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Tag Archive | "spring clean"

Spring clean your car: Tips to get your car in great condition


For better driving all season long, make sure your spring to-do list includes cleaning and maintaining your car. (c) Rukawajung - Fotolia.com

For better driving all season long, make sure your spring to-do list includes cleaning and maintaining your car. (c) Rukawajung – Fotolia.com

(StatePoint) For some, spring cleaning is a time-honored ritual, which doesn’t just apply to your house. Remember that your car is likely in desperate need of some attention after the winter months.

“A car that’s well-maintained is safer, cheaper to run, more reliable and can be worth more money at resale time,” says Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader.

To help, Autotrader editors are sharing “Simple Spring Car Care” tips to get your car in tip-top shape for the busy driving season ahead:

  • Wash and wax your car thoroughly. If you can afford it, have it professionally detailed. However, if you do it yourself, be sure to use a pressure nozzle in order to rid your car of any leftover road salt or sand from the winter. Direct sunlight can cause a car’s finish to become dull, but a thorough washing and waxing can also help keep your car’s paint and clear coat looking good.

It’s tempting to run the car through an automated car wash, but those big revolving brushes can dull the finish over time. If you’re not allowed to wash your car at home due to regional laws or neighborhood rules, seek out a good drive-thru wash and hand wax instead.

  • Check and set your car’s tire pressure to the level specified in your owner’s manual or on the driver’s door sill. As temperatures warm up, the air in your tires can expand and that might impact the way the car handles.

Be sure not to over-inflate the tires. While low tire pressure can cause the tire to heat up if it’s not rolling down the road properly, extreme over inflation can cause a blowout in high temperatures. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, take your car to a shop like Big-O Tires, Sears Auto Center or Firestone Auto Care Center. Those kinds of chains will usually do it for free.

  • Have a qualified mechanic do a visual inspection under the hood. If you’re comfortable doing this yourself, check for worn belts or hoses and make sure your coolant (sometimes called anti-freeze) isn’t too old. Coolant lasts a long time, but keeping track of when it was last changed, especially in older cars, can help you avoid overheating as the temperatures gradually climb.

For more tips for keeping your vehicle in great shape whether it’s hot, cold, or rainy can be found at www.Autotrader.com.

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Spring clean your health


(BPT) – Spring is a time to reevaluate your daily routine and reduce any unnecessary clutter from your life. It is also a time to make positive changes for a happy and healthier lifestyle.

Simple changes, such as resetting your sleep pattern, updating your oral care routine and refreshing your diet can result in big changes to your overall well-being. To inspire consumers and their families to get a healthy start to spring, Dr. Nancy Simpkins, Internist and Medical Advisor for the State of New Jersey, shares a few healthful tips on behalf of Colgate Total:

Get moving outside: Spring is a great time to be outdoors, so ease back into your exercise routine with daily walks outside. This will help reduce stress and help lower your risk of heart disease and hypertension. Get creative and use apps to track and challenge your friends to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

Reset your sleep pattern: With the arrival of spring come longer days and more daylight. Beat fatigue by setting a goal to keep your waking and bedtime consistent, even on weekends. This will help avoid mid-day burnouts while keeping your body in sync with its natural rhythms.

Think about your gum health: Most people don’t realize that proper oral hygiene can be a good step toward helping to improve their overall health. In addition to brushing your teeth, make sure to take good care of your gums – they’re the foundation of a healthy mouth. Switch up your daily oral care routine by using Colgate Total’s New Gum Health Mouthwash after brushing. It has an advanced germ-fighting formula (versus non-antibacterial mouthwash) that forms a protective shield along the gum line and protects against bacteria that can cause gingivitis.

Travel healthy and be prepared: As you begin to make plans for spring and summer travel, be sure to schedule your family doctor and dentist appointments and address any issues before your trip. Compile a list of medications, unique health issues or history, and physician contact information. This will be important and save time if you end up needing healthcare while you’re away.

Refresh your diet: Simple changes to your diet can bring more sustained energy and knock off a few pounds. Swap out snacks like potato chips with banana chips and replace red meat with lean protein from turkey and chicken. Also look to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season into your diet.

With these small changes to your lifestyle, you can upgrade your health for a better you. For more information on ways to spring clean your health and Colgate Total’s New Gum Health Mouthwash, visit www.ColgateTotal.com.

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Tips to spring clean your deck and patio

SPR-Tips-to-spring-clean-deck-and-patio(StatePoint) It’s the time of year when sprucing up your deck and patio becomes a top weekend priority. Whether you use the space for entertaining or for solitude, you’ll want it clean, comfortable and safe this spring.

Take time to dust off your outdoor furniture and wipe down cushions that have been in storage all winter. Inspect flower pots, bird feeders and other outdoor décor to ensure they withstood the cooler months. Replace anything that is damaged.

Before setting furniture and décor back, give the surface below a good clean. Whether you’re dealing with cement, brick or wood, the quickest and most thorough way to deep clean and restore surfaces to a like-new condition is with a pressure washer. Knowing how to use one properly is important for a quality job and for your safety.

Usage Tips

• Different surfaces require different cleaning techniques. Ensure you’re following the instructions for the surface you’re cleaning.

• Always read and follow the operator’s manual and all operating instructions.

• High-pressure spray can cut through skin, so never spray people or animals. Wear closed-toed shoes and goggles while pressure washing.

• Assume a solid stance and firmly grasp the spray gun with both hands to avoid injury if the gun kicks back before squeezing the spray gun trigger.

• Never spray near power lines, service feeds, electrical meters, wiring and windows.

• Check the engine oil level each time you use a pressure washer. When changing or adding oil, don’t overfill the engine crankcase. Doing so can cause smoking, hard starting, spark plug fouling and oil saturation of the air filter.

Buying Tips

Buying a pressure washer for the first time or replacing an old one?  Here are some guidelines:

• Pressure washers are categorized in groups based upon frequency of use and the types of products and surfaces they are best suited for cleaning.

Selecting the right pressure washer for your needs depends on what you’re going to clean, how often you plan to do so, and how much time you want to spend. Ask yourself these questions before making a purchase.

• Look for a versatile pressure washer that can be used for a variety of tasks. For example, the new Briggs & Stratton POWERflow+ pressure washer has both a high pressure and a high flow mode for different spring cleaning chores. Deep clean your patio and driveway in high pressure mode or clean more delicate surfaces and rinse away debris in high flow mode.

• Consider going green with a model having reduced environmental impact. If you have an older pressure washer, a newer model could offer lower emissions and better fuel efficiency.

• Learn more about pressure washers before making an investment. For a buying guide and instructional videos, visit www.BriggsAndStratton.com.

With a deep clean, you can restore and refresh your home’s outdoor spaces and make them a friendly place to relax and have fun.

Posted in Diggin' SpringComments Off on Tips to spring clean your deck and patio