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My helpful home tips

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Ducatista » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:01 pm

Wrap your celery in aluminum foil, and it will stay crisp for an insanely long time.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby barney » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:08 pm

put saran wrap on your ice cream (push it down on top of the ice cream so it's touching it) before you put it back in the freezer - no ice crystals!
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Bwis53 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:32 pm

barney wrote:put saran wrap on your ice cream (push it down on top of the ice cream so it's touching it) before you put it back in the freezer - no ice crystals!


Mine doesn't stay around long enough to make that necessary...
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby gargantua » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:05 am

Narco, thanks for the tip with respect to removing a rusted/broken light bulb. Tried it on an outdoor light that I haven't used in more than a year, and it not only worked, it was easy.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:03 am

You're welcome. Lightbulb thread lube is my #1 tip. The cheaper the metal in bulbs and fixtures get the faster they corrode.

Another lube tip: If your fridge/freezer door doesn't shut easy it might be a dry sticky gasket on the hinge side of the door. You can get a food grade lubricant or some people use vaseline or bees wax. Clean it first. Also you can screw out the front legs so it tips back slightly.

If your dishwasher leaks out of the bottom of the door, there's a good chance you're just using too much soap. I use half or less of the soap for dishwashing/clothes washing that the manufacturer recommends. They like to sell a lot of soap.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby kittenwithawhip » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:18 pm

My number one helpful home tip is actually from my domestically challenged mother. Always entertain by candlelight, that way no one will see how dirty your house actually is. That even applies to the loo, candles everywhere! Just have a fire extinquisher handy when your accident prone friends start waving things around.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Ducatista » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:22 pm

Related: avoid overhead lighting wherever possible, and put everything on dimmers.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:38 pm

Ducatista wrote:Related: avoid overhead lighting wherever possible, and put everything on dimmers.

Along those lines, has anyone had much luck with dimmable CFL bulbs? Drawbacks?
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby city2countrygal » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:05 pm

narcoleptish wrote:I use half or less of the soap for dishwashing/clothes washing that the manufacturer recommends.


This is so true! I started measuring out my soaps (dishwasher and washing machine) and using less than the rec. amount, and it really helps!

Also, using white vinegar instead of liquid fabric softener works because it mixes with your water on the rinse cycle. Your clothes do not smell like vinegar, just fresh and soft!

Thanks for starting this informative thread narco!
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Igor » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:17 pm

At one time, it would have been absurd for me to make any sort of recommendation in this area. Nothing like a few decades of home ownership to at least give you a few tricks...

- Cannot emphasize enough the previous comments about shutoff valves. If you need a plumber for something else, have him do those at the same time.

- If you have a faucet with one of those annoying cartridges in it that needs replacing - don't spend more than 10 minutes trying to get it out. Just get a new faucet.

- Drainage - Use the long downspout extensions, so that rainwater gets as far from your foundation as possible. Think twice before digging up bushes or grass that are right next to your house. If your window wells are filling up with water, it is probably coming in from the sides or the bottom, not the top.

- Replacement refrigerator shelves, drawers, etc. are easier to find online than you think. Not cheap, mind you, but easy to find. Save your manual so you have the part numbers. Or, find an online manual.

- Drywall mounts. Get a variety pack of them.

- If you cover up that carpet stain in the hallway with a rug, the carpet can last another 10 years. When you do have your carpet replaced, you can probably do the removal yourself and save a bunch of money. Just grab a corner of the carpeting with a pair of Vise Grips, and pull up. You will probably also need the Vise Grips and a pry bar to pull staples that were holding the padding on. If the room is large, have a good utility knife to cut it into smaller pieces.

- A leaf blower is a fast way to sweep your garage.

- If there is any chance that your basement could leak, set boxes on some scrap 1x4 s instead of the floor.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby eriedasch » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:32 am

ilikebeans wrote:
Ducatista wrote:Related: avoid overhead lighting wherever possible, and put everything on dimmers.

Along those lines, has anyone had much luck with dimmable CFL bulbs? Drawbacks?

They are fairly expensive and a few burned out pretty quickly (although they were exchanged for new ones with no hassles). The dimming range is pretty limited and they take a minute or two to warm up. But I refused to go back to 60 watt bulbs just so they could be dimmable. I looked into LED dimmable, but the technology did not seem to be there yet. This was a couple years ago.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby jman111 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:43 am

Not dimmable, but the 3-way CFLs I use in my lamps are handy.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:15 am

Igor wrote: When you do have your carpet replaced, you can probably do the removal yourself and save a bunch of money. Just grab a corner of the carpeting with a pair of Vise Grips, and pull up. You will probably also need the Vise Grips and a pry bar to pull staples that were holding the padding on.

Run a flat edged shovel across the carpet staples. Those 'some bitches pop out slick as sh**. Much easier than pulling them out individually with a vice grips.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:19 pm

Igor wrote:
- If you have a faucet with one of those annoying cartridges in it that needs replacing - don't spend more than 10 minutes trying to get it out. Just get a new faucet.


This reminded me of a great tip I got from Regan at Howe plumbing. When trying to loosen certain plumbing connections, especially round ones with knurling instead of a hexagon, if you're using a channel-lock pliers often the part is so thin that the pliers is compressing it to an oblong shape and it will not loosen. Turn the pliers around and use it backwards, this apparently doesn't compress the nut and has worked many times for me.

Oh yeah, and if the cartridge won't come out easy try putting the handle back on with the screw and using that to pull. Might work.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby dave esmond » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:30 pm

eriedasch wrote:They are fairly expensive and a few burned out pretty quickly (although they were exchanged for new ones with no hassles).


Do your's hum?

It drives me nuts. But it doesn't seem like everyone can hear it. Couple spots I just went with a lower watt bulb for less light without the hum.
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