Posts filed under ‘Around The House’

Sink Plungers are Not Toilet Plungers

Thankfully, my current home has good plumbing and I haven’t needed a plunger in a long time. But, I can’t say the same about previous places, especially some of those places in college!

The best way to get a plunger to work well is to use the right plunger. There are two main types of plungers: toilet plungers and general purpose plungers (for almost everything other than toilets).

plungersSinks and floor drains are typically flat, so a flat plunger is ideal. But toilet drains are typically curved and the curvature can vary widely among models. That means a flat sink plunger isn’t well suited for creating a seal and getting proper suction around the curvature of a toilet drain. You need good suction to clear a blockage and you’ll get better suction if you use a plunger with a flanged bottom to match the curve of the toilet drain.

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*Please checkout this game I’ve been working on with a friend. It’s available for free on Android and iOS. It’s a number based puzzle game that is designed for casual touchscreen gaming. Think sudoku, but better suited for visual thinkers (or people who just like palm trees). Click the phone below to check it out:

150wSkyscraper

September 5, 2014 at 9:55 am Leave a comment

How to Keep the Shower Curtain From Sticking to Your Leg

Showers should be refreshing, but it’s impossible to rejuvenate when a shower curtain is constantly rubbing your leg like an annoying dog.

To combat this problem, some shower curtains have magnets or weights to help keep it in place. Others are made of heavy or clingy materials. Sometimes these are enough, but often they’re not.

The best way to keep the shower curtain in place is to position the rod so the curtain can’t blow around.

Shower Curtain

If the curtain is hanging straight down, it is likely to blow around as the shower heats up and cool air rushes under it. Due to gravity, the shower curtain wants to hang straight down. Use this to force the shower curtain against the side of the tub by placing the curtain rod over the edge of the tub or shower basin.

The shower curtain will try to hang straight down but the tub is in the way so it will be forced against the tub and you can shower in peace.

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July 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm 3 comments

Label Cords Cheaply and Easily

By Chad Upton | Editor

Sometimes you have to temporarily disconnect your home electronics. It can be difficult to find a device you can spare or remember which cables to put back later. Use bread expiration tags as labels.

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July 6, 2011 at 2:00 am 8 comments

Things You Didn’t Know You Could Clean (or Cook!) in Your Dishwasher

By Kaye Nemec

Dishwashers were an amazing invention. Long gone are the days of hand washing and drying dishes every night. Now we can simply load up the dishwasher, turn it on and wake up to a fresh load of sparkly, clean dishes.

What many of my fellow dishwasher-loving friends may be pleased to learn is that your dishwasher has some major, hidden potential that extends way behind your basic dinner plate and water glass. Below is an extensive list of items that can also be washed in your dishwasher BUT, before scrolling down read this: your dishwasher can also be used for cooking.

It’s true. And of all things, salmon seems to be the most popular choice for dishwasher cuisine. Sounds like a bad internet rumor but it has been proven accurate over and over again. Check out this recipe if you’re so inclined.

Trying to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for your entire extended family? Save yourself some time by throwing all your baked potatoes in the dishwasher. They won’t cook and/or mash themselves but it will save you the time of having to scrub them all clean!

Now, on to that list of other dishwasher safe items…

  • Baseball caps
  • Small toys
  • Flip-flops
  • Garden tools (without wood handles)
  • Plastic hair brushes and combs
  • Toothbrushes
  • Fake flowers (on a light setting)
  • Kitchen sponges, vegetable brushes etc.
  • Makeup brushes
  • Hubcaps and wheel covers
  • Pet toys
  • Broom heads and dust pans
  • Fan faceplates
  • Sports equipment (shin guards, knee pads, golf balls etc.)
  • Vent covers
  • Window screens
  • Keyboards (some swear by this, some would never trust it)

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Sources: Real Simple, Home Ever After , The Bachelor Guy

Photo: tidefan (cc)

June 14, 2011 at 2:00 am 19 comments

Searing Meat Does Not Lock in Moisture

By Terry D. Johnson

The idea that searing meat locks in the juices has been around since the middle of the 19th century. According to the theory, searing changes the structure of the outside of the meat, preventing the escape of moisture during subsequent cooking. It’s still a popular technique – despite demonstrably failing at its purported task.

This is a simple enough one to test. Take two cuts of meat, sear one, cook both, and weigh them to determine whether the seared meat loses less moisture than the unseared cut. Numerous experiments have shown that the seared meat typically loses at least as much moisture, and possibly more.

Does this mean you should avoid searing meat entirely? Not at all. Browning (or caramelization) of the meat’s surface will introduce flavors and texture. A good sear is still a worthy component of a good chef’s toolbox – but not because it laminates your prime rib.

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Source: The Food Lab
Image: Wikimedia Commons

May 16, 2011 at 2:00 am 6 comments

The Signature Line on Checks is Not a Line at All

By Chad Upton | Editor

Although personal checks are antiquated by modern payment standards, they still have some valid uses. For example, they’re still popular for personal and bill payments by mail. They’re also used to dodge online transaction fees to pay friends or submit payments for online auctions.

Turning a blank line into any amount of money has obvious fraud potential. Unlike most currency, the paper itself is not particularly special. However, the print on the paper has some security features built in.

Photocopying is thwarted in a couple of ways. First, the light blue ink is a specific color of blue that does not photocopy well.

There is also a feature called micro-security print, usually indicated with an “MP” (micro-security print) logo on the signature line. The logo indicates that very tiny print is present. While the signature line looks like an ordinary horizontal line, it is actually made up of very small repeating print, “AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE.” This text is extremely small; so small that it will become completely blurry and unreadable if it is photocopied.

The next time you see a check, try reading the fine print.

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Sources: 4checks.com, Yahoo! Answers

May 4, 2011 at 2:00 am 5 comments

The Meaning of Care Symbols on Clothes Tags

By Kaye Nemec

When it’s time to wash a new item of clothing, most people check the tag to see what the manufacturer recommends for washing and drying.

Sometimes instructions are easily spelled out, other times the consumer is given a set of symbols to interpret. With no explanation or key to reference, there is no way to know what these symbols mean. Before you take a gamble with your clothing purchases, use the chart below as a reference guide for the most common symbols. For an extensive list of care symbols visit Textileaffairs.com.

  Machine Wash Normal
  Machine Wash Cold
  Machine Wash Warm
  Hand Wash
  Do Not Wash
  Do Not Bleach
  Tumble Dry Normal
  Do Not Dry
  Iron Normal
  Do Not Iron
  Dry Clean
  Do Not Dry Clean

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Sources: Textile Affairs

April 27, 2011 at 2:00 am 1 comment

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