As temperatures heat up and spring approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in the great outdoors—the green grass, the gardening. But it’s also important to ensure the inside of our homes are also freshly spruced up this season.
The Family Handyman’s tips for fast furniture fixes, doubling the life of your carpet and keeping dust at bay are quick, easy and wallet-friendly:
1. Fast Furniture Fixes: Take pride in your home this spring and stop dealing with those furniture eyesores. Repair nicks, scratches, dings and dents in your wood furniture with The Family Handyman’s simple tips:
· Hiding Flaws: Hide scratches with permanent-ink felt-tip markers. You can either use the furniture touch-up markers available at hardware stores and home centers, or, to get an exact match, buy markers at an art supply store that carries an array of colors.
· Clean dirty, greasy, gummy surfaces with mineral spirits: Soak a coarse, absorbent, clean cloth with mineral spirits and wipe the finish until the cloth no longer picks up dirt.
·Patch gouges: Buy several sticks of putty similar to the color of the stain you want to match. Scrape flakes from each, then mix and knead them with your fingertips until the color is right. Be sure to make the patch slightly darker than the furniture; lighter will be more obvious.
·Wipe away scratches and recoat the surface: Using clear or neutral Danish oil and rub with the grain, never against it or at an angle to it. Make sure to rub not only the scratched area, but the area around it in gradually decreasing amounts.
2. Carpet Cleaning Tips for Long-Lasting Carpet: Keep your carpet looking new and fresh for spring, and for years to come. Your carpet will last twice as long with these effective strategies for proper cleaning and maintenance.
· Banish dirt: Set the vacuum at the right height or you’ll be wasting your precious time. To set it, raise it to its highest setting, turn it on and lower it until you can feel the vacuum trying to tug itself forward.
· Use a pro wisely: Truck mounted equipment, this is better than portable steam cleaning equipment; don’t take bids over the phone; beware of “discount” carpet cleaners; and remember: you get what you pay for.
· DIY right: Hiring a pro is expensive so the next-best approach is to alternate between DIY and pro-cleanings. DIY “steam”-cleaning machines can be effective if you understand how to use them and take the time to clean your carpet carefully, use The Family Handyman’s tips to get it right.
·Clean stains right—right away: Don’t dig or scoop food spills that can actually work the stain into the carpet. Use water, eighty percent of stains can be removed using plain tap water. If that’s not working for the really tough stains, then try a white vinegar and water solution before using a commercial product.
3. Cleaning Tips to Reduce Household Dust: Fighting dust in your house is a battle you can never completely win, but you can save a lot of time and energy with these simple dust-busting. Even better you’ll help ease spring allergies caused by these dust bunnies.
· Keep closet floors clear for easy cleaning: Box or bag items on shelves, enclose the clothes you rarely wear, and keep closet floors clear. If the floor is cluttered, chances are you’ll just bypass it while vacuuming.
· Upgrade your furnace filter: A filter upgrade can make a noticeable reduction in dust. Standard fiberglass filters are good, pleated filters are better, and a pleated electrostatic filter system is best.
·Clean the air while you clean the house: All vacuums whip up dust with their “agitator” or blowing exhaust stream. That dust eventually settles on the surfaces you’ve just cleaned. Turn the fan on while cleaning or if you can turn your thermostat setting to the ‘fan on’ position to avoid this.
· Rotate bedding weekly and beat and shake area rugs: Frequently washed sheets reduce skin flakes, fibers and dust in the air. It’s also important to shake rugs outside three to four times a year, they are the biggest dust collectors.
Please visit The Family Handyman for more tips on fast furniture fixes, long lasting carpet and dust-busting strategies to freshen up your home this spring
Additional DIY tips, product recommendations and more can be found online at www.familyhandyman.com or download the latest digital edition of The Family Handyman on your iPad.
About The Family Handyman:
The Family Handyman is one of the most respected media brands in home improvement. The magazine celebrates the process and pride of a project well done, and gives consumers the how-to and solutions they need to create the home and lifestyle of their dreams.