5 Ways To Make Your Kitchen Sparkle

No matter how diligent you are, the kitchen is always one of the first places in the house to become grimy and unappealing. The challenge for every householder is to keep it clean and prevent it turning into a Petri dish for potentially harmful bacteria. A vigorous initial clean and then regular upkeep is required to maintain a sparkling finish. Follow these five steps to get you started.

kitchen

1. Get somebody else to do it

Some may consider you are taking the easy way out when hiring a cleaning company to come in and do the job for you. The thing is, if your cleaning ability is what turned your kitchen into a wasteland in the first place, then hiring expert cleaners like Absolute Domestics to go over the entire room from top to bottom becomes an extremely attractive option. You know the job will be done properly, that your family are once again living in a healthy environment and that your kitchen will look better than ever when they’re done.

2. Wipe down the cabinets and benchtops

The kitchen is full of liquids that are often spilled leaving residue on every surface they come into contact with. The coffee machine sloshes its contents everywhere when it froths, and splashed water runs down the cupboard doors and under the sink during washing up. Get yourself some spray on cleaner and a cleaning cloth and wipe all of those surfaces down. Removing stains and debris improves the look of the kitchen and can also disinfect the surfaces.

3. Scour the stovetop

If you’re keen to roll up your sleeves, a good place to start is the stovetop and oven. These paired appliances attract grime and grease like crazy, and simply removing the baked-on remains of the spaghetti sauce you accidentally spilt can make the room look far more clean and orderly. Buy a heavy-duty grease remover and get ready to scrub. Elbow grease will be required, but the results will speak for themselves.

4. Clean out the refrigerator

Don’t just stop at the parts of the kitchen you can see: move on to the areas you can’t see. Open the fridge, remove anything that is out of date (or looks like it may become a science project at any moment) and then wipe down every surface. If the inside of your fridge has an odour to it, take a tray and lay some baking paper on it. Baking soda is a powerful odour absorber. Spread a box of baking soda across the tray, pop it in the fridge and close the door until the odour disappears. You can then discard the paper and baking soda.

5. Vacuum and mop

The last stages of your big clean should be to vacuum the floor, clearing any loose food, dust, pet hair and detritus before doing a second pass with a mop and bucket to remove any stains or harder-to-remove grime. You’ll be shocked how big of a difference mopping the kitchen floor makes to your room’s overall appearance. Complete these final steps and your kitchen will appear to sparkle, good as new.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to kitchen cleaning techniques: you haven’t even touched the sink, the pantry or the rangehood above the oven yet. What’s your kitchen-cleaning strategy? Do you have any home cleaning hacks to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Five Ways to Make Your Kid’s Room More Fun

Mobiles

When I say mobile, it’s not what you’re thinking. Children should be kept away from mobile phones for as long as possible (preferably until they can afford to pay for it themselves). By mobiles I mean a decorative structure that’s suspended from the ceiling so that it can move freely in the breeze, or be turned by hands. Mobiles for adults were made by artists such as Miro in the 60’s and are fun and beautiful for all ages. You can buy this at some art shops or children’s toy shops, but you can also easily make your own by drawing or cutting out images of animals, machines or story characters that your children like; you can also get your kids to draw their own! Laminate them, and then get to work with some unbent coat hangers, needle and thread.

kid's room
Buying your children a bunk bed is an excellent way to give them the feeling that they are in a tree house, the crow’s nest of a pirate ship…. the only limit is their imagination.

Rug Up

The floor of their bedroom is the space where a lot of children spend most of their time; playing with toys, drawing, reading. Adorning the floor with something colourful, beautiful or even interactive gives an extra dimension to their playtime. For young children, you can get rugs that depict two dimensional street scenes that they can run their cars and other vehicles along, giving a tactile dimension to their imaginative world. For what will suit the interests of your child, and the style and dimensions of their room, check out our full rug range at www.rugsamillion.com.au.

Bunk Up

Almost all children like climbing things; while trees may be a little nerve wracking for some parents, buying your children a bunk bed is an excellent way to give them the feeling that they are in a treehouse, the crow’s nest of a pirate ship…. the only limit is their imagination. Even if you only have one child, or only one child sleeping in that room, they will enjoy the added elevation, and you might be able to adapt the bottom level to storage; or perhaps a private suite for all of their stuffed animals?

Brighten Up

Lighting is an essential aspect of any interior, and that includes your children’s rooms! If your child likes to sleep with a nightlight, you can find a range of cute and playful ones shaped like animals, stars and moons, and a huge number of other styles. Overhead lighting can be a bit bleak in any space, so consider trying a standard or wall mounted lamp, or even fairylights. A touch lamp beside your child’s bed will spare them trying to fiddle with switches and knocking it over if they have to get up in the middle of the night.

Put it On Display

Instead of ordinary storage ideas like wardrobes, cupboards and books shelves, try using stacked pigeon holes, either attached to the wall from ground level or mounted at the eye level of your little one. If you kids have ornaments or other precious objects like photos, trophies, stuffed toys or seashells they can put them in the pigeon holes not only to be admired, but it also allows for easier access to toys!

Image Credit:
Luigi Diamanti – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

4 Gardening Essentials

4 Details to Bring Your Garden to Life

Gardens are our pride and joy, and there’s nothing better than spending a nice day relaxing out doors in the sunshine. However,  gardens can also be hard to maintain. That’s why I’ve written this simple guide to let you know what to keep an eye on to keep your garden looking tidy.

Weeds

Weeds are hated by almost every gardener and are by far the most common cause of an uneven or unsightly lawn. Weeds also have a bad habit of re-growing month after month, no matter how hard you try to get rid of them. So be sure to keep an eye on them, and use a weed killing product and a trowel at the first sign of them.

Grass

This might be an obvious one, but remember to take care of your grass! Too many of us neglect it and assume that grass is durable and can take care of itself. This is true to some extent, but for grass needs a helping hand from time to time. Be sure to keep your grass short for an eat looking lawn. Another benefit of short grass is that the sunlight can penetrate the whole blades, which encourages  hlorophyll production – giving your grass that luscious green colour.

Decking

Decking can get easily weathered, and it may seem like a tough task to keep it looking new. However, it’s not as hard as you think thanks to products such as decking treatment and decking paint which make the job a whole lot easier. Now maintaining your deck doesn’t have to be left to professionals. You can do it yourself!

Ornaments

Ornaments can be a fun and easy way to bring character and depth into your garden. Try placing miniature statues hidden within your
shrubbery. You can also buy solar powered ornaments that light up at night, making your garden a tranquil place to relax in the evenings.  And that’s it, remember these 4 gardening essentials and you’ve got the basic groundwork’s for a beautiful garden. As long as you remember these 4 points your garden will remain a beautiful for years to come. 

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When to Hire a Stockton Plumbing Contractor

The plumbing system in any home is a complicated network of pipes, valves, fittings and drains that distributes water throughout the home. A qualified Stockton plumbing contractor is a professional who specializes in new construction, renovation and remodeling projects associated with the home’s water supply. They sometimes act as consultants during the planning phase of residential construction.

Contractors can install, repair and replace water heaters of all kinds. They have the experience and tools necessary to install flues, gas connections and gas control valves. Contractors often install, maintain and repair water softeners, water purifiers, sump pumps and other appliances that use the house’s water supply.

Homeowners can consult with a local contractor when choosing a hot water heater for installation. Plumbing experts can help the consumer choose the right size heater for the home. They can review the various options available, including gas, electric and tankless units.

Choosing between a gas and electric appliance is a decision that consumers should base on cost of the appliance, the household’s hot water needs and the cost of installation. Gas units heat water quicker and are a better choice for large households with a need for more hot water. A 40-gallon electric heater takes twice as long to heat the water in the tank as a gas heater of the same size. Gas heaters are typically less expensive to operate and are more energy efficient.

The most modern design available is the tankless water heater. These units take up less space than a tank style model and heat water only as users need it. This saves on energy costs because the unit is not working around the clock to keep the water in the tank heated. Tankless heaters are more environmentally friendly and the ideal choice for individuals who are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Most manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty against leaks.

A qualified contractor can install piping for an outdoor gas barbecue. Inside they can run gas lines for homeowners who want to replace an electric stove with a gas appliance. A qualified professional can locate and repair a gas leak. Because of the inherent dangers, an experienced plumbing contractor should handle all gas piping installation and refitting.

Water softener systems filter out magnesium and calcium, the minerals responsible for hard water. These minerals can build up in the pipes causing clogs. They also decrease appliance efficiency. A water softener uses salt to replace the magnesium and calcium. Flushing the unit with brine recharges the unit after it is depleted. Using soft water makes it easier to clean the bathroom because it prevents soap scum buildup. It will also eliminate the white film that accumulates on dishware and drinking glasses.

Homes with a basement often have a sump pump to remove water as it accumulates in the lowest part of the building. The pump is placed in a pit and when the pit fills with water, the pump starts up and removes it. The water may empty into the water drainage system or be drained away from the home’s foundation.

These professionals play an important role in the new construction of any building. Stockton plumbing contractors are familiar with all building codes and can verify that building plans are compliant with codes at the local, state and federal levels. They can also make sure a building meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Personal referrals from other homeowners offer the most convenient way to find a reputable local contractor. A general contractor can make a referral for new construction. Consumers should always check the background of any contractor and make sure the individual is fully insured, licensed and bonded.

Teresa Adkinson is a freelance writer for Preferred pluming & drain, a Stockton plumbing contractors that offers 24/7 emergency assistance with free work estimates and no night differential fees.

What’s So Great About Built In Ovens?

An oven is an oven, right?  Not when you’re talking about built in ovens!

You’ve probably seen them in gourmet kitchens and featured on home improvement shows… So, what’s so great about built in ovens?

built-in ovens

(Image Credit: www.fisherpaykel.com)

Lots of things!  In fact, they beat out a traditional oven stove in 5 different ways:

  1. It Sits at Eye Level By having your oven built into the wall — instead of sitting on the floor like a traditional oven stove — you don’t have to bend over to get things in or out of it.  Plus, it will be easier to check on your creations as they’re cooking.
  2. It’s Easier to Keep Clean With a traditional stand-alone oven stove, you always wind up with little crumbs and dribbles that make their way in between the oven and your countertop.  That tiny little space becomes a haven for dirt and grime — and there’s no way to get in and clean it.  Ew!
  3. It Looks More Stylish Another benefit to not having those little gaps between your oven stove and your countertops?  Your kitchen will look seamless.  Because they attach right to the wall, built in ovens give your entire kitchen a sleeker, more modern look.
  4. It Makes The Most Out of a Smaller Space Unfortunately, we’re not all lucky enough to have giant kitchens.  If yours isn’t quite as spacious as you’d like, built in ovens can free up some much-needed space.
  5. It Allows You to Take Advantage of a Double Oven When you have a stand-alone oven stove, double ovens are hard to come by.  But when you opt for the built in type from a quality manufacturer — like the Fisher & Paykel ovens  — you’ll have your choice of a single or a double oven.

    And, if you really want to get fancy, you can even pair Fisher & Paykel ovens with a built in warming tray at the bottom.  That way, you’ll be cooking like a pro in no time!

Luckily, you can take advantage of all that built in ovens have to offer without breaking the bank.  As they’ve grown in popularity, built in ovens have become much more affordable.

The passion for great cuisine leads Olivia Slamut to become very kitchen appliances savvy.  She naturally writes a lot about smart appliances and green energy.


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