Posts filed under ‘Around The House’

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

Secret Uses for Olive Oil

By Kaye Nemec

A few weeks ago I accidentally bought waterproof mascara. For those of you familiar with waterproof eye make-up, you know that the term “waterproof” is not used lightly. It is also soap, face wash and wash cloth proof. Conveniently, make-up brands sell make-up remover to use along with their semi-permanent products. But, determined to get the mascara off of my eyes before sleeping with it on all night and running to Target in the morning, I searched for another option and what I landed upon was olive oil. After testing it out and getting a positive result, the doors to a world of uses for olive oil that I never knew existed were opened. Read below for some of the most practical uses.

  • Shaving lubricant
  • Polish – olive oil can be used as a substitute for furniture polish. Just dab a small amount of olive oil on a soft cloth and polish wood furniture as you normally would. Also use it to shine stainless steel and brass.
  • Moisturizer – olive oil makes a great skin moisturizer. Rub it into your hands, use it to moisturize cuticles etc. Using it to remove eye make-up also allows you to moisturize the soft skin around your eyes safely.
  • Frizz control – use a small dab of olive oil to tame unruly or frizzy hair (side note: dryer sheets also work well for this).
  • Snoring/Coughing – take a sip of olive oil to lubricate your throat. Do it before bed to help prevent snoring and do it if you have a scratch or tickle in your throat to prevent coughing.
  • Diaper rash cure – wipe a small amount of olive oil onto a baby’s bottom to help clear up diaper rash.

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Sources: Curbly, Yahoo Green

Photo: PackAge (cc)

April 13, 2011 at 2:00 am 5 comments

Why Aluminum Foil is Dull on One Side

By Kaye Nemec

Hopefully you’ve all read Chad’s previous posts about aluminum foil retainers or how to properly use aluminum foil in the microwave. The post about aluminum foil retainers is a life changer.

I learned something else recently that adds to the growing list of things you never knew you needed to know about aluminum foil.

There are two, distinct sides to standard aluminum foil – the shiny side and the dull side. During the last phase of the rolling process, two sheets of foil are put through the rollers. The rollers themselves are oiled and, therefore, the side of the foil that touches the roller comes out shinier than the other. There are rumors that one side of the foil reflects heat better than the other and that the reflection should be considered during cooking. However, the Reynolds Wrap website states, “Actually, it makes no difference which side of the aluminum foil you use—both sides do the same fine job of cooking, freezing and storing food.”

P.S. If you place a piece of aluminum foil underneath your ironing board cover the heat will reflect off of it which means you are ironing both sides of your garment at once!

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Sources: Reynolds Wrap, The Straight Dope, Life Hackery

Photo: Emillian Robert Vicol (cc)

April 6, 2011 at 2:00 am 3 comments

The Fastest Way to Fold a Shirt

By Chad Upton | Editor

Whenever I see neatly folded shirts in a clothing store, I wonder how they fold the shirts so perfectly.

One time, I noticed an employee using a piece of wood to help them. But, this video demonstrates the fastest and most mind blowing way to perfectly fold a shirt.

If you’re viewing this post on a device that doesn’t support video, pinch the shirt in the two locations shown in the following photo.

Then, carry your left hand over your right hand and pinch the bottom of the shirt inline with the two pinch points you already have. Then, lift up and let the shirt fall into a perfect square. Place the lowest edge on a table and fold over that edge so the front logo is facing up.

Voila.

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March 30, 2011 at 2:00 am 10 comments

Not Making Your Bed Kills Dust Mites

By Chad Upton | Editor

There’s a hot debate on whether you should make your bed or not. Some people believe it teaches children discipline, others like the look and/or feel of a made bed and tight sheets.

Regardless of your preference, there is some new information that indicates not making your bed is cleaner than making it.

Millions of dust mites can live in your bed if the conditions are right. Because dust mites can impact our health with asthma and allergies, scientists are studying mights to improve health in the future.

Dust mites survive best in warm and moist conditions. Scientists say that one of easiest ways to reduce the heat and humidity inside your bed is to leave it unmade in the morning.

Because they’re so small, less than a millimeter, it’s very easy to deprive them of heat and moisture.

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Source: BBC

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

March 21, 2011 at 2:00 am 1 comment

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