Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Garbage Disposal Deodorizer


If your garbage disposal is smelling less than fresh - freeze some lemonade into ice cubes and store them in your freezer, any time your garbage disposal is smelling less than fresh, pop a couple of ice cubes into the disposal and grind them up. The ice and citrus will work together to scour and freshen the disposal.

Granite Counter Care


Whether you're thinking of installing granite countertops, or you already have them I have some tips on how to care for this stone.

1. Granite is a worry-free countertop surface; no need to lose sleep over people ruining the counters, for the most part granite is resistant to scratches, staining, or cracking. Even hot pots and pans set directly on the stone won't damage it!

2. If you've bought a house with existing granite counter tops you will want to do a water test to find out if the sealant is up to date. Simply pour a few drops of water on the counter, if it beads up the sealer is fine, if it soaks in pretty quickly you will want to seal the counters before you start using them, and then again once a year or so to keep them looking their best.

3. For day-to-day cleaning you can simply use a soft cloth and some sudsy water. Never use an abrasive cleaner on stone; over time they can etch the surface. Retailers also carry specialized stone counter care kits. These have a sealer and cleaner in one so you protect you counter on a day-to-day basis.

Monday, March 26, 2012

GET A GRIP



A pair of rubber gloves can give you a steady grip for moving heavy objects or loosening stuck jar lids!! Try it for yourself!!

IRONING POWER!


Make your ironing board boost your ironing power by wrapping the board under the pad with aluminum foil - it will reflect the heat and make the iron work twice as hard!!

Flea Market Fabulous!!!!



If you look beyond the actual purpose of things you may be able to find great furniture and accessories for your home at the local flea market.

1. A great urn would look good in the garden, but if you top it with a piece of glass you have a really cute side table! You could do the same thing with a birdbath!

2. How about a headboard? "Plant" it in the garden and you have a great dimensional feature that you can use as a trellis or a small fence! If your garden is not big enough for a headboard, try a chair.

3. Vintage corbels from a house can be used as a sconce style shelf, you could also use them as a decorative support for a window, as bookends or just a place to display a picture!

4. Use an old heating grate as wall art; most of them are really pretty and decorative.

5. Look for items that you can turn into lamps, like this old watering can. Simply punch a hole in the top to hold the lamp works and you're in business, much more interesting than a plain old lamp!

Springtime Birdbath Clean-Up


Keeping your birdbath clean will keep your fine feathered friends coming back to grace your garden.

Carefully tip the birdbath to empty standing water and debris. Have a bucket on hand if you don’t want the mess in the garden.

Use a bucket of water or a spray from the hose to rinse the birdbath.

You need to kill algae and mildew to keep the water clean when you refill it. Mix together a half-gallon of water and a quarter of a cup of bleach and pour it carefully into the basin of the birdbath.

Cover the bath with a tarp or piece of wood while the mixture saturates the algae. You don’t want any birds landing in your bleach mix.

After ten minutes or so, pull on some rubber gloves and use a scrubber brush to scour away any standing muck.

Then rinse the basin with hot water making sure that all of the bleach mixture has been rinsed away.

Fill the birdbath back up with cool, clean water and put a couple of pennies in the bottom. The copper pennies will attract the algae so that it doesn’t adhere to the bath itself making it easier to clean in the future.

You’ll want to repeat this procedure once a month or so depending on how much activity it sees. I hope these tips help you and birds enjoy this season! I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple.

Transitioning Molding



Sometimes you run into an area - like at the top of cabinetry - where two different colors of moldings run into each other - for a nice transition, try corner blocks. You can pick them up at your local home improvement center and they give a nice clean transition. Try it!

Cord Keeper


If you hate the look of cords hanging down under your accent tables, coil them up and secure with a twist tie to keep them out of sight! It's just that simple!

Envelopes




How can plain old envelopes help you around the house? Well, stock up cause I have some great ideas


1. If filling saltshakers is sending salt flying, cut an envelope diagonally so you end up with one closed corner of the envelope and then a part you can open. Snip the
closed corner and you have a perfect little funnel for those small jobs.

2. Need a bookmark? Snip the corner off of an envelope and slip it over the corner of your page. It will fit snuggly and won't fall out like some other bookmarks
can!

3. If you need to organize piles of pictures, but you need easy access to them, try this. Seal several envelopes and then cut them in half by their length. The little pockets you're left with will hold several pictures and can easily be labeled.

4. Use bigger envelopes in the workshop for organizing sandpaper sheets. It will keep them flat and dry and you can easily flip through and find the grade of paper you

Cathedral Ceilings


A cathedral ceiling can be a beautiful feature in any home, but it can be nearly impossible to clean if you don't have any access. Well, I have some ideas to help you out!

1. To clean cobwebs off of the ceiling all you need is some PVC pipe! Attach a length of PVC piping to the end of the vacuum hose and seal the seam with some duct tape. Now raise the new nozzle to the ceiling and turn on the vacuum cleaner. This will easily whisk away cobwebs and dust.

2. How about cleaning a ceiling fan that's high up? First things first. Turn the fan off at the source so you don't accidentally flip it on while you're cleaning. Now back to that PVC. Use small PVC pipes and elbow joints to make a small rectangle, use a "T" joint for one of the corners so you can connect it to a handle. You want your rectangle wide enough to be able to slip over the end of the fan blades and just tall enough that it can sweep the blades clean. Once you've got it built, wrap the pipes with some clean cloths and secure them in place so you have a little pocket through the center. Raise you're cleaning sleeve to the fan carefully slip it over a blade and run it back and forth until the blade is clear. Then just repeat this for the remaining blades.

3. Easy cathedral ceiling cleaning without a ladder.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SPICY SOLUTION




We have always collected sand from different spots we've travelled to - they've been sitting in plastic bags for years - until I took a second look at a spice rack! I refinished the rack and filled the jars with sand. Then I labelled them with the places we've visited - it conjures up great memories every time I look at it!

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE


Did you ever notice how hydrogen peroxide bubbles up when you put it on a cut? It does the same thing to blood stains on clothes - bubbles up, breaks them up and makes them easy to wash away. Try it out the next time someone gets a bloody nose o!or a scraped elbow! It's just that simple!

Apothecary Jar


Love this look - an oversized apothecary jar to hold pretty soaps in the bathroom! Pretty & practical - how can you go wrong!

MICROFIBER




Microfiber cloths are an amazing household helper - from dusting to washing to sanding to painting the lint free, soft textured surface of the cloth is perfect for cleaning, polishing surfaces without damage! Check your local dollar store and stock up!!!

7 Ideas for White Vinegar


White Vinegar is a true household wonder! It will literally help all over the house; here are just a few ideas!

1. To help preserve fresh cut flowers add two tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar to the vase with your water. The vinegar will kill bacteria and the sugar will feed the flowers!

2. Flow problems on the faucets, no problem; soak a towel in white vinegar and wrap it around the fixture. Leave it for an hour and then scrub the deposits away with an old toothbrush.

3. Soak a sponge in white vinegar to easily cut through grease stains on your stovetop, microwave or refrigerator.

4. Put a cup of white vinegar in an empty dishwasher or washing machine and run it through a cycle to clean out jets and hoses!

5. Add it to a full load of laundry and it will soften, deodorize and "DE" lint clothes. It will also help remove excess soap, which can cause skin irritation.

6. Mix three tablespoons of vinegar into a quart of water and use it to clean cloudy build-up from wood furniture and floors.

7. A cloth dipped in white vinegar will easily clean road grime from your windsheild wipers!

Suprising Uses for Dishwasher Detergent


Powdered automatic dishwashing detergent is an indispensable cleanser in any home - even if you don't have a dishwasher!

1. Mix a quarter cup into a gallon of hot water and you have the perfect cleanser for painted walls and woodwork. Remember when you're washing walls work from the bottom up so you don't get streaks!

2. A little detergent on a damp sponge will clean crayon and pencil marks of walls too!

3. A box in the bathroom will help you cut easily through tough hard water stains and soap scum in bathtubs and showers. It will also put a nice shine on your toilet bowl, just sprinkle some in, let it sit for an hour or so and scrub away your stains.

4. Keep some in the laundry room, wet a stain, dab some detergent onto it, then launder as usual.

5. To whiten whites mix a half a cup of detergent into a gallon of hot water and soak overnight. Then wash the items in hot water.

4 Cool Uses for Peanut Butter


Peanut butter is good for more than just a delicious sandwich – you can use it in some surprising ways.

1. Use peanut butter in cookie or brownie recipes to replace butter, you use the same amount and it gives it an extra little kick of flavor too!

2. Did you know that peanut butter can remove gum from hair and fabrics? Just rub it into the gum to soften it and remove it. Then just wash the peanut butter out with some mild soap and water.

3. Peanut butter is the best choice if you need to bait a mouse trap. Mice are more attracted to peanut butter than cheese.

4. If you need to give your dog a pill, hide it in some peanut butter. Dogs love peanut butter so they’ll eat the pill without a problem. And as a bonus the peanut butter strengthens teeth and gives them a shiny coat.

Who knew peanut butter could be so handy to have in the house!?!

CONSIDER GLASS



I love how this glass shelf above the sink adds space and storage but doesn't clutter your view. What a lovely bathroom!

PANTRY POWER!



Check out this pantry project. This small pantry is packed with storage space - I especially love the small shelves for glasses and mugs that was carved out of a 46x46 section of wall that was going to be unused! It's a mere 3 inches deep but made incredible use of the space!!!

Onions Have you Tearing Up?




If onions have you tearing up - I have a solution. Strike a match and light a candle - it will burn off the fumes that make you cry!

Save those Dryer Sheets


Don't throw away the used dryer sheets, you can stockpile them and use them all over your house.

1. If you have a grimy pan that you've tried scrubbing, put a dryer sheet inside and fill the pan with boiling water and let it sit overnight. In the morning you'll be able to wash the pan clean without scouring.

2. Use the sheets for dusting jobs all over the house. From televisions to tabletops, they'll pick up dust and eliminate the static that attracts it.

3. They are also great deodorizers. Stick them in your kid's stinky sneakers, gym bags, and diaper pails and under car seat for a neat and easy freshening job. For all over the house freshness stick a couple of sheets in your vacuum bag.

4. Water spots on mirrors and fixtures? No problem! A quick swipe with a dryer sheet will have everything shining in no time.

5. Musty, dusty books? Put a couple of sheets between the pages and seal it up in a freezer bag for a few days.

5 Uses for Lemons!


When life hands you lemons... you don't have to make lemonade. Use them all over the house, for help with all sorts of jobs!

1. Rubbing cut lemons on your hands or your cutting board will get rid of garlic, onion and fish odors. It will also clean away stains left from slicing berries!

2. Lemon juice will brighten whites that can't be bleached! Just pour a quarter of a cup of lemon juice into the washer. If you have light stains that won't come out of those whites, pour lemon juice on them and spread the clothes in the sun to dry. The lemon juice will react with the sunlight and the stains will disappear!

3. To freshen the air in your home, put a few drops of lemon juice in your vacuum bag when you change it. The fresh smell will spread throughout the house when you vacuum.

4. If someone ends up with a small cut or scrape, dab it with some lemon juice to disinfect the wound. It will also take the itch out of poison ivy.

5. If you do want to make lemonade, microwave your lemons for 30 seconds before you squeeze them. You'll get a lot more juice!

REUSE: Cabinet Knobs


I had some extra knobs after a kitchen reno - Solution: I used them as a decorative hanger for mirrors! What could you use knobs for?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vintage Ashtrays Reborn



I love to find new uses for vintage items that are no longer in use - I found several round vintage ashtrays at a local tag sale, so I packed them up, took them home, lined them with some glass pebbles! Instant soap dish that adds a ton of character to the bathrooms! Try it!

Tissue Paper Decoupage


My light switch and outlet covers were a little ho-hum - so I perked them up with tissue paper - I found this great checked paper that goes with my kitchen and simply decoupaged it directly onto the covers - I LOVE the way it turned out!!

Kitchen Redo for $300?



Looking for an inexpensive update? My EP for Mrs. FIXIT wanted to upgrade the kitchen but not spend a ton of $$ - She and her husband replaced the old laminate countertops with wood, painted the cabinets black and added a beadboard backsplash. The whole kitchen was updated for $300!!!! Do you have an inspirational DIY? Post it on my page!!! I would love to see - it's just that simple!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Carabiners Help with the Groceries!



We've all been there - carrying a bunch of grocery bags - they cut into your hand, you can't get your keys - stop the madness! (Sorry, I'm getting a little over dramatic) Check out this quick fix: An over sized carabiner easily corrals and holds the bags so you have more control, a more comfortable grip and you can easily maneuver where ever you need to! It's just that simple!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Leather Furniture Care


A lovely piece of leather furniture is a beautiful addition to any home, caring for it is pretty straightforward, I'll show you how.

1. During your weekly cleaning routine, wipe leather with a clean, dry cloth. Micro fiber is a great choice because it grabs dust and lint rather than just moving it.

2. Place leather furniture at least a couple of feet from any heat source, like a radiator or fireplace. Too much heat will dry out leather and make it brittle.

3. You should also keep leather out of direct sunlight; if your room is sunny make sure you use drapes or blinds to keep the suns rays off of the furniture to prevent fading and drying.

4. For spills on your leather furniture, use a barely damp cloth to clean it away and then buff the area with a clean dry cloth to be sure the stain and moisture are gone.

5. Wondering if your leather has a protective finish on it? Find an inconspicuous spot and put a couple of drops of water on it, if the water is absorbed you should check the care labels to see if you can seal the leather with a protective repellant.

6. Along those same lines a good leather conditioner will protect the furniture and buff out small scuffs and scratches from your leather, use it every six months or so to keep your leather looking its best.

Help with the kids!


Kids are precious, but they can be a handful. Well, I have some tips to help out with the little ones.

1. No child likes to stop what they're doing to do what you want them to. So give them a countdown to make the transition easier. "Ten minutes Till Naptime" can save you ten minutes of whining if you just try to pluck them from playtime!

2. A sliver and a squirmy child are not a good combination. Give your child a popsicle to distract them and rub a little teething gel into the skin to numb it while you're working to get the sliver out.

3. Another great way to get a sliver out is to pop your little one into the bath. The water will soften the skin and help loosen the splinter.

4. When you're checking the temperature of your child's bath, use your elbow rather than your hand. It's more sensitive and you'll get a more accurate measure.

5. Another bath time tip. If your child doesn't like to get their hair washed it could be that their shampoo is cold, but their scalp is warm from the bathwater. The solution, toss the shampoo bottle into the water while you're filling the bathtub. It will warm up and not be such a shock to them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rug Pads


Why do you need a special pad underneath your rugs? Well Among other things it will make your rug look better and it will make it last longer.

1. A quality rug pad will keep your rug from sliding around and the rug will grip the pad, which keep it flat. A slipping, sliding, wrinkling rug is a big safety hazard in your home.

2. A rug laid on a bare floor can damage the floor; the backing of the rug itself as well as the dirt that filters down through the rug can scratch floors and leave them quite damaged.

3. The rug pad will also cut down on the everyday wear and tear the rug receives. It's a cushion so it helps absorb the shock of the feet and furniture to make the rug more resilient. Plus, it makes it more comfortable for you as well. A good rug pad will also protect your floors from damage if there is something spilled on the carpet, as a liquid seeps through the carpet fibers it will be repelled by the padding and stay off of your floors!

4. The pad will also help make your vacuum more effective because the lift off the floor provides more circulation for the vacuum.

Clamp It!!!


Any well stocked workshop needs clamps, but if you aren't sure exactly what kinds you need, I have some pointers.

1. Basic "C" clamps come in a variety of sizes and therefore can be used on all sorts of projects. Position the clamp over the area and spin the screw end until it is nice and secure on your project. (You may want to use a buffer so that you don't mar your project by over tightening).

2. Spring jawed grip clamps also come in a bunch of different sizes. They're perfect when you need a clamp in a hurry because you only need one hand free to use them.

3. Corner clamps are a must if you ever do any mitered projects, like picture frames. Just insert your corner into the framed area and tighten all the grips down. It will hold from all sides with even pressure for nice squared corners.

4. For bigger projects, you need some bar clamps. There are several different types. They slide back and forth on a bar or pipe. Some tighten down with a screw lever like the "C" clamps, but personally, I prefer this trigger grip variety.

Spring is in the Air


What a gorgeous day! I think spring has sprung! If the thought of spring-cleaning has you overwhelmed, calm down, it's easy if you have a plan.

1. Start at the top. Cut a slit in an old tennis ball, slip it over the end of your broom handle and then secure a used dryer sheet over the ball. This handy extension arm will grab dust and cobwebs from high corners and ceilings.

2. To shed some light, take the glass globes and hurricanes off of your light fixtures and wash away the dirt and grime. Add vinegar to the rinse water for a streak free shine!

3. Wash woodwork. Work from the bottom up to avoid streaking. A simple soap and water mixture will clean away fingerprints and dirt.

4. Spring is a good time to flip your mattress. This will also force you to take off all bedding and clean it. Vacuum the mattress and box spring. A hint, slip a couple of dryer sheets into the vacuum bag and it will release that fresh scent into the air as you work.

5. Move furniture so you can deep clean behind and underneath. If you're working alone, slip the plastic covers from coffee cans under the furniture feet and slide it with ease.

6. Take down curtains and draperies to be cleaned, and while you have them down, go to work on the windows.

Fruitastic Tips


Wait a minute, don't throw away those fruit containers, take a look at the packaging, I can show you how to reuse them around your home.

1. Those yummy little Clementine oranges come in a sturdy wooden crate. This crate is the perfect size for stashing items that need to be moveable, like oils and spices to the stove, condiments and silverware to the table or craft supplies to your work area.

2. Check out the plastic tab that comes on a bag of apples. It's a nice disposable tool for smoothing a caulk line, scraping glue off of a project or scraping paint splatters off of glass.

3. The plastic snap top containers that berry and grapes come in are great for ribbon or string storing or dispensing. Simply line up the spools and thread the ends through the hole in the top. Or how about holding needles, thread, and scissors for a small sewing kit. Its also a great little basket to stash in the sink. If you don't have a disposal, scrape plates and debris into the container, the water seeps out the bottom. When you're finished you can easily dump everything into the trash.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cola Can Do What??


If you have some cola in your refrigerator, pull out a can because it can help with all sorts of household tasks.

1. If you have cooked on crud, pour some cola into the pan, and bring it to a boil. The carbonation and heat will work together to loosen that mess! This same procedure will remove lime scale from the inside of your teapot. Just pour it in and bring to a boil.

2. Cola is also a great de-greaser; pour over a load of greasy work clothes, on a greasy stain in your garage or even a nasty spill in the kitchen. It will break up the grease so it is easy to clean away.

3. Sluggish drain? Pour some cola down there. It will bubble and fizz away greasy build-up keeping your drains flowing smoothly.

4. If you need to remove a rusty bolt, cola to the rescue, it will loosen the corrosion in no time! It will also clean rust off of all sorts of other metal surfaces. Pour a little on a scrubbing pad and go to work, the rust will disappear.

5. Pour a can of cola down your toilet. Wait an hour and scrub away those stubborn stains.

Mirror Care


Does your mirror reflect the fact that you're not really sure how to keep it shiny and clean. If so here are the ideas that you need.

1. Keep some baking soda in your medicine cabinet. A little on a dry cloth will buff those water spots away without a trace.

2. To clean your mirror, try a little cold tea. Just dip a lint free cloth into the tea and scrub the surface. Then wipe dry for a sparkling reflection!

3. One of the biggest problems with the bathroom mirror is that it gets all fogged up. For a quick de-fogging, aim your hair dryer at the glass. The dry heat will clear the fog in no time. To prevent the haze from coming back, take a cloth and rub a layer of shaving cream all over the surface. Keep rubbing it until the cream has disappeared. You'll have a fog free mirror for a few weeks.

Bed Sheets


Bed sheets aren't just for a cozy night's rest anymore, I have some alternative uses to bed sheets so gather them up and follow me.

1. If you have a closet where you store out of season or seldom worn clothes they can get dusty. The solution, simply drape a flat sheet over all of the clothes and the closet rod. You can lift up the sheet if you need to access the clothes, but any dust will settle on the sheet!

2. A flat bed sheet and some drapery clips make a super easy no-sew window treatment! As a bonus, it makes it easy to coordinate your bedding and windows

3. You could also cut up one of those sheets to make matching throw pillows or lampshades.

4. The next time your favorite store has a big bedding sale, stock up on some flat sheets that match your dining room d├ęcor, the sheets are perfect for building up and layering table's capes.

5. If you have a lightweight bedspread and you find that your blankets show through the spread, simply layer a flat sheet in a coordinating color over the blankets under the spread, it will block the color from showing through.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bag Storage


Have an old cleaning wipes container? Try using it for plastic bag storage! For more great tips - check out my website www.mrsfixit.com! It's just that simple!

Spoons!


I shot a segment yesterday on alternative uses for spoons - check out this one, I turned a spoon into a napkin ring! If you'd like to see the rest of the segment, tune into your local news for Mrs. FIXIT - don't get Mrs. FIXIT in your area - call your station and tell them to give us a call!!! It's just that simple!