Rust stains on concrete – pour lemon juice on the stain and rub with a linen cloth. Another method would be to use oxycillic acid on the stain. This can be purchased in a janitorial supply store or look for ZUD or Barkeepers Friend in a retail store. Sprinkle some on the stain, then make a paste with more of the powder and water. Apply the paste with a scrub brush and scrub around. Let dry. After it has dried use a hose and the scrub brush to clean up.
Oil stains on driveway or garage floor – Pour mineral spirits, (paint thinner) on the oil. Cover with something absorbent like kitty litter, sand, saw dust, corn meal, or baking soda and leave for a day. Sweep up the material. Repeat if necessary.
You can also use liquid laundry soap or a degreaser, a scrub brush and hose to get the oil off.
Outside lights – put a little petroleum jelly on the base of a light bulb before you screw into socket outside. This will make it easier to remove later on.
Organizing your nuts, nails and screws – Nail the lids of baby food jars underneath an upper cabinet, fill and screw the jar to the lid.
Stuck lids – Before you have this problem with a new paint can or tube of glue, rub a little petroleum jelly around the rim.
Legs of outdoor furniture – If you have lost the caps on the bottoms of the legs try a cap from a soda bottle.
Squeaky Door – You don’t have to just put up with that irritating noise. You will need penetrating oil and a rag. The pin in the hinge needs to be halfway out of the hinge. Do this by pulling or knocking the pin up. Apply the oil into the exposed hole and onto the pin itself. Open and close the door until the squeaking stops. Push pin back into place and clean up excess oil.
Moss and Algae – Your roof can be damaged prematurely if moss and algae are allowed to stay on your shingles. There are liquid moss and algae killers available. Read package directions to apply. If you can’t locate this product, let us know and we will tell you where to find it mail order.
Glues – To pick the best adhesive for a job, consider some of the following: Water and heat resistant: Two-part epoxy, superglue, water-based contact cement and silicone sealant. Hot glue doesn’t hold up well under extreme heat but is waterproof. Carpenter’s glue is resistant to moisture and heat. White glue is not resistant to either. Read labels for the project you have. If you are using two-part epoxy, use everything disposable for the mixing and application, e.g. foil, toothpicks, Popsicle sticks, etc.
Extension Cords – Using an extension cord outside can be a nuisance when you get to the end of the cord and it pulls apart from the other cord. To stop this from happening, take the two different cords, one in each hand and tie them in a loose knot before you plug them together. When the cords reach the end of their length they will pull on each other, not away from each other.
Bumper Sticker Removal – Apply one of the following to the sticker and allow to set for at least 10 minutes; Spray on Pre-wash, cold cream, mayonnaise. Peel off.
Drain Cleaner – 1-cup table salt, 1-cup baking soda, and ¼-cup cream of tartar. Mix together and pour down drain. Let stand for 5 minutes then rinse with water. Do this once a month.
Painting – If you haven’t all ready tried the disposable paint tray liners, try one. They are inexpensive and make clean up so much easier. While painting have a bucket of water handy with a cloth for cleaning up errors immediately. Just keep the cloth in the water so it is ready in a flash. When you need to stop painting but aren’t ready to clean up your brushes or rollers you can keep them from drying out by putting them in plastic bags or foil. Make sure all air is squeezed out. Put these in the refrigerator to keep them fresh (short term).
Mildew on Books – Sprinkle baking soda on the pages or book cover that have mildew on them. This baking soda is amazing stuff, isn’t it? Rub it around and let sit for a few says. Then clean off.
Turning off utilities – Everyone at your house needs to know how to turn off water, gas and electricity in the event of an emergency. Main water valve should be tagged with something bright so it can be found in a hurry. Typically if you have natural gas you would need a wrench to turn off gas. Electricity would be turned off by flipping off main circuit breaker(s) or if you have fuses by pulling the main fuse block(s).
Wood Decks - Winter can leave your wood deck looking pretty rough. You can either hire a professional to clean your deck or do it yourself. The new deck cleaning products work quite well. If you use a power washer, be careful that you don’t damage the wood. A power washer can really tear up wood.
If you decide to do it yourself, pick a time when you will have enough time to finish the job by applying a wood protector. Don’t strip your deck and leave it for a week without a protector on it. Overnight is O.K. but that is about it.
There are so many products that you should take your time and read the cans thoroughly. Some products will only protect from water damage while others protect from water and graying. You will pay more for the latter but if you don’t want graying it is worth the extra money.
To treat mildew on wood, use a commercial fungicide, or try this mixture:
1-quart liquid bleach
3-quarts warm water
Wearing waterproof gloves, mix and brush well onto wood. Rinse and let dry. CAUTION: Do not use a detergent containing ammonia, which reacts with chlorine bleach to form a poisonous gas. Plants and Shrubs should be protected. Thoroughly soak any foundation plantings before and after to dilute any chemicals that run off the deck.
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