10 Handy Washing Machine Usage Tips

Loading a Washing Machine

Many people think that the washing machine is a self-cleaning machine, but it is not. It still needs to be cleaned and cared for periodically. What happens to all of the dirt and debris that the washing machine removes from your clothes? It does not all go down the drain during the rinse cycle, like you may think. Much of that dirt accumulates inside of the machine and the detergent that you use to wash your clothes may also leave behind minerals and residue that accumulate on the inside of the washing machine.
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How to Choose the Right Type of Grill for You

Personal Sized Grill

When I was 23 living in a studio apartment that had a common area for grilling, I got myself a personal hibachi grill. When I was married, living in a condo apartment with a balcony, I got a stand up electric grill (per my lease requirements), and now that I own my own home with ample pool deck for any size grill, my husband chose a large gas grill with all the bells and whistles. There are many types of grills that you can choose from, but they’re all built differently and may not be the best fit for your home.

So, whenever you move to a new place, it’s time to re-evaluate your grill choices. You can do this by asking yourself the following four questions. Based on your answers, you will have a better idea of what type of grill fits your life (and space) perfectly.
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How to Move Large Appliances Without Damaging the Floors

Moving Large Appliances

Whether it’s for spring cleaning purposes or a big move, it’s important to be very careful when moving large appliances. You run the risk of ruining your floors, hurting your back, or even damaging your unit. Depending on the model, the appliances in your home can weigh from 100 to 300 pounds or more, so having a plan of action is crucial.

Whether you have hardwood floors, laminate, carpeting, or tile, you can protect them from dings, dents, and rips if you approach your appliance-relocation challenge armed with knowledge and the right tools. Here are a few tricks of the trade that, when followed, will help you avoid potential damage to your floors and move your unit quickly and efficiently.
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12-Volt Coolers: The Key to Successful ‘Staycations’

12 Volt Cooler on the Beach

I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely curtailed my vacation spending, preferring to plan shorter, closer-to-home trips versus one big, long, expensive excursion away from home for a week or more. How about you?

According to a 2014 Ipsos Public Affairs poll of more than 2,000 Americans, 36 percent have not taken a vacation (defined as leisure travel of at least a week at least 100 miles from home) in the last five years. In 2013, when polled about vacation plans, Ipsos found just less than half of Americans (48 percent) said they were confident that they would take a vacation in 2013, down four points from 2012.

12 Volt Cooler

Since the Energy Information Administration predicts gas prices will hover around a national average of $3.61 per gallon through this September, you might be planning a ‘staycation,’ also known as the ‘stay-at-or-near-home vacation’ or taking a ‘daytrip’ (defined as one-day travels within 50 miles of home) to save money.

If so, you might consider a 12-volt (12V) cooler to help ensure your family’s happiness on these outings. While traveling, I’ve found ice just doesn’t cut it in a conventional cooler all day long because wet, soggy food is a given and warm-ish drinks can ruin any family adventure or event.
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6 Dishwasher Loading Tips

Dishwasher Loading Tips

Nothing beats the convenience of a dishwasher. Live without one for a while and you will never take for granted the time and energy savings that this small appliance can provide. Standing with your arms submerged in soapy water up to your elbows is not very enjoyable, especially if you have to do it day in and day out.

While your dishwasher is likely one of the most loved appliances in your home, what do you do when your dishes keep coming out dirty? In an ideal world, your dishwasher would remove every last piece of dried food or grime; however, improper loading techniques can reduce efficiency and leave you with dishes that are not completely clean.

If you want to ensure that your dishwasher works the way that it should, try some of these loading tips.
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The ROI for Switching to a Stackable or Combo Washer Dryer

Washer Dryer Combo in the Kitchen

Ever wonder if it’s worth it to exchange your ol’ side-by-side washer/dryer setup for a stackable or combo unit? Well, my family learned firsthand there was plenty to gain in our rental property when we swapped out our full-sized washer and dryer for a stackable washer/dryer — space!

In fact, we gained an entire kitchen wall. We reconfigured the space and added more kitchen cabinets and counter space to our 1,000-square-foot house. Here’s what we learned during the process.
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10 Easy DIY Household Fixes

Remember the time you paid $200 for a repairman to “fix” your dishwasher only to find out it was just a Lego jamming the spray arm?

DIY Homeowner

Yes, home repairs can be costly, but there are many you can tackle on your own. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose if you try, and hard-earned cash if you don’t!

Here are a few do-it-yourself, money-saving tips to try next time before calling the repairman.

1. The Garbage Disposal Isn’t Working

If there’s no noise at all when you flip the switch on, it’s likely an electrical problem. To be sure, try pressing the reset button on the bottom of the unit and/or see if the circuit breaker has tripped.

If you hear a humming noise but the disposal doesn’t work, there’s likely something being lodged in the disposal. Lower the wooden handle of a broom into the disposal and rotate the flywheel until it turns freely.
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6 Advantages Washer Dryer Combos Have Over Their Full-Size Counterparts

There are a number of advantages of using combo washer dryers in your home, as they are incredibly versatile, efficient, and compact. Through the use of these combo units, it is no longer necessary to take up a great deal of space in your home with traditional and separate washer and dryer units, nor is it necessary to make frequent trips to the Laundromat, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Washer Dryer Combo Unit

There are many combo washer dryer benefits, including:

  • A wide variety of available options.
  • Significant space is saved.
  • Units are very efficient and versatile.
  • The horizontal axis drum is easier on clothes.

1. Many Options Available

Most people have varying needs relating to their laundry. Because of this fact, it is important that there are a variety of options available. This makes it much easier to find a unit that is suitable for your specific needs, and the combo units do indeed come in a variety of load capacities, helping to meet the many needs of consumers.

Obviously, each combo unit comes equipped with washer and dryer capabilities, but there are also a number of other functions that may differ from unit to unit. It is best to consider your specific needs when making a decision on which unit is best for you.
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5 Tips to Choosing the Right Refrigerator for Your Living Space

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to buying a refrigerator, and if you have not been in the market for one before, you might not know what you should be looking for to find the one that fits your lifestyle and the space you have available.

Avanti Refrigerator with Door Open

Let’s take a closer look at the options available to you, as well as five tips to help ensure that you pick the right fridge for your situation.

Refrigerator Size Options

There are several different refrigerator sizes available for people with all different space considerations. These appliances generally fall into the following categories:

  • Compact Cube:
    These “office-style” refrigerators are small and provide only a little bit of space to store food and drinks. They range in size from about 1.5 to 3 cubic feet, and generally have room for a few cans of soda or water, today’s lunch, and maybe some condiments.
  • Compact Midsize:
    The next size up is a compact mini fridge, sometimes known as a dorm-style mini fridge. These appliances are designed to be very small and inexpensive, but have enough space to store enough groceries for a few days. These refrigerators generally have a very small amount of freezer space, but with between 3 and 5.5 cubic feet of total storage space they are often small enough to fit under a standard height countertop.
  • Combo Microwave/Fridge:
    For people who are looking for convenience and ease in small spaces, the combination microwave and fridge can be a great option. Combo fridges come in a variety of sizes, with fridges that range from 2 to 9 cubic feet of space, and microwaves that include everything from the basics or more advanced options.
  • Apartment Size:
    If you have a little bit more space, the next step up is the apartment-sized fridge, which offers slim style but is similar in height to more standard refrigerators. They generally range from about 7 to 15 cubic feet (about half the size of traditional refrigerators), but offer similar features to their full-size counterparts, such as drawers, dual-cooling air systems, temperature control, adjustable shelving, and more freezer space than compact models.
  • Full Size & Commercial:
    Of course, if you have the space for it, you can also choose from a wide range of full size and/ or commercial refrigerators. If you have a slightly smaller space but want the functionality of a full size fridge, many brands today offer extra narrow models of popular designs (24 to 28 inches instead of the standard 32 to 36 inches). There are a myriad of features, styles, and configurations to choose from, so it’s important to shop around before you decide on which full-size fridge is right for you.

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Why You Should Own A Travel Cooler

Imagine yourself sun bathing on the beach on a hot summer day with a warm can of soda. Now imagine yourself in the same scenario with an ice cold can of soda. Over 99% of the time, most people would choose to find themselves in the second scenario. Thanks to portable travel coolers, you never again have to find yourself in a hot and uncomfortable situation without a cold beverage at hand.

Travel Cooler

Travel coolers are much more than ice filled portable plastic boxes. High quality ice coolers are designed with the technology to refrigerate your food all day long. Simply plug your travel cooler into a normal power outlet, or in some cases, a vehicle cigarette lighter in order to keep your beverages, sandwiches, frozen treats, and other cold items constantly chilled. If there is no electrical outlet available at your final destination, the cooler’s insulated walls will keep everything cool long after you unplug it.

When to Use a Travel Cooler

Travel coolers are ideal for a wide variety of occasions. Not only have they become popular among the beach crowd, but they are a popular choice for camping trips, picnics, tailgate parties, long haul truck driving, transient work sites, sporting events, and other events and locations that call for cool beverages and food. Travel coolers are especially beneficial to have around when it is imperative that the cooler’s contents stay cold or even frozen in order to avoid potential health concerns or unnecessary discomfort.
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