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.
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?
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

enoughness

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:01 pm
karel: (Han Solo ► here comes the party)
[personal profile] karel
So I've written up a post on the subject of "enough," and how my own overabundance of things was revealed to me - that is, by cleaning out and organizing my bathroom. You can find it over here, on my journal.

If we live in the US of A and many other "first world" countries, most of us have probably dealt with, in one way or another, the constant encouragement to buy much more than we need. Sales! 2/1 deals (and more/1 deals!). Buy more and save! Bulk products! Most of us that have the funds to do it (and even those without) have probably succumbed to this at some point.

So tell us all - how have your experiences with overbuying been? What are your major weak spots (for me, it's "it won't go bad, so it can't hurt to stock up!")? Have you made efforts to stop? What strategies do you use? Do they work for you? What do you do with your excess?

dusting

Sep. 26th, 2010 08:12 pm
sage: Still of Natasha Romanova from Iron Man 2 (season: autumn)
[personal profile] sage
Since my dustmite allergy cranked itself up to eleven, I'm trying to be better about dusting the furniture. When I was a kid, my mom used (i.e. made us use) my dad's old worn out undershirts folded into a square and a can of Pledge on wood and Windex on everything else. What do y'all use? What do you think works best? Thanks!
jadey: greyscale a woman's face (ani difranco) eyes upward  (Default)
[personal profile] jadey
Okay, am I the only person in the world who freezes her garbage?

Clearly not, because my mum is the person who taught me to, but I've had a few people wig when they saw frozen garbage in my freezer and now I'm trying to assure myself I'm not a complete freak.

Mum and I started doing it when we noticed that our kitchen bin was getting stinky well before trash day. Rather than empty it twice as often and store it in the big bin outside (cold in winter, lazy the rest of the time), we took some plastic milk bags and any time there was potentially smelly garbage (e.g., shrimp tails, oily napkins, chicken bones, etc.), we popped it in the freezer. It was a great solution. Now that I'm living in my own place, which doesn't have composting or even recycling (I know ;_;), it's even more vital to me to be able to keep some gunky stuff in the freezer, rather than make trips down to the outside bin all the time (lazy, and also even colder in this province).

But is this weird? Does anyone else do this?
wicked_socks: (Default)
[personal profile] wicked_socks
In a general effort to go green and deal with allergies, I've switched to using 'natural' soaps instead of detergent based soaps for body wash. However, the amount of soap scum generated by such products is driving me crazy. I've been using the Method daily shower spray but frankly I'm not exactly diligent with the daily part. Thus this generally ends with lots of futile scrubbing of the tub/shower before I give up, use a conventional toxic cleaner, and then avoid the upstairs for a while.

I'd love any recommendations for bathtub cleaners that:
  • Don't contain eucalyptus

  • Are not fragrant enough to affect asthma

  • Won't poison the cats if they step in it

Additionally if anyone has recommendations for informative resources on green methods of cleaning, I'd be much obliged. I'm kind of inept at cleaning in general, let alone a specific methodology.

Thanks.
puzzlement: (Default)
[personal profile] puzzlement
I was going to post in [personal profile] yvi's post on home moving tips, but realised that perhaps a second thread would be generally applicable.

De-cluttering tips.

Now, I am not the prime de-clutterer in the world, so please see comments too. Guilt about landfill is my biggest problem with decluttering, so most of mine are about what to do with stuff other than put it in the bin.

My tips:

If you haven't used it in a year, you don't need it. Some people declutter post-move by simply seeing which boxes they don't unpack.

Auction sites (Ebay etc) are generally better for small things, especially DVDs, computer games, and electronic devices. Large things like furniture tend to make so little money that sometimes you may as well freecycle once you consider the hassle of making the listing in the first place. (Enough pieces of furniture will add up.) Charities with thrift stores will sometimes take furniture, in Australia though due to health regulations it must be stain and rip-free.

I know opinions vary a lot on this (if you disagree, just ignore me), but consider whether you are one of those people who really needs a library. I've given up keeping books around because I feel like I should read or re-read them, and keep only the ones I want to read or re-read. It's hard enough finding time to get around to the latter. Books are easy to tidy, but they are a pain in the neck to move and they end up taking a lot of room. I find books don't get their due on Ebay, so I freecycle or drop them off at secondhand stores (the latter can be rather picky).

We are constantly surprised at the stuff our council (local area government) includes in their recycling program. The latest thing we're allowed to put out for recycling is pots and pans. There are special days for e-waste and chemical waste (like car batteries), unfortunately these rather rely on having a car to do the drop-off.

There's stuff I'm still struggling with. I have a seeming inability to get rid of stationary, even if I have 20 $2 notebooks I seem to try and keep them all rather than waste paper. Old cassettes and videocassettes are sitting around because likelihood is they're for the bin. Stuff for my baby, because what if I have another baby? And generally I tend to cling to anything that I desperately wanted as a child but that my parents couldn't afford to buy me. Which is why I now have a pile of stuffed toys, despite rarely looking at them and not really liking most of them. Bags (as in, travelling bags), because, again, they seem vaguely useful and I don't want to toss 'useful' things, even if I have 15 of them.

Your tips? (Not just on my problem areas!)
sixbeforelunch: a stylized woman's profile with the enterprise and a star field overlaid (Default)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
Any tips for getting an iron clean? I just put two (fortunately small and not very noticeable) stains in two of my skirts before I realized that the iron had crud on it.
bewize: (Default)
[personal profile] bewize
I'm getting ready to do my winter-to-summer clothes switch (the only reason I haven't already is that I'm going to travel at the end of this month and my destination is colder than where I live). If anyone is like me, you despair of ever minimizing your closet to the point that you only have the stuff you actually need in it.

I know [personal profile] yvi posted a challenge at the end of April, but if anyone (like me) is straggling, I think this is a great idea and I'm going to try it:

Purge Your Wardrobe

Also, I found this link (somewhere on my flist, sorry for repeats!) talking about Erasing Dirt and thought it looked useful for those of us with lots of electronics.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Firefly - Kaylee)
[personal profile] yvi
For those of us living in areas of the world with seasons, this is the time where the really big weather changes happen, whether from cold to warm or from warm to cold. With that comes a pretty big switch in what to wear when outside. That's also the perfect time to get rid of stuff you aren't wearing anymore, whether because they are broken or don't fit or just aren't your taste anymore.

I am declaring this a two-week challenge for getting your wardrobe into shape!

Of course, how this is done is very different depending on your living situation. You might want to do a few of the following things:

* going through the clothes and diving them into things that need to be thrown out / things that can be donated or sold / things that need to go into storage (provided you have any way of doing that - I don't) / things that can go back into the wardrobe

* buying new things that fit your style better

* tossing out the clothes that you haven't worn in a few months

* going for much less clothes and reducing your wardrobe to only clothes you really wear and that fit and suit you well

* take pictures of you wearing the clothes in certain combinations to help with getting a feel for what fits together

* organize your wardrobe by color or type of clothes

A few maybe helpful links (haven't yet read them, I am quite exhausted from my own clothes shopping right now):

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/organizing/tips-for-spring-cleaning-your-wardrobe-049739
http://www.linkroll.com/Home-Improvement--83104-Tips-For-Cleaning-Out-Your-Wardrobe.html
http://www.melange4women.com/fashiontrends.html
http://www.flylady.net/pages/wardrobe_slimdown.asp
http://www.ehow.com/how_4764724_spring-clean-wardrobe.html
http://www.blogher.com/wardrobe-spring-cleaning-tips-and-tricks-trenches
http://sweetpealovesgreen.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/spring-cleaning-how-to-clearsort-out-your-wardrobe/
http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/independent-woman/fashion-beauty/holly-white-road-testswardrobe-spring-cleaning-2132835.html
angel_negra: Rei and Juri, peace signs. (Rei_Juri)
[personal profile] angel_negra
Note: These tips work best if you can support at least the majority of your own weight on your feet. I'm sure they could be adapted for others, but I haven't had cause to attempt that myself.

Two tricks and a tip )
martyna: Eggs, eggshells,... (oeufs)
[personal profile] martyna
It's quite a time since I asked my boyfriend to clean the oven and at the time he said he had/knew a super-foam-cleaner (or something like this) and would do it in a whiz, but when I asked him a couple of days ago, he wasn't able to recall neither the promise nor the product.
We've never used the oven much and back at home mum basically kept it tidy and there wasn't such a mess as is here now, especially since we tried out some recipes recently. (And today's has really spilt over. *wince*) I've done some surface cleaning over the time, but what I'm looking is a real cleaning.
How do you do it? Is there any special product you use? (If you're in France and can name the shop, even better!) Or maybe you make a product yourself? Does heating lemon in water (as in microwaves) help at least a bit? Not at all? Help me? *feels helpless*
creampuff: made by <user name=sunlitdays site=livejournal.com> (girl // out the window)
[personal profile] creampuff
Hi, all! :) I just joined today, though I've been reading since this was being advertised on DW's main page. I have to say, this was most certainly a brilliant idea for a community.

I just recently moved from BC, Canada, down to Colorado to both live together with my girlfriend and attend university. This isn't the first time I've been out of my parent's house (I went on an exchange to Japan in my last year of high school), but it is my first time living on my own, own. So, it's been quite an adventure, and two questions keep popping up while I'm cleaning:

1) Ceramic stove tops. The night before last while my girlfriend was making dinner, the oil in the pan decided to freak out and splatter over everything in the general vicinity, including becoming caked onto the ceramic stove top. We do have special cleaner and a scraper to get things off, but I'm worried that I'm going to scratch off the detailing on the stove that shows where the elements are. There are black spots where the oil hit, and they don't seem to want to come off for any reason. Is there some secret to cleaning them that I'm just not aware of, or do I just need to continue to gently scrape off the stuff that can be scraped, and then use a general cleaner for the residue? (My parents' house is a gas stove, so I've never had any experience with ceramic stove tops before.)

2) As I did just move to another country, there wasn't any more room in my car for furniture, so I'm out of a dresser (and even if I had brought it, there wouldn't be any space for it in our bedroom). Currently I'm taking up one of the two closets in the master bedroom, and there are two shelves in place, a hanging rod, and then I've been collecting those plastic storage drawers from Target to work as an acting dresser. I'm finding it difficult to keep my clothing organized, though, and I was wondering if anybody has any innovative ways to make my clothing accessible without going out and purchasing another piece of furniture.

Thank you!
yvi: Teyla with fighting stick, text: "love the fight" (Atlantis - Love the Fight)
[personal profile] yvi
Okay, so it looks like at least a few people would be interested in challenges, with not too broad tasks and rather short timespans (weekend to one week).

So, let's start this off with a week-long thing.

February 18 - February 25: the kitchen cupboards

Declutter, order, and clean at least one of your kitchen cupboards. Whether you tackle something with food in it or something with dishes/cutlery/crockery is up to you. You are of course also welcome to tackle more than just one of the cupboards.

Comment with what you want to do, whether you have already finished, need some encouragement, with pictures, etc. as you like.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
It's Saturday (in most of the world right now, at least, I think only four time zones have reached Sunday yet) and Saturday is the day that many people tackle household tasks.

The tale of my office )

So, that's what 30 minutes can go. So here's my challenge: Pick a Thing you have been putting off way too long now (cleaning the fridge? sorting the yarn stash? cleaning out the wardrobe?). Tell me about it her and get your encouragement :) Pick an hour of the weekend where you are not busy with something else and then just do the Thing for 30 minutes. Afterwards, relax for 30 minutes and tell us what you accomplished.
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