Spring Cleaning Tips

Are you ready for spring? This is the time of year to open the windows, dust away winter and get your home spic and span. Here are three tasks to put on your to-do list to prepare your home for summer fun.

1. Clean your refrigerator

Remove the shelves and drawers, and wipe away spilled food. An eco-friendly cleaner is a combination of salt and soda water, according to HGTV. The bubbling action of the soda water combines with the abrasive texture of the salt to make a great cleaner.

2. Get rid of lime deposits

They can build up around your faucets and your refrigerator water dispenser. Place a paper towel over the area and soak with vinegar. Then let sit for an hour. The deposits will become soft and easy to remove.

3. Clean screens your screens

HGTV suggests using a scrap of carpeting, which acts like a soft brush, removing dirt.

3 Tips For Prepping Your Outdoor Furnishings

 

March is the time when Midwesterners daydreaming about Spring and all of the outside activities it brings. If you brought your aluminum or wrought iron outdoor furnishings inside for the winter, it’s take time to get them ready for their seasonal debut. Here are three things to do to be ready for the sunshine:

Step One: Clean

Wash and rinse aluminum frames with mild liquid detergent and warm water. This will remove any surface dirt left from last season.

Step Two: Protect

Apply a coat of automobile wax to aluminum frames with smooth finishes to help extend their life. For textured finishes, you can periodically apply mineral or baby oil.

Step Three: Check for Damage

To keep rust away, check your furnishings for chips and scratches. This is the most common cause of rust because it exposes the bare metal to the elements. Touch up any chips or scratches by first gently sanding the area with fine steel wool, then applying a primer and paint. Follow up with a topcoat of wax or clear sealer for added protection.

How to Choose the Right Doormat

The front door is where guests will make their first impressions of your home. Be sure to welcome them in style by choosing an attractive doormat. While a doormat is a decorative element, it also protects your home from dirt and debris that can damage your floors, and you should use one at every entrance to your home. Here are four things to consider when choosing yours:

Material. Where you use your doormat will impact the kind of material that’s best. If you’re using the mat outside or in a high-traffic area, choose a weather-resistant textured surface, such as a coconut fiber mat that doesn’t mildew and can help remove dirt from shoes. Rubber doormats are also useful for outdoor areas, but keep them indoors during the winter when they can crack or become damaged due to extreme temperatures. For indoor use, choose a mat made of a softer material, such as sisal or wool. These mats are considered “transitional,” catching light debris after the outdoor mat has done its job. Make sure the bottom won’t damage your floors, and use a rug mat to prevent it from slipping.

Size. Doormats come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but the most important concern around size is that it fits the width of your door. A doormat should be at least 80% the width of the doorway. Rectangle or oval rugs are stylish at a front door. If your door opens to a hallway, a runner is a good choice.

Maintenance. It’s important to keep your doormat clean. Its job is to trap dirt, so maintenance is important. For indoor rugs, vacuuming will usually do the trick, and some mats are machine washable. Outdoor mats are usually cleaned by hosing it off and letting it air dry.

Style. You’ll find a doormat in any style, so it’s easy to pick one that matches your décor. Patterned or dark-colored rugs are a great choice, as they can camouflage dirt and hide stains. Stripes can help a small space feel more spacious. Whatever you choose, make sure it blends well with its surroundings and doesn’t feel like an eyesore.

A doormat is a welcome addition to your home. Make sure yours not only works hard; but adds to your style.

Caring For Your Deck

Lovin Woven

Summer is in full swing, and your deck is probably getting a workout. Keep the good times rolling with some maintenance. Here are three things to do this month to keep your deck in great shape:

1. Check the structure. Inspect your deck for cracks or rot, paying extra attention to areas that are close to the ground or sources of water, such as downspouts and planters.

2. If you see areas that look wet check for rot with a flat-end screwdriver. If you can push it into the wood a quarter inch or more, you probably have rot. Small areas can be removed with a chisel and treated with a wood filler and preservative. Larger areas may need to be replaced.

3. Check the railings. If any area feels loose, tighten the connections. You may need to use wider bolts if the wood has weakened and the current hardware isn’t catching into the grain.

 

Caring For a Fountain

leaffountainThere’s nothing as soothing as a backyard fountain. Not only is it beautiful to watch; the trickling sound creates a relaxing environment. Since it’s outside, this beloved accessory can also get its share of dirt and debris. Maintain its beauty by taking a few easy steps:

  1. Use a small net to remove debris, such as leaves or insects. This will help prevent clogging the pump. You can also attach a nylon stocking to the hose, to make sure debris doesn’t get inside the inner workings.
  2. Monitor the water level. On hot days, your fountain can experience evaporation. Since the pump can overheat if the water level is too low, make sure it’s full.
  3. Once a month, unplug the pump and drain the water. Remove buildup with a solution of vinegar and water and a stiff bristled scrub brush. Wipe clean and refill. Using distilled water in your fountain can help reduce mineral buildup.