My helpful home tips

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Igor
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Igor » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:13 pm

narcoleptish wrote:Oh yeah, and if the cartridge won't come out easy try putting the handle back on with the screw and using that to pull. Might work.


I even have a "cartridge puller" - the screw-on handle that gives you good leverage. No use. I am guessing that the softener wasn't filled for a while, and they faucets were just too cheap/old/corroded to get the cartridges out.

Since getting a new faucet provided the opportunity for the aforementioned shutoff valves, the decision was much easier.

snoqueen
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby snoqueen » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:42 pm

dave esmond wrote:
eriedasch wrote:They are fairly expensive and a few burned out pretty quickly (although they were exchanged for new ones with no hassles).


Do your's hum?

It drives me nuts. But it doesn't seem like everyone can hear it. Couple spots I just went with a lower watt bulb for less light without the hum.


I can hear the hum. Sometimes I think it's just individual bulbs, not every single bulb. The one in my kitchen hums, but an identical light in the bedroom does not. I just ignore it.

They have dimmable LED lights now. Do a google search and you'll find dozens of places that sell them. I have a few in my house and they are far more satisfactory than the CFLs. They're practically stone cold when they've been lit for hours, which says to me they're wasting a lot less electricity and are safer. They also do not contain mercury, they are tiny and fit nearly all fixtures, they don't seem to be affected by winter cold in outdoors applications like CFLs are, and I find the light quality pleasing.

narcoleptish
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:25 pm

Today I disassembled the bottom spray arm assembly on my dishwasher. I had noticed the little cage under there getting pretty dirty and thought it might be good to take it out and clean it.

Before I go any further, here is my tip for today. Run as little foodstuff as possible through your dishwasher. Empty and rinse off your plates before you put them in there. This may seem to somewhat cancel out the whole idea of a dishwasher for many people, but hear me out.

We have always rinsed off our plates and very little food has gone into the dishwasher in it's 4 year life. When I took it apart, the build-up of putrid, nasty, possibly living muck and scum under there was enough to make me momentarily consider just replacing it. I wouldn't even let my girlfriend look at it. If you had opened the dishwasher and glanced in it would have looked perfectly clean. I have run several of those cleaning products through it in the time we've had it too. I was a little shocked. I know people who put chunks of food in theirs and I can't imagine what's hiding in those.

A word of warning if you're now thinking of checking yours. It's not obvious how they come apart and some may not at all, these things are more throwaway than repairable in our modern world. Mine is a GE and it comes apart but it took me a little while to figure it out.

On a similar note, I go into a lot of houses and I'm always amazed at how dirty some people let their washers/dryers get. Years of caked-on spilled soap coated with lint and basement dust. Bleach reservoirs that look like ashtrays. Piles of dryer lint just thrown in the corner. This is the place you take your clothes to get them CLEAN! If you spilled soap on your kitchen sink would you just leave it there? Forever!

I gotta go clean my stove..

fennel
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby fennel » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:53 pm

I am my dishwasher.

Though I really do not like to do dishes, I just can't fathom paying money for a dishwashing machine that can't even clean dishes as quickly or as well as I can. That would be like paying an exorbitant fee to have an appliance company idly occupy a large portion of my kitchen ... for the privilege of losing a large portion of my kitchen.

In terms of getting stuff done, my clothes dryer and washer would put me to shame, even during my most aerobically enthusiastic episodes. But a dishwasher? They're as quiet as a low-altitude bombing run and as efficient as a palm-sander on a demolition project. No matter how much or how little freight I load into a dishwasher, nor how well I've pre-cleaned the dishes, that dishwasher will not be done-done-done in twenty minutes.

My clothes washer could build Rome in that time, from scratch, cleanly.

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:14 am

fennel wrote:I am my dishwasher.

Though I really do not like to do dishes, I just can't fathom paying money for a dishwashing machine that can't even clean dishes as quickly or as well as I can. That would be like paying an exorbitant fee to have an appliance company idly occupy a large portion of my kitchen ... for the privilege of losing a large portion of my kitchen.

In terms of getting stuff done, my clothes dryer and washer would put me to shame, even during my most aerobically enthusiastic episodes. But a dishwasher? They're as quiet as a low-altitude bombing run and as efficient as a palm-sander on a demolition project. No matter how much or how little freight I load into a dishwasher, nor how well I've pre-cleaned the dishes, that dishwasher will not be done-done-done in twenty minutes.

My clothes washer could build Rome in that time, from scratch, cleanly.


You must live alone in a tiny apartment.

snoqueen
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby snoqueen » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:41 am

Fennel, I'm with ya. Sure, I live by myself. But even living with others, it's seemed obvious the dishwasher is messy and inefficient. Expensive newer ones are a lot quieter than the old models though.

For people who can't compost, a garbage disposal is pretty essential. I'd put it ahead of a dishwasher for sure.

You always have to do serious stuff like oven pans by hand anyway, so why not do the easy stuff too and just be done with it? (Please don't get me started on people who put nice knives with wooden handles in the dishwasher). Doing dishes is a nice way to wrap up at the end of a day.

The line falls somewhere between four-person families and restaurants. Obviously you need a dishwasher in a restaurant.

This could turn into a discussion on the scope of "folding fitted sheets."

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:08 am

I can remember, when I was raising my family and helping run a business (and cooking and cleaning!) I had just enough energy to drop the dishes into the dishwasher. Later on the kids got dishwashing job.

Now, I try not to leave the dishes to last, if I've tired. I'll better do them while I still have momentum and leave water in the sink for stragglers.

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:22 am

I eat all of my meals from giant banana leaves or wooden skewers.

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:50 am

narcoleptish wrote:On a similar note, I go into a lot of houses and I'm always amazed at how dirty some people let their washers/dryers get. Years of caked-on spilled soap coated with lint and basement dust. Bleach reservoirs that look like ashtrays. Piles of dryer lint just thrown in the corner. This is the place you take your clothes to get them CLEAN! If you spilled soap on your kitchen sink would you just leave it there? Forever!


Can't say I'm too concerned about my washer/dryer, and I've never noticed my clothes coming out of them anything but visibly clean and pleasant-smelling. What gets me is this whole dishwashing thing cuz there's nothing more disgusting in your house than your kitchen sponge. Nothing. And this has been proven in repeated experiments by lots of people (just Google it if you don't believe me.) When I smell a week-old sponge, I can't believe anyone thinks wiping them on their dishes actually makes them cleaner (and I'm really baffled by folks who use them to sponge up messes, clean their stovetop, wipe down the fridge, and then still use them for dishes. Pick a job, folks.) Would you wash your body with a stinky washcloth?

It's pretty much a constant battle between myself and my roommate, as he has seemingly never thrown away a sponge in his life and the concept of squeezing it out and not leaving it wet in the sink is totally foreign to him. I've actually gotten in the habit of microwaving the sponges (my helpful home tip!) when he's not around so I don't have explain why I threw another one away after it made my hand smell like the inside of a tauntaun.

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From dishwashers to extraterrestrial bestiality...

Postby Marvell » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:40 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I don't have explain why I threw another one away after it made my hand smell like the inside of a tauntaun.


Oh, I think you do. Or at least explain how you know what the inside of a tauntaun smells like on your hand.

Tauntaun fisting - just don't do it.

Prof. Wagstaff
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:56 pm

Marvell wrote:...explain how you know what the inside of a tauntaun smells like on your hand.

Just extrapolating. And I coulda swore you were at that party...

Marvell wrote:Tauntaun fisting - just don't do it.

Is this really a home tip?

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby city2countrygal » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:58 pm

fennel wrote:I am my dishwasher.


I love my dishwasher! I even bought stainless steel pots and pans so I can throw them in there and not wash by hand. Most forons prob agree they would rather throw their stuff in the dishwasher, esp. if you have ever washed dishes as a job. I also cook almost all meals by scratch at home, so I have a ton of dishes! Plus your dishwasher is a great place to put your dirty dishes so they are not sitting on the counter or sink.

I can't agree more with narco's post about cleaning your dishwasher. They can be tricky to disassemble and reassemble, but it is worth it! I do it about once a month or every few weeks. I also run it with a cup of vinegar alone after cleaning as a flush. I had an issue with hard water and calcium, thus I discovered the wonders of vinegar.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:cuz there's nothing more disgusting in your house than your kitchen sponge.


This is also true of your bathroom. Replace your loofah sponge every couple months. Those things can get pretty nasty as well!

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Ducatista » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:19 pm

fennel wrote:They're as quiet as a low-altitude bombing run and as efficient as a palm-sander on a demolition project.

Depends on the machine. Our old one could drown out the radio or TV in the adjacent room. Our current model is so quiet that I often can't tell when the cycle is done, even if I'm standing right in front of the machine. The washing takes a l-o-n-g time, no doubt, but it's time I spend doing something else, so I don't care.

city2countrygal wrote:Plus your dishwasher is a great place to put your dirty dishes so they are not sitting on the counter or sink.

Yeah, the out-of-sight dirty dish storage is huge for me. HATE having stuff sitting in the sink or on the counter.

I don't mind doing dishes by hand, and never had a washer growing up or when I lived alone. But if my husband's and my first apartment together hadn't had one, I'm convinced we wouldn't have lasted a year. 17+ years of marital bliss, courtesy of mechanical dishwashing.

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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Petro » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:15 pm

city2countrygal wrote:I love my dishwasher! I even bought stainless steel pots and pans so I can throw them in there and not wash by hand.


The manuals with my All-Clads suggest that it's a poor idea to wash them in the dishwasher. (Heck, they even caution against adding salt to water before it's boiling.)

I hand wash those puppies. If there's any scrubbing needed, they get barkeeper's friend. I'd never put them in the dishwasher.

fennel
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby fennel » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:42 pm

I noticed that admonition on the All-Clad instructions, which made me think that either the cookware is crap or the instructions are written by lawyers. Hopefully, it's the latter. I scrub the bejeezus out of mine when it's called for. I consider them tools, not invalids.

I cook for one-to-two people one or more times per day, so I can really generate a pile of dirty cookware and dishes. The cookware is actually the easiest to clean by hand, so I wouldn't even fathom a dishwasher for that. But the implements, silverware, etc. do pile up. When I get so far behind that I crave a quick fix, that means 20 minutes to me, at most.

Anecdotally, a friend claims she needed to buy oodles of extra plates, silverware, etc. when she got a fancy new dishwasher, because the dishwasher easily held everything she owned. And, trying to be responsible, she would only run it when full.


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