Down the Drain...
Garbage Disposal Dos & Dont's
If your kitchen has a garbage disposal, you know how easy it makes mealtime clean up. But what you may not realize is that your disposal comes with some pretty important rules.
Here are some of the most vital:
• Insert food slowly. Stuffing it all into your disposal at once can cause clogs and shorten the life of your system.
• Grind hard materials. Many people think food like chicken bones or small fruit pits are a no-no, but they can actually help clean the walls of the disposal.
• Use cold water for at least 20 seconds. This will solidify grease so that it can be ground up. Also, make sure that all food particles are washed completely down the drain.
• Keep it clean. Feed a full tray of ice cubes through it while running cold water. One good way to eliminate drain smells is by grinding citrus fruit peels. You can also add a few drops of dish soap and let the disposal run for a few minutes.
• Use hot water. This will make grease liquefy and build up, which can clog the drain.
• Grind fibrous or expandable foods. The former, like celery stalks and onionskins, can tangle up the disposal. The latter, like pasta and rice, can clog it.
• Turn off the motor too quickly. You'll want to make sure all food particles are completely ground. Once done, continue to run the water for at least 15 seconds to flush out particles.
• Wash coffee grounds down the drain. While they won't harm the disposal itself, they can clog pipes and drains.
• Forget to use it. Lack of use can cause rusting and corrosion, which can lead to premature system replacement.
Garbage Disposal Quick Fixes:
Problem: Garbage disposal does not operate.
Problem: Motor hums but unit does not grind.
Problem: The disposal grinds things too slowly.
Painting interior walls is relatively easy and cheap way to transform the rooms of your home while protecting overall resale value. Aside from adding personality and drama, re-painting protects the surface from moisture and fading. Here are a few things to know before you start planning your DIY masterpiece.
Sheen/Luster - A paint's "sheen" classifies its degree of shine. Flat paint is the dullest of the sheens and is best uses in low activity areas such as hallways and dining rooms, or on ceilings. Eggshell (sometimes "low-luster") has more shine that flat and is easier to wash. Eggshell finishes are appropriate for bedrooms and living rooms. Semigloss and glossy sheens reflect light for a brighter look. Both are durable and easy to wash, although glossy sheens will highlight any imperfections on a wall or surface. Semigloss sheens finishes are good choices for bathrooms and kitchens, while glossy finishes are often reserved for trim, railings, cabinetry and doors.
Quality - While it may be tempting to save money by buying cheaper paint, you will likely end up paying for it in the long run. High quality paint has higher pigment levels and a higher percentage of titanium dioxide, which increases coverage ability and improves durability. Their heavier bodies will go on smoother with less splattering and fewer applications, and will resist fading over time.
Color - Darker hues are known to add interest or warmth to a room, while lighter colors can open up a room and make it seem more spacious. Painting one wall with a rich color can add new drama to the space. In terms of durability, colors such as white, brown tend to fade less than brighter greens, yellows and blues.
Testing - Paint chips and samples can help you whittle down color options, but the best test of a paint color is to see the hue on the intended surface during different lighting conditions. Purchase quart or sample sizes of your top paint choices to get the best feel for the paint's affect on its surroundings.
Amount - 1 gallon of paint will typically cover 350 square feet of surface. Multiply the width of your walls by the height of the room to determine the total square footage you need to cover. Some manufacturers provide coverage calculators that will help you determine how many gallons of paint you will need.
Preparation - Paint adheres best to clean, uniform walls. Scrape clear any flaking paint and spackle in holes and cracks. Wash walls with a trisodium phosphate solution. Use plenty of painter's tape on baseboards, moldings and windowpanes. Applying a primer will conceal stains and ensure uniform color and absorption.
Equipment - Latex paints are best used with nylon brushes (or rollers), while natural brushes 9or rollers) work best for oil-based paint. 3-4 inch wall brushes work well on large, flat surfaces. Angled sash brushes are ideal for detailed areas, and trim brushes are perfect for doors and window frames. Paint rollers work well on rough or textured surfaces. The rougher the surface, the longer the roller nap should be.
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