delladea: (Default)
[personal profile] delladea
We have very hard well water with a lot of iron in it. There is a softener and chlorine pump installed on the well which helps a lot with mineral buildup, but this has not always been the case.

The places that I have the most trouble with mineral buildup are the toilets and the shower grout. I've gotten into the habit of swishing the toilets out with baking soda or Bar Keepers Friend at least every other day. They stay clean, but I still get mineral buildup above where the water sits. The grout will eventually turn a yellowish red. I can scrub with a toothbrush+baking soda+hydrogen peroxide combo and it will come off but this is a slow and spoon-intensive activity I rarely have the time/energy for.

I'm wondering if anyone in a similar situation has found something that works for them? I am so tired of looking at my scuzzy shower that really IS clean yet isn't.
yvi: a mouse on top of test tubes (Science - Mouse)
[personal profile] yvi
Today, I cleaned the microwave, until it was completely clean from the inside. This was actually the first time I have done that :/

Apparently, the way to do it is to put a dish with water and vinegar in the microwave and nuke it until it's been boiling a bit. Then you can pretty easily swipe most of the disgusting stuff out.
ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)
[personal profile] ninetydegrees
Yeah I know that title is lame but who cares?

Ok the point of the challenge is to do this one thing, big or small, that you always put off but which is always there at the back of your mind nagging you and eating at you like some horrible parasite. If you've read this far and if it's doable in that time frame, you have 24 hours from now on to do it. No more! Come on, take a deep breath and go get that weight off your shoulders (and a treat afterwards).

Warning: this message will not self-destruct *runs off*
primsong: (pears)
[personal profile] primsong
Fresh lettuce is coming on in many a home garden, so I thought we might like to share some of the ways we use it up. Making your own dressing is easy and much cheaper than buying it bottled, of course.

Here's a quick, easily made dressing that goes best on fresh leaf lettuces (add other salad veggies as you like):

1 can undiluted tomato soup
1/3-1/2 c. sugar (I use fructose instead)
1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 t. salt (more if you like it saltier)
A shake of dried minced onion...about 2 tsp. when I do it
1 t. paprika
1 c. salad oil

Blend all together well, store in fridge. Shake it up before using, makes about 3 cups. You can add a split garlic clove to it when it's in the fridge and then take out the clove later if you like garlic too.

Do you have a dressing or other way of jazzing up summer garden veggies?
primsong: (lunch)
[personal profile] primsong
Just a tip if you happen to be, as I am, a person who really dislikes the taste of commercial dried onion powders or flakes yet still wants onion in their cooking.  

I watch for sweet onions to go on sale and then buy 5-6 big ones at a time.  Take them home and slice thin (you can slice them in your sink under a little running water and your eyes won't sting, btw) and then cook the whole heap in a big pot with a drizzle of olive oil.  I cook it with occasional stirring and draining off excess liquid until they begin to carmelize.

Cool the resulting batch and then divide it up into about as many portions as you had onions.  I keep them in either little tupperware cups or in ziploc sandwich baggies labeled "1 Onion, Sauteed" and pop them into the freezer.  They keep great and when you need one for cooking it's a real time-saver to just pull one out and zap it in the microwave for a moment.  The flavor is a big improvement and there's no more problem with onions sprouting in my pantry while I get around to them as a bonus.
greenwitch: Tea (tea)
[personal profile] greenwitch
Happy new year, everyone! Now's a great time to check your cabinets for expiration dates. Keep in mind that many dates are arbitrary or "best by" dates, and not "you will die of food poisoning" dates (click here for a cheat sheet for food and household products). However, it's a good idea to try to use up old stuff. Make sure that anything with 2011 stamped on it is brought to the front of your cupboards and used first, while anything with 2013 or later is pushed to the back.
metal_equine: (Default)
[personal profile] metal_equine
I'm on house/pet watch for friends this weekend and I managed to close one of the cats into the livingroom over night. She had an accident on the floor and by the time I even found out she was there, the pee had soaked into the wood. Is there any way, short of very drastic measures ( i.e. sanding the whole floor down) to remove or lessen the stain?

Bulk Food

Dec. 15th, 2011 08:10 am
jest: (gossip)
[personal profile] jest
[personal profile] commodorified has a post on shopping in bulk here that members of this community might be interested in.
sid: (Sid ornament)
[personal profile] sid
I bought some Tasty Batters frozen cookie dough from the high school girl next door, and I have questions about how I'm supposed to handle it. I don't bake at all, so I've got nothing to go on.

Help! )
brownbetty: (Default)
[personal profile] brownbetty
Although my mother has told me plenty of things that were useful, (and plenty of things I've ignored, sorry mom) one thing she told me that was exponentially more useful than it seemed on the surface was this:

Whenever you are standing in the kitchen waiting for something: the microwave, the toaster, the kettle, etc., tidy while you wait. Put away the dishes in the rack, wipe a counter, or just close the cupboard doors that seem to magically open themselves.

This seems both self-evident and tedious, but the truth is, tidying done in this manner, in two and three minute bursts, achieves a lot more than expected, and hardly registers on one's consciousness. The general effect is rather like having one's kitchen kept clean by kitchen fairies.

My question: Have you any tips to share, either general household, or whatever, that proved to be more useful than you expected?
delight: (don't want to talk about reasons)
[personal profile] delight
In May, my boyfriend of 5 years and I moved into an absolutely lovely basement apartment. As far as we could tell, its only issue was a bathtub that tends not to drain right. And that's really all we noticed until the end of July – when things started smelling a bit off.

And wet.

And growing mold.

At this point, our bedroom constantly reeks of mildew and yet we cannot find a source of it anywhere. As someone with chronic sinus problems I had taken to really enjoying how humid the apartment was, since for the first time in someplace I lived I didn't constantly have to keep a humidifier running to be able to breathe. But now even I can smell the mildew. The humidity is overbearing and we've had to throw away clothing because mold grew it out of thin air – not there one day, look at the shirt a day later and there's mold on it!

This is a giant disaster not just because it's ruining our things, but because we both have chronic illnesses and I have quite a few severe allergies. And at this point even I with my usual inability to smell much of anything can tell it's mildewy in the air. Both sets of parents cavalierly tell us to buy a dehumidifier (my mother says it is an emergency but doesn't offer us any money, all the others say 'save up for one' as if we can wait 6 months). Neither set of parents actually tries to help purchase a dehumidifier, though at least on my parents' end it's entirely understandable considering how they pay my share of rent (I'm a full-time student) and are trying to deal with high amounts of medical bills for my mother's cancer treatment and a surgery I recently had that they were gracious enough to (somehow) pay for.

I get $1100 a month, fixed income. Period. My share of rent is $400. I have to pay for a land line, electricity, internet service and cell phones, because my boyfriend's income is so meager that he has a job interview tomorrow he's not going to be able to get to if we don't somehow scrounge up extra funds for gas, since my bank account might have $30 in it if I'm lucky. (Money for me comes at the first of the month.)

So: we need to dehumidify this apartment fast, and commercial dehumidifiers are probably not going to do the trick, since we can't find anything even remotely affordable. I cannot spare $200. My credit card needs to be paid off and is maxed out (at $250, after identity theft) so buying on credit is not an option. Buying a humidifier seems to not be an option at all. I've checked craigslist and freecycle.

I am totally out of options. Boyfriend can't even pay his half of rent this month and I was already in hysterics over that.

If anyone has any kind of advice about anything relating to being able to get rid of it all without having to go hungry for a month, I would really appreciate it.
karel: (Carlisle ► vampire baseball)
[personal profile] karel
So I've been looking around Google for this, and it seems like I'm just phrasing things wrong (and that there's too many other things "fan" describes), so I figure that this could be a question that might help others a little too.

My air conditioning recently went out, and while insurance is covering the cost of replacing the unit, it's going to be a few days, and it's Las Vegas in the summer. I have a few fans on my hands, and I was wondering if anyone can recommend placement of them for maximum cooling efficency. I have a big box fan, a mini desk fan, and one on a stand. I've already got the rooms I don't use and don't need to cool all closed up. I also have west-facing windows covered, and since it's a condo in a building, the rest of the windows are pretty well-protected.

Any other general tips for keeping cool in the summer with or without ac?
green_grrl: (SG1_Daniel)
[personal profile] green_grrl
The Simple Dollar blog had a post today on Handling Clogged Drains Frugally. I'll have to try them. I've usually done a haphazard mix of commercial drain cleaners and trying to wield an auger myself, with mixed results—I think it depends a lot on what the plumbing challenges in your house are.

I do have a very fine strainer on my bathtub drain I picked up at the hardware store (something like this) that catches everything to help avoid hair clogs.

A recent challenge is roots growing into my drainage, a good 20 feet downline from my house. They'll grow thicker, catch washing machine lint and what-have-you, and block the pipe. After getting a good professional clearing, I'm doing maintenance doses of flushing copper sulfate down the toilet to keep the drain clear.

Lazy Meals

May. 28th, 2011 09:55 pm
ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)
[personal profile] ninetydegrees
So what do you do when you're a little too tired to cook or simply don't feel like making something complicated but still want to eat a mostly-homemade something and not just put a frozen pizza in your oven*? I'm sure we all have our easy-meal recipes so let's share them. It can be as simple as you want and don't hold back because you think everybody knows that one (maybe I don't because I'm not from your corner of the world). As long as it's pretty easy and pretty quick to prepare it's all good.

* I've got nothing against pizza; I always have a pepperoni one in my freezer for when I really don't want to do anything but still wanna eat. :)
yvi: XKCD comic: "You're flying! How" "Python!" (Python - Flying)
[personal profile] yvi
Third verse, same as the first two:

Over the next few days, I will be trying to post one entry per day where people can share general tips and tricks they think could be valuable to others. No matter how basic they are or how few people you think would profit from them. Just think about how you do things and share this with others.

This entry is all about Do-it-yourself, home and car maintenance
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
Second verse, same as the first:

Over the next few days, I will be trying to post one entry per day where people can share general tips and tricks they think could be valuable to others. No matter how basic they are or how few people you think would profit from them. Just think about how you do things and share this with others.

This entry is all about cooking, baking and related disciplines.

Other entries:
yvi: Laura Cadman (Atlantis - Laura)
[personal profile] yvi
Over the next few days, I will be trying to post one entry per day where people can share general tips and tricks they think could be valuable to others. No matter how basic they are or how few people you think would profit from them. Just think about how you do things and share this with others.

(Yes, I am being deliberately vague here in the hopes of generating lots and lots of comments :))

The topics I am planning are:

* cleaning
* cooking & baking
* DIY & home/car maintenance
* budgeting & finances
* crafts
to_love_a_rose: picture of a bed pillow, no text (Default)
[personal profile] to_love_a_rose
I recently moved and while my new place comes with a washing machine, it's a bit scuzzy. Specifically, the bleach tray and the fabric softener dispensers have an icky film on them. I was thinking of maybe running the machine empty and trying to flush them both out or something? I don't know. Any tips on cleaning a washing machine?
ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)
[personal profile] ninetydegrees
If you're like me and tend to fall into Procrastination Hell from time to time, maybe now is one of those times. Here's your challenge: do everything you can do to make whatever cleaner, tidier, better in 30 minutes. No more. The point here is to bring things back to a more manageable level (out of Pigsty Road in my case) and start the week without feeling guilty or any of the other unpleasant things one can feel when they've put things off. Once you're done, do something you like because you rock and deserve it.

Don't think. Do it now.

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