to help make life a little easier.

1. Toddlers love to color but crayons, even the thick ones can be difficult and if they miss the paper crayons can be a lot of work to get off of surfaces. Instead, grab some sidewalk chalk. Its easy to grasp, it's easy to draw with and it is easy to clean off of clothes, furniture and fingers!

2. Kids at this age are starting to recognize people and things. To help them, put pictures of their favorite people and things into a small sturdy photo album and then ask them to "find" their favorite.

3. Teach your little one to clean up! Have them fill a laundry basket with their toys, or laundry or books. You do it first and they'll mimic your lead.

4. Meal time is messy; if your toddler gets a lot of spills on their highchair but you hate pulling it apart to clean, secure an adult sized apron over the seat and back. The apron will protect the surfaces, but it'll easily remove and throw in the wash!

5. If your little one hates bibs, keep a couple of heavy t-shirts in a size bigger than they wear on hand. While a toddler can pull off a bib, they can't generally get a t-shirt off. Their clothes are protected and the t shirt can be tossed in the laundry when they're done!

Hanging Wainscotting

If installing bead board paneling seems like a huge job, don't despair. It's relatively easy.

1. Decide how high you want the bead board to come up the wall so you can figure out how much paneling you'll need. If you don't have a table saw have the sheets cut to the right size at the home center.

2. Let the panels sit in the room for a couple of days before you install them so they don't expand or contract once they're up!

3. Mark a level horizontal line on the wall where you want the top of the molding to sit. Don't depend on your floor to be level, most aren't. So leave a little space between the bottom of the bead board and the floor so if the flooring shifts the panels won't.

4. Mark the location of wall studs above the level line so you know where to install your finishing nails.

5. If you need to cut holes for electrical boxes, do it before you hang the panels. Remember measure twice, cut once.

6. Apply a paneling adhesive to the back of your sheets in a zigzag. Square the sheet up with your level line and push firmly into place on the wall. Secure it to the studs with nails.

7. To finish the top edge of the bead board, use a piece of cap molding. It has a notch at the edge to rest on the top of the panel. Finish the bottom with baseboard. I also like to install a small piece of cove molding corners to give it a clean, professional look!

8. For more information on installing moldings, check our website!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alternative Uses for Steam Irons

Sure you use your steam iron to press your pants and your shirt but did you know it has so many other uses around your house?

1. A steam iron is the perfect tool for lifting wax from linens. Lay a couple of paper towels over the wax and then press them with the iron, the wax will transfer to the towels as it melts. Move the towels frequently to prevent redepositing the wax.

2. If you move a piece of furniture, use your iron to fluff up crushed carpet fibers. Use a spoon to loosen the fibers up and then hold the iron over the area and let the steam fluff up the carpeting.

3. It's also the perfect choice for applying iron on veneer edging or patches. Simply cut the veneer to the size you need, cover with a piece of heavy paper or a cloth to protect the surface and then press with your iron to activate the glue.

4. To fix dents on wood furniture, poke several holes in the wood with a pin, lay a slightly damp cloth over it and hold the steam iron slightly above the area. This lets in enough moisture to swell the wood to its original size.

5. To fix a loose vinyl tile. Cover the tile with aluminum foil and run a hot iron back and forth over the area. The heat will reactivate the tile adhesive. Then, just stack a couple of books on to hold the repair down for a couple of hours. Don't forget the aluminum foil can get hot so don't get burned.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Listen to Mrs. FIXIT's Tips on Pete & Brenda In the Morning

Listen for Mrs. FIXIT on Pete & Brenda in the Morning on Fridays at 6:40a and Mondays 6:40a and 8:40a. Check the link above for station listings!

Looking for Tools? Need Information

Look for the REALITY CHECKED team @ Sears online! It's just that simple!!

Looking for Child Safe Outlets? Check out Legrand, Pass & Seymour!

A friend has been childproofing her home so I had to share these great child resistant outlets from Legrand, Pass & Seymour. You can not put anything into the slots but a plug - paperclips, bobby pins, keys - nothing fits but a standard plug will slide right in! Plus, as an added bonus the Nightlight/Outlet combo — adds a smooth, sealed LED nightlight that turns on and off automatically.

Find these smart, new switches and outlets in the "Premium Innovative Products" section at Lowe's.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Time & Money Savers

If you feel like you spend half your time and half your paycheck cleaning your house, I have some time and money saving tips for you!

1. If you buy commercial cleansers don't buy them in a spray bottle, buy them in a large bottle you'll get twice as much for half the price, then fill your own spray bottle!

2. If you never use a whole steel wool pad when you do the dishes and it just ends up rusting before you need it again. Cut them in half they'll go twice as far, plus you won't have to clean up that rusty mess.

3. Use baby oil instead of furniture polish, it's inexpensive and it will leave a beautiful shine.

4. Speaking of dusting, buy an inexpensive car washing mitt to use as a dust rag. You'll find you clean much faster, it cleans easily around corners and legs and you'll use less polish because the mitt will hold it and become a pre-treated duster!

5. Dingy toilet? Put a scoop of powdered lemonade mix in there and let it sit for a while you clean the rest of the bathroom, the citric acid in the juice will leave a beautiful shine on the bowl!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hanging Curtains

Hanging curtains can be a frustrating task, but not to worry - I have some ideas to help.

1. If you're looking for an easy way to hang a curtain without mounting brackets, get a tension rod that will fit the width of the window and pull your drape over the rod. Once the curtain is in place, all you have to do is secure the tension rod into the window frame, and straighten out the curtain.

2. If you need a way to hide that tension rod for tab top or sheer curtains, slip it through a copper pipe for those tab tops, or a PVC pipe for the sheers.

3. An easy window treatment for the bathroom is to buy three nice cotton shower curtains. Use one for the shower and the others for the window. It's the perfect match, and if you buy the kind with tie tops you don't have to worry about curtain hooks. Plus, you know they'll stand up to the moisture in the bathroom because that's exactly what they were designed for.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Install a Soap Dispenser

An automatic soap dispenser is a great way to clear up the clutter around your sink and always have soap on hand!

1. To start you will need a one-inch mounting hole in your sink top. Decide where you want the dispenser and use a hole saw for cutting metal to cut the opening. Don't forget to wear safety goggles while you're working.

2. These dispensers come with all of the parts that you will need. Simply lay them out so they're easily accessible.

3. Apply a bead of plumbers putty to the underside of the top part of the dispenser assembly.

4. Slip the top part of the dispenser assembly through the hole and secure it underneath with the washers and nuts provided.

5. Once it is secure, slide the soap container onto the shank under the sink. These containers come in both plastic and metal varieties, so be sure that you read the directions for any variations.

6. If necessary, assemble the plunger and valve assembly. The only thing you may have to do depending upon the model is to insert the supply tube into the cylinder.

7. The final step is to tighten the base of the pump to the sink top.

8. That's it for installation, to fill the dispenser, remove the pump assembly, pour in your favorite liquid soap and replace the pump.

Shower Head Clog

Do you barely have a trickle left in your shower because of mineral deposits and soap scum? Well, I can show you how to get rid of that build-up with products you probably already have in your home.

1. Remove the showerhead and put it in a bowl of undiluted vinegar. Let the fixture soak for a couple of hours. When you take it out of the vinegar, if there are some stubborn spots, just brush them with an old toothbrush until all of the scaling is gone.

2. If you cant get your shower head apart - don't worry, just fill a plastic bag with vinegar and secure it to the shower head with some heavy duty tape or string. Then let the bag soak overnight. In the morning the showerhead will be clean and deposit free. Just remember never to use vinegar on brass or brass plate.

3. For a faster clean up, in a small bowl mix together 1 teaspoon of alum and a quarter of a cup of lemon juice. Saturate a rag with the mixture and scrub the fixture the deposits will literally disappear.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dental Floss

Sure dental floss does a great job at cleaning you teeth, but did you know there are lots of uses for it around the house too.

1. If you don't have a cheese slicer, wrap a length of dental floss around your fingers and slice right through that cheese! (This same concept works well for cheesecakes too!)

2. Cookies that are stuck to the cookie sheet will pop right off when you slide some dental floss under them!

3. An easy favorite is to use that floss to tie back the legs on your next turkey dinner!

4. If your child's back pack gets a tear in it, thread some floss onto a needle with a large eye. Use that to sew up the hole. It's sturdier than regular thread and will hold up to the use. Remember that the next time you need to repair your tent or winter jacket too!

5. Try some dental floss and a soft cloth to clean the crevices in the turned legs on your wood furniture. The floss will get the cloth right where it needs to be!

Picture Hangers

If you've been putting off hanging pictures because you're not sure what hanger you need or the best way to do it, I have some suggestions for you.

1. Try a gummed picture hanger for very lightweight pictures in plastic frames. You won't even have to make a nail hole.

2. To hang something on cinderblock, brick or concrete, use a hardwall hanger. All you have to do is put the flat part against the wall and drive the pins in with a hammer.

3. Traditional hangers and nails come in lots of sizes to support different weights. You just tap them into the wall at an angle and they're ready to use.

4. Even if your hanger is rated for the weight of the picture, two hooks are always safer than one. A little suggestion: triple the length of your picture wire and loop it through the eyes on the back of the frame. Make sure that you twist the wire around itself enough times so it won't slip and will hold securely. Then criss cross the wire. This way the picture's weight will be distributed evenly when you hang it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dryer Dilemmas

I can't imagine laundry without having a dryer, but between crayons and pens and gum and lint you can run into some headaches - I have solutions!

1. The single most important thing you can do to keep your dryer in great working order is to keep the lint trap clean, which means more than simply emptying it after each use. Over a sink run some water into the lint screen. If the screen holds the water, it can't do its job. Turn it upside down and use an old toothbrush and warm running water to clean it out. Then let it completely dry before you run the dryer again.

2. For crayon and ink, use a little white toothpaste on a damp cloth. Rub the cloth in a circular motion to gently buff away the marks left on the drum. Then use a clean damp cloth to clean away any toothpaste residue.

3. Gum in your dryer? Hold a freezer pack wrapped in a washcloth over the gum to harden it. Then use a plastic spatula or plastic putty knife to gently pry the gum off of the drum. Remove any residual residue with some white vinegar on a clean cloth. Then, use a clean damp cloth and water to clean away any residue. Remember always apply a cleaner to a cloth and then to the dryer, don't spray or pour cleaners directly in the dryer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thank you to everyone in Fulton, NY

Hey - I had an amazing time at the Fulton Home Show this weekend! I got to meet lots of wonderful people and picked up a few tips along the way!!! If you'd like to learn more about the Fulton Community Development Agency - Visit thier website here!! Thanks again!!!

Happy Monday!

It's Monday - that means production for me! Working on some great new segments to help you out this spring - stay tuned. And if you don't get Mrs. FIXIT on your local news - call the station and tell them you'd like to see Mrs. FIXIT in your market!!!! It's just that simple!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mrs. FIXIT will be at the Fulton Home Show TODAY!

Don't miss the Fulton Area Home Show at the Fulton War Memorial today from 10-2 - Meet Mrs. FIXIT and check out some great home ideas for spring!!! It's just that simple!!