Home Ideas Articles

Articles to help you easily and correctly do work on your home - repair, remodel, decorate, maintain, etc. You can subscribe to "Home Ideas" newsletter.
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Articles:
Removing Candle Wax Spills
Clean From the Top Down
Maintaining Your Woodwork
Cleaning Tips
Choosing Colors For Your Home
Cleaning Blinds
Decorate Your Child's Room on a Budget!

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Clean From the Top Down

When you clean something, always clean starting from the top, and go down. Dust, spills, cleansers, and other crud tends to fall down to lower levels and areas when you clean. If you start cleaning from the top levels, you'll get to clean the muck that drops as you go to the next level. If you instead try cleaning the bottom first, you will have to clean it again once the top levels drop all their muck.

When dusting, dust the top shelves and entertainment centers and bookcases, etc. first. Dust tends to fly all over when dusting, so it will flutter a bit and then go down. It will probably land on a table in the middle of the room, or on a coach, or anything at a lower level. So clean higher levels first, and then work down to the lower levels, and then vacuum.

When cleaning a refrigerator, start at the top level. Take everything off the shelf, then wash the shelf (either removing it and washing in the sink, or wipe it out with at least warm water mixed with baking soda - not baking powder). Wipe the refrigerator walls, as well. Put the shelf back and the items back on it. Then go to the next lower shelf and do the same thing. By the time you get to the bottom of the refrigerator, there should be spills and stuff to work on.

When cleaning blinds or curtains, start vacuuming or dusting or cleansing from the top, letting the dust and bugs and cleanser fall down to the lower levels and you can catch those messes when you work your way down.

When vacuuming stairs, start at the higher step and work your way down - the vacuum will suck up most of the dirt and dust, but some will just fly away and end up on the lower steps.

When you clean from the top down, you'll not have to repeat the cleaning process so much, going over your work again. It'll save time and aggravation.

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P. Roe writes "Home Ideas" and you can subscribe here or visit the Home Site
Learn how to keep up your home value, decorate, landscape, etc. - tips and tools to help.
Subscribe for free to "Home Ideas."
More articles at here.


Removing Candle Wax Spills

I never had a problem with candle drips at home - I have a glass dining room table, and any wax that drips on it just scrapes off easily after it dries and hardens. Sometimes I have had to scrape it with a razor blade, nearly parallel with the table so I won't scratch the glass. The other place I have had to clean out wax was in the little "wreaths" that go around the candle on top of the holder. I just get it cold and then start flaking and scraping it off with my fingernails, which works quite well.

Last year, during our Christmas presentation at church, the kids carrying candles dripped wax all over the place. The pastor's wife asked me to clean what I could off the floor, off the pews, off the kneeling stand, off the tablecloths, off the carpet. As for the floor, I scraped it the same way as I do for the table. She showed me how to get it off the other items, and it works very well.

We got an iron, and lots of stiff paper towels (the ones that are more papery and not the soft, cushiony absorbent ones - similar to a brown paper bag, which should work, as well). I heated the iron to a safe temperature for the area I worked in (higher for the cloths and lower for the carpet and pews - the nylon and synthetic fibers can melt). The trick is to place the towel on top of the wax, then place the iron on top of the paper. It wicks the wax right up into the paper. In most areas I had to do this over and over until no more wax wicked up. Do not use steam.

Slick trick! Now I might even try lighting candles in other areas of the house - not so hard to clean anymore!

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P. Roe writes "Home Ideas" and you can subscribe here or visit the Home Site
Learn how to keep up your home value, decorate, landscape, etc. - tips and tools to help.
Subscribe for free to "Home Ideas."
More articles at here.
Looking for Candles?


Maintaining Your Woodwork

If you have wood floors or wood trim, you can keep it in good shape with minimal effort.

To clean wood floors - just use warm water with an amount of vinegar – perhaps ½ or 1 cup to a gallon or two of water. Rather than splashing it all over your floor in a wet puddle, take a sprayer and spray it down so your mop stays drier. Using vinegar counteracts the minerals and water staining properties of the water.

Keep it looking nice and keep it strong by applying polyurethane once or twice a year. Clean the floor and then put a thin layer of polyurethane down – first experiment with using a sponge brush or a bristle brush to see which works better for you to avoid bubbles. Do this on a warmer type day so the poly runs more loosely. Plus you can open windows for ventilation of the fumes.

For the wood trim, simply take steel wool – coarse for dirty areas. Run the steel wool over the dirt and then use fine steel wool and rub it over the already cleaned areas. Once you do that (you are only trying to get the wood clean, not take off any finish), run a thin layer of stain over the wood, and finish off with a thin layer of polyurethane. You'll spruce up your woodwork in no time. For doors you might just want to spread a layer of stain without the extra work.

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P. Roe writes "Home Ideas" and you can subscribe here or visit the Home Site
Learn how to keep up your home value, decorate, landscape, etc. - tips and tools to help.
Subscribe for free to "Home Ideas."
More articles at here.


Choosing Colors For Your Home

By P. Roe, Home Site

What do you want from your home? To keep it in good condition to sell? To be comfortable and happy, and feel good looking at it? To impress your friends and others?

Once you figure out who you want to satisfy, you can start to choose how to decorate and build up your home to achieve your goals.

If you want to just be happy with your own family, loving the home you are in, and plan to stay in it for awhile, choose colors you like and that make everyone happy. In darker rooms, paint or wallpaper in light colors. In bright rooms, you can choose slightly darker colors. It's not a good idea to use very dark colors unless you have a theme room that utilizes a dark color. It's annoying to most people, and it's harder to paint over with lighter colors – which will need to be done if you decide to sell the house or move. One house here had purple walls – it took 3 years to sell!

If you are looking to sell, paint the rooms in white or a light off-white. This will make the rooms look bigger and clean. It will also be easy for someone to paint over in colors they like, or to wallpaper over.

To impress others, you might choose white or a combination of wallpaper or trim that gives a "home" type feel. Put your personality into the dιcor. Make the colors blend in with the furniture and appliances. If things look in place, people coming into the house will appreciate it.

You can use colors to strategically "hide" imperfections – or features you don't want to be noticed or "out there." These can include pipes, conduits, gutters, etc.

For outside – gauge your colors from the roof and brick – the parts that are stable. Brick is not something you can change color of – but you can change wood, so figure out what colors are set.

If your roof is black, you might want a light color to complement it, and not have a totally dark looking home. If it's brown – colors are more flexible.

Figure out the trim and doors – you might want to have a slightly contrasting but complementary color for the trim. Make sure your front door is the focal point in color – that is what people will naturally "see" the most. Complement the trim to play this up. For the garage door – blend it in to the main color of the home – no one wants to look at a garage door that really stands out.

P. Roe writes "Home Ideas" and you can subscribe here or visit the Home Site
Learn how to keep up your home value, decorate, landscape, etc. - tips and tools to help.
More articles at here.

Paint Sprayers


Cleaning Blinds

Cleaning blinds can be tough - there are brushes that clamp down to run across the blind to wipe off the dust. These can work at times, but if there is any grease (like blinds in the kitchen), they won't work. The dust sticks and it just drags around. I have been able to get blinds clean by immersing in a tub of water after taking the blinds down, and using a mild cleansing solution. I used a soft cloth and wiped gently each section. You cannot be rough - paint chips off easily, especially if the blind is several years old. By far the best way to clean blinds - to save time, damage and wear, and no hassle - is to call a blind cleaning service that uses a water based solutuion and uses vibration to knock the dirt off. It may seem pricey - until you try to clean them yourself!

P. Roe writes "Home Ideas" and you can subscribe here or visit the Home Site
Learn how to keep up your home value, decorate, landscape, etc. - tips and tools to help.
More articles at here.

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Pauliina Roe writes articles to help people find easier ways to get along in life. More home tools and help at Home Ideas
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