Posts tagged ‘clean’

UPS Co-Founder Wanted Yellow Trucks

By Chad Upton | Editor

In 1915, Merchants Parcel Delivery (now UPS) decided they needed a consistent color scheme across all of their vehicles — four cars and five motorcycles. Co-founder James Casey consulted a local adman, who suggested yellow. Charlie Soderstrom, another partner, argued that yellow would be too difficult to keep clean.

Another company had already considered this. Railroad cars manufactured by Pullman Company were brown because they hid dirt better than other colors which meant they required less washing. That settled the argument, Casey conceded and brown has been UPS’s color ever since.

Half a century later, competing package delivery service DHL forms and chooses yellow.

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Photos: Jeremy Vandel (cc), wolfgang (cc)

Sources: cnn, wikipedia (ups, pullman company)

July 4, 2012 at 2:00 am 2 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 22 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

Your Dryer’s Lint Filter Should Be Washed

By Kaye Nemec | Contributor

Hopefully, you already know you need to clean the lint filter in your dryer after every couple uses. This maximizes efficiency and reduces a potential fire hazard. But, did you know that washing your lint filter every six months can further improve the performance of your dryer and also increase its lifespan?

A standard, tumble dryer has a fan that pulls fresh air into the dryer where it is heated to evaporate the moisture in your clothes. The warm air and the moisture then pass through
your lint filter where anything that was picked up with the tumbling motion is trapped. From there, the air is sent outside and the cycle starts over again with fresh air.

If you don’t clean your lint filter between uses, the flow of this moist, warm air is restricted and your dryer is much less efficient. What you probably didn’t know is that
the dryer sheets you throw in with each load of wet clothes are covered with a silicone based film that, overtime, also builds up on your lint filter and causes your dryer to work less efficiently.

Don’t believe me? Take your lint filter out and run some warm water over it. Is it pooling up on top and not draining through? Is there just a slow trickle of water passing through the screen? Odds are, the water is not rushing through as it would on a normal screen.

To wash your lint filter, try the following:

  1. Remove your lint filter from your dryer.
  2. Wash the screen with warm soapy water. You can use a soft brush (an old toothbrush works) but don’t put too much pressure on the screen.
  3. Hand dry the screen and leave it out until it’s completely dry.
  4. Reinstall the filter into your dryer.

You can clean your filter as needed or every 6 months to a year.

Some dryers also have moisture sensors (the black object in the photo) and the film can build up on those as well. To make sure your sensor continues to work efficiently, you can clean it with a little bit of detergent and a soft brush.

With the variety of dryers available today, you should confirm the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations in your owner’s manual first.

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Sources: Snopes.com, eHow.com

Photo: p0ps Harlow (cc)

August 5, 2010 at 5:00 am 5 comments

How to Remove Skunk Smell from Pets, Clothes, etc.

When I was a teenager, I heard an awful noise in our backyard. It was a loud and fearful shriek, like nothing I had heard before; it was followed by the yelping of our yellow Labrador.

Our dog Trooper had just been sprayed by a skunk and he was not happy about it. Frankly, nobody on our block was happy that warm spring night. I could hear the neighbors disgust as they went from room to room and shut their windows.

My mom bathed the dog in the backyard and I went to buy tomato juice. We bathed him in Tomato juice for a while and it was mildly effective.

But, there are some better alternatives.

The home remedy is a foaming mixture:

  • 1 Quart Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
  • 1/4 Cup  Baking Soda
  • 2 Tbsp Dish-washing Soap (not dishwasher detergent)

The baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will create oxygen bubbles that react with the thiols in skunk oil to neutralize the smell. Be sure to use the mixture right away, while it is foaming, before the bubbles dissolve. This was proven to be more effective than tomato juice by Myth Busters in episode 16. This potion can be used on clothing, people and animals.

If you you’re a planner or have a time to go to a local pharmacy, you can pickup a product called Tecnu — I found many internet users who claim it is more effective than the homemade brew while Myth Busters found the home brew concoction to be more effective than commercial products.

Regardless of which method you choose, you should use a proper eye cleaning solution for your pet’s eyes and put cotton balls in their ears to prevent these solutions from getting in their ears.

Broken Secrets | Chad Upton

Sources: eHow, Skunk Removal Recipe, Myth Busters

July 7, 2010 at 5:00 am 3 comments

Desktop Snacking Without a Greasy Keyboard

With more work and less help, it’s no surprise that nearly 70% of Americans eat lunch at their desks. At 61% the majority of people also snack at their desk throughout the day.

All that food is one reason keyboards and mice are have more bacteria than most toilet seats. Also, office toilet seats are usually sanitized daily, when was the last time your keyboard or mouse were?

This tip is helpful because your hands never touch your food. This prevents your keyboard from getting dirtier and it keeps your hands from passing bacteria to your mouth.

1. Pour bite-size snacks into a cup or glass.

2. Angle cup into your mouth so bite-size snacks fall into your mouth.

3. Chew, swallow and repeat from step 2.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: Home Food Safety Org, ABC News

July 5, 2010 at 5:00 am 9 comments

Dog’s Mouths Are Not Cleaner Than Human’s

This probably shouldn’t be a secret. If you think about the things that dogs lick and humans don’t, then this should be pretty obvious. But, the myth that dog’s mouths are cleaner than human’s is perpetually propagated.

There is an old tale that you should let a dog lick your wounds to speed healing. The wounds may actually heal faster; that’s because the licking will stimulate circulation and clear away dead tissue, but it’s not because their saliva is cleaner than ours.

Some say that dog’s saliva is more acidic than humans so they break down bacteria better. Others look at the fact that dogs rarely get cavities or gum disease as proof.

The fact is, dogs have a similar amount of oral bacteria to humans. But, the types of oral bacteria varies between dogs and humans.

That’s why dogs rarely get cavities or gum disease, the types of bacteria that cause these problems are only found in about 5% of dogs. In fact, viruses and bacteria that affect humans usually don’t bother dogs and vice versa. For that reason, you may actually have a higher risk of becoming sick from kissing a human than kissing a dog. But, that doesn’t mean their mouths are cleaner.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: A Moment of Science, ABC, Life’s Little Mysteries

June 28, 2010 at 5:00 am 14 comments

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