morning journal - spring home improvement 2013

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Great cleaning and household hints for spring home improvement.


  • 2 M o r n i n g J o u r n a l S p r i n g H o m e I m p r o v e m e n t F r i d a y , M a y 1 7, 2 0 1 3

  • M o r n i n g J o u r n a l S p r i n g H o m e I m p r o v e m e n t F r i d a y , M a y 1 7, 2 0 1 3 3

    (NAPS)Nobody wants to spendmore time cleaning their kitchen thanthey need to. So whats the secret to creat-ing a carefree kitchen? Choosing durablekitchen products that are easy to use andnearly maintenance free.

    Fortunately, modern materials andingenuity mean many kitchen items andsurfaces are a lot easier to keep in topshape than they used to be. For example:

    Resin-coated stainless steel knivesare now available, making them dishwash-er safe.

    When you get down to it, ceramictiles and flooring do not require specialcleaners or sealants to maintain and cancome in a wide range of looks, from woodto marble.

    Another idea is to get a glass-coatedstainless steel oventheyre fingerprintfree and easy to keep clean.

    When selecting a faucet, look forfaucets from companies like Blanco, withlong-lasting ceramic disk cartridges thatare easy to replace and work for years tokeep the faucet from leaking.

    As for the kitchen sink, select onethat can resist dropping a pot of boilingwater in it without worrying about chip-ping, scratching, staining or denting.

    Made to deal with lifes messy realities,Silgranit II by Blanco offers affordable andstylish options in eight fashion colors. Itfeatures an ultradurable and cleanable sur-face of 80 percent rock-hard granite thatresists scratches, stains and heat. It isresistant to food acids and alkalis, easy tomaintain, colored all the way through andcarries a limited lifetime warranty.

    Because its so easy to clean and main-tain, you can even reduce your use ofharsh cleaning chemicals that can harmpets, kids and the environment.

    Looking for more ways to live healthi-er? Consider implementing these tips intoyour kitchen habits:

    1. Look for cleaners that dont containchlorine or ammonia, suggests Sonya

    Lunder, MPH, a senior researcher withEnvironmental Working Group, a nonprof-it organization that researches environ-mental issues. Choose those that saypetroleum-free, biodegradable or phos-phate-free instead.

    2. Choose the right pan: According tothe American Council for an Energy-Effi-

    cient Economy, using a six-inch pan on aneight-inch burner can waste more than 40percent of the burners heat. Also, consid-er reducing use of Teflon-coated pans,which can emit chemicals when heated.

    3. Be cool, clean your fridge: For maxi-mum efficiency, clean the coils twice ayear and be sure the gaskets are in good

    condition and making tight seals.

    4. Be bright: Use compact fluorescentor LED lighting. They last longer and useless electricity than standard bulbs.

    5. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Considercomposting, too. Blanco of fers theSOLON built-in compost system thatmakes it easy and saves valuable counterspace. Silgranit II sinks include HYGIEN-IC+PLUS, a patented formula that is ashield against dirt and bacteria.

    Independent laboratory tests confirmthat the unique built-in hygiene protectionreduces bacterial growth by an average of98 percent.

    Learn more: You can see the 23 sinkstyles and eight colors of Silgranit II byBlanco and get further facts and tips

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  • 4 M o r n i n g J o u r n a l S p r i n g H o m e I m p r o v e m e n t F r i d a y , M a y 1 7, 2 0 1 3

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    (NAPS)A household item thats often taken for grantedyour dishclothcanpotentially present a serious threat to your familys health.

    Thats because a used dishcloth can redeposit millions of germs after a single daysuse across the surfaces that a family comes in contact with throughout the day.

    A Safer AlternativeFortunately, there is an alternative. Thats the word from Dr. Elizabeth Scott, founder

    and co-director of the Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Communi-ty Settings at Simmons College in Boston. She suggests using disposable paper towelsinstead.

    Said Dr. Scott, To use a paper towel and then throw it away is a very smart thing todo, especially on any surface in your kitchen where youve been preparing food.

    A Clothlike ExperienceOne of the latest developments in paper towels is designed to offer consumers a

    clothlike cleaning experience.

    Bounty has introduced its DuraTowel, a paper towel designed to replace germy dish-cloths for a cleaner way to clean. Thick and strong even when wet, a single sheet isintended to be durable enough to tackle tough jobs such as cleaning countertops, sinksand even small appliances.

    To learn more, visit the website at or follow them on Twitter@bounty. You can also like them at

    Paper safer than clothfor household cleaning

    Using paper towels in place of a household dish-cloth can help to protect a family from germs.

    (NAPS)Theres good news for those who want to get a handle on cleaning theirhome but dont know where to start.

    The experts from the Institute of Home Science have some practical advice and use-ful guidelines to help you get your home in tip-top shape. From the laundry room to thekitchen, heres how to kick- start your cleaning.

    The laundry room: This is the room wherestains are treated, clothes are folded, and wash-ers and dryers take on all sorts of fabrics. It canbe a daunting place, but a little effort goes a longway.

    Organization is keyMake sure to pre-sortyour laundry into designated baskets for lights,darks and whites. When youre ready, your laun-dry will be too.

    Less is moreDont overload the washeror dryer. Clothes will come out cleaner and lesswrinkled when given room to move freely.

    Go easy on the sudsIf you have a high-efficiency (HE) washer, use only HEdetergents in the proper amount to help prevent oversudsing and the buildup of odor-causing residue. With a regular washing machine, remember that concentrated deter-gents require using smaller amounts.

    Dont overdry your clothes Contrary to popular belief, its actually a lack of mois-ture that causes your clothes to shrink.

    Next, the kitchen: This room is typically both the busiest and messiest room in ahome. So how do you keep it looking spotless?

    Declutter the countertopsRather than displaying your small kitchen appliances,store them in easy-access cabinets and take out only when needed. Appliance garageshave become a popular feature in newer homes to create a streamlined kitchen experi-ence.

    Shield your cookwareTo make cleanup a breeze after cooking or baking, lineyour cookware with tinfoil before placing in the oven. After dinner, just toss out the foiland wipe down any spilled residue.

    Stop prerinsing the dishesRemember, most dishwashers are designed to sensethe amount of soil on the dishes and will run the cycle accordingly. Scrape food items off,but there is no need to rinse.

    When in doubt, throw it outStart clearing the refrigerator by putting contents onthe counter. No idea how long that mustard has been in the fridge? Get rid of it. Use thethree E rules as your guidelinesif its expired, empty or makes you say ew, toss it.

    With over 100 years of practice, Whirlpool Corporation knows a thing or two abouthousehold chores; this practical experience led to the creation of the Whirlpool Instituteof Home Science. For more ideas and information, visit the Institute of Home Science onFacebook.

    Tips for a clean home

  • M o r n i n g J o u r n a l S p r i n g H o m e I m p r o v e m e n t F r i d a y , M a y 1 7, 2 0 1 3 5

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    (NAPS)It doesnt have to be a chore to have clean, sparkling windows. Here are afew time-saving tips thatll brighten your home:

    Replace your dirty air filter: Manufacturers suggest replacing your heating and cool-ing systems air filter every one to three months. Thatll help reduce the amount of dustand pollen in your house.

    Choose the right window cleaner: Some window cleaners perform better than others.The Good Housekeeping Research Institute recently tested 17 cleaners and reportedthat the JAWS Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner ( was the only one toleave the surface completely streak-free. In fact, unlike other higher-priced windowcleaners, you can use this non-toxic, non-ammonia cle