Month: October 2016

How To Get Rid Of the Stink Bug Smell

Getting rid of that stink bug smell once it gets on your clothes, the carpeting or any rugs on the floor, any fabric items in your house, or even on your skin can be quite a bit challenging. The odor that this particular species of insect emits can be quite potent while at the same time it is pungent.

Stink Bug Smell On Your Clothes Or On Fabric

Once the smell gets on your clothes or any type of fabric material, it is a simple matter of throwing them into the washing machine and using a good quality laundry detergent. That should be sufficient to do the trick.

If the item requires a little bit more delicate handling or is too big to fit in your washing machine, such as a bed comforter, or is a professional suit, you may want to take it to the dry cleaners.

Getting rid of the stink bug smell in the aforementioned scenarios is pretty straightforward and is a no-brainer.

Stink Bug Stench On Your Skin

But what if it gets on your skin? Many people have reported that try as they might, the foul stench of the stink bug won’t go away with soap and water. That doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

In that case, what should you do?

While there is no textbook answer, there are many “home-remedy” types of solutions that many people have shared in various discussion forums online. For example, will swear by using acidic solutions such as that found in tomato juice or lemon juice. You basically wash the affected area with these juices. The acidic composition of the juice will usually permeate the skin, neutralize and eliminate the stubborn odor-causing molecules of the stink bug stench.

Stink Bug Stench On Furniture Or On The Walls

You can use an aerosol air freshener to mask the stink bug odor in rooms where it has become prevalent, although this will not permanently eliminate the source of the odor. If you happen to know what surface(s) the stink bugs were on when they released their trademark odor, then it may be possible to cleanse the surface and purge it of the odor-causing chemicals that may have saturated it.

As for cleaning furniture or walls, you should resort to using whatever cleaning agents you might have normally used otherwise for anything else. Any highly concentrated cleaning agent for fabric upholstery will do on furniture. Any chemical cleaning agent designed for cleansing wood, steel, or plastic will do the job just fine.

So, sorry folks, if you came here looking for some kind of exotic answer. While the stench may be quite pungent, it isn’t something that can’t be overcome with today’s modern household cleaning technology.

The good news is that the chemicals released by stink bugs that cause the stench are not in any way toxic. They are just annoying. (Although to many people, the smell happens to bear a strong resemblance to that of the herb known as cilantro.)

If …

How to Clear Clogged Drains Without Calling a Plumber

If someone asks me what is the easiest way to save money on plumbing repairs I always tell them to learn how to clear clogged drains.Clogs of one kind or another are one of the most common plumbing problems.They are so common, in fact, that some entire companies specialize in drain cleaning. Since most drains will eventually get clogged you can save a bundle by learning to fix clogged drains, including clogged tub drains, clogged kitchen drains and other clogged sink drains with no special tools and a little know how.

Clogged Tub Drains

Let’s start with something fairly simple, clogged tub drains. If your tub isn’t draining well it’s very likely the result of hair around the stopper. Plunging probably won’t help this. You will need to remove the stopper and clear the hair out.

There are two common types of tub stoppers, the “trip lever” type and the “lift and turn” or “tip toe” type. The “trip lever” ones have been in use for at least 50 years, the others are a little more recent. They both accomplish the same thing but do so very differently.

Trip Lever Drains

The “trip lever” has a lever on the overflow plate near the top of the tub. There is a linkage rod inside the overflow pipe which connects to the stopper. Some styles have the actual stopper inside the piping and other styles just use the linkage to operate the stopper in the tub.

The first thing to check is the drain in the bottom of the tub. Removing any hair or debris with a pair of needle nose pliers may solve your problem. If not you need to go a little further. Remove the overflow plate and pull the linkage and stopper out through the hole (or remove it from the drain in the tub). Remove any hair or debris that comes out with the stopper, make sure the tub drains now and put everything back together..

Lift and Turn Drains

The “lift and turn” and “tip toe” type are very similar and use a stopper that is connected at the tub drain itself. These have to be unscrewed from the tub drain to clean them out. There’s a trick to unscrewing a lift and turn type stopper. If you open it all the way and try to unscrew it it will just turn forever. You have to barely lift it up and hold it in that position while you unscrew it. A pair of needle nose pliers is very helpful for removing the hair that is usually clogging the drain.

If your tub drains now pat yourself on the back and go to dinner and a movie with the money you just saved. If things are still clogged the next step is to auger, or snake, the drain. This is done with a small cable snake through the overflow opening. Depending on your skill or confidence level this may be a job for the pros.

Clogged Sink Drains

Food Processor Safety Tips

A food processor is an electrical appliance that operates with fast moving and sharp blades and discs. Like other electrical equipment, a food processor should always be handled with care. Follow these safety tips to protect you and your family from misuse and harm.

  • The appliance’s blades and discs operate and move at high speeds. Make sure your hands and kitchen utensils, like spatulas or wooden spoons, are kept away from the moving blades and discs when processing food. Only insert your hands or kitchen utensils into the food processor after the machine is off and unplugged.
  • As stated, the blades and discs are very sharp and should be handled and stored carefully. When connecting the motor shaft or stem to the processing unit, always place the blades and discs on flat, stable surfaces to minimize potential contact with them.
  • Make sure the work bowl is securely locked before placing blades or discs on the motor shaft.
  • Never put food or other ingredients into the work bowl until the blades and discs are securely in place.
  • Always use the pusher or food plunger to move food into the bowl and into the spinning blades or discs. Never put your fingers into the feed tube or work bowl while it is in operation.
  • Make sure the blade or disc has stopped spinning before you remove the cover from the work bowl.
  • Make sure the processor is turned off and unplugged from the electrical outlet before removing food, changing parts or cleaning it.
  • After your food processing is done, first remove the work bowl from the processor’s base before removing any blades or discs.

How to Protect an Interior Wood Threshold

Thresholds are sometimes unnoticeable. Not every doorway has them and those that do don’t always stand out. However, thresholds can be a nice addition to a doorway, especially if the floor at both sides is distinctively different from its neighbor and needs a separation barrier instead of abruptly meeting each other.

They can also be good for stopping drafts or preventing air, either warm or cool, from escaping or entering.

But what kind of maintenance do indoor thresholds need?

There are several things to consider such as staining, sealing with urethane, or painting. Each is a possibility but the final decision depends on you. The truth is a threshold needs some kind of coating to protect it from getting dirty, being marked up, or damaged.

If you have hard wood floors you could stain the threshold:

1. Lightly sand the threshold leveling it out on all sides.

2. Prepare stain.

3. If you want to match the color of the hard wood floor apply stain slowly in coats.

4. Once you’ve finished apply a sealer giving it several coats for extra protection.

If you want to paint the threshold:

1. Lightly sand the threshold leveling it out on all sides.

2. Prepare paint. It should be oil-based for the best shine and to be longer lasting.

3. Apply at least two coats letting it dry in between.

4. Once you’ve finished apply a sealer giving it several coats for extra protection.

If you like the wood color of the threshold you may want to leave it in its natural state. In that case you should still give it a varnish to protect from foot traffic.

1. Lightly sand the threshold leveling it out on all sides.

2. Prepare oil-based varnish.

3. Apply at least two coats letting it dry in between.

Finally add some caulking around the edges of the threshold to prevent dirt from getting caught in any open spaces. After all, the threshold will be crossed by many feet carrying all kinds of gook that may just stick around if given the chance.…

The Importance of Kitchen Design

Professional and competent kitchen design services are carried out by architects, interior designers, and/or efficient installers. Or, if you are design savvy, you yourself can design the look and layout of your kitchen.

Results of a survey conducted by Kitchen and Bath Business Magazine in 2010 showed that 16% of the people surveyed had already renovated their kitchen in the previous financial year, while 22% understood the importance of kitchen design services and showed interest, but were undecided due to the lack of enough funds.

The Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for the year 2011-2012 shows that for middle-range budgets, a major remodeling of a standard 200 sq ft of kitchen space can cost up to $57,494; whereas, a minor remodeling would cost up to $19,588. For upscale remodelers, the costs could go up to $110,938 for a major remodel.

When you decide to invest such an amount of money in your kitchen renovation, the importance of procuring the most appropriate kitchen design services cannot be overlooked. Hence, invest in kitchen design to make sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Unique space should be assigned to different kinds of utensils, containers and chinaware, in accordance with their usage and order of importance, so that they don’t create one big mess. Design your kitchen so that you can avoid bending over, stooping or running into appliances during your day-to-day activities. Drawers and cabinets should not clash with each other or with other equipment like the oven-door when you open them. Also, the design and appearance of the floor, walls, ceiling, countertops, and the cabinetry should go hand-in-glove while suiting your taste and budget. Invest in an efficient designer and a meticulous installer to see astonishing results and a trouble-free time in the kitchen.

Anyone can design a kitchen layout, putting all the appliances, cabinets, and countertops in the right places. However, you may run into some trouble in you are planning to turn two rooms into one kitchen, for example. In such cases, a professional can help you make the most of your space, taking into account your existing windows and walls. In most cases, all you have to do is look for inspiration from online pictures on home and garden sites. The general style of your kitchen is going to be determined by the materials you buy: flooring, cabinets, countertops, and appliances.…

What is Hospitality Interior Design and Who Uses It?

In the hospitality industry, interior design performs a similar function. The layout of a lobby or guest room in addition to the color scheme, lighting, and furniture choices, greatly affects how a guest feels and how they view their surroundings.

Hospitality interior design covers a variety of different venues. It is used in restaurants, hotels, even retail stores. Every design aspect from the floor plan to the color of the walls and the style of furniture makes a difference in affecting a certain tone or atmosphere. Depending on the tone a business wishes to set, an interior designer might choose a bright, vibrant color pattern paired with modern furniture and innovative decorative accents or he might select a subtle, more muted color palette paired with plush furniture and simple wall decorations to inspire feelings of calm and comfort.

Lighting and color palette go hand in hand when it comes to hospitality interior design. Most interior designers have been educated to know what types of lighting to pair with bright color schemes versus those which are more subtle. The lighting of a venue may also be affected by furniture choices and the actual architecture of a building. Rooms with vaulted ceilings might require wall fixtures which direct the light upwards while smaller rooms might utilize overhead lighting or corner lamps. Not only does the type and placement of lighting affect the atmosphere of a room or building, but the degree of illumination is also important. A soft glow is more relaxing while bright or colored lighting inspires feelings of excitement and energy.

In addition to lighting and color palette, several more factors come into play within the realm of hospitality interior design. The type of furniture selected dictates whether a room is meant to be more decorative or functional and the arrangement of said furniture plays a role in establishing atmosphere as well. An open floor plan into which the furniture is sparsely placed induces an airy, free atmosphere while small groupings of furniture might incite feelings of intimacy. When considering different styles of hospitality interior design there are myriad factors to think about but the most important decision to make is what kind of atmosphere should be affected. A good interior designer will be able to make all aspects of hospitality interior design work together in order to create a cohesive feel the subscribes to a certain tone or atmosphere.…

The Uses and Styles of the Vanity Tray

How many modern women know what a vanity tray is? Sounds rather daunting by simply incorporating the word vain into it. The name came about centuries ago because they held the items that women used to look better. Thus, the rest of the community calling them vain. Because of the invention of bathrooms and cabinets, these trays were used less and less.

Modern women may not realize that the decorate tray that holds their perfume is called a vanity tray. In recent years these have become a stylish and decorative piece. They range in size from a basic 12 inches to almost 24 inches. This can be in silver, gold, or a painted design. Some are metal, others glass and the most common type of this item is the mirrored bottom. If you’re looking for something more exclusive, there are jeweled versions that involve crystal, glass, actual emeralds or diamonds. These fall into definite status symbols.

A vanity tray is a great place to keep your perfume bottles and turn them into a decorative piece all on their own. This is especially great for all of those perfumes that you get for Christmas or birthday presents that simply do not appeal to you. If you can’t return it then turn it into bedroom art. If it has a mirrored bottom then be sure to clean it at least on a weekly basis. Just basic daily use and dust make smudges and dirt which is magnified by the mirror itself.

One more popular version of the vanity tray is to create your own using a picture frame with your favorite photo(s). This is accomplished easily with a regular wooden picture frame and two cabinet handles. Find just the right cabinet handles to match the d├ęcor of the person that the vanity tray is being made for. Attach the handles using the hardware that comes with them. If they don’t come with screws then ask the local hardware person which size you will need. After attaching the handles, insert the photo(s). This makes an original and somewhat homemade gift.

Whether you’re looking for an original type of vanity tray or something classic and bejeweled, you can find it for sale. Truly a decorative way to keep clutter organized on the bathroom counter or your dresser. If you don’t want to use it to organize tools then try hanging a larger sized tray on the wall for an ornate dressing mirror.…

What to Do When Your Natural Gas Leak Detector Goes Off

So you’ve done the smart thing, and installed a natural gas leak detector in your home. So what do you do when it goes off? Knowing what to do (and what not to do) in the event of a gas leak can literally mean the difference between life and death. Read on to discover your best action plan in the event of a gas leak.

First, understand that natural gas is odorless. That nasty, rotten egg smell is mercaptan, an additive put in by the suppliers to act as a warning. If you smell it, that means there is gas in the air…but not necessarily at dangerous levels. That’s one reason a natural gas leak detector is so useful. Not only will you have a better idea of what concentration of gas is accumulating into you home, but you will also have a sure-fire warning system that alerts you to leaks even if you are asleep. A nasty smell is no good to you as an alarm if you’re a deep sleeper, or even if you have a cold or otherwise impaired olfactory senses.

So what do you do when the alarm sounds? First of all, don’t panic. Natural gas leak detectors are designed to go off long before gas has built up to dangerous levels. They are rated according to their Lower Explosive Limit (LEL), which means the percentage of the LEL the gas had to reach before the alarm goes off. 100% means that your house is in danger of exploding. If your detector is triggered at 15% of the LEL, that means you have plenty of time to take action before dangerous levels are reached.

Next, make sure there are no open flames. If there are, put them out immediately! This includes cigarettes, candles, or anything at all that is burning in your house. natural gas is extremely flammable and combustible, and an open flame plus gas in the air equals fire, or explosion. Turn any gas appliances off, and put out any pilot lights.

Do not touch or operate any electrical equipment. This includes lightswitches, and even the telephone. Again, even a small spark can ignite the gas. Don’t unplug appliances. If you need light, use a battery operated flashlight.

Open all the windows and doors to disperse the gas. If your natural gas leak detector is still going off, or you suspect that there is still a leak, turn the main gas line off and get out of the house. Call your fire department and your gas company from outside of the house, either on a cell phone or from the neighbors. It’s a good idea to keep emergency numbers in your car, so you don’t have to worry about grabbing them if you need to vacate the premises in a hurry.

Once you have your natural gas leak detector in place, it’s a good idea to make up an emergency plan, and practice it with your family. The best protection, after all, is preparation!…

5 Ways to Get Rid of Pet Hair in Your Home

Our dogs and cats can bring smiles to our faces and joy to our hearts, but those little fur balls also leave hair all over our households. Pet hair is a real nuisance. It’s big enough so that your neighbors can see it on your couch, yet too small to pick up with just your hands. It collects not only on our fabric furniture and carpets, but our clothing as well. In addition, pet hair can often cause allergic reactions not only in humans but surprisingly in pets as well. Let’s face it, pet hair is not an easy thing to clean, but these five tips should help keep life a little less hairy.

Use Lint Roller. While you should try to keep your pet off of your furniture and out of your closet, the lint roller can be a very effective tool for removing hair from those attracting surfaces. Simply grab the handle and roll the adhesive surface up, down and across any item. The sticky surface grabs each strand and when you’re done, you just peel off the old piece and a new one is there under it ready for use. Also, mainly used for big pieces of furniture like couches and chairs, sticky sheets are extremely effective for hair removal. Sticky Sheet act like the lint roller except it’s larger and more adhesive. It is made up of a large transparent piece of plastic with a sticky surface on one side. You apply the sheet with your hand on the desired surface and then peel away. One sheet should be able to de-hair all of the furniture in your living room. Keep in mind furniture is only half the battle.

Vacuum Often. Our rugs are where our cats and dogs spend must of their time so, maintaining their cleanliness is not always the easiest task. A vacuum is a necessity when it comes to owning a pet, but you can’t just own it; you have to use it all the time. I know it sounds tedious, but it’s completely necessary in maintaining rugs, drapes and furniture. We recommend to all our Denver house cleaning clients to get small vacuums with detachable handles, which would allow you to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Brush Your Pets Regularly. Brushing your cats and dogs everyday, outside removes dead, unwanted hair and gets rid of tangles and decreases the amount of hair that ends up in your house in the first place.

Wash Your Carpet. Giving your cat or dog a bath twice a week will greatly decrease you’re the amount of hair around the house. Similar to brushing, shampooing and scrubbing your pets coat will get rid of dead hair and moisturize the skin making the follicles stronger. Try Anti-Allergen Solution. This shampoo will not only decrease shedding but, it will clear up dander for your allergic friends.

Hire a professional cleaning service. This could be the first step in the process if the pet hair problem is …

Lose Weight Quickly and Easily with a Grapefruit Cleansing Diet

If you’re looking for a quick way to lose some weight, try starting a cleansing or detox diet. They are called this because your body goes through a detoxification process when you follow this type of diet. As you under go this detoxification, your body, specifically your liver, rids itself of harmful toxins and other unnatural compounds. One of the more popular kinds of these diets is the Grapefruit Cleanse.

This type of cleanse is a very mild approach used to purify your body from harmful toxins. The grapefruit is consumed at the beginning of each meal. The great thing about grapefruit compared to other modes of cleansing is the fact it is a source of nutrition and sustenance. You can also choose to go on this diet at any time for any length of time without worrying about any harmful side effects either. Here are some steps to follow in using this cleansing diet:

  • Before you jump right into the diet, choose a time when it will best to start it. The best time is when you won’t be too overwhelmed at work and won’t be under a lot of stress. I wouldn’t recommend any traveling or road trips either when starting this diet. Grapefruit will cause you to go to the bathroom more frequently than usual.
  • In order to go on a grapefruit cleansing diet, you’re going to need a lot of fresh grapefruit. Go with a store that sells organically grown grapefruit. True, you’ll end up paying more but the health benefits you’ll get will be worth it. The rest of the ingredients you’ll use are cheap and easy to find.
  • As you’re following this diet, you should always try to take one hot shower every day. Scrub all over your body with either a sponge or loofah. The scrubbing acts as a stimulus to improve the blood circulation which helps to get rid of toxins. It is also important that you try to get plenty of exercise. Most health experts call for at least 45 minutes every day while on the diet. Try not to overdo it though. This cleansing diet is very low-calorie and you may feel a dramatic loss of energy. Pace yourself.
  • Once your cleanse is over, don’t jump back into eating a full meal. You’ll send your body into shock. Instead, eat sensibly and work your system back to normal slowly. You don’t want to ruin all that hard work by gaining everything back either. paying a little more but they will be better and healthier for you. The rest of the ingredients in this cleanse are cheap and easy to find.
  • During the cleanse, you’ll need a source of vitamins to remain healthy. I recommend finding a good multi-vitamin, preferably with all-natural ingredients. First, start with drinking about 10 eight ounce glasses of purified water every day. It is imperative that you drink this amount. If you can’t drink ten, that’s fine but always drink more than seven at the very