Posts filed under ‘Around The House’
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.
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
- Garden tools (without wood handles)
- Plastic hair brushes and combs
- 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)
Photo: tidefan (cc)
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.
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.
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|
|Do Not Wash|
|Do Not Bleach|
|Tumble Dry Normal|
|Do Not Dry|
|Do Not Iron|
|Do Not Dry Clean|
Sources: Textile Affairs
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.
Photo: PackAge (cc)
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!
Photo: Emillian Robert Vicol (cc)
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.
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.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
By Kaye Nemec
For those of you with babies approaching the age of movement, it is time to start opening up your eyes to all of the dangers hidden within your once perfectly safe home.
Stores like Babies ‘R Us, Buy Buy Baby and Target have shelves full of products designed to help protect your baby from sharp edges, hot surfaces, poisonous cleaners, toilet bowls etc. Buying all these products can be expensive. There are ways to help keep your budget in check by baby proofing with products you probably already have at home.
- Sharp Corners – Once you start looking for sharp corners in your house you’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of foam corner cushions you need to buy. To protect fire place corners, coffee and end table corners, counter top corners, kitchen table corners, vanity corners etc. etc. use tennis balls. Make a cut into them with a saw or very sharp knife and wedge them onto the corners.
- Cupboards – Your kitchen and bathrooms are full of cupboards that your little one will be curious about. The problem is, you need to keep him out while still being able to get in yourself. Store bought cupboard locks can be expensive and difficult to use (although you should still use them on cupboards with cleaning materials and medications). To baby proof on your own use rubber coated hairbands. Just wrap one band around both handles of the cupboard. Bungee cords or the thick rubber bands often found around produce like lettuce and broccoli also work well.
- Doors – Trying to keep your little one from opening doors and getting into our out of rooms on his own? As you close the door, place a washcloth between the door and the door frame. Place it high enough so little baby arms can’t reach it. Even if your baby is able to turn the door knob, she won’t be able to pull open the door due to the washcloth wedged between it and the frame.
- Power Outlets – For a quick and easy way to cover up outlets use Duct tape or masking tape. Tape is easy for you to move if you need to access the outlet but difficult for your baby to figure out. This is also a great way to cover outlets when you are traveling and didn’t bring outlet plugs with you.
- Miscellaneous – Velcro certainly won’t work once your baby really starts using their muscles, but it can help at early movement stages to help keep some knick knacks and small objects in place. Try using Velcro to hold down remotes, telephones, household decorations etc.
Of course you should also move sharp and dangerous objects out of reach and use baby gates or barriers to shield off-limits areas. To make sure everything is completely baby proof, take a tour of your house on your hands and knees so you can see your home from your baby’s view. Look for objects that are easy to grab, easy to run into etc.
These DIY solutions are also great for friends and family who don’t have babies, but have occasional baby visitors.
Special thanks to Daniella for suggesting this post!