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How to remove paint from hardwood floors

By | July 31, 2016

Removing paint from hardwood floors

Paint settles and dries fast on whatever surface it is spilled. It cannot be removed easily with just soap and water and when you are dealing with wooden floor or furniture. Special care should be taken to not ruin the finish of the wooden surface.

Denatured alcohol (methylated spirits) are some common household remedies for cleaning paint stains, though they may not work always. If the paint stains are too strong to be removed by alcoholic solvents then you need a commercial paint solvent or thinner product that is specially formulated for lifting out paint stains.

In this post we shall be talking about simple techniques to remove paint and paint stains from wooden surface like hardwood floors. Later on we also take a look at some commercial products that can do the cleaning job more effectively.

1. Rubbing alcohol

Get hold of a cleaning rag or microfiber cloth or something similar. Use your fingers to create a fold in the rag and dip it in rubbing alcohol and wet it. Now dab and rub the paint on the wooden floor with this rag.

Alcohol has the chemical properties that can dissolve paint and lift it off without etching the underlying surface. That way, you can lift the paint without spoiling the wooden finish.

If the stains are old and dried they might need several applications of the rubbing alcohol and some time to dissolve. Check the rag and see if the paint is coming off in it.

As the paint dissolves in the alcohol it should be absorbed into the rag. If you do not see any improvement then the alcohol is probably not having any effect.

If you do not have rubbing alcohol, try hair spray or aftershave lotion. They also contain lots of alcohol that can dissolve the paint.

2. Solvents and paint thinners

If the paint does not come off with alcohol, try some solvents like kerosene or turpentine oil if you have it at home.

Take very little of the oil in a small plastic container and use a rag to soak it. Then rub the paint spots with the soaked rags and the paint should come off.

Kerosene or turpentine oil can lift even oil paint stains, which alcohol cannot. Be cautious while handling kerosene or turpentine oil. These solvents are highly inflammable, so the place should be well ventilated and there should be no heat or electric source near by.

2. Commercial paint remover products

Paint stains and patches can be difficult to remove using simple home remedies. Not all kinds of paint can be easily dissolved using alcoholic cleaners. You may find yourself in a situation which needs more cleaning power.

There are plenty of paint thinner and cleaning products available that can make the task easier. They are specially formulated to thin out the paint and lift it without much effort and without damaging the underlying surface. You need to find out the right one.

Again its important to select the right kind of paint thinner for specific home needs. Most paint thinners are quite powerful and actually made for the painting process rather than lifting a paint stain. They are supposed to be used by those who actually paint walls.

For removing paint stains, look specifically for those products that are specially made for cleaning paint marks and residues by home users. They are generally less toxic, have less odor and are safer.

1. Goof Off – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001NZSCDS/

Goof Off acts as a solve that can dissolve many things including latex paint. It is supposed to be used in garage work to get rid of paint and grease stains from mechanical oils from clothes or aprons. But can also be used at home to get rid of tough stains like those of paint.

Goof Off actually comes has many variants, each with a different purpose. The one made for home use is safer than the one made for garage use. The home version comes in a spray bottle that is easy to use and is is biodegradable and less inflammable when used properly.

2. Goo Gone Painter’s Pal – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2Q8AHG/

Goo Gone is another range of stain cleaning products that comes in many variants. The Painter’s Pal variant is formulated to erase paint stains from a different surfaces like wood, plastic, glass etc. Comes in a spray bottle that can be used easily.

Simply spray on the paint splatters, wait for a few minutes and then gently rub with a sponge. The paint should dissolve out and get away from the wood.

3. KRUD KUTTER KR32 Tough Task Remover – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001L49S48/

The Krud Kutter is a water based biodegradable solvent that can lift a variety of stains including latex and oil paints. Comes in a spray bottle and is available on amazon.

Extra tips

Avoid rubbing the wooden surface with sand paper. Also avoid using sharp metallic objects to scratch the paint and lift it. The underlying wooden surface will also get scratched badly. The best way is to apply a paint thinner solution and dissolve it out.

Nail polish remover may also do the trick of removing paint from wood. But if its acetone based then it will very likely spoil the finish and dull the wood finish. So its better to avoid nail polish removers for wooden surfaces.

If you know of any other easy remedy or technique of cleaning off paint from wooden surfaces then let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

How to clean stove drip pans

By | July 30, 2016

Cleaning drip pans

If you are not enthusiastic enough to clean your stove once everyday, the grease and grime buildup on specific areas like drip pans can get really nasty. And when you decide to clean them up, you keep rubbing for hours with soap and water.

But even for the lazy, there are smart ways to clean drip pans effortlessly without having to rub at all. Food spills contain almost all kind of chemical substances including oil, grease, proteins etc that settle on the pan and sticks. The longer it sticks, the stronger it sticks. Spills from burnt food tends to stick even stronger and better. Although we do not know the exact science behind why the food sticks so well to the stove, but we can surely tell you nice and scientific ways of getting rid of them.

Dishsoaps are not effective in cleaning stubborn grimes because they are formulated for lighter food stains and made to be soft on human skin and the cookware. To fight tougher grease patches you need a cleaning substance that has high alkalinity.

stove drip pans

1. Baking Soda + Vinegar method

The baking soda + vinegar method is quite effective in lifting some of the most sticky grim from pans. And both of those things are completely non-toxic, so you can use them quite generously.

Here is how to do it. Put your pans aside and sprinkle dry baking soda on it. Make sure to cover the dirty parts very well with baking soda. You don’t need to pour lots of it, just enough to cover the dirt and grime.

Now take a spray bottle containing equal parts of plain white vinegar with water. Start spraying the vinegar solution the baking soda. This will instantly start a fizzing reaction. Stop spraying when all of the baking soda starts foaming.

Leave the pans for about 2 hours. Afterwards wash with dishsoap and sponge. The grease debris should fall off easily giving your shining clean pans.

When the baking soda reacts with vinegar, it produces gas which puts pressure on the grease and breaks its down. Then its easy to remove without much labor.

2. Baking Soda+dishsoap paste

Prepare a paste of baking soda+water+dishsoap. Add little water and more baking soda and about a spoon or more of dishsoap. Make sure its a creamy paste.

Apply this paste thoroughly all over the pans and let it sit for few hours or a whole day. Afterwards, clean with sponge and water and all the dirt should lift off. This method might not work on strong and very dirty pans.

3. Boil it

This method involves boiling the cleaning solution and putting the pans in it. The heat enhances and speeds up the cleaning process lifting even tough stains and gunk.

Take a container and prepare a solution of water + quarter cup baking soda + 1 teaspoon dishsoap. Put this solution and heat and let it boil. Then turn of the heat and put the drip pans in it and let them rest for a few hours. The grease and dirt should start floating up on the water.

Besides baking soda you can also use plain vinegar. Mix about 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water and boil the solution. Then put the pans in it and let the solution do its work till it cools down. All the dirt on the pan should lift off.

When using hot vinegar, make sure that the pans are either steel or porcelain coated. Do not try this method on raw cast iron or aluminium pans or electric stove pans. The acid in the vinegar would react.

Use the boiling method only if the pans are just too dirty and the baking soda+vinegar method failed to work.

4. Ammonia method – “Powerful”

Ammonia is a very powerful cleaning agent for greasy grimes, and can do wonders for your drip pans, grates and burners. You should always first try the baking soda and vinegar method first, since its easy and requires little preparation.

For the ammonia method you will need zip lock bags (ZipLoc) to put the pans inside. First take a bag and put the pan inside it. Next pour in about quarter(1/4) cup liquid ammonia in it and seal the bag. Let the bag rest for a whole day.

Next day, take out the pans from the bag and clean with a sponge and soap. All the grease and dirt would just fall off the pans without any effort.

Ammonia is a strong alkaline substance and it gives out fumes that do the cleaning job. You do not need to soak the pans in ammonia, the fumes do the cleaning job. When using ammonia, make sure its the regular household ammonia and not any other variant.

However, keep in mind that you should never inhale ammonia as the fumes are not very human friendly. So when working with ammonia, make sure the place is well ventilated. Open up the windows.

Note – When using ammonia, make sure that the pans are NOT made of aluminium. Ammonia reacts with aluminium and corrodes it.

3. The expensive method

The expensive method is the easiest of all methods. Just get a new set of pans!!

If the polish of the pans is etched badly and the underlying metal has been exposed in many places, the pan would catch dirt again and would become increasingly difficult to clean. You may want to consider replacing them with a new set.

Extra tips

Another effective cleaning technique is to use a paste made of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. It works well on the not-so-sticky grease stains. Prepare a paste in a bowl and use a sponge to apply and rub it over the grease.

The above shown methods are to be used with simple non-electric drip pans. For electric pans check the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning.

When ever cleaning kitchen tools, try to use non toxic and natural cleaners. Or just use some suitable commercial cleaning product.

Happy cleaning! and let us know what you use to clean your pans.

How to clean stainless steel pans

By | July 29, 2016

Cleaning stainless steel pans

Stainless steel is perhaps the most common metal used for kitchen utensils. Pans, pots, spoon, knife, tumblers, bowls and almost everything is available in stainless steel. Its resistant from rust and corrosion and lasts really long.

Cleaning stainless steel is quite easy if you do it on time and regularly. Simple dishsoap and water should suffice. However there are certain recipes (specially those involving oil and frying) that leave stronger residues and stains on the steel that can be time consuming to clean.

If you manage to burn something in the steel pan while on stove, the burnt food can leave a really strong mark on the stainless steel that can take hours or even days to clean. It can even spoil the next food that you cook in the same pan. Sugar for example leaves a very strong stain on stainless steel if it gets burnt while cooking.

Avoid abrasive scrubs

Avoid rubbing too hard with an abrasive scrubber. Never use any steel wool or wire scourer. Doing so will remove the sticky food or stain easily but will etch and scratch the steel too much, making it loose the original shine and look ugly. Sponges and fiber scrubs are best for cleaning steel.

In this post we talk about simple home remedies to get rid of the dirt on your stainless steel pans and pots that did not go away with the usual scrubber and soap.

1. Simple hard water stains

If all you need to clean is hard water stains from the steel, the process is actually very simple. Mix equal parts of plain white vinegar and water in a cup and use this solution to rub the steel pan with a sponge. Do it for few minutes and all stains should be gone.

If the stains seem to be bit harder, then just fill the pan with the solution for a few hours and wash later. If the stains are on the outer side of the pan too, then put the pan in a small plastic tub or bucket and fill the tub with the vinegar+water solution and leave for few hours.

Hard water mainly consists of minerals that decompose and dissolve under the effect of vinegar in some time. You do not need anything else. If vinegar is not at hand, then go for lemon juice. One tablespoon of lemon juice in a quart of water should be the right solution.

2. Burnt oil or food stains

First clean with your regular dishsoap and sponge and remove as much of it possible. This will remove any sticky food particles and leave behind only the sticky residue that needs special treatment.

Prepare a solution of hot water + half cup baking soda + 1-2 teaspoon of dishsoap and pour it in the pan. Make enough solution to just cover up the burned area and not more.

Let it sit like that for a day. Or you could try heating it on stove for about 5 minutes. This will cause the solution to boil up and loosen up the sticky burnt food. Afterwards just clean again as usual and the sticky food and burnt stains should come off easily.

As an alternative to baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice may be used. Mix equal parts of vinegar with warm water+ 1 teaspoon of dishsoap and pour inside the pan.

Or fill the pan with warm water and squeeze about 2 tablespoon of lemon juice in it. Let it sit for few hours. Afterwards the stains should come off easily with dishsoap and water, effortlessly. You may want to heat the solution to get the job done quicker.

If you do not have vinegar or baking soda then even a solution of dishsoap+water can help lift of burnt food residue and stains. Just let it sit and soak for a day.

3. Regular cleaning

For daily cleaning of stainless steel cookware dishsoap is sufficient. For stubborn food stains or patches, pre-treat by keeping the utensils submerged in a solution for few hours so that the sticky residue loosens up and you don’t need to put in manual labor.

The solution should be made with 2 teaspoons of dishsoap in about a quarter gallon water.

4. Commercial dish cleaning products

There are plenty of cleaning products available in the market that are specially formulated to lift burned food stains and grease stains from stainless steel cookware. You can find them on amazon. Here are some popular ones –

1. Dawn Dish Power Dissolver – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PRACR7W

Extra tips and advice

Here is another useful tip on clean off sticky burnt food from the inside of a pan. Put a tablespoon of cream of tartar in the pan and fill with enough water to cover the burned area and let it sit for a day. Afterwards all the burned residue should come off with a simple soap wash.

If you want to avoid boiling the pan with the cleaning solution in it, the alternative is to let the solution sit in the pan for a whole day. Either way it would do the work. Sometimes however the burned food is just too bad to come off easily and you need extra heat to loosen it up.

Please keep in mind that all the above mentioned cleaning techniques are meant strictly for stainless steel pans only. Do not try them on nonstick pans or other coated pans.

How to clean granite countertops

By | July 28, 2016

Clean granite countertops

Granite is a natural stone and needs some maintenance to keep looking clean and shining through daily use. The countertops installed in kitches go through lots of processing to make them resistant to water and dirt.

Granite is so durable that with regular cleaning you can actually keep your countertop shining for many years. Though you need to know the proper way of cleaning granite, or else the cleaning itself can ruin the looks of it.

When cleaning granite, you need to ensure that the protective coating (sealant) is not affected. A pH neutral or pH balanced cleaning solution is best for granite. The cleaning solution should not be too much acidic or alkaline.

Anything that is too acidic will etch the protective coating within minutes and then start damaging the porous stone underneath. Highly alkaline substances will have a similar effect.

If you are using some commercial cleaning solution then check the instructions on the label. Not all commercial cleaners are actually pH balanced or suitable for stones like granite. Just because you can use a cleaner for removing water stains from steel sinks or porcelain basins, they may be not be suitable for granite.

So in this post we are going to talk at length about the best options for cleaning granite countertops.

Things to avoid

1. Avoid scrubbing with dry baking soda. The abrasive nature of the baking soda can lift the protective seal coating on the granite.

2. Avoid strong cleaning agents like ammonia, bleach. Though they can be used in very diluted form, but there is always a risk of adding things in the wrong proportion and ending up damaging the granite.

3. It is recommended to even avoid acidic cleaners like vinegar and lemon juice because the acid reacts with the granite minerals causing corrosion. The same way, if you spill lemon juice on the surface while cooking, wipe it out immediately. The long the lime juice stays on granite, the more it will etch it.

4. Be careful with whatever you use for rubbing the granite. Do not use cleaning scrubbers. The rigid fibers of the scrubber will surely etch the seal coating on the granite. Use only microfiber cloth or sponge.

Its best to use a pH neutral or pH balanced cleaning solution like the one we shall be preparing a little later in this article.

1. Microfiber cloth and water

To begin with, just use a damp microfiber cloth to rub the entire granite area. Lift up as much dust and stains the cloth can pickup.

Rinse the cloth in fresh water, if it gets too dirty. Repeat the process as many times as you feel necessary. When there is no further progress, its time to switch to a cleaning solution that will lift the stubborn stains and other residues.

2. Home made Cleaning solution

You can prepare a very effective cleaning solution at home, that is not very harsh on the granite. Use the following ingredients and store them in a spray bottle.

1. Rubbing Alcohol
2. Liquid Dishsoap
3. Water
4. Few drops of essential oils for fragrance (optional)

The dishsoap will do the cleaning of the granite and the alcohol will help lift many different kinds of stains without streaking the surface. Liquid castile soap can also be used instead of dishsoap.

Spray this solution generously all over and wipe with a microfiber cloth or sponge. You may need to do it more than once before you see a bright and clean countertop almost as good as new.

Essential oils improve the cleaning solution in many ways. They help mask the smell of the alcohol with a natural fragrance that is pleasant. Also some essential oils are very effective in repelling small insects out of your kitchen. Eucalyptus oil is known to be very effective in repelling ants out.

Commercial cleaning products

There are plenty of cleaning solutions available in the market that are formulated specially for cleaning granite and similar stone surfaces. You can find almost all varieties on amazon or some of them in your local hardware store.

Make sure to read the cleaning instructions on the label of the product to do things right with your granite countertop.

Extra tips and advice

If there are water stains on the countertop, you might want to use vinegar. However first dilute it by mixing equal amounts of water and then spray only as little as necessary and wipe quickly.

Another trick for cleaning hard water stains is to use a solution of baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide in water.

Baking soda can be effective in lifting off greasy stains and dirt. Prepare a paste of baking soda and water and apply it on the stains and just let it sit for a few hours. Afterwards wipe it away with a wet sponge.

If you too know of some wonderful ways of cleaning granite then let us know. Thanks for reading.

How to get rid of skunk smell in house

By | July 25, 2016

Removing skunk smell

The smell of skunk spray is one of the foulest among’st animals and can be extremely disgusting to tolerate. If you have skunks in your backyard, then they can pollute your garage or worse your home. And it can become a huge problem if the smell catches the walls and furniture.

The smell from the skunk spray is so horrible that it can felt a mile away by humans. Besides and unbearable odor, the smell can also cause symptoms like burning eyes and difficulty breathing. So if its your house atleast, you need to take immediate action.

If there is skunk smell within your house, it is likely the job of a skunk that entered your house and did its job in some corner. You have to investigate the source and fix it. Could be furniture, floor, carpet, windows or anywhere.

There are a couple of home made remedies that can be effective in eliminating the stench, and if not effective you have to resort to commercial odor removal products for the better.

skunk

1. Find the source of stink

If you have no idea of where it happened, go out and hunt down the source of the skunk smell. Whichever corner of the house it is, look for the oily spray the skunk has left. If it feel unbearable, wear a mask. Open the windows and turn on the fans to dissipate the smell.

If you have pets playing around, then check them too. Your dog might have been sprayed by the skunk and it spread it everywhere in your house from carpets to sofas.

Washing down everything that smells may not be that necessary. Washing just the affected things would eliminate the smell.

2. Clothes

If there are clothings that have been plagued with the stink wash them all. The oil of the skunk spray settles deep in the fibers of the fabric sticking for days. These can be curtains, beddings, couch covers or your own garments.

Wash with regular detergent and add a cup or two of plain white vinegar. Vinegar will fight and eliminate the odor completely. You can also wash the clothes in warm or hot water if the fabrics can tolerate it.

3. Rugs, carpets, floor and walls

A solution of equal parts of plain white vinegar and water can help with rugs, carpets, floors and walls. Prepare the solution in a spray bottle and spray where ever you suspect skunk odor source is. Use a sponge to wipe. Spray again and let the vinegar stay. The vinegar smell will mask the skunk smell.

Besides vinegar you can prepare another cleaning solution using the following recipe –

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of dishwash liquid

The above solution is effective in neutralizing skunk sprays. The solution will cause a fizzy reaction (foams) so use a large container to avoid spilling. Next, use a sponge or something similar to apply it to the affected areas on the wall or floor.

The solution can be used to wipe out furniture as well. However be careful with varnished wood as the solution can cause the wood finishing to come off.

You can also wash your own skin (not the face) with this solution. And even shampoo your pets with it.

5. Outdoor structures

For outdoor structures like your garage or lawn use something strong like a bleach. Bleach itself is very smelly and overtakes the skunk’s odor and eliminates it. Bleach can be applied on concrete or metal structures.

Mix a cup of chlorine bleach (Clorox) with 1 gallon of water. This produces a strong cleaning solution. Now use a sponge or scrubber to wash the entire place with it, or just spill and spread it all over the smelly area.

6. Remove stinks from pets

If your pet has been the victim of the skunk spray then bathe him before he spreads it across the house touching things.

Use plenty of soap and water or prepare the same earlier solution using hydrogen peroxide –

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of dishwash liquid

Apply this solution on the pet allover, avoiding eyes and other sensitive parts. Make sure you do it outdoors to prevent any splashes and spills inside the house. Once done, rinse it out completely from the furs of your pet and make sure it is dry.

5. Odor removal products

If some residue of the stench still lingers around end the battle with some odor removal products. But you will need to get them from the local store or order on amazon.

Here are some popular skunk odor removal products –

1. Skunk-Off Liquid Soaker – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002XJ10K
2. Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NJJKCM

Extra tips

After cleaning all that was affected by the skunk spray, there might still be some odor lingering around. To get rid of the remains, just ventilate the place well, and spray vinegar or keep a bowl full of vinegar in the place where it smells most. Vinegar will help absorb the smell over the next few days till it is completely gone.

Besides vinegar and odor eliminating products, there are other things like incense sticks or scented candles that you can try. Incense sticks have a strong aroma that can completely suppress the bad smells.

There might be situations when the skunk smell originates from areas in your house that you cannot clean yourself. It could be some basement or low height crawl spaces where skunks are residing or moving frequently.

For these kind places, its best to call a professional. Professionals can set traps to capture any moving skunks and get them out and also eliminate the smells using effective techniques.

If you too had an encounter with a skunk or its smell, then share your story and tips on removing skunk odor.

How to clean laminate floors

By | July 17, 2016

Cleaning laminate floors

Laminate floors look great and add an elegant touch to your interiors. But they need extra care when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. You cannot do the usual detergent and mop job on the laminate because it will like cause damage to its shine and finish.

Ordinary soap based detergents and cleaning solutions are alkaline in nature that can etch the protective coating on the laminate surface creating light dull looking patches. Acidic cleaners like vinegar and lemon juice are also not suitable as they too can damage the floor finish.

1. Regular dry mop

Use a dry dust mop or soft bristled broom or a vacuum to wipe out all the dust. Do this regularly to avoid any dust from sticking on the floor for long.

If you are using a vacuum, make sure that the brush has soft bristles that do not streak the laminate surface. Microfiber mops work the best for such floorings.

2. Cleaning and sweeping

To clean the floor you could either use a cleaning solution recommended by the floor manufacturer or make one yourself at home. There are a number of household items that can be used to make a cleaner.

Mix about a cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of water. Also add a cup of rubbing alcohol to the solution. Now wet your mob in this solution. Make sure to wring out all the excess water out of the mop before you start cleaning. The mop should be only mildy damp enough to pull out dust. Excess water can be detrimental to the laminate.

Start cleaning the floor with this mop, all over. It should effectively remove all dirt and dust and make the floor look like new. Use a sponge mop or a mop with soft microfiber bristles.

Besides vinegar and rubbing alcohol, another recommended cleaner is baby shampoo. Mix about a tablespoon of baby shampoo in a bucket of water and mix well. Soak the mop, wring it and then clean the floor. You should see good results.

3. Removing stains

To remove stains of any kind we, use the same recipe as earlier, but in a stronger concentration. Mix equal parts of vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Use this solution to lift stains and marks caused by debris from soil or spilled food. Spray a little and gently wipe with a towel in a circular motion. Vinegar and alcohol both help in lifting stains.

This solution should be used only to lift the stain and not wipe the entire floor with a wet mop.

4. Commercial laminate floor cleaners

If you are not too sure about home made cleaning solutions then go for one of those commercial cleaning solutions formulated specially for laminate floorings. You can always find them on amazon.com

1. Armstrong Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner
2. Bruce Laminate And Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Extra tips

Avoid wet mop on the floors. Depending on how old the flooring is, too much water or moisture can get absorbed by the floor itself causing a variety of problems later on. Wipe away any liquid, the moment it spills on the floor. It is going to be difficult when there are kids or pets at home, but that is how you need to take care of it.

Beyond regular cleaning you should also take preventive measures to keep your laminate floor from getting dirty. Dry mop the floor regularly every 2 or 3 days to avoid dust from accumulating. Keep door mats and rugs to make sure that dirty or wet foot do not enter the place. Do not allow shoes in the place. Clean up spills the moment you see them.

If you know of any other better way of cleaning floors, let us know in the comment box below.

What to do with old mattress – Disposal and Recycling

By | July 17, 2016

Disposing a mattress

Mattress is a big sized thing, that cannot be easily thrown in the trash bin. If you are moving out your old mattress for a new one, you will have to deal with the disposal of the old mattress.

In some towns, it might be easy enough to just put it on the sidewalk a little away from your house at night when nobody’s watching and hoping someone to just pick it up. But that sort of an activity might be quite illegal elsewhere.

Mattresses thrown in the dumpster will often reach landfills, where they are buried into the ground. This is definitely not the best way to get rid of objects as large as mattresses. They take up a lot of space and pollute the environment for a long time.

No matter if it takes time or even some money, you should dispose the mattress sensibly and responsibly without causing nuisance to the municipal authorities and the environment around you.

mattress disposal

You could donate it so that someone in need could reuse it, or you could send it for recycling where it would be disassembled and the components reused elsewhere. This way your old mattress is put to some use and not just dumped into the ground.

So if you have never thought about properly disposing your mattress, its high time that you do.

1. Donate It

If your mattress is in a usable condition without any faults or stains, it can be donated for others to use. Look for local furniture banks that accept such old mattresses as donations. If you cannot find any, then try some online website.

There are a number of websites where you can list your mattress for donation. Some of these offer free pickup services too. Here is a list you can try

[url]https://www.freecycle.org/[/url]
[url]http://www.donationtown.org/[/url]
[url]http://www.craigslist.com/[/url]

2. Recycle it

Recycling is perhaps the best way to dispose old mattresses. The springs, foam, cotton, wood and all constituents of the mattress can be recycled and used elsewhere.

There are some mattress stores that offer free disposal for your old mattress if you are buying a new one. So you can take your old mattress and deposit it over there and then take a new one. This is a convenient way to send your mattress for recycling.

And if you are not actually buying a new one, but just need to dispose off the old one to clean your house, find out a suitable recycling center that collects mattresses.

However such recycling stations are not available everywhere. If you cannot find one in your city, another alternative is to call a recycling service. They will send a representative to your address who will collect the mattress and take it away.

Services of these kind will often charge fees for pickup of the mattress. But considering the importance of proper and safe disposal you should consider it, if the price is not too high. There are some services which might pick it up for free. You have to check out.

Check out the following website to locate recycle stations near you.

[url]http://earth911.com/[/url]

Check the following website for waste collection services.

[url]http://www.1800gotjunk.com/us_en/what-we-take/mattress_disposal[/url]
[url]http://www.ecohaul.com/[/url]

Conclusion

Disposal should be considered when you are sure that the mattress is nearly useless. Taking good care of the mattress can extend its life.

Clean it and put it in the sun to get rid of all dirt and bad smell. The mattress might become usable once again. Also try flipping it upside down or rotate it to put it in a proper shape. Use bedsheets to avoid any dust from settling on it. These simple checks will surely make your mattress better and more usable.

How to properly dispose of cooking oil

By | July 16, 2016

Disposing Cooking Oil

Once you done with frying, the left over oil is something that needs to be disposed of. Pouring it down the drain is not a good idea. Oil and grease and quickly clog the drain or even worse, the entire sewer line beneath which can be a menace to clean up.

Oil and grease buildup is a major cause of blockage in sewer pipes. Though you can easily clear the drain pipes inside your kitchen, but the grease flowing forward eventually coagulate in the larger pipes down the sewer lines. So keeping your drain and sewer pipes clear of greasy dirt and clogs is necessary.

There are a couple of ways to deal with cooking oil. Sometimes you can reuse it, but most of times it needs to be either trashed properly or send to recycle station where it can be used to generate biofuel.

1. Reuse them

If you haven’t done deep frying, it is often possible to reuse the oil for another cooking session. It will also depend on what oil it is and what was cooked earlier. The flavors and taste from the previous recipe might creep into the next one.

Use a fine strainer or sieve (cheesecloth) to filter out all bits and pieces left from previous frying. Once its completely clean, store it in an air tight container. Use it next time you are frying.

If you are cooking similar or same recipes that reusing should work best. But if the recipes have entirely different taste and flavor then you may want to avoid reusing. Also make sure that you do not mix different types of oils in the process.

After 2-3 cooking sessions the oil would be nearly used up completely and then you have to prepare for its disposal.

2. Collect it and trash it

The simple way is to collect it in a container and when the container goes full, dispose in the regular trash. You may have to check with the local regulations to ensure that oil can be thrown in with regular trash.

Trashing it properly is better than throwing it down the drain. Use a plastic bottle or container to collect the oil after every session of frying.

You can keep the bottle in the kitchen in a corner and wait till it fills up to the top. Afterwards, close the cap and seal it tightly and dispose it in the regular trash can.

Recycle it

Large amounts of cooking oil can be used to produce biofuels that can power up a lot of things. You need to find out a oil recycling center in your locality and then deposit the oil over there.

Here are some websites that you can check out to search for recycling facilities near you.

1. [url]http://recyclenation.com/[/url]
2. [url]http://earth911.com/[/url]

Conclusion

Besides recycling, another common practice to dispose cooking oil is by throwing it on the soil in your backyard garden or mix it with a compost pile. It is believed that the oil is consumed by many micro-organisms and insects and eventually broken down which improves the quality of the soil.

But many argue that not all kinds of oil can actually be broken down by soil organisms. If the oil stays as it is in the soil, it causes rotting, killing the grass or plants and nothing grows on the oil spot for quite a long time.

So make sure that you dispose oil properly next time. Thanks for reading. For any other questions use the comment box below.

How to dispose of fluorescent light bulbs

By | July 16, 2016

Why is proper disposal important

When a CFL (Compact fluorescent lamp) light bulb in your house burns out or stops lighting up, your only option is to throw it away and get a new one. Its important to know that these cfl light bulbs need to be disposed properly and not just be thrown in the regular trash can.

Fluorescent lamps contain many chemical substances, some of which are toxic and hazardous if released in the environment. One such substance is mercury which is a toxic and harmful to bio life if it gets released in the environment or the atmosphere.

Things that you throw in the trash can are often used in landfills where they mix with soil, or they are burnt, which releases harmful gases in the atmosphere. That is why it is important to prevent harmful toxic substances from going out unchecked. For this, you need to properly dispose the cfl bulbs.

cfl bulbs

Recycle fluorescent lamps

No, this does not mean that you can somehow reuse the bulb or get a new one in exchange or get few bucks selling it off.

Recycling involves depositing the bulbs at waste collection centers from where they go into industrial processing hubs that reuse the bulb to make something else.

In the process of recycling various ingredients of the bulb, like the mercury, the glass and all are reused in other industrial processes and put to the right use. This ensures safety for consumers and the environment.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you should take advantage of local options for recycling CFLs rather than disposing them off in the regular trash can.

However, recycling facilities are not yet widely available in all areas. Some options include

1. Local waste collection agencies
2. Local retailers offering in-store recycling or waste collection.

1. Local waste collection service

Visit search.Earth911.com to find out about local waste collection agencies in your area. Or search google directly for waste collection agencies near you.

Some of these agencies may provide services free of cost, while some may charge a small fee. Some of these agencies collect the household wastes only few times every year, so you may have to collect all your waste in one place till they come. Some agencies operate throughout the year.

2. Local retailers

Another very simple option is to just visit the local hardware supply shop and deposit all your waste over there, if they accept it.

Some hardware supply stores and retailers offer in-store recycling so they will collect all that you want to throw away.

Conclusion

If you are unable to find any suitable recycling facility in vicinity then you should still not dispose cfls in trashcans. Instead of disposing them, store them somewhere in your house along with other hazardous waste items.

Use a plastic container and collect everything in there. Keep collecting like that till some suitable waste collection agency is available in your locality or you can find some other safe alternative.

Just make sure that the bulbs can stay there safely without the risk of breaking. If they break under some kind of pressure the toxic chemicals may spread in the air in your house.

How to remove sticker residue from glass

By | July 15, 2016

Remove stickers from glass

You try peeling out the sticker from glass and it comes out, but leaves a sticky layer behind that is quite difficult to remove.

1. Soak in dishsoap

If its a glass bottle like vinegar or wine with a big product label that you wish to remove, do not waste time doing it with your own hands. It is going to take a lot of elbow grease.

Instead do this. Mix about a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with water in a small sized plastic container like a mug or washing tub. Stir the solution well so that the dishwash liquid mixes properly.

Now put the bottle in it in such a way that the whole label sticker is submerged in the solution. Let it sit for about an hour. The label will soak the solution and give away. Later on, just pull out the label and it should come off without leaving any residues on the glass.

If its a plastic glass, fill it with water so that it sits in the solution. This technique should work well with glass crockery as well. You can remove those brand labels from glassware.

If there is any sticky glue residue left, rub with olive oil. Afterwards, clean and wash with regular soap.

2. Hot water and oil

This trick should work with glass bottles and jars. Rub some oil on the label all over and around the edges so that it gets into the adhesive beneath the paper. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then put the thin in hot water, making sure that the label is fully under water. Let it stay for few hours.

Pull the jar out and try peeling. The label should come out easily without any effort. Afterwards if there is any adhesive residue left on the glass, rub again with some oil and wash with soap. To remove the adhesive layer you can also use vinegar or lemon juice on it.

When using oil to rub the sticker, you can also mix a little baking soda in it. The abrasive nature of baking soda helps remove the sticker faster.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can be effective in pulling out stickers that don’t have powerful adhesives. It can be used on glass windows, glass tables and mirrors. However, try not to use it on glassware in the kitchen.

Soak a sponge or cotton ball with plenty of alcohol and wet the whole sticker with it. Let it stay for few minutes so that the alcohol can do its work. Then rub the sticker swiftly and watch the sticker and the adhesive come off.

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol at home, try hair spray or aftershave lotion. Both of those contain lots of alcohol and can do the trick.

Acetone

Acetone acts as a solvent similar to alcohol and can be used to dissolve adhesives. You can either use a acetone based nail polish remover, or even a non-acetone nail polish remover should work.

Again keep in mind to not use this technique on kitchen items. Use it only on glass windows, glass tables and mirrors. Apply nail polish remove on the sticker and wet it thoroughly. Then rub with a cotton ball or sponge.

WD-40, lubricants, thinners, lighter fluid

Note – This should not be used with bottles, jars and glassware meant for food. Keep them away from your kitchen. They are industry grade chemicals and highly toxic.

If the sticker is on the window glass of your car then you can try removing it with some petroleum based solvent or lubricant like WD-40 or even kerosene.

First remove the thick paper of the sticker using your own fingers. Scrape of as much as you can. Avoid using any sharp metal object like a knife, as it can streak and scratch the glass surface permanently.

Once done, spray very little lubricant oil on the sticker residue, enough to wet it properly. And then rub with a sponge. The adhesive under the sticker would slowly give away and the whole sticker residue would fall off. Afterwards you can just clean the area with soap water.

Extra tips and advice

Avoid using any industry grade lubricants or solvents like WD-40 or kerosone, or lighter fluids. They can lift the label in a minute but they are toxic chemicals you should keep out of your kitchen and away from any containers meant for food. However, you can use them elsewhere like your car window, or glass structures elsewhere.