Category Archives: Home

4 Ways to Give Your Space Some Serious Beachy Vibes

We all love the idea of being able to escape to our own private beach house whenever we might like. Unfortunately, we can’t all wake up to the sounds of the ocean all year round, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make the space we do have feel a little more like the beach getaway of our dreams.

Whether you live in a house on the beach, an apartment in the city, or a cabin in the woods, here are four ways to give your space some serious beachy vibes this summer. Remember, if you have a room that requires extensive work, it might be best to hire a professional. A bathroom remodeling contractor can give you the nautical bathroom of your dreams without the threat of causing damage.

1. A Coastal Color Palette

color sea
Design Seeds

A color palette inspired by sand, surf, and sun will immediately transport you to the coast. Incorporate the natural colors of the ocean over crisp whites and muted grays for endless design possibilities, like accent walls and bold accessories. Shades of ocean blues would include cerulean for calmer water, cobalt for nighttime seas, and sky blue mixed with a tinge of silver for sunlit waves in the morning.

2. Classic Nautical Themes

nautical foyer
Birch Lane

A nautical theme is a classic coastal decor choice that appeals to a wide variety of tastes. Depending on the accessories you choose, it can be playful or more sophisticated. Use a combination of navy blue and sailor white to accentuate the natural qualities of the ocean. Create a cohesive look with bold stripes and fabrics, natural wood and ropes, decorative anchors, oars, and even a ship’s wheel.

3. Bring Pieces of Nature Inside

seashell mirror
Martha Stewart

Your beach house decor isn’t all bold stripes and decorative anchors. There are many natural accents that you can get straight from the beach to decorate your space. Everyone who has visited the beach has picked seashells along the shore. The best time to go hunting for seashells is the very early morning. The tide is out from a night of being inland and you can find the most perfect, intact seashells on the shoreline. A beautiful array of seashells, sand dollars, and starfish instantly and inexpensively adds an organic accent to the room. You can also arrange them in oversize glass vases for bookshelf accents or in wooden boxes for a centerpiece.

You can use your little treasures in countless craft projects to decorate your home, such as shadowboxes, votive candles, wind chimes, and to line picture frames or a large mirror for your bathroom or bedroom.

For another organic accent, add small hooks to a piece of drift wood to make a small coat hanger. Or, secure several pieces of found wood together to create a unique headboard.

seashell print
My Someday in May

For seashells you don’t have to scour the shoreline for, this 16×20 vintage seashell wall art from My Someday in May would be a perfect addition to any beach house or beach-inspired space.

4. A Cozy Place to Put Your Feet Up

hanging chair
Byron Bay Hanging Chairs

Of course, no beach house is complete without a cozy place to get some serious rest and relaxation. Isn’t that the reason why we all wish we could escape to the beach in the first place? You can create your perfect beach-inspired seating area with classic Adirondack chairs, great, big wicker furniture, a hammock, hanging chair, or even a DIY wood pallet covered in oversized cushions tied to a tree or porch.

Whatever you decide, make sure it’s comfortable enough to curl up with a summer beach read and get lost in somebody else’s world for a little while.

Reasons Why You Should Be Using Waterproof Mattress Protectors

Waterproof mattress protectors are something that you may not have even considered if you don’t have a small child in the house. However, they can be beneficial for any mattress regardless of who is sleeping on it. The protection goes way beyond just keeping your mattress dry. In fact, there are many benefits that should prompt you to seriously consider using these protectors on all your mattresses.

Main Benefits

The main benefits you will receive from using waterproof mattress protectors so have to do with keeping your bed clean and dry. If you think about all the abuse your poor mattress suffers, it is easy to see how beneficial a protector can be.

Obviously, it is great to protect against bed wetting, Whether it is a small child who is just learning to potty train or who has occasional bed wetting accidents, a pregnant woman who is worried about any leakage onto the bed or an elderly person struggling with incontinence, a mattress protector can be a great aid. It is non-intrusive and won’t make it obvious that there is protection on the bed.

It also protects against other liquids. If you have kids who love to eat and drink in their rooms, using a protector can help keep your mattresses safe from drink and food spills. Also if you have pets, it can protect against the various things they may drag onto or do on a bed.

Say you are one of those people who sweats a lot in your sleep. Imagine night after night climbing into a stale bed that has dried sweat in it. That is kind of gross. Instead, keep things protected and keep your mattress like new.

Health Benefits

Those main benefits of keeping your mattress dry are not the only benefits, though. There are also health benefits, which for many people are going to be even more enticing than the basic benefits.

To begin with, when you cover your mattress with a protector, you are able to keep all sorts of allergens out of them. This is great when you have someone in your family who has allergy issues. Not only will it prevent allergens from getting embedded in your mattresses but other things like dander and bugs won’t be able to get in there either, making the mattress healthier for anyone who is around it.

When you go to buy a waterproof mattress pad, there are some things you need to consider. To begin with, you want to look at how it is made. Make sure it is made using hypoallergenic materials and high-quality materials.

You also need to consider whether you want a fitted or zippered protector. Fitted protectors act just like sheets. One thing to keep in mind is that they not only go onto the bed like a regular sheet but they also can come off like a regular sheet. If you have a mattress that seems to lose its sheets easily, then the fitted option may not be for you. A zippered protector covers the whole mattress. This is would be best for someone concerned about allergens because it gives full protection.

You also need to make sure that you are buying the right size. Make sure you measure your bed and just don’t go off the standard sizing. You want to measure the width, length, and depth of the mattress to ensure a proper fit. Generally, length and width are standard sizes. Depth, though, varies, which makes it very important to ensure you are getting this measurement correct.

Using the Protector

Once you get your mattress protector, you will want to put it on your mattress carefully so you don’t rip it and so it is put on correctly to ensure it works. You should get help doing this to make the process easier. Pull up the mattress and pull the protector on carefully. Do not stretch it or pull on it. Carefully move it into place. Then, put the mattress back on the bed and put your sheets on as normal.

Many people use waterproof mattress protectors. They offer a range of benefits that make them useful in almost any home. They simply help to lengthen the life of mattresses while also helping to keep them clean and sanitary.

Tips for Finding the Right Heating Contractor for Your Home This Winter

Professionals recommend that you have your heater maintained once a year to ensure it is in top working order. This not only guarantees it will reliably turn on and keep your house warm, it also helps you save money on your gas and electric bills. An inefficient HVAC unit can cost you much more than you think, so schedule an annual checkup with a reliable contractor. Here are some tips on how to find the right one.

Talk With People You Know

Check with people you know to see if they have had heating maintenance performed at their home lately. For those who have, ask them if they liked their contractor and were satisfied with the work. Get the contact information and license number of all contractors who received rave reviews from your family, friends, and coworkers.

Check Out Review Websites

Speaking of rave reviews, check out the popular review websites to grab some additional names of highly rated contractors if necessary. People are quick to write a nasty review if a contractor’s work was not adequate, so you can find out whom you should weed out, and get some additional names and contact information of those rated five stars.

Contact the State Licensing Board

All Wilmington heating contractors must be licensed. With your list of contractors and their license numbers in hand, contact your state’s contractors licensing board. You can either call them or go to their website. Run a check on each license to ensure each contractor carries the proper bond, license classification, and insurance. Make certain there are no complaints filed against him or her.

Narrow Down Your List

Call each contractor and ask him or her for references. Cross those unwilling to give you references off your list. Keep those willing to give you references on your list. Once you’ve obtained this information, call the references and decide, based upon what they tell you, which contractors you’d like to contact for an estimate. Narrow your list down to three or four selections.

Interview the Contractors

Call the contractors and don’t be afraid to ask a ton of questions. Find out how experienced he or she is. Ask whether he or she has experience working with your particular HVAC model. Does he or she provide a written bid and will the work be guaranteed? Nitpick, as you want the job done right the first time.

Find Out Availability

Your final question should be, “When can you come out and perform the maintenance work?” If the contractor is busy, this is a good sign. The more people recommend a contractor, the more he or she is called, so one with a busy schedule means the contractor is in demand. If you plan your maintenance visit a few months in advance, a delayed visit shouldn’t be a problem.

Finally, the most important tip is to sign a bulletproof contract. Do not sign a written estimate and do not sign a contract that is vague. Your contract should list in detail all work to be performed, how much it will cost, the parts required, and the warranty guidelines. If everything looks in order and the contractor comes recommended, you should be good to go.

5 Ways to Keep Unwanted Critters Away

With warmer weather comes the need to prepare your home so that it doesn’t become a pest resort. Termites, ants, mice, raccoons, and other pests tend to take advantage of the warm summer weather and go in search of new homes and food sources. Once they move in, they’ll breed and invite the rest of their family over too. The last thing you want is to share your home with critters that can transform it from the safest and most comfortable place on Earth. To keep your home from becoming the next pest hotel, take advantage of the following pest prevention tips.

1. Check the Outside of Your Home

Many pests are attracted to homes because of the food and water sources that are located conveniently nearby. Trees, wood, and in some cases gardens can be a potential problem for your home if they are located within the immediate perimeter of your home. Any plants and foliage that are right outside your windows should be inspected by a professional pest control company to ensure they remain pest free. You should also avoid storing firewood, compost, water, and other potential food sources right next to your home. 20 feet is the recommended distance for firewood storage.

2. Eliminate the Water on the Inside

Pests love water and if your toilets are running and your sinks are leaking, then your home is in prime condition for a potential infestation. Make sure all faucets are turned completely off when they are not in use and get any leaks fixed right away. If your toilets keep running, you may need to have a professional plumber come out to repair them to keep your home free from infestation.

3. Clean Up

Even the smallest amount of junk, clutter, and dirt can make your home hospitable for unwanted creatures. Try to remember to pick up after yourself and to clean up often. If you have pets and little children, this may prove to be a bit challenging. However, keeping a careful eye out for clutter and implementing a routine to minimize it can go a long way toward keeping ants, mice, and other pests out of your home.

4. Make Home Improvements

Sometimes you may need to make a few improvements to your home in order keep pests from moving in. Kitchen Cabinet Kings recommends for you to revamp the cabinets in your kitchen with assembled cabinets so you can eliminate potential hiding spots for pests that you may have been previously unaware of.

5. Get an Inspection

Inspections are one of the best methods of defense you have against pest infestations. Since pests often cause damage that can go undetected for quite some time, it’s in your best interest to screen for them often. Pests can be very destructive to your home and cost you hundred and even thousands of dollars in repairs. When you think about how much money you could end up spending trying to correct any damage that is caused, it’s easy to see that getting regular inspections are much more cost-effective.

Don’t turn a blind eye to the dangers of pest infestations. Although you may be initially concerned about having to share your home with them, you need to remember that pests can cause a great deal of damage within a short amount of time. So protect your investment by doing your part to keep pests from inviting themselves over.

8 Steps to Bedroom Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to clean up the mess of a nest you’ve been building all winter long. To make the process a little less stressful, this list breaks down bedroom spring cleaning into eight easy steps.

1. Put Clothes Where They Belong

Are your clothes strewn around the floor? Pick them up and put them in the hamper. If you have clean clothes that are haphazardly placed on a shelf, table, or other exposed area that is anything except hanging on the rod in your closet or put neatly in a drawer, then put them in one of those places. There shouldn’t be any clothes on the floor or where they don’t belong when you are through.

2. Care for Your Bedding and Mattress

If you haven’t done it in the last two weeks, strip all of the linens off of your bed and pillows. Make sure to wash them thoroughly. If it has been more than six months since you flipped your mattress, then now is the time to get that done. It is also the perfect opportunity to clean your mattress. Take one cup of baking soda, mix in your favorite essential oil if you like, and carefully spread it all over your mattress surface. Let it sit for one hour, then vacuum it up. Put fresh sheets and pillow cases on your bed and pillows.

3. Organize the Closet

Now it’s time to tackle the catch-all your closet area has become. Probably the easiest way to do this is to pull everything out first. Go through and get rid of anything that you don’t use anymore — including clothing. Chances are high that if you haven’t used something in the last year, you don’t need it. Put everything you are getting rid of into a trash bag for either the garbage or a donation center. Place everything you wish to keep neatly in the closet.

4. Declutter Dressers and Tables

Take absolutely everything off of your dressers and night tables. Go through the same process as your closet. Throw out anything you don’t need and neatly place the items you wish to keep in a designated position. Wipe down the surfaces before putting your things back.

5. Clean the Hardware

Now go through your bedroom and clean all of the door knobs, door frames, lamps, window sills, light switches, and any other hardware you have. A gentle spray and a microfiber cloth should do the trick for most of these. Be sure to switch off the lights and only handle light bulbs when they have cooled down.

6. Don’t Forget the Ceilings and Walls

Believe it or not, the walls and ceilings of your bedroom collect dust over time. Take a feather duster to get into the corners of the room and remove any hidden cobwebs. A damp cloth is useful for wiping down the walls and ceiling as best you can.

7. Get Those Curtains

If you have curtains or blinds on your windows, it’s time to wash them. Blinds can usually be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent, but check your manufacturer’s care instructions first. Take the curtains down and wash them as directed. Wipe down the curtain rod and replace the curtains when dry.

8. Finish With the Floors

Lastly, vacuum your floor thoroughly. Be sure to use the hose attachment to get well into the corners and edged by the baseboard. You might also consider steam cleaning or shampooing the carpet. If you follow these eight simple steps, your bedroom will be spic and span in no time.

How to Get Rid of Bedbugs in Your Mattress

Bedbugs are pesky little creatures that can be very elusive and hard to find, due to the fact that they typically hide during the day and become active at night. Since a single female bedbug can lay 200-250 eggs during her lifetime, a small bedbug problem can quickly escalate into an infestation if it is not taken care of swiftly and properly. Common signs of an infestation include waking with unexplained itchy spots, small blood stains on your pillowcases and sheets, or bedbug fecal matter on your bedding. If you suspect bedbugs are making themselves at home in your bed, here are a few things you can do to get rid of bedbugs in your mattress.

1. Remove Bedding

It’s very hard to locate bedbugs when your mattress is covered. Carefully remove any clutter, blankets, and sheets in order to inspect your mattress up close. Bedbugs can easily be transferred from one location in your home to another, so you should place all items you remove from your bed into a large plastic bag that can be completely sealed.

2. Inspect Your Mattress

Carefully inspect any cracks or rips in your mattress top. Bedbugs love burrowing into mattresses, and they will often leave traces of their presence (dark excrement spots, egg shells, or shed skins) behind. If you do find evidence of bedbugs, consider installing an insecticide mattress liner or special encasement. Both are designed to kill bedbugs and prevent them from returning.

3. Take Your Bed Frame Apart

Bedbugs are very elusive, so if you want to locate all of their hiding spots, you should take your bed frame apart and inspect every inch of it carefully. You should also check the floor around and beneath your bed frame to see if you can locate any additional signs of bedbugs.

4. Inspect Your Box Springs

The fabric on the bottom of box springs can become an entry point for bedbugs if it becomes torn. Shine a light through the fabric to expose any tears or bedbugs. If you locate either, remove the entire piece of fabric from the box spring, place it in a plastic bag, and dispose of it immediately. Removing the fabric will make it easier to treat the box springs with insecticide.

5. Vacuum and Treat Infested Areas

Once you locate where the bedbugs are, thoroughly vacuum all infested areas. After vacuuming, put your vacuum cleaner in a plastic bag and place it outside. Apply an insecticide spray or dust to all affected areas on your bed and in your bedroom. Aerosols tend to get into small crevices and cracks easier than dusts, but dusts have the advantage of lasting longer.

If possible, it is best to hire a professional to rid your mattress and home of these pesky insects. At the very least, you might want to talk to a professional about the type of insecticide you can safely use to treat your home.

6. Buy a New Mattress

In many cases, bedbugs are drawn to older mattresses, and they may continue to come back. After you successfully get rid of bedbugs the first time, it may be best to purchase a new mattress to ensure that they don’t return.

Saving on Energy Costs this Winter — Direct Energy Savings

When my husband and I were in the process of buying our home, one of the first questions we asked the sellers was what their average annual energy costs were. If you are currently going through this process or will be in the future, don’t be afraid to ask this question, as well as for any documented proof they can provide of utility bills they can give you for the past year. You have every right to know what you can expect to pay to keep your home running smoothly.

Living in Northeastern Pennsylvania, we knew that it would be our energy costs that would be one of our largest monthly investments. Not only do we experience several months of freezing temperatures and seemingly endless snow, me and my husband also both work from home and are almost constantly yolked to one device or another, making for very little energy downtime.

If your electricity costs skyrocket during the winter, here are 3 tips anyone can implement to save big on energy costs, including Direct Energy savings for choice areas in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

1. Turn the Thermostat Down

45 degrees in the spring and 45 degrees in the winter feel like two entirely different temperatures. One feels like rebirth and excitement to finally get outside and feel the warm breeze on your skin, while the other feels like hibernation and sadness.

end of autumn beginning of spring meme

If you’re the type of person who cranks the heat as soon as you feel the slightest nip in the air, stop. That chill in your bones is an illusion and you’re wasting money trying to quell its lies. By keeping your thermostat set to 65 degrees during the day, you can save a considerable amount of money while still being comfortable. It’s unrealistic to think that you should feel great lounging around at home in just a tank top when it’s 5 degrees outside. Break out your favorite sweaters and sweatshirts and say hello to big energy savings. During the nighttime, set your thermostat a few degrees cooler. The savings will add up over time and there’s no point in heating your home to 65 degrees while you’re tucked away in your warm and cozy bed.

Your thermostat isn’t the only energy-wasting culprit in your home. Most people have their water heaters set way too high; this is especially true if you have a dishwasher. Ditch your dishwasher manufacturer’s recommendations and lower your water heater to 120 degrees. Your water will heat to a temperature satisfying to everyone in your home, and by rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher they will come out clean without needing lava-like heat to scour stuck-on food away.

2. Keep the Cold Air Out

Our home is nearly 100 years old, and while new windows were installed relatively recently, there are two older windows in our living room and kitchen that can get pretty drafty. Drafts can cost you hundreds of dollars every year in wasted energy, so it’s important to do what you can to keep your warm air inside. You are paying for it, after all. Luckily, there are some quick fixes for drafty windows that can help save you money if you can’t afford to replace them.

Once the chill of autumn strikes, use an indoor window insulator kit to seal your windows and keep that cold air out. If window insulating isn’t an ideal solution for you, say if you have five cats who claw through any barrier keeping them from being able to sit in the window (what, you don’t?) a set of thermal lined curtains are a worthy investment.

3. Choose the Right Provider

So many people choose an energy provider simply because they are the most well-known company in their area, they came at a recommendation of a friend or family member, or they have just always used them and are weary of change. However, chances are that there are multiple providers in your area, and you owe it to yourself to shop around. While multiple factors should go into your decision process, ultimately choosing one energy provider over another should come down to quality service for a fair and affordable price.

Direct Energy Savings

Direct Energy powers your home with a fixed-rate energy plan with the peace of mind that you will pay the same rate throughout your contract term. No seasonal fluctuations here, just big energy savings that will have your bank account breathing a sigh of relief. Direct Energy is also the only energy provider to be a part of Plenti that lets you enjoy rewards every month.

Direct Energy offers different savings depending on where you live. Just plug in your zip code on their website and learn about the Direct Energy savings available in your area. Here in Pennsylvania, Direct Energy has special offers for the month of January:

Save up to 16%* over MetEd’s electricity rate, and up to 12%* over Penn Power’s electricity rate. There’s more! Save up to 10%* over Penelec’s electricity rate!

You can also enjoy Direct Energy savings if you live in Ohio, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

*All savings refers to the current difference between Direct Energy’s fixed rate offer and the Utility’s current Fixed Rate for Basic Service as of January 8, 2016, and does not include any other component of the electricity bill. Utility rates are subject to change and there may be no savings following the respective official utility rate change date. Direct Energy’s fixed rates include electricity supply charges only and excludes delivery/transmission charges, taxes, and all other utility-related charges. Offer is limited and valid for new residential customers only.

Are there Direct Energy savings in your area? How else do you save on energy costs during the winter? Leave your tips in the comments!

6 Incredible Bathrooms You’ll Be Lusting After

The bathroom can be one of the trickiest rooms of your home to design and decorate. You want to maximize its functionality, but you also want it to look good. If you struggle to create a welcoming and relaxing environment in your bathroom, we have some incredible bathroom inspiration that will have you planning a makeover of your own.

white bathroom
The Refeathered Roost

High on most every woman’s ultimate bathroom wishlist is a tub that allows the water to cover both her knees and breasts at the same time. This all white Hampstons-style bathroom exudes spa-like luxury with a deep claw foot soaking tub that has been updated with chrome feet. And when you want to get your day started right, a separate glass shower lets you get in and out and on your way.

contemporary bathroom

This contemporary shower proves the ultimate relaxation doesn’t have to happen in the bath. The ultra spacious glass shower features a rain shower head, plus a separate handheld shower head and even a seat. This bathroom really kicks the idea of what we think a shower should be into overdrive.

modern farmhouse bathroom
Jenna Sue Design

Forget “shabby chic” and say hello to “modern farmhouse.” We are in love with the rustic design of this bathroom, and it’s a great example of how to transform an unassuming piece like a buffet table into a highend bathroom vanity.

bathroom color combinations

This bathroom strikes the ever-so-delicate balance between masculine and feminine design. The vanity also showcases another wonderful way to repurpose items. The pop of color on the outside of the claw foot tub really makes this space stand out.

green bathroom

And if you really want to experiment with color in your bath or powder room, this hunter green and dark wood combination is full of personality.

modern bathroom
desire to inspire

Using tile that is commonly utilized for just the backsplash over your entire space may seem risky at first, but here’s a perfect example of it working. This ultra modern bathroom comes together with a dark brown vanity, black accents, and a full glass stand shower.

When planning your bathroom makeover, keep in mind that it is possible to renovate any size space to meet your needs and showcase your personal style. Even if you don’t have room for a grand soaking tub, a glass shower matches any color scheme you can come up with and will fit seamlessly into any design style. You can find the perfect glass shower with glass shower screens from Sydney supplier.

Tips for Easier Outdoor Christmas Decorating

Though a neighborhood decorated for Christmas is certainly a festive sight, decorating isn’t always the most enjoyable project to take on. If you shrink from being a Scrooge this Christmas by going lightless, use these tips to help you hang your own Christmas lights — and enjoy doing it.

To make outdoor Christmas decorating as easy as possible, invest in the right accessories. Over the decades, people have used staple guns, nails, and duct tape to hang Christmas lights (really!), but these methods can irreversibly damage wood. Instead, use light clips. Light clips are your safe and affordable answer to easily mounting lights on virtually any surface.

It is also important to make sure you find the right kind of light for each surface you would like to decorate. Instead of running strings of lights everywhere, buy net lights from Christmas Lights, Etc. to drape over bushes quickly and easily. You’ll save time and energy, and the result can be breathtaking.

Check the Lights First

Don’t wait to find out that your lights aren’t working until after you already have them hung. Test all of your light strands before hanging them, helping you avoid installing strands that then fail to light up. Call us paranoid, but the one strand you fail to check ahead of time is the one you can guarantee to give you the biggest headache when it fails to work. Carefully checking all of your lights can also help you make sure that your Christmas lights don’t suffer from wire issues, and it gives you the chance to replace broken bulbs, helping prevent fire hazard to your home.

Create Safety in Numbers

For your safety — and sanity — don’t hang your lights alone. Get family members involved, or if you’re a bachelor far away from family, invite your friends over for eggnog and decorating. If for no other reason than that ladders are typically a part of Christmas decorating, you shouldn’t tackle such a project without having someone else around, just in case.

Buy the Right Lights

The type of lights you use matter a great deal. If you hang lights outside, they should be water-resistant, and they should be approved for outdoor use. LED lights typically work well outside, and although they can be on the pricey side, they are worth the cost if for no other reason than that they often last longer than traditional strands of lights. But, no matter which kind of lights you choose, if you plan to use them outside be sure to locate an appropriate outlet for connecting them, or else use an extension cord designed specifically for outdoor use.

Hanging Christmas lights doesn’t have to be a headache. With proper planning and preparation, as well as using the right accessories, outdoor Christmas decorating can be a fun project and a great way to spend time with friends and family. Whether you live in an apartment or in a house, try kickstarting your holiday season by putting up some festive lights.

Top photo: tarale/Flickr

Appliance Maintenance Can Save Money

The major appliances in your home are valuable for several reasons. First, they come with a hefty price tag. They also save you time and energy throughout your day. Finally, it’s a huge inconvenience when they are not working, or aren’t working as well as they once did. So, it’s worth your time to do a little preventive maintenance to keep your appliances clean and running at full capacity.


Fridges are used a lot, and therefore they need special attention. Here are some quick cleaning necessities that can extend their lifespan:

  • Clean the coils: Use a brush to remove dust and lint.
  • Eliminate odors: If you had something stinky in there, remove the smell using baking soda, charcoal, or newspapers.
  • Clean the gaskets: The seals around your refrigerator doors can get dirty or even moldy, so it’s important to clean them often..


Keep your stove top and oven in tip-top condition with these tips:

  • Calibration: Use your owner’s manual and oven-safe thermometer to establish accurate temperatures.
  • Clean up spills: If your pot boils over, clean it up immediately so that you can get down through all the layers.
  • Burner contacts: Your electric burners won’t heat properly if they don’t have good contacts.

Garbage Disposals

Your garbage disposal is a useful kitchen tool that requires some quick maintenance, such as:

  • Clean the flaps: If the disposal has an odor, lift the splash guard flaps and scrub the gunk off of the underside.
  • Start over: If the disposal overheats or stops, your first remedy should be to try the reset button on the bottom.
washer and dryer

Washers and Dryers

The workhorse of your home are the washer and dryer. Here’s how to treat them with some TLC:

  • Don’t overload the washer: Stuffed machines don’t clean clothes and risk burning out the motor.
  • Be gentle with the doors: You don’t want to break the lid or door switches; they are expensive to have to replace.
  • Lint trap care: Don’t just remove the lint; scrub the screen to get off invisible residue.

With these simple care and cleaning tips, you can extend the life of your expensive major appliances. Do you have any additional tried and true care tips to add? Leave them in the comments!

Top photo: emilysnuffer/Flickr