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Tag Archive | "spruce up"

Simple tricks to refresh your home

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(Family Features) Staying indoors so much during the winter months can create clutter and mess around the house. But you don’t have to wait until spring to give your house a good spring cleaning, and you don’t have to do an extreme makeover. You can wake up and spruce up a tired-looking home with a few simple cleaning and organizing routines.

Here are some tips and tricks for making your home spring-clean right now, one room at a time.


Living Room

• Window blinds collect dust and dust mites all winter. To clean plastic blinds, add Greased Lightning to tub water. Remove blinds and let them soak in the tub. Clean them with a well-bristled brush, then let them dry and rehang them.

• Remove fabric window coverings and clean as needed. Use a feather duster around window frames to remove cobwebs and dust.

• Freshen up carpets by sprinkling baking soda on them, letting it sit for 30 minutes, then vacuuming.

• Carefully wipe the tops and bottoms of ceiling fan blades, which provide a perfect, level surface for dust to collect.



• Clean out the refrigerator and freezer, making sure to get rid of all expired products and old leftovers. Remove shelving and drawers and wipe them down using mild soapy water.

• Tackle your oven, inside and out. If your oven is self-cleaning, set it in the self-cleaning mode. Consult your manual for an estimated cleaning time. Also, make your stovetop and hood shine like new with a quick wipe from a sponge sprayed with Greased Lightning. If your oven is not a self-cleaning appliance, use the cleaning solution to wipe away baked on grease and grime. Remember to make sure the oven is cool before applying the solution.

• Don’t forget to clean your dishwasher, too. Remove trapped food particles from the bottom and around any moving parts. Pour a cup of vinegar into the empty dishwasher and run it to clean the inside.

• Wipe down the outside of your cabinets, especially around the stove area.

• Vacuum and mop the floors, and launder any area rugs.



• Launder bed linens — including dust ruffles, bedspreads and pillow shams.

• Move furniture around so you can vacuum underneath and get rid of any dust bunnies that might have accumulated. While you’re at it, try a new furniture arrangement to freshen up the look of the room.

• Now’s a great time to clean out clothes closets. Empty closets to vacuum and dust inside. Then, before putting clothes back, sort through them and get rid of those items that no longer fit or that you don’t wear anymore. You can donate them to a local charity.

• Clean blinds, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Wipe smudges off of light switch covers and door frames, too.



• Wipe down and disinfect all fixtures. Remember lighting fixtures, too. Carefully remove glass fixtures and clean with warm, soapy water. Let them dry thoroughly before reattaching.

• Sort through products and discard or recycle old bottles and containers. Get rid of excess clutter in your bathroom cabinets. Remove items from the medicine cabinet and wipe down all surfaces.

• You can use Greased Lightning to remove grease, grime, mildew stains and soap scum from your bathroom surfaces, including tubs, sinks, toilets, counters and baseboards.


To get additional tips to spruce up your home, as well as coupons from Greased Lightning, Like them on Facebook, or visit www.glcleans.com.



Fresh Ideas for Cleaning


Furniture Moving Trick

When you need to move heavy pieces of furniture across uncarpeted floors, fold two clean towels, put one under each end of the furniture piece, then slide it across the floor.


Clean Lampshades

Use an adhesive lint roller to get the dust off of fabric lampshades.


Use Smart Cleaners

You don’t need a separate cleaning product for every room in the house. The pros use a few good, general cleaners to tackle multiple types of messes. Learn more about the Greased Lightning family of products at www.glcleans.com.


Keep Your Tools Handy

Get a plastic tote tray to carry with you from room to room. Load it with your cleaners, rags, rubber gloves, dusters and a couple of extra trash bags. You’ll be surprised at how much faster the cleaning goes when everything is right where you need it.



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Green ways to freshen outdoor spaces, without breaking the bank

(ARA) – Sprucing up outdoor spaces doesn’t have to cost a lot to create a big impact. Rather than buying new, consider refreshing or upgrading furnishings, equipment and features you already have. You will save some green and give new life to items that might otherwise wind up in the trash and ultimately in the landfill. Here are some summer spruce-up ideas:

Reviving patio furniture

Time, use and weather can leave outdoor furnishings looking withered and faded. Whether your patio set is wooden, painted aluminum, cast iron or even wicker, you can make it look new again with a fresh coat of paint. Gentle sanding and the right type of paint will have your set looking new in no time. Add in new cushions in bright colors and you’ve created a whole new look at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

Winning water features

Water features can add a splash of beauty and relaxation to an outdoor environment. Consider repurposing a flower pot or large colorful vase into a fountain by waterproofing it and adding a pump. Or if you bought a fountain a few seasons ago and it’s sitting there unused because the original pump has burned out, it’s actually simple and cost-effective to get it going again with a replacement fountain pump found at your local home improvement store. As the weather heats up and evaporation causes water levels to drop in fountains, traditional pumps can burn out from too-low water levels. smartpond’s Fountain Pump with Low-Water Shut-off, found at Lowe’s, automatically turns off the pump when water levels dip low in your fountain, and automatically turns back on when you add water. The energy-efficient pumps are ideal for small- to medium-sized fountains and come with or without a light for evening enjoyment.

Fences and decks

Large surface areas such as fences and decks are the first to get noticed. Improve the aesthetics of worn, neglected surfaces with a new coat of waterproofer and stain. First, inspect for damaged boards and replace with appropriate materials when necessary. Check to be sure deck fasteners are secure and tighten them if they’ve come loose over the winter. If a fastener can’t be tightened, you may need to replace it. Next, power wash and waterproof (either in clear or stain finishes) decks and fences. You can also spruce up decks by making small changes, such as adding decorative rails or post caps. Lighting, decor and accessories can also freshen the look of an existing deck.

Keeping your grill great

New gas grills can cost from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. You can refurbish your old grill for a fraction of the cost. Start by cleaning all parts and surfaces by following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you no longer have the manual that came with your grill, check the manufacturer’s website to see if you can download one. It’s possible to repaint rusted, faded or scratched parts as long as you use a paint rated for high temperatures. For stainless steel surfaces, use an appropriate polish to freshen the shine. Worn-out igniters are also a common problem with gas grills, so check yours to see if it still works. If it doesn’t, you can likely buy a replacement either through a home center or from the manufacturer.

With a few cost-effective upgrades, it’s possible to spruce up the outdoor equipment you have, so you can enjoy it—and the savings you’ll reap—for another season.

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Cost-effective home decorating tips

(ARA) – You’re ready to throw winter out to the curb. It’s time to rid yourself of the dreary cold weather and freshen your house for spring by opening the windows, rolling up your sleeves to give all your furnishings a good cleaning, and shopping to brighten everything with a new spring look.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your new home improvements. Here are some tips to help you welcome spring into your home:
* Try a new paint color: It may have been years since you painted or the walls may all still be factory white from when the house was built. A fresh coat in a warm spring tone can help waken any room from the winter doldrums. Soft pastel colors or vibrant warm hues can really change the look of your house. A gallon or two of paint is a very inexpensive way to give new life to your rooms.
* Fabrics help give rooms pop: If you are living in an apartment and can’t change the color of your walls, go with new fabrics. Visit Ebates.com to shop for pillows at Sears, or make your own blankets, slip covers and pillows with fabrics from Joann.com. You can find discounts and coupon codes for your favorite home decorating stores through this website and also receive a check back in the mail for a percentage of your purchases.
* Spruce up the yard: The weight of winter’s snow probably has your grass and bushes looking flat, brown and there may be a good chance that some of your landscaping didn’t survive the harsh temperatures. As soon as the frost has left your area, give your front and backyards some bright color with beautiful flowers and new shrubs. Visit Ebates.com for discounts through Gardeners Supply Company to help you save money and earn cash back. If you don’t have a backyard, consider planting a container garden on your deck or adding a couple of house plants to the windows of your house to bring a spring-like feeling into your house. You can plant beautiful and scented flowers or delicious fresh vegetables and herbs to add to your summery menus.
* Let the breezes blow through: Those heavy drapes that helped you keep the house warm during winter won’t do you any good now that the temperatures are comfortable and balmy. Find new blinds or sheer curtains for your windows to help keep the penetrating sun rays out, but yet allow the light and airy breezes to filter in through your open windows.
Freshening your house for spring doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Do a bit of shopping online, push up your sleeves with a paintbrush or a cleaning rag in hand and spread the color around to make your house look bright and airy and ready for spring.

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