Friday, March 30, 2012

10 Cheap, Unique & Homemade Spring Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen

spring cleaning crop 10 Cheap, Unique & Homemade Spring Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen
You don’t even need to leave the house for supplies with these inexpensive spring cleaning tips. Just open your cabinet, make these homemade creations and clean beyond your countertops and cupboards.
Add these suggestions to your spring cleaning to-do list to eliminate odors, remove stains and get rid of food buildup in the kitchen.
“Don’t neglect your kitchen appliances during spring cleaning,” said Doug Rogers, president of Mr. Appliance Corp. “Your appliances never get a day off. They take the most abuse, yet probably get the least attention. Keep them clean to help them last longer and run more efficiently.”
Give spring cleaning a new meaning with these 10 unique and often forgotten tips from Mr. Appliance® and Mr. Rooter® Plumbing:
1. To eliminate odors, pour vanilla extract into a bowl with a paper towel and wipe down the refrigerator walls.
2. Soak refrigerator removable parts in the sink with warm, soapy water to remove stains from food spills.
3. To remove food residue, run an empty dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar.
4. Take out oven racks and wash them by hand with warm soap and water to remove caked on food.
5. To eliminate odors, place handful of ice cubes and citrus peels in garbage disposal, turn on cold water and then the disposal for 15-30 seconds. After turning off disposal continue to rinse with hot water for 15 more seconds.
6. Wipe interior microwave surfaces with a mixture of two tablespoons baking soda and one quart water to remove food stains.
7. Use a sponge with a mixture of ½ cup bleach, ¼ cup baking soda and four cups warm water to avoid yellowing of white appliances. Let it set for 10 minutes before rinsing and drying.
8. To remove grease buildup from garbage disposal, turn on hot water, then disposal. Squeeze tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in disposal, and run hot water for 15-30 seconds. Turn off disposal and let hot water run until suds are gone.
9. Heat a microwave-safe bowl of vanilla extract for three minutes and use it to wipe surfaces for stubborn residue and stains in the microwave.
10. Clean condenser coils located behind the fridge with a brush or handheld vacuum to remove dirt, dust and pet hair.
“The best way to ensure an odor-free and grease-free kitchen sink is to prevent the smell and buildup before it begins,” said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Corporation. “A good dose of spring cleaning can clear the air, keeping your garbage disposal in good working condition.”
By following these tips from Mr. Appliance and Mr. Rooter Plumbing, kitchen appliances and plumbing fixtures will continue to sparkle and smell fresh for many springs to come.
About Mr. Rooter®:
Established in 1970, Mr. Rooter is an all-franchised, full-service plumbing and drain cleaning company with approximately 300 franchises worldwide. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine among its Franchise 500 and Franchise Times Top 200, Mr. Rooter franchisees provide services to both residential and commercial customers. Mr. Rooter began franchising in 1974 and is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For more information or to find the location nearest you, please visit our Web site at

Thursday, March 29, 2012

5 Beds That Can Fit Any Décor

by Sunny Popali
bedroom 5 Beds That Can Fit Any Décor
A bed is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make and a good bed can last a lifetime.  You want to pick a bed that suits your personal style but occasionally you may have reason to want a bed that will fit in with any décor.  Perhaps you are buying a bed as a wedding gift for your children, or you think you will be moving in the next few years, or you are buying a bed for your guest bedroom and may change your decorating scheme in the future and you want to make sure that your bed choice will fit with any décor.  Here are five great choices of beds that will fit any décor and will never go out of style.
Slats – Sometimes called Missionary or Shaker style, slats are thin, usually square poles, placed about two inches apart along the headboard and footboard.  This is one of the most popular bed choices.  It is an economical choice but never looks cheap.
Plain Panel – This is a solid wood panel, usually square but can have a rounded top.  Sometimes it will have scroll work engraving, or two large squares etched in it.

Tiara–Named after the woman’s beauty pageant crown, a tiara bed has a bar on top of the headboard and footboard that curves down in the center and up at the ends forming a semi-circle shaped like a smile.  This simple and elegant bed is good for smaller spaces because it has trim lines.
Circle – These beds have headboards and footboards where the semi-circle curves so the center is higher than the ends (like a frown).

Divan beds:
The word divan came originally from Persian divan, meaning lounging couch.  A divan is usually a simple headboard with no footboard and is often cloth covered.  They come in various shapes, square, slightly rounded top, and scalloped shaped.  While they are not as commonly used as wood or metal they may be a good choice for people who like to change their décor often and want a homey touch.

Make your bedroom a haven:
Try placing your bed in a few different positions in your room to see which you like best and try changing it every few years for a different change of pace if the room set up allows.
Remember to consider buying a mattress when you are buying a bed frame.  If you will be using your previous mattress for a while longer than that must be a consideration with the new frame.  Also it is important to flip the mattress every three to four months.  Even though it is a hassle, it is worth it to save wear and tear on your mattress.
Whatever type of bed you choose remember to think of your bedroom as a sanctuary with your bed as the mainstay to build your refuge around.

About the Author

Sunny Popali is the Marketing lead at Mattressnextday. Mattressnextday offer the full range of common mattress sizes including: small mattress, single mattress, double mattress, memory foam mattress, king size Mattress, super king Mattresses, and odd size mattresses.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wash Some Green Into Your Laundry

By Mr. Appliance
ECOClean laundry in the wind Wash Some Green Into Your Laundry

Save some green and help the earth without ever leaving your laundry room

Wash out your family’s green grass stains and wash in even more green savings. The laundry room can be the busiest room in your house, and if your washer and dryer aren’t performing at their best, it could show up on your energy bill. It may be time to give your family’s laundry habits an energy-saving makeover.
“Busy schedules and full households can cause lots of wear and tear on laundry room appliances,” said Doug Rogers, president of Mr. Appliance Corp. “Home owners should take special care when using their washer and dryer to make sure they keep working efficiently. The harder an appliance has to work to do its job, the more energy is wasted in the process.”
Follow these simple tips from Mr. Appliance to help your laundry room conserve energy and money.
  • When appropriate, wash clothes in cold water. This saves the energy needed to heat the water.
  • Wash full loads. Washing machines use about the same amount of energy for all load sizes, so fill up the load to avoid wasting energy.
  • Use the high-speed spin cycle, to take moisture out of your clothes resulting in less drying time and more energy saved.
  • If you have an older top-loading washing machine, consider converting to a front-loading washer, which uses about 70 percent less water.
  • Keep the lint filter clean to maximize air circulation, energy efficiency and to help prevent a potential fire.
  • Dry full loads and use the moisture sensor setting. Not only does this save energy, it also protects your clothes from heat damage.
  • Keep the dryer’s outside exhaust clean to prevent dryer fires and reduce drying time, which saves energy. Keep the dryer at least four inches away from the wall to prevent kinks or tears from forming in the exhaust vent.
These tips are easy for you to do yourself, and can even help prolong the life of your appliances when combined with regular visits from your local appliance repair expert.
For more tips and recipes, follow us on Twitter at @MrApplianceCorp, like us on Facebook and visit
About Mr. Appliance®:
Mr. Appliance is North America’s largest appliance repair franchise system. Established in 1996, its franchises provide full-service residential and light commercial appliance repair. Mr. Appliance has more than 150 locations throughout the United States and Canada and is consistently ranked among the top home service franchises by Entrepreneur magazine and other industry experts. Mr. Appliance is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For more information,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Help Your Kitchen Go Green

eco friendly kitchen Help Your Kitchen Go Green
image from
Sustain Your Life, Sustain Your Appliances
In a world filled with sustainable living ideas, it is difficult to think past recycle bins of bottles and cans. Why not live a green lifestyle and actually seeing some green growing in your pocket, too? This month, make an effort to break old habits and take a step away from energy-waste to energy-smart.
“By maintaining your appliances regularly, you can extend the life of your investment and save energy,” said Doug Rogers, president of Mr. Appliance Corp.® “The harder an appliance has to work to do its job, the more energy it consumes in the process, which puts a strain on the appliance, the environment and on your energy bills.”
Follow these simple tips from Mr. Appliance Corp. to make your appliances not only benefit planet earth, but also your pocketbook.
Open the Door to More Savings
• Give your refrigerator some breathing room by keeping the appliance at least two or three inches away from the wall. Also, place your refrigerator away from direct sunlight and appliances that produce heat to make your refrigerator run more efficiently.
• Do you crave a midnight snack, but can’t decide what to eat? Keep your fridge full, not only to satisfy all of your midnight munchies, but also to help the fridge save energy after recovery from the door being open.
• Check and care for the rubber seals surrounding the inside of your fridge by using mild soap twice a year to help prevent cracked and torn seals. Use your money to test the seals by placing a dollar bill halfway inside the refrigerator door. If the dollar pulls out easily, then your losing money in more than one way and it may be time to replace the rubber seals.
• Enjoy a night of leftovers and defrost your fridge regularly. The frost build-up wastes energy by making the compressor run longer.
Keep the Heat Inside of Your Oven and Out of Your Pocket
• If you notice your food cooking unevenly or it is taking longer than before, it may be time to replace cracked or torn door seals that can allow up to 20% of heat to escape.
• When cooking up your favorite meal, turn off electric burners two to three minutes before you finish cooking and let the residual heat sauté the rest to perfection.
• Save yourself a step by planning out your cooking schedule to only bake in the oven instead of preheating. Sometimes there is no need to preheat if the food requires more than an hour in the oven.
• When tidying up your kitchen don’t forget about your electric and gas burners. Clean burners allow for a more efficient use of energy.
Wash, Dry and Ring out the Best Savings For Your Wallet
• Use the high-speed cycle to toss out more moisture from your clothes, which allows for less time in the dryer and more time for you to spend your money saved.
• It’s okay to air our your laundry, just make sure it is clean. Line-dry your clothes as much as possible, and you can see up to 5% saving on your energy costs.
• Clean your dryer lint screen after every use. Dryer efficiency decreases as lint collects over time. More importantly, lint build-up can be a fire hazard, so make sure to have it cleaned periodically by a professional.
• Refresh your clothes by washing a load in cold water. This saves on energy costs and helps lengthen the life of your clothes by preserving the color and the fabric.
Clean Plate, Clean Mind
• Save up to 20 gallons of water by hand -scraping your dishes, instead of running water for your pre-rinse.
• Give your dishes a breath of fresh air by turning your dishwasher setting to air-dry or open the dishwasher after the rinse cycle.
• Hold off on washing you dishes until you have a full load. Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water per cycle, so fill it up with all of your hand-scraped plates.
• Give your dishwasher a wash of its own by running an empty cycle with a citric acid-based cleaner. The cleaner will remove soap and calcium build-up that makes your dishwasher worker harder than it has to.
Follow these do-it-yourself energy efficient tips periodically by adding them to your family calendar. To help prolong the life of your appliances, combine these tips with regular visits from your local appliance repair professional.
Through the use of simple maintenance tasks you can extend the life of your appliances, your bank account and most importantly, our planet.
For more appliance and energy tips, visit and follow us on Twitter @MrApplianceCorp and like us on Facebook at

About Mr. Appliance®:

Mr. Appliance® is North America’s largest appliance repair franchise system. Established in 1996, its franchises feature full service residential and commercial appliance maintenance and repair. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500, Top 101 Home-Based Franchises and ranked Top Home Repair Franchise System, Mr. Appliance® has 130 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. Appliance® is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For more information, visit

Friday, March 23, 2012

Home safety checklist for cottage goers

How to protect your home from a distance

When you're going away on your annual cottage vacation you want to rest - and rest easy too. You want peace of mind that your home is as safe as it can be from burglary or other damage.
According to Patrice De Luca, V.P. of Marketing and Business Development for Reliance Protectron Security Services, there are several key steps you should take to ensure peace of mind when away from home. The following Reliance Protectron home safety checklist can help you plan important safety measures before your departure:
  • Did you suspend your newspaper and mail delivery; or have a neighbor collect them for you?
  • Does the house look lived-in?
That means having someone park their car in your driveway if you're taking yours. You can even ask a neighbor to put a bag of garbage at your curb on garbage day.
  • Did you set your lights on timers, in various rooms?
With some timers, the lights go on and off at different times each day, which means a burglar can't pick up on a pattern. Motion sensor lights outside can also deter a burglar. Consider installing them in front and back.
  • Did you ensure that all your doors and windows are locked and secure?
Don't forget about the garage. Place a bar or stick of wood in the lower track of sliding doors or windows, to be extra safe.
  • Did you turn off the water-main and unplug the major appliances as an added precaution?
  • Did you inform a neighbor when you're leaving and returning, and ask them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious?
Leave them a phone number where you can be reached, and a spare set of your keys in case of an emergency.
  • Did you consider a home security system?
A home security system is a very effective deterrent. When looking for their targets, thieves usually select an unoccupied home with the easiest access. Why not make it difficult for them. A home protected by a home security system is three times less susceptible to a break in than one without a system. Home security system decals and yard signs are also an effective deterrent. Make sure your home security system includes a loud inside house siren, detectors at all exterior doors, and motion sensors in the master bedroom and main living areas.
De Luca says the latest technology in home security systems can now allow to monitor your home from a distance by wireless transmission (SkyGARD) if you have a cell phone as a primary line for example or simply for added protection. The home security system is linked to our ULC interlinked remote monitoring centres that protects your home 24 hours a day against burglars, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and floods by supervising the temperature, electrical system and point of entries of your home.
"We can even configure the system to alert you by e-mail of the duration of comings and goings in your home with TeleGARD (cleaning staff, neighbors, family)" De Luca added.
For more information on protecting your home while you're away visit