bathroom http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9850/all en-US 7 Nasty Bathroom Items You Should Throw Out Now http://www.wisebread.com/7-nasty-bathroom-items-you-should-throw-out-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-nasty-bathroom-items-you-should-throw-out-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bath_rubber_ducky_000018204289.jpg" alt="Finding out which nasty bathroom items you should throw out" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your bathroom is a sacred place. It's also a very dirty place, with lots of tools and implements that are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">covered with grime</a>, but also really easy and cheap to replace. Look around and find these seven nasty bathroom items you should throw out now.</p> <h2>1. Toothbrush Holder (And Your Toothbrush!)</h2> <p>Odds are you haven't changed your toothbrush in more than the recommended three to four months, which is bad enough. But odds are you're even worse at cleaning or replacing the toothbrush holder! The kind that acts as a cup with holes on top are the grossest off all &mdash; they trap moldy water inside, letting bacteria festoon below.</p> <h2>2. Loofa Sponge</h2> <p>We use our loofahs for too long. You're cleaning your own dirty body with them, so of course they get filthy from soap scum, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Tip: have a newish sponge you want to keep a little longer? Lightly dampen the sponge and nuke it in the microwave for three to four minutes on high. It'll feel a little crispy to the touch for a bit, but it will have killed much of the burgeoning bacteria.</p> <h2>3. Bath Toys</h2> <p>Yes, those rubber duckies and squeezable action figures eventually will attract lots of black mold. And the little hole on the bottom of the toy? That means there is even more mold and mildew on the inside. Be sure to give your kids' bath toys a long disinfecting soak every week, and when they get those little black specs, just toss them and replace with new ones.</p> <h2>4. Shower Curtain Liner</h2> <p>It's easy to ignore the nasty, slimy film and the black mold forming around the bottom of your shower curtain liner. It's pretty simple: to go your local Bed Bath and Beyond or Target and grab a replacement! Add it to your rotating shopping list. Your life will be better (and cleaner) with a new one.</p> <h2>5. Disposable Razor</h2> <p>We all try to stretch the last disposable razor as long as we can. At this point, the razer is full of flecks of dead hair, mounds of dead skin cells, and bacteria. Even if you clean it up, why keep it? It's too dull to give you a close shave, so throw it away.</p> <h2>6. Toilet Brush</h2> <p>It's an item we'd all rather not think about, right? It's a gross implement used to swipe away at an even grosser fixture. Well, chances are you're not soaking your brush every month to kill extra bacteria and possible odors. And, since toilet brushes are fairly cheap, shoot for throwing yours away every year to avoid a case of the shudders next time you need to use it.</p> <h2>7. Bath Mat</h2> <p>This workhorse is full of filthy secrets. If yours is machine washable, make sure you're washing it every month. If it's not, toss it and get one that is. You'll thank yourself next time you drop a contact lens on the floor.</p> <p><em>What old grimey thing will you toss out next?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-nasty-bathroom-items-you-should-throw-out-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-bathroom-hacks-you-cant-live-without">12 Bathroom Hacks You Can&#039;t Live Without!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-home-cleaner-than-a-pro-can-and-save-big">Get Your Home Cleaner Than a Pro Can — And Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living bathroom cleaning loofa shower toilet toothbrush Fri, 27 Nov 2015 12:01:43 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1616741 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Genius Storage Ideas for Your Bathroom http://www.wisebread.com/20-genius-storage-ideas-for-your-bathroom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-genius-storage-ideas-for-your-bathroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bathroom_000031013188.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter using genius storage ideas for bathroom" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you don't have a whole lot of storage space in your bathroom, finding places to stash all your stuff can be a challenge (especially if you're a product junkie like I am). Luckily there are tons of creative ways to increase the organization potential of your bathroom. Get inspired by one of these genius bathroom organizing ideas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions?ref=seealso">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>1. A Hanging Shoe Organizer</h2> <p>Make use of the space behind your bathroom door by hanging up a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HM5V0A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HM5V0A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Y3MHEPOLTVWHR52Q">shoe organizer</a>&nbsp;with clear pockets.&nbsp;If you have lots of little bottles and tubes, this is the perfect way to organize them (By color! By type!) while being able to see all of the contents. I can only dream of owning enough tubes of lip gloss and makeup to fill one of these.</p> <h2>2. Stacking Bins</h2> <p>My under-the-sink area is notorious for getting stuffed with random bags of toilet paper, shampoo, cleaning products, and bubble bath. After a while, it gets so messy I don't even know what I have under there anymore! So I <em>should</em> be using stacking crates or bins are to take advantage of the vertical space. These <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EDZSDWA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EDZSDWA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RVSZPX34DQF6BN6L">stacking bins</a> are perfect, but a little pricey. See if you can find the same thing or similar at local discount stores. (I frequent my local Daiso, a Japanese dollar store, for all my plastic organizational needs.) In a pinch, office organization bins can work.</p> <h2>3. Cabinet Shelving</h2> <p>If you're a little handy, you can build a few little shelves under the sink to better use your space. Or if you're not up to DIY, a couple of plastic shelves (again, check your local discount store) or an inexpensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004BDP656/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004BDP656&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7TCLFXHX4KSY2PBX">shoe rack</a> might do the trick.</p> <h2>4. Turntables for Hard-to-Reach Spaces</h2> <p>I'm a big fan of lazy Susans (also known as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036OQWT0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0036OQWT0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WHYTCIXLW46EEEQP">cabinet turntables</a>) to help you reach those hard-to-reach areas easily.</p> <h2>5. Wall Shelves</h2> <p>Add wall shelving wherever there is dead space, like over the toilet. It's a great place to store baskets full of useful items, like floss and washcloths. If you do store things over the toilet though, it's a good idea to get into the habit of keeping your toilet cover closed, not only so things don't fall in, but to minimize contamination.</p> <h2>6. Furniture</h2> <p>If you have the space, you might even be able to move in a small cabinet or bookshelf for extra storage. If a piece of furniture is too big, try a small kitchen storage cart like the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;fst=as%3Aoff&amp;keywords=ikea%20raskog&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1428007941&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aikea%20raskog%2Cp_89%3AIkea&amp;rnid=2528832011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=F6IO5JAIIY3NPE3R">IKEA Raskog</a>.</p> <h2>7. An Extra Towel Bar</h2> <p>Instead of fighting my husband for use of the towel bar next to the shower, we decided to hang an extra towel bar above the old one. Now each of us has our own rack for a less messy bathroom (and bonus, towels that dry!). An extra towel bar can also be used to hang baskets, curling irons, and other sundries.</p> <h2>8. A Vintage Ladder</h2> <p>Another creative idea I've seen is to use a vintage wooden ladder leaning up against the bathroom wall as a towel bar (if you have the space). With each rung holding a towel, you'll have plenty of towel storage.</p> <h2>9. Dishes</h2> <p>Storage items don't have to be made for the bathroom to be used for bathroom storage. I picked up a vintage yellow ceramic creamer and sugar bowl set at an antique store. They are perfect for storing cotton swabs and cotton pads in the bathroom. They look great too! Don't be afraid to use pretty dishes for storing small items. A crystal bowl can hold nail polishes, hand lotions, or lip balms. A tiered dessert server can double as a jewelry display.</p> <h2>10. Old Containers</h2> <p>Old candle holders (after you've <a href="http://www.auntpeaches.com/2012/09/how-to-remove-candle-wax-from-glass.html">removed the wax</a>) can be used to hold toothbrushes and makeup brushes. Empty product jars (especially for fancier creams) can be repurposed to hold cotton balls, makeup removal pads, or even to decant larger items into. For example, put some of your favorite body lotion into a pretty jar, and store the rest of the giant bottle out of sight. Do the same with the enormous bottle of mouthwash.</p> <h2>11. Trays</h2> <p>A bathroom looks untidy with a toothbrush, toothpaste, contact cases, and other sundries littering the countertop. Keep these daily use items together on a tray or in a water-resistant basket. I use this <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10239647/">IKEA candle dish</a> as the perfect waterproof way to store daily use items. The countertop looks less cluttered, but I'm not stuck with trying to store oft-used items out of sight.</p> <h2>12. Hanging Rails</h2> <p>If you're lacking counter space, a great way to optimize storage is to hang things from the walls. Hang a rail storage system, like the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BMZKNGI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BMZKNGI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3ZANH5XZNFNH5DJI">IKEA Fintorp</a> series, and stash your stuff in the various hooks, cups, and holders that hang from the rail.</p> <h2>13. Spice Racks</h2> <p>Similarly, an inexpensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PNKZ0GQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00PNKZ0GQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TJQJXB7NXOQUEWL3">spice rack</a>, already meant to store small bottles, can be creatively repurposed to hold toiletries.</p> <h2>14. Drawer Dividers</h2> <p>A bathroom drawer can quickly become a bottomless pit of junk without a bit of organization. Divide up the space using creative solutions such as repurposed cardboard boxes, silverware holders, bowls, office supply containers, and baskets.</p> <h2>15. PVC Pipe &quot;Holsters&quot;</h2> <p>I thought this was an ingenious way to store curling irons &mdash; attach short lengths of 2&quot;-3&quot; PVC pipe to the door of your sink vanity, creating <a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/bathroom/diy-bathroom-storage/view-all#step5">tubular&nbsp;holsters</a>&nbsp;for the irons and their cords.</p> <h2>16. Hanging Baskets or Crates</h2> <p>Instead of bothering with hanging shelves, go straight to hanging baskets or wooden crates on the walls to hold towels and toilet paper rolls. You can make a little bookcase by stacking a few wooden crates on top of each other and anchoring them to the wall with the open side facing out.</p> <h2>17. A Wine Bottle Rack</h2> <p>Use a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MFKRZIS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00MFKRZIS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BYYCCRJCOZA4KRHI">wall wine rack</a> to store rolled up hand and bath towels if you don't have much towel storage in your home.</p> <h2>18. The Backs of Cabinet Doors</h2> <p>Use the space behind your cabinet doors by hanging small plastic baskets or utensil containers behind each door to store small things like nail polish, nail clippers, and other little things that get lost easily.</p> <h2>19. The Sides of Your Vanity</h2> <p>Attaching a basket to the side of your vanity cabinet can make use of an under-utilized space. This <a href="http://www.listotic.com/50-brilliant-storage-ideas/20/">metal mesh basket</a> (actually a file holder) hung on the side of the cabinet is the perfect place to store hair dryers and irons.</p> <h2>20. Hanging Storage From the Ceiling</h2> <p>Hanging tiered fruit baskets attached to the ceiling creates useful storage space without using up valuable real estate on the floor or walls.</p> <p><em>Even the smallest bathroom can be optimized for storage space with a little ingenuity. What creative solutions have you found to organize your bathroom?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-genius-storage-ideas-for-your-bathroom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space">Here&#039;s How You Maximize Fridge and Freezer Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-genius-storage-solutions-for-your-kids-room">11 Genius Storage Solutions for Your Kid&#039;s Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization bathroom storage Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:00:10 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1316675 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Bathroom Hacks You Can't Live Without! http://www.wisebread.com/12-bathroom-hacks-you-cant-live-without <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-bathroom-hacks-you-cant-live-without" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006962446_Large.jpg" alt="cat shredding toilet paper" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The bathroom. The restroom. The toilet. Everyone uses one several times a day, and when you do something that often, you should be armed with ways to make the whole experience better; and quicker; and even more fun!</p> <p>So if you've ever wanted to know how to hack your bathroom breaks, here are 12 must-know tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your daily routine.</p> <h2>1. Prevent Splashing and Noise With Toilet Paper</h2> <p>A British comedian named Ben Elton once said &quot;I can't stand people hearing my noises!&quot; He was talking about that plop-splash effect when you poop. Plus, getting a jet of cold water up your bum is not pleasant either. Simply layer a few sheets of toilet paper on the surface before you commence. No more splashing, and no more noise.</p> <h2>2. Your Dry Sink Makes an Excellent Phone Speaker</h2> <p>First, it has to be bone dry. Make sure you towel it out if there is any water in there. But once you have it ready, pop your phone in the sink and play your favorite music. The bowl-shape acts like a giant sound amplifier, giving you groovy tunes while you get down to business.</p> <h2>3. No Plunger? Use Dish Soap and Hot Water</h2> <p>We've all been there. A little too much fiber in the diet one week, and we've clogged the toilet. If you don't have a plunger handy, put a squirt of dish soap into the toilet, followed by some hot, or boiling, water. It should quickly get rid of the offending blockage.</p> <h2>4. Hang Wrinkled Clothes While You Shower</h2> <p>If you like a hot shower, you can put that steam to good use. Bring in some of your wrinkled shirts or blouses and hang them on the outside of the shower curtain or door. While you clean yourself, the hot steam will release most of the wrinkles.</p> <h2>5. Use Toilet Paper to Prevent Auto Flushing</h2> <p>You know the feeling. You're all comfy on the bowl, splashdown has commenced, and then you move half an inch and end up with a torrent of water splashing around your nether regions. For some reason, the auto flush seems to be more sensitive than a fresh tattoo. Place a few sheets of paper over the sensor, and when you're ready to leave, remove them for full flushing functionality.</p> <h2>6. Use a Grapefruit to Clean the Tub</h2> <p>No one likes cleaning the bathtub, but this little hack will make the next time way easier. Simply cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle it with salt. Then, wet your tub thoroughly and use the salty grapefruit as a scrubber. Then, rinse away. It takes less elbow grease, and the bathroom smells of citrus, not nasty bleach and chemicals.</p> <h2>7. In a Public Bathroom, Use the Toilet Closest to the Door</h2> <p>We are private creatures, and whenever possible we will use the toilet hidden away in the corner at the back. If that's busy, out of order, or a handicapped stall, we will choose the next one along, and so on. People bypass the very first toilet because it's close to the entrance, the sinks (and the urinals in a men's bathroom), and the people milling around. For that reason, it is the least used, the cleanest, and the most hygienic. Combine with the first tip, you don't have to worry about any noises you may make (unless you have some major tummy trouble).</p> <h2>8. Have a Selection of Ziploc Bags Ready&hellip; for Reading</h2> <p>Most of us have some kind of iPad, smartphone, or tablet these days. But getting them wet is a huge no-no, and will invalidate most warranties. A Ziploc bag can help you have great entertainment in the bathtub, though. And with the use of a Bluetooth speaker, the sound won't be muffled.</p> <h2>9, Power Drills Are Not Just for DIY</h2> <p>If you've got some really stubborn dirt and grime, fit a scrubbing brush (circular of course) to your cordless power drill and get to work. Spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute, it takes most of the hard work out of it. Combined with a decent cleaning product, you're done in no time.</p> <h2>10. Add Some Essential Oil to Your Toilet Roll</h2> <p>The cardboard tube on the inside of the toilet roll is very absorbent. So, take advantage of this by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the inside. It will keep your bathroom/toilet smelling just the way you want.</p> <h2>11. Keep Bathroom Cleaner in Your Toilet Brush Pan</h2> <p>A &quot;dry&quot; toilet brush pan is not good. It actually collects all the nasty goop and water and can get moldy and smelly. Pour some cleaning product in there, be it watered-down bleach or diluted Comet, and you will always have a toilet brush that smells clean and is mostly germ-free. Of course, if you have young kids around, you may want to assess that.</p> <h2>12. Cat-Proof Your Toilet Roll</h2> <p>If you have a cat, he or she will <em>love</em> that dangling paper. It's just impossible for them not to mess with it. And when you go to use the bathroom, you will be greeted with a mess of shredded paper on the floor. So, when you're done in the bathroom, tuck the end of the paper inside the roll. Problem solved.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite lavatory hacks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-bathroom-hacks-you-cant-live-without">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-nasty-bathroom-items-you-should-throw-out-now">7 Nasty Bathroom Items You Should Throw Out Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-keep-your-dispoable-razor-blades-sharp-use-your-arm">Want to Keep Your Disposable Razor Blades Sharp? Use Your Arm</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks bathroom cleaning toilet Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1301685 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Your Bathroom Look Awesome for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plumber-bathroom-84469073-small.jpg" alt="plumber" title="plumber" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently came out of a gut bathroom renovation on a major budget. I'm talking replacing everything from the studs in the walls to the tile in the shower. Keeping the renovation affordable was a challenge, but I'm so happy to be showering in my dream bathroom now! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Awesome for Under $100</a>)</p> <p>Even if you're not renovating the entire room, there are ways to perk up the look of your bathroom on a shoestring. Check out these tips on making your bathroom look awesome for under $100.</p> <h2>Go Bold on the Walls</h2> <p>A bathroom is such a small space that you can experiment with bold color and pattern without too much risk. So choose a vibrant color, a fun stencil or wallpaper, and let your imagination run wild!</p> <p>If you're a renter, you can do a lot with removable wallpaper or peel-and-stick wall decals, which can be a great affordable and temporary solution in a small area.</p> <h2>Hang Some Art</h2> <p>The bathroom is so often neglected when it comes to wall decor. Hang a large scale photo or picture to bring in some life and color to the room, and to make the bathroom a nicer place to hang out. Just avoid hanging original art or an expensive print, as the humidity can eventually damage the piece.</p> <h2>Raise the Bar</h2> <p>The shower bar, that is. Buying an extra long shower curtain and moving the shower curtain rod up several inches can give the illusion of higher ceilings and more space. Also, if the shower tile isn't your favorite, moving the shower curtain up higher can help to hide it. If you don't want to buy a new shower curtain, sewing a coordinating band of fabric to the bottom of your standard shower curtain will make it longer (and more unique).</p> <h2>Create Storage</h2> <p>Having a place for everything makes your bathroom more functional and more attractive. If your bathroom lacks hidden storage, considering adding your own. A few suggestions include:</p> <h3>1. Add a Shallow Cabinet or Shelves Over the Toilet</h3> <p>This &quot;dead space&quot; can be put to use with a few inexpensive shelves from the hardware store or even a wall-mounted cabinet.</p> <h3>2. Bring in a Bookcase, Cabinet, or Small Dresser</h3> <p>While you might not initially think to bring a piece of furniture into the bathroom, doing so can both increase functionality and make the bathroom look less utilitarian.</p> <h3>3. Optimize Storage With Cabinet Organizers</h3> <p>Buying an under-sink storage system can make the best use of your vanity storage space, reducing clutter in other areas of the bathroom.</p> <h3>4. Corral Clutter in Trays and Baskets</h3> <p>If you must have toiletries on the countertop, keep them contained using a tray or basket, thereby keeping the rest of the counter tidy. Using a wall-mounted rail storage system, like the IKEA Fintorp line, can also keep clutter off the counter.</p> <h2>Add Textiles</h2> <p>Investing in a set of coordinated textiles can make your bathroom look much more pulled together. If your towels are mismatched and getting a little ratty, consider buying a new set that coordinates or complements the colors in a statement shower curtain. Add a fluffy coordinated bath rug.</p> <p>I also really like the <a href="http://www.westelm.com/products/hamam-stripe-hand-towel-b606/">Turkish-inspired hand towels</a> that have become very trendy. They allow you to bring in some graphic stripes and color without screaming overly &quot;bathroom.&quot;</p> <h2>Replace Fixtures</h2> <p>Replace an old dated faucet with something more modern, or a garish light with a more elegant light fixture. Small updated details can add up to a big impact.</p> <h2>Add Accessories</h2> <p>One way to diminish the utilitarian feeling of the bathroom is to bring in accessories. Just be careful to limit them to avoid clutter. A plant, a pretty vase, a stool or chair, and other decorative accessories can bring in color and make your bathroom look more luxurious.</p> <h2>Tile-It-Yourself</h2> <p>If you're willing to do a little grunt work, tiling can be remarkably inexpensive. For under $100, you can get a bag of mortar, grout, and enough porcelain tile to refinish the floor, shower, or add an attractive backsplash. Your local hardware store probably carries easy-to-lay 12&quot; x 12&quot; or 12&quot; x 24&quot; porcelain tile at less than $1 or $2 a square foot, making a small bathroom floor doable for under $100. Rip up that old vinyl floor and put in a durable and updated tile floor to upgrade the look and value of your bathroom. Tutorials on how to tile abound on the Internet and are totally free!</p> <h2>Frame Out Your Mirror</h2> <p>If you have a large sheet mirror in your bathroom, you can make it look a lot more custom by framing it out with molding. This can be a super cheap DIY (this great <a href="http://thriftydecorating-nikkiw.blogspot.com/2011/10/frame-your-bathroom-mirror.html">mirror frame</a> cost under $30, and this <a href="http://www.amomstake.com/2013/11/how-to-frame-a-mirror-bathroom/">larger mirror</a> under $40), especially if you use salvaged molding!</p> <h2>Add Architectural Wall Features</h2> <p>Adding a wall feature such as board and batten or a beadboard half-wall can take your bathroom from builder-basic to custom. Here's a tutorial to do your own <a href="http://theturquoisehome.com/2013/04/how-to-install-board-and-batten/">board and batten</a> &mdash; it can be very affordable especially if you use MDF boards. Buying wood beadboard can be a bit more expensive; luckily beadboard wallpaper is very affordable (and here's a great step-by-step <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2012/01/installing-beadboard-wallpaper/">beadboard wallpaper tutorial</a>) and looks just like the real thing. Top it off with a chair rail or molding.</p> <h2>Paint the Vanity</h2> <p>A dated builder-grade wood vanity can look much more updated and chic with <a href="http://www.twodelighted.com/2012/02/20/my-painted-bathroom-vanity-before-and-after/#.VFUV7jTF8rI">new paint and hardware</a> (I don't recommend painting the vanity if it is laminate). Consider painting it a sophisticated shade such as gray, charcoal, or black, or opt for a fun pop of color. Remember to clean the vanity thoroughly, sand lightly, and apply a good primer before painting. I'd suggest an alkyd paint (such as the <a href="http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-your-home/paint-products/advance-waterborne-interior-alkyd-paint#piSheen=793&amp;advs=0&amp;tab=2">Benjamin Moore Advance</a> Line) for a hard and durable finish. A quart of paint and primer won't set you back much, and the results can be amazing.</p> <p>If you want to keep the wood grain, a gel stain can be another way to update the finish on a wood vanity without having to sand down the entire thing.</p> <p>Finally, choosing some chic hardware to dress up your newly painted vanity puts the finishing touch on your project.</p> <h2>Shop for Salvage</h2> <p>If you have a <a href="http://www.habitat.org/restores">Habitat for Humanity Restore</a> in your neighborhood and haven't paid it a visit yet, make it your next priority. This is the best place to find gently used furniture, cabinets, fixtures, and hardware at bargain prices. For instance, I got the gorgeous floor model light fixture in our bathroom for $40 at the Restore, something that would have cost over $100 new.</p> <p>On recent visits to the Restore I've seen a pedestal sink, remnant slabs of granite, boxes of tile, mis-tinted paint, faucets and shower fixtures,and a variety of light fixtures, each for under $100. It can be hit-or-miss depending on what you're looking for, but every once in a while you can strike gold.</p> <p>If you don't have a Restore near you look for architectural salvage stores, junk stores, and thrift stores, as well as good old Craigslist. I bought a new granite vanity countertop off Craigslist for $90 &mdash; someone who was renovating decided not to use it and wanted to get rid of it, and it happened to fit the dimensions of my vanity perfectly.</p> <p><em>Being creative on a budget can greatly improve the look of your home. What's your favorite way to stretch your decorating dollars when it comes to the bathroom?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-bathroom-look-awesome-for-under-100">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit">7 Ways to Decorate an Apartment Without Losing Your Deposit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recoup-more-of-your-investment-8-home-improvements-that-add-the-most-value">Recoup More of Your Investment: 8 Home Improvements That Add the Most Value</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-improvements-that-pay-off">Home Improvements That Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">10 Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Real Estate and Housing bathroom bathroom redo cheap design renovation Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1260451 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 DIYs For a Sparkling Clean Bathroom http://www.wisebread.com/8-diys-for-a-sparkling-clean-bathroom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-diys-for-a-sparkling-clean-bathroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-153187215.jpg" alt="cleaning" title="cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Transform your bathroom into the best room in the house with DIYs that save you money and keep things nice and clean. And all of these cleaners are so easy to put together, which makes having them on hand a big plus. Here are a few of our favorites:</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Cleaning-Products-28901279">Make These 24 DIY Cleaning Products For Pennies</a></p> <h2>Toilet Bomb Fizzies</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/popsmart-fizzles-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 549px;" /></p> <p>Make these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Toilet-Bomb-Fizzies-31734698">toilet bomb fizzies</a> to flush away the bad smells &mdash; it works much better than lighting a match.</p> <h2>Counter Wipes</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/popsmart-wipes-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 550px;" /></p> <p>Not only do these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Make-Cleaning-Wipes-29438958/">counter wipes</a> do a great job of quickly cleaning your space, they look pretty nice, too. Don&#39;t have a coffee can hanging around? Use a 64-ounce yogurt tub instead.</p> <h2>Tub, Tile, and Grout Help</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/popsmart-tub-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 550px;" /></p> <p>Stash a container of this easy and <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Bathroom-Cleaner-27898727/">eco-friendly tub, tile, and grout scrub</a> under your bathroom sink to keep your bath sparkling.</p> <h2>Commode Cleaner</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/popsmart-toilet-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 550px;" /></p> <p>Keep things spotless with the help of this <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Toilet-Bowl-Cleaner-28855947/">DIY toilet bowl cleaner</a> that helps you scrub away stains and unwanted smells.</p> <h2>Bye-Bye, Hard Water Stains</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/popsmart-hardwater-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 550px;" /></p> <p>If you&#39;ve got glass shower doors, <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Clean-Hard-Water-Stains-31408262/">this DIY</a> does an amazing job of busting through hard water stains.</p> <h2>Happy Drains</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/popsmart-drains-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 550px;" /></p> <p>Keep your drains flowing with the help of this <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Drain-Cleaner-30796532/">all-natural drain cleaner</a>.</p> <h2>Toilet Roll Trick</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/popsmart-roll-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 550px;" /></p> <p>You&#39;ll wonder why you didn&#39;t think of <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Scent-Toilet-Paper-Roll-Essential-Oil-32376451/">this smart idea earlier</a>.</p> <h2>Air Freshener</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/popsmart-airfresh-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 550px; height: 550px;" /></p> <p>Sometimes you need a little extra help making things smell better in the bathroom, which makes tucking a bottle of this <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Air-Freshener-26680750/">eco-friendly air freshener</a> in your medicine cabinet a smart idea.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From air to toilet to tub, keep your bathroom nice and clean with these easy (and effective!) DIY cleaners. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Organize-Bathroom-22525237">8 Smart Ideas for Bathroom Organization</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Bathroom-Cleaning-Checklist-28307560">Scrub-a-Dub: The Ultimate Bathroom Cleaning Checklist</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Shorten-Cleaning-Time-22498197">11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diys-for-a-sparkling-clean-bathroom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-cheap-building-supplies-and-a-way-to-help-your-community">Super-Cheap Building Supplies and a Way to Help Your Community!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-a-2-liter-bottle-of-water-into-a-50-watt-lightbulb">How To Turn a 2-liter Bottle Of Water Into a 50-Watt Lightbulb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living bathroom DIY household cleaners Tue, 10 Dec 2013 10:48:09 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1098646 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy Plumbing Repairs That Don't Require a Plumber http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-plumbing-repairs-that-dont-require-a-plumber <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-plumbing-repairs-that-dont-require-a-plumber" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-repair-1177464-small.jpg" alt="plumbing" title="plumbing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I wrote for the HVAC and plumbing industry, DIY articles and blog posts were frowned upon. After all, why teach people to do it themselves when the plumbers can overcharge them for an easy repair? Now that I no longer work in that industry, I'm free to educate homeowners about small repairs and upgrades that do not require a plumber.&nbsp;</p> <p>Depending on how comfortable you are with DIY repairs, you can complete many minor plumbing jobs with the right tools. Many of these include ways to upgrade and save water, which can save you a ton of money in the long run. Some plumbers will even walk you through the steps, especially if you have used their services before. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for" target="_blank">5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For</a>)</p> <p>Find a good online DIY source that you trust. I recommend <a href="http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/" target="_blank">This Old House</a> for detailed and easy-to-understand instructions on common plumbing repairs you can do yourself. Make sure you know where to locate the main water supply and the supply to each plumbing application, which is typically located under a sink or behind the toilet. Lastly, familiarize yourself with local codes and regulations. Some municipalities require that you hire a certified plumber for certain plumbing jobs.</p> <p>Here's a list of what <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-tool-youll-ever-need-to-buy" target="_blank">you should have in your toolbox</a> for basic plumbing tasks:</p> <ul> <li>Plunger (one for the sink and one for the toilet)</li> <li>Adjustable wrench</li> <li>Screwdriver</li> <li>Pliers</li> <li>Utility Knife</li> <li>Plumbing Tape</li> <li>Caulking Gun</li> </ul> <p>You may need other tools depending on the job, but these should cover the basics.</p> <h2>1. Leaky Faucet</h2> <p>A leaky faucet can be a relatively easy fix depending on the type of faucet, so get to know the basic types of faucets and how to take them apart. You can look for instructions online; YouTube videos are the most useful. A slow drip usually means that all you have to replace is a washer, but make sure you know which size you need before buying a new one.</p> <h2>2. Installing a Kitchen or Bathroom Faucet</h2> <p>For more difficult repairs, it may be easier to replace the entire faucet, and there will be instructions included with the new one. Anyone at your local hardware store will be able to assist you in finding the right replacement parts and giving you tips on how to locate the cause of the problem and what you need to do to fix it.</p> <h2>3. Clogged Drain</h2> <p>Knowing how to prevent a clogged or slow drain is just as important as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains" target="_blank">knowing how to fix it</a>. Use hair catchers in bathroom drains. Avoid putting grease or food particles down kitchen drains, and be sure you know what types of food are okay to put in your garbage disposal and how to properly operate it.</p> <p>Keep in mind that a slow drain could be an issue with a plumbing vent, which regulates the air pressure in the pipes. Plumbing vent issues should be handled by a plumber, but if you have debris caught in your drain pipes, then you should be able to fix it with a sink plunger or snaking the drain with a cable auger. You can find these at any hardware store.</p> <p>Also, don't use conventional drain cleaners. These can harm your plumbing system and damage pipes made of soft metals. They are also a temporary fix. Keeping drains clean and using natural solvents, such as baking soda and vinegar, on a regular basis are highly recommended.</p> <h2>4. Running Toilet</h2> <p>A running toilet is usually caused by a faulty stop valve or floater switch. This is also called the floater valve or float cup. Essentially it's the large bulb in the back of the toilet that stops the flow of fresh water into the toilet once the tank is full. While jiggling the handle to stop a running toilet may fix the problem temporarily, you can fix it permanently by replacing the entire assembly. And don't be afraid to put your hands in the water. The water in the tank is clean!</p> <h2>5. Replacing Kitchen Sink Sprayer</h2> <p>This is one of the easiest DIY plumbing jobs. Make sure that you know what type of sprayer you have. Does it have a detachable hose? Most older sink sprayers can be replaced without having to replace the hose. If there's a tear in the hose, you may need to purchase a new hose and a new sprayer nozzle. Newer models usually come as one piece. If you have to replace the hose, then you'll need to make sure you have plumbing thread. All new parts come with instructions.</p> <h2>6. Upgrading Showerheads</h2> <p>Did you know that upgrading to low flow showerheads can save you anywhere from 20-30% on your monthly water bill? You'd be surprised at how much you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon" target="_blank">reduce your water consumption</a> with this simple upgrade. These are available at most plumbing supply or hardware stores.</p> <h2>7. Caulking Bathtubs and Showers</h2> <p>The trick to caulking tubs and showers is using the right type of caulk. There are many different kinds of caulk out there that are used for home repair, from filling cracks in drywall to sealing off plumbing appliances. Make sure you check the label, and only get caulk that is designed for tubs and showers, or ask someone at the hardware store for help. Go for quality when you purchase a caulking gun. They aren't that expensive, and they are easier to use and last longer.</p> <h2>8. Installing a Toilet</h2> <p>If you are installing a new toilet, consider a dual flush toilet, although any upgrade will save water if you have an older toilet. You can get them at any plumbing supply store. Make sure you understand the instructions, or find a good online DIY source that includes clear images and instructions, such as <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-remove-and-replace-a-toilet/page-2.html#step3" target="_blank">this one</a>. If you don't get a proper seal, it could cause a leak and bad odors.</p> <h2>9. Sump Pump Repair</h2> <p>Not every home has a sump pump, but this can be one of the most labor-intensive plumbing repairs. I recommend calling a plumber if you aren't comfortable with doing any sort of electrical work. <strong>Always unplug the motor before doing any work</strong>. Be sure to double check with your local building inspector before making any major changes to your sump pump system.</p> <p>One easy repair is fixing a constantly running motor. If you have a submersible motors (ones that are designed to sit inside the pit or well), this is usually caused by dirt or debris getting lodged under the float switch, which is the large floater bulb that looks very similar to the one in the back of your toilet. Make sure you know how to drain and clean out your sump pit, or have your plumber show you the next time you hire one.</p> <h2>10. Garbage Disposal Repair</h2> <p>Clogged or jammed garbage disposals are some of the easiest repairs to make. You don't even need an extra tool because every new garbage disposal should come with a hex wrench attached to the disposal itself. Your garbage disposal should also come with instructions on how to properly repair the disposal if it gets jammed. <strong>Always make sure the power to the disposal is turned off at the source before you attempt any repairs</strong>. Make sure you know what types of foods are intended for garbage disposals, and run it as often as you can to prevent clogs or jams.</p> <p><em>Have I missed any DIY plumbing repairs? Please share your tips in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-plumbing-repairs-that-dont-require-a-plumber">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for">5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-ways-to-use-duct-tape">10 Great Ways to Use Duct Tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-diy-projects-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-and-3-you-shouldnt-try">17 DIY Projects to Make Your Home Look Amazing (and 3 You Shouldn&#039;t Try)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY bathroom Home repair plumbing repair Mon, 24 Jun 2013 15:39:37 +0000 Ashley Watson 980086 at http://www.wisebread.com How a Big Family Survives in a Home With One Bathroom http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-big-family-survives-in-a-home-with-one-bathroom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-a-big-family-survives-in-a-home-with-one-bathroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bathroom-1844041-small.jpg" alt="bathroom" title="bathroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Growing up in an old farmhouse, I shared a single, tiny bathroom with my mother, father, and sister. It was actually a converted closet between two bedrooms. You had to wake someone up to use it in the middle of the night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need" target="_blank">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a>)</p> <p>Today, I am blessed to have a three-bedroom ranch with a bathroom accessible from the hallway and that&rsquo;s large enough for everyone to be in at the same time &mdash; if need be. With a total of seven in the house (soon to be eight), however, I would be lying if I said that it was an ideal situation. Here are my best tips for coping with a single water closet, even with a large family.</p> <h2>1. Close Off the Toilet</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s be honest; the main reason people need a bathroom is to &quot;do their business.&quot; While we can have the entire family in the bathroom brushing their teeth, we each need privacy when it comes time for private matters. If you have the ability to add a wall and door between the sink area and the toilet, you can entertain more multitasking without losing decency.</p> <h2>2. Add Another Sink</h2> <p>Our 1960&rsquo;s style bathroom has a countertop and mirror that goes the entire length of the bathroom. And one tiny sink. Obviously, we will be adding another small sink to the setup, giving the room a &quot;his and hers&quot; option for hygiene matters. (If you&rsquo;ve ever had to spit your toothbrush water at the same time as a sibling, you understand the value here.)</p> <h2>3. Reward Off-Peak Use</h2> <p>We homeschool, so there isn&rsquo;t the usual rush to get everyone showered, dressed, and out the door all at once. We still have what we call &quot;peak hours,&quot; however, when everyone seems to need to use the bathroom at the same time. If you have some flexibility with when you let kids bathe, encourage them to do so during hours when the bathroom is most likely to be empty. This can be earlier than when other family members wake up, or when the rest of the house is gaming or reading. The reward can be anything from an extra five minutes on the shower clock to access to a fancy body wash to just knowing that there will be enough hot water to see the process through.</p> <h2>4. Remove &quot;Non-Bathroom&quot; Essentials</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever held together a bleeding knee gash while you wait impatiently for a child to do their number two, you know how frustrating it can be to have to share a bathroom. Luckily, there&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-space-survival-strategies" target="_blank">a common sense way</a> to make sure you are never waiting for a toiletry, towel, or first aid item when the room is occupied. Clear out a small shelf in your kitchen cupboard and designate this as your backup storage for these items. (You could also install a simple hall shelving system between two studs for these items to reside full-time.)</p> <h2>5. Set Up Hygiene Stations Elsewhere</h2> <p>Does it really matter what room your brush your teeth in? How about curling your hair? If you have preteens and teens in the home, they really should be handling most primping activities inside their own rooms, if possible. As far as brushing teeth and washing hands go, keeping a small but clean area for these activities near a utility or kitchen sink can keep the bathroom chaos down significantly.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Creating an &quot;Enjoyable&quot; Bathroom Experience</h2> <p>We all admittedly like to relax a bit when we <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spa-bathrooms-on-the-cheap" target="_blank">retreat to the bathroom</a>. As a mom of five, you could lose an eye for telling me I must rush when I get the chance to sneak away for a shower or bathroom break. For children, however, there isn&rsquo;t as much as a need to create an atmosphere of serenity in the bathroom. Remove reading materials or distractions that could keep them in the potty longer than they need to get the job done.</p> <h2>7. Embrace and Reinforce Manners</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve heard of families with one bathroom per child, and they still had issues fighting over them. To me, it&rsquo;s not always about having enough bathrooms in your home; it&rsquo;s about learning to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-dont-people-share-more" target="_blank">get along with others</a>. There are many times in life when you&rsquo;ll be asked to share real estate: in college, on airplanes, or when you marry, for example. Teaching kids that they aren&rsquo;t entitled to anything (bathrooms included) will go a long way in helping them to learn to be patient, regardless of the square footage at their disposal.</p> <p>How many bathrooms did you grow up with? Chances are, it&rsquo;s far less than what you expect from a modern home today. Even if you didn&rsquo;t get the home layout of your dreams, you can make the one bathroom scenario work!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-big-family-survives-in-a-home-with-one-bathroom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-balancing-love-and-money">10 Tips for Balancing Love and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-tips-for-a-smooth-nanny-share">Five Tips for a Smooth Nanny Share</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nanny-sharing-lowering-the-cost-of-personal-childcare">Nanny Sharing: Lowering the Cost of Personal Childcare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family bathroom roommates sharing small houses Mon, 03 Jun 2013 09:48:34 +0000 Linsey Knerl 976254 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Steps to Living a Life You Love http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-942667-small.jpg" alt="woman" title="woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on living a life you love, conserving bathroom water, and carving more time out of your day.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/05/26/26-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love/">26 Steps to Living a Life You Love</a> &mdash; To live a life you love, define your values and get rid of clutter. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id19540-stop-pouring-money-down-the-drain-9-ways-to-conserve-bathroom-water.html">Stop Pouring Money Down the Drain: 9 Ways to Conserve Bathroom Water</a> &mdash; Conserve your bathroom water by displacing space in your toilet tank. [Len Penzo dot Com]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2013/05/10-tips-to-help-you-carve-more-time-out-of-your-day/">10 Tips to Help You Carve More Time Out of Your Day</a> &mdash; If you want to have more time in your day, try getting up earlier and preparing for your day. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/how-to-skip-the-sleaze-and-build-a-real-professional-ne-510256651">How to Skip the Sleaze and Build a Real Professional Network</a> &mdash; Are you trying to build your professional network? Attend after work events and offer your help when you can give it. [LifeHacker]</p> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/do-you-think-like-a-rich-person/">Do You Think LIke a Rich Person?</a> &mdash; Rich people tend to take action as opposed to waiting for events to favor them. [Financial Highway]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://frugalzeitgeist.com/cheap-diy-for-the-home/">Cheap DIY for the Home</a> &mdash; To make sure your DIY home projects stay cheap, get better at using tools and learn the skills needed to DIY. [Frugal Zeigeist]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/2013/05/29/tricks-i-used-to-save-money-in-college/">Tricks I Used to Save Money in College</a> &mdash; Avoiding ATMs is a good way to save money in college. [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/choosing-to-stay-home-with-children/">Choosing to Stay Home With Children</a> &mdash; When deciding what parent should stay home with the children, take into consideration what support you have. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Better-Listener-1628931">6 Smart Tips For Being a Better Listener</a> &mdash; If you want to be a better listener, don't interrupt people. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/13-things-college-bound-students-should-consider-before-the-first-day-of-class">13 Things College-Bound Students Should Consider Before the First Day of Class</a> &mdash; Future college students should look into campus clubs and create a budget before school starts. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-retire-early">14 Ways to Retire Early</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips bathroom best money tips conserve saving water Thu, 30 May 2013 10:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 976305 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Bathroom Remodels on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-bathroom-remodels-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-bathroom-remodels-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7284517300_8fd3715625_z.jpg" alt="bathroom mirrors" title="bathroom mirrors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on bathroom remodels on a budget, saving money by reducing waste, and investing with little money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.beatingbroke.com/bathroom-remodels-on-a-budget/">Bathroom Remodels on a Budget</a> &mdash; Remodel your bathroom on a budget by changing the mirror. [Beating Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://beingfrugal.net/want-to-save-money-reduce-your-waste/">Want to Save Money? Reduce Your Waste</a> &mdash; Buying higher quality items will help you reduce your waste and save money. [BeingFrugal.net]</p> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/investing-with-little-money/">Investing With Very Little Money: 5 Tips</a> &mdash; When investing with little money, consider investing in silver coins. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/frugality/saving-money-using-social-media/">Three Ways to Save Money Using Social Media</a> &mdash; Participating in social media competitions can save you money! [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/4-suggestions-for-paying-off-debt/">4 Suggestions for Paying Off Debt</a> &mdash; To pay off your debt quickly, try to increase your income. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mint.com/blog/saving/8-excuses-you-cant-use-to-avoid-saving-for-retirement-0213/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MyMint+%28Mint+Personal+Finance+Blog%29">8 Excuses You Can't Use to Avoid Saving for Retirement</a> &mdash; You cannot use the excuse that you have too much debt and too many expenses to avoid saving for retirement. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/lifestyle/how-protect-yourself-when-online-dating">How to Protect Yourself When Online Dating</a> &mdash; When online dating, be ultra-cautious to keep yourself safe. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://personaldividends.com/actions-you-can-take-now-for-a-more-positive-life/">5 Actions You Can Take Now for a More Positive Life</a> &mdash; Have a more positive life now by going to bed a half an hour earlier. [Personal Dividends]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Pretending-Get-Laid-Off-28164091">Why It's Good To Pretend You Got Laid Off</a> &mdash; Pretending you got laid off will encourage you to go to networking events. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/make-the-dentist-fun">How to Have Fun at the Dentist</a> &mdash; To make the dentist fun, find a kid-friendly dentist for your children. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-bathroom-remodels-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smart-new-uses-for-these-14-kitchen-gadgets">Smart New Uses for These 14 Kitchen Gadgets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-dangerous-things-hiding-in-your-home-right-now">The 5 Most Dangerous Things Hiding in Your Home Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-our-61-best-home-improvement-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Our 61 Best Home Improvement Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home bathroom best money tips home remodel Thu, 21 Feb 2013 11:00:35 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 968007 at http://www.wisebread.com Alternative Uses for Everything in Your Bathroom http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2206957188_186f11f60b_z.jpg" alt="bathroom" title="bathroom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a kid, I used to love using other people's bathrooms &mdash; there was always a new, exotic array of creams, cleaners, and conditioners to stare at, wondering &ldquo;What's this for?&rdquo; (And, in some cases, &ldquo;Why does this [insert: soap, lotion, powder] smell so flipping awful?&rdquo;)</p> <p>These days, I still get a little excited about the products we keep in our bathrooms &mdash; but now, it's because I like discovering alternative uses for everyday things (OK, I still like to know what other people's lotions smell like, too). I've collected tips from around Wise Bread and the web to help you make the most of your bathroom products. So whether you want to get more life out of the stuff you own or are out of something and need to find a substitute, read on for great ways to get more out of everything in your bathroom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-%E2%80%9Cyuck%E2%80%9D-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom From &quot;Yuck&quot; to Yes!</a>)</p> <h2>Bar Soap</h2> <p>Yeah, you can use a bar of soap to make things smell nice and clean, but it can also help you keep things smelling nice in another way &mdash; if you hang it up outside, bar soap can help <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-a-skunk-without-losing-your-dignity">deter skunks</a>. Prefer liquid soap to bar soap? You can follow this tutorial for turning <a href="http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/how-to-turn-a-bar-of-soap-into-liquid-hand-soap/">bar soap into liquid</a>. There are plenty more alternative uses for bar soap, too &mdash; like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nine-frugal-suggestions-for-a-humble-bar-of-soap">these nine</a>.</p> <h2>Bobby Pins</h2> <p>From pulling zippers to holding hems, check out Myscha's piece on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-practical-uses-for-bobby-pins">25 uses for bobby pins</a>.</p> <h2>Comb</h2> <p>I fondly remember <a href="http://nicholasacademy.com/scienceexperiment293combkazoo.html">making a comb into a musical instrument</a> as a kid. Real Simple has seven more <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/new-uses-for-old-things/news-uses-for-comb-00000000029987/index.html">uses for combs</a> &mdash; including using a (clean) comb to create some awesome cake-frosting texture.</p> <h2>Conditioner</h2> <p>Personally, I'm a soap-and-water shaver. But one thing I remember from my days of reading teen magazines was the suggestion of swapping in conditioner for shave cream when you're in a pinch. Since conditioner is, at heart, a moisturizer, it can also be used as a stand-in for lotion, or even to grease up stuck things like zippers or rings trapped on fingers (because, come on, do you really want to cover your wedding ring in butter?).</p> <h2>Cotton Balls</h2> <p>Stylelist has a great list of alternative <a href="http://www.stylelist.com/chris-barnes/5-new-uses-cotton-balls_b_1400319.html">uses for cotton balls</a>; my favorite detials how you can use cotton balls to make daffodils last longer.</p> <h2>Deodorant</h2> <p>The Coupon High recommends a few <a href="http://www.thecouponhigh.net/6-alternative-uses-for-deodorant/">uses for deodorant</a>, including drying pimples.</p> <h2>Floss</h2> <p>Our own Linsey Knerl has already listed 14 great <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-the-mouth-14-uses-for-dental-floss">uses for floss</a>, including hanging photos, precision cake cutting, and even baby delivery (um, don't try that at home?).</p> <h2>Hairbrush</h2> <p>Over at Yahoo! Voices, Angela Vee lists a few different <a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/how-recycle-old-hair-brushes-3184448.html">ways to use old hairbrushes</a>. Most of them are for (big surprise) brushing other things, but I especially like her suggestion of using an old brush to work dirt out of messy kids' clothes (or adult clothes, because sometimes, you just have to jump in a mud puddle no matter what your age is).</p> <h2>Hairdryer</h2> <p>I've always liked using my hair dryer as a way to dry clothes in a pinch, but that's a pretty obvious use. For more creative options, take a look at this Instructables guide on <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/13-Unusual-Uses-for-a-Hair-Dryer/">ways to use a hair dryer</a>.</p> <h2>Liquid Soap</h2> <p>If your liquid soap is Castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's), you can dilute it and use it as a household cleaner, add a &frac14; cup to your laundry in place of regular detergent, or even use it as a toothpaste.</p> <h2>Lotion</h2> <p>When I'm having a particularly frizzy hair day (such as every day that I'm on the East Coast), I'll often use a little bit of lotion to help tame the curly beast. Like the aforementioned conditioner, it can also be used when you need to moisturize other things (like hair) or get stuck things unstuck.</p> <h2>Mouthwash</h2> <p>Our Nora Dunn compiled a list of 19 <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-money-saving-uses-for-mouthwash">uses for mouthwash</a>, from treating bruises to cleaning glass. Mouthwash also factors into Paul's secret <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">lawn tonic recipe</a>, which uses other common ingredients that you (hopefully) don't keep in your bathroom, like beer.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Nail Polish</h2> <p>I was first introduced to the magic of nail polish when my 3<sup>rd</sup> grade teacher took a bottle out of her desk to help stop a run in her stockings; all you need to do is paint a little clear polish around the hole. Mikey compiled 14 other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternative-uses-for-nail-polish">uses for nail polish</a> &mdash; as someone who has done a lot of sewing, using nail polish to help thread a needle is one of my favorite tips.</p> <h2>Razors</h2> <p>Even though it's probably not great for the blade, I'll sometimes use my bathroom razor to cut loose threads off of clothing. But if you're a straight-razor user, you have several <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/interior/4280993">more options available to you</a>.</p> <h2>Shampoo</h2> <p>If you've spilled grease or oil on your clothing, try pouring a bit of shampoo on, rubbing it in, and rinsing. This works best immediately after the spill. <a href="http://www.rd.com/home/how-to-use-shampoo-14-ways/">Readers Digest</a> also recommends a bit of shampoo for shining up leather shoes and purses (just rub a little on it with a clean cloth) and washing things other than hair, like delicates or hair brushes.</p> <h2>Shaving Cream</h2> <p>Well, I know that performers will often use shaving cream as an inexpensive alternative for whipped cream when they want to hit someone in the face with a pie. That might not be the most practical use, but <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/a-new-use-for-shaving-cream-99998">Apartment Therapy</a> has another great suggestion &mdash; mixing shaving cream with bleach to help keep the cleaner in place when removing mildew from grout.</p> <h2>Toilet Paper</h2> <p>Of course, toilet paper can be used for tissues (and vice versa). But if you really want to get fancy...check out this <a href="http://blog.toiletpaperworld.com/the-5th-annual-toilet-paper-wedding-dress-contest-winner/">toilet paper wedding dress</a>.</p> <h2>Toothbrush</h2> <p>Just because a toothbrush isn't great for cleaning your teeth anymore doesn't mean it's kaput. Used toothbrushes are great for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas around the house, like between tiles or behind the faucet. Or if you're looking for a fun project to do with your kids, try this <a href="http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2007/bristlebot-a-tiny-directional-vibrobot/">toothbrush robot</a>.</p> <h2>Toothpaste</h2> <p>From removing stains to relieving itchy bug bites, Nora Dunn has gathered 20 great <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/two-dozen-uses-for-toothpaste-aside-from-cleaning-your-teeth">alternative uses for toothpaste</a>.</p> <h2>Witch&nbsp;Hazel</h2> <p>You might know the stuff primarily as an astringent, but Paul has detailed 14 other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">great uses for witch hazel</a>.</p> <p><em>What did I miss? Share your favorite alternative uses for bathroom products in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-onions">10 Great Uses for Onions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-shampoo-the-baking-soda-experiment">DIY Shampoo: The Baking Soda Experiment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka">Absolut Repurposing: 17 Uses for Vodka</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Are we too clean for our own good?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty Home alternative uses bathroom shampoo soap Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:36:40 +0000 Meg Favreau 945906 at http://www.wisebread.com From Clammy to Clean: 9 Ways to Fight Mildew http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spray_bottles.jpg" alt="Spray bottles" title="Spray bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yech, mildew. How many shower curtains have I replaced? How many pairs of shoes or leather coats have been rendered unwearable? How many paint jobs ruined with mildew's tell-tale spots seeping through? Below are some of my favorite mildew fighters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a>)</p> <h3>1. Externally Vented Bathroom Exhaust Fans</h3> <p>These are a tremendous help in drawing away one of the greatest sources of moisture in your house. In my childhood, I remember having to wipe down the mirror after a shower. A bathroom fan would have been a huge boost to our family&rsquo;s bathrooms, as well as the rest of the house. When I get out of the shower now, the mirror and windows are dry. Our fan is also on a timer switch, so that no one can waste energy by forgetting to turn it off.</p> <h3>2. An Externally Vented Range Hood Fan</h3> <p>Almost every night, I cook rice, noodles, or potatoes. Boiling these dishes introduces a lot of moisture into the air. A range hood, vented to the outside, carries much of this moisture away, reducing the humidity in the entire house. Reduced humidity results in reduced mildew.</p> <h3>3. Ceiling Fans</h3> <p>When we bought our current house, we did not have a single ceiling fan. Now, we have one in each room. For circulating air and controlling the temperature in your home, they are invaluable. You can purchase them for well under $100 at home improvement centers. Not only can ceiling fans look great, but properly-sized fans keep the air moving along floors, walls, and ceilings, which is a useful weapon against mildew.</p> <h3>4. Dehumidifiers</h3> <p>Every time I plug in this appliance, I am fascinated by the sheer volume of water it collects. Dehumidifiers condense moisture from the air and hold it, lowering the humidity in a room. The collected water drips into a reservoir (unless you have your dehumidifier plumbed to drain outside). You periodically open the humidifier door and empty out the reservoir. I am always amazed at how much water is collected and how much warmer the house seems while I am running it. I usually plug it in when we have a series of rainy, high-humidity days.</p> <p>Closet heaters/dehumidifiers are also great. When I first heard of these, I envisioned a bulky unit and had no idea how it would fit in my already-crowded closet. Thankfully, they are rod-shaped and mount near the floor of the closet, in the back. The rod warms up, drying and circulating the air in the closet via convective heating. I was also concerned that, being an electrical appliance, our bill would escalate. However, its cost is not even noticeable. It even keeps leather jackets and shoes dry. You have to remember to close your closet doors in order for it to effectively work, though.</p> <h3>5. Keeping Wet Clothes Out of Closets</h3> <p>Speaking of closets, never put away damp clothing in your closet &mdash; allow it to dry completely before hanging back up in an enclosed area (even with the closet heater/dehumidifier installed). This also goes for shoes.</p> <h3>6. Desiccant</h3> <p>The last time you bought shoes or electronics, you probably noticed the little packets that were in the shoebox. Usually a silica gel, they help to absorb moisture. You can purchase small packages of it to tuck into shoes or put into the corners of your closet.</p> <h3>7. Good Old Bleach</h3> <p>Once a week, I spray our shower curtains with bleach solution. For a while I had an automatic sprayer mechanism which, at the push of a button, would spray the entire shower area with a bleach solution. It was wonderful while it lasted. Alas, it gave up the ghost, and I am back to manually spraying my curtain. For really tough spots, I use Tilex, which contains bleach. It works really well. Use ventilation and gloves.</p> <p>Mildew on your walls? If you are ready to paint, give your paint job a fighting chance by wiping down the walls with a bleach solution and letting it dry. (Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves and eye protection). Use a paint that contains a mildewcide, or purchase separately and add to your paint.</p> <h3>8. Alcohol Rubdown</h3> <p>If you have mildew-y leather coats or shoes, give this a try. Mix one cup rubbing alcohol and two cups of water. Dip an old washcloth into the solution. Squeeze out most of the liquid. Wipe down the coat or shoes; allow to dry. It may take a couple of applications. I have saved three leather coats using this cleaning method.</p> <h3>9. Cleaning</h3> <p>Like writer Peg Bracken, &ldquo;I Hate to Housekeep.&rdquo; I hate mildew more, though, and that forces me to do it. Dust, sweep, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upright-vacuum-cleaners-buying-guide">vacuum</a>, scrub, and do your laundry.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything">Here&#039;s How You Remove Stains From Almost Anything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home Allergies bathroom cleaning Mon, 29 Aug 2011 10:24:08 +0000 Marla Walters 677004 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000033513446.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know the warning signs. The sink takes a little longer to drain. You begin to notice water pooling around your feet in the shower. And the odors. The strange, unpleasant odors. They're all signs that you may soon be facing a clogged drain. And then one day, boom. Your drain is blocked completely. It's something you need to deal with quickly, or face the wrath of a burst pipe or a useless bathroom.</p> <p>So you remove the excess hair and gunk that has built up at the surface of the drain. And nothing happens. You try some l<a href="http://amzn.to/1UY9Pxv">iquid plumber</a>. No good. Then, the plunger. But what happens when it doesn't come to the rescue? Here are 10 ways to deal with the blockages before resorting to that expensive emergency plumber. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for">5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For</a>)</p> <h3>1. The Bent Wire Hanger</h3> <p>Simple enough, but surprisingly effective. Take a regular wire coat hanger and straighten it out as best you can. Then, bend one end over to create a small hook. Push that past the drain cover and start fishing. You should be able to get all sorts of hair and nasty stuff out of the drain. Remember, you always want to be pulling gunk out, not pushing it further. When you've got as much out as you can, run the hot water, and it should clear things up nicely.</p> <h3>2. Baking Soda and Vinegar</h3> <p>Mix 1/3rd of a cup of baking soda with 1/3rd of a cup of vinegar in a measuring cup. It will fizz immediately, and you should waste no time pouring it down the clogged drain. The fizzing action will help to remove the gunk, hair, and grime that has built up in the pipe. Let it sit for one hour or even overnight if you can. Flush with hot water. Alternatively, get as much of the dry baking soda as you can down the drain first, then pour on the vinegar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace?ref=seealso">30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace</a>)</p> <h3>3. The Wet &amp; Dry Vacuum</h3> <p>If you have a wet &amp; dry shop vacuum, it can become a terrific tool to unclog drains. First, set it to vacuum liquids. Cover up the vent to prevent a mess. Then, create the tightest seal you can over the drain. You may want to get creative and adapt an old plunger head for this purpose. With the vacuum turned on its highest setting, it can be powerful enough to draw the clog up the pipe and into the vacuum bag. It doesn't always work, but it's worth a shot.</p> <h3>4. Boiling Water</h3> <p>Tips don't get any easier than this. Put the kettle on (or use the stove or microwave if you don't own a kettle) and boil up as much water as it will hold. Now pour it slowly down the drain in two to three stages, allowing the hot water to work for a several seconds in between each pour. This is usually the easiest and quickest way to unclog a drain. If there's any water left, congratulate yourself with a cup of tea.</p> <h3>5. Caustic Soda</h3> <p>Get some rubber gloves and eye protection. Caustic soda (also known as Sodium Hydroxide) can cause nasty chemical burns. You can pick some up from your local hardware store, but always use caution handling it. Pour 3/4 gallon of cold water into a mop bucket, and then add 3 cups of caustic soda. Stir it well with an old wooden spoon. It will begin to fizz and heat up. Pour it into the clogged drain and leave for 20-30 minutes, then flush the drain with boiling water. Repeat if necessary.</p> <h3>6. Cleaning the Pipe</h3> <p>There are some plumbing jobs that I won't do, but this one is easy. First, place an empty bucket underneath the U-shaped pipe (the trap) beneath the sink. The bucket will collect the water that will spill. Using a plumber's wrench, loosen the slip nuts at both ends of the pipe. You should be able to finish the operation by hand. When the trap is free, remove it and turn it upside down, emptying the contents into the bucket. You may also need to fish around inside it for debris, and do the same with the pipes that were holding it. An old toothbrush is good for getting the tough gunk out. Rinse the trap with water and then put it all back together. In most cases, that will have done the trick.</p> <h3>7. The Drain Snake</h3> <p>This is a fairly low-tech piece of equipment that works wonders. It's basically a long flexible metal rope with a spiral of metal at the end. The following video shows you just what to do.</p> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1a7a3ZTQHQM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <h3>8. Salt and Baking Soda</h3> <p>Mix 1/2 cup of table salt with 1/2 cup of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-&ldquo;yuck&rdquo;-to-yes">baking soda</a> and pour down the blocked drain. Leave it for 10-20 minutes, then pour boiling water down. The salt, baking soda, and boiling water will produce a chemical reaction that should dissolve some of the nastiest blockages. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda?ref=seealso">27 Uses for Baking Soda</a>)</p> <h3>9. Dish Detergent</h3> <p>If your toilet is clogged, pour 1/4 cup of dish detergent in the bowl. Then boil some water. The dish soap will act as a lubricant and help break up any greasy residue. Then pour the hot water down, and get ready to start plunging. If the plunger doesn't cut it, rubber gloves may be the next option.</p> <h3>10. Baking Soda, Vinegar, Gravity, and Pressure</h3> <p>If your bath drain is clogged, mix up some of the baking soda/vinegar mentioned in tip two. Pour it down the drain, and then place the stopper over it. After 45-60 minutes, fill the bathtub with water. Then, remove the stopper. The pressure of 40-60 gallons of water should be enough to dislodge the blockage that has been loosened by the baking soda and vinegar. You could also try some plunging or the drain snake in conjunction with the weight of the water.</p> <p>Those are 10 quick and easy tips that should help you deal with the most stubborn blockages. Do you have any great tips? Let us know.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">From Clammy to Clean: 9 Ways to Fight Mildew</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-use-garage-space">6 Smart Ways to Use Garage Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY General Tips Home bathroom cleaning clogged drains Home repair Wed, 16 Mar 2011 11:36:08 +0000 Paul Michael 504707 at http://www.wisebread.com Want to Keep Your Disposable Razor Blades Sharp? Use Your Arm http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-keep-your-dispoable-razor-blades-sharp-use-your-arm <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/want-to-keep-your-dispoable-razor-blades-sharp-use-your-arm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3066409228_f6c5cd5ab0.jpg" alt="razor" title="razor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="233" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was skeptical about this tip when I first saw it several months ago. I felt stupid trying it. But I have to say, after getting excellent results from the same disposable blade for the last five months, it really does work.</p> <p>You read that right by the way; five months of weekly use from one disposable razor blade cartridge. In my case, it's the Schick Extreme 3 which was 75% off at King Soopers. I bought about 40 cartridges, enough to last me at least a year. But at this rate, I'll be using them when I retire! Anyway, they have a lot of flexibility and thus are perfect for hugging the contours of my head. Yep, I'm up there with Lex Luthor as fair as haircuts go.</p> <p>After I unpacked the razors, I did a little web browsing and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ADaRIqy0Dc&amp;feature=player_embedded">found a video</a> that made one heck of an outrageous claim. It was hosted by a soft-spoken guy who claimed that with his two simple tips, you can make your disposable razors last for years. Not months, years.</p> <p>The first tip is one I was already doing &mdash; dry the blades on your towel after you're done. This is a no brainer.</p> <p>The second tip seemed somewhat bizarre &mdash; when your razor blade appears to be getting a little dull, rub it backwards about 10 times on your arm. The skin acts like an old-fashioned leather strop and sharpens the blade!</p> <object width="480" height="385"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/5ADaRIqy0Dc&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="480" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/5ADaRIqy0Dc&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object><p>Now you know why I felt a bit dopey. At first, I thought it was an April Fool's gag (and what a good one it would have been if it were fake). But over the past few months, with my razor performing as well as the first time I took it out of the package, I have to admit that it works 100%.</p> <p>I'm no math whiz, but with cartridges costing around $10-$20 for a four-pack, those two little tips will save anyone who shaves quite a bit of cash. So give it a try, and come back and tell us how long your razors last. Maybe you'll break a record.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-keep-your-dispoable-razor-blades-sharp-use-your-arm">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-shaving-creams">The 5 Best Shaving Creams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-shaving-with-these-razor-tricks">Save Money on Shaving With These Razor Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-razors">The 5 Best Electric Razors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-a-classic-wet-shave">Save Money With a Classic Wet Shave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-ways-to-win-over-the-ladies-by-looking-better">3 Cheap Ways to Win Over the Ladies (by Looking Better)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty bathroom blade grooming men razors shaving Wed, 14 Jul 2010 13:53:03 +0000 Paul Michael 176430 at http://www.wisebread.com Is the courtesy flush dead? http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2433639188_d0b4823567.jpg" alt="Toilet graveyard" title="Toilet graveyard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="rteindent1">Nora&rsquo;s recent article &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-the-planet-one-drop-at-a-time">Saving the planet - one drop at a time&rdquo;</a> rang a bell with me as I was sat in the men&rsquo;s bathroom at work yesterday. All the stalls were occupied and every minute I heard flushing. It was constant. This once kind act of &ldquo;courtesy flushing&rdquo; may now be offensive considering the state of the planet&hellip;and the price of the water bill. </p> <p><a href="http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-courtesy-flush.htm">WiseGeek </a>describes the act of courtesy flushing in some detail:</p> <blockquote><p class="rteindent1">A courtesy flush can occur during or after the act of defecation, particularly when using public facilities. A courtesy flush is meant to be just that, a courtesy for others. If you know ahead of time you are about to pay the price for last night's overindulgences, you may want to consider flushing the toilet several times during your visit in order to minimize unpleasant odors. The common belief is that most unpleasant odors are generated between delivery and reception, if you get my drift. This type of courtesy flush is supposed to take the offenders out of the game as soon as possible, thus reducing the total exposure time for others.</p> <p>There are others who suggest a courtesy flush should be coordinated with emanations of unknown origin. Trapped gases or explosive diarrhea can create embarrassing sounds, along with a vapor cloud banned as inhumane after World War I. A well-timed courtesy flush should cover up any unexpected developments both tangible and intangible. Arguments against a courtesy flush of this type generally involve the principles of flowing water and suction. Finally, and I for one cannot use that word quickly enough, there is the post-ceremonial courtesy flush. No one likes to leave a bad impression, and few things qualify as well as an unflushed or underflushed toilet. For some users, the paperwork may not be completely finished, which should prompt a courtesy flush in order to leave a clean bowl behind. Others may find a second or even third courtesy flush may be in order to deal with things which cannot seem to accept their fate with dignity.</p> </blockquote> <p class="rteindent1">I think that covers it. But look at the number of uses contained in that long write-up of the humble courtesy flush. There&rsquo;s pre-flushing, mid-flushing, post-flushing, stubborn-stain flushing and strategic flushing to cover embarrassing sounds. </p> <p>In the perfect storm of a bad stomach upset and a particularly embarrassed toilet user, there could be as many as six or seven flushes in one sitting. It could even get into double figures. Even with today&rsquo;s low-flow toilets that use only 1.6 gallons per flush (toilets in the 50&rsquo;s used SEVEN gallons), you&rsquo;re looking at over 10 gallons of water for one toilet visit. </p> <p>Even if you only do one courtesy flush, you&rsquo;re still doubling the number of gallons that should be used in a &ldquo;number two&rdquo; scenario. Now consider that the <a href="http://www.waterinfo.org/resources/water-facts">average African family</a> uses just five gallons of water per day, compared to the astonishing 176 gallons of the average American (not American family, just one American). </p> <p>A courtesy flush here or there may seem like nothing, but you&rsquo;re literally flushing away one of the most valuable commodities on the planet. We use it with reckless abandon while in third world countries, people are traveling for hours in the baking sun for water that we wouldn&rsquo;t wash our dogs with. This is messed up. </p> <p>I say the courtesy flush should be no more. Banish it. Forget it. I don&rsquo;t care if you&rsquo;re producing noxious aromas that would shame a flatulent elephant, it&rsquo;s just not worth it. And as for the embarrassment factor, are you serious? Show me one person who doesn&rsquo;t make sounds in the bathroom and I&rsquo;ll show you a liar. We all do it. So what?</p> <p>If the smells are really troubling to you, there are other solutions. You can invest in odor reduction toilets which release small amounts of deodorant during your toilet stay. You can also buy sprays like <a href="http://www.courtesyflush.com/shoppingcart/">Courtesy Flush </a>which banish odors with a simple squirt.</p> <p><img src="http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t81/pmsuggett/2037335070_4d57b0c66d.jpg" style="width: 339px; height: 254px;" alt="" /></p> <p>Some toilets in Europe have been fitted with two flushes, one heavy and one light, to deal with number one and number two. Makes sense, although some customers have been using the light flush as the courtesy flush. Not good enough. </p> <p>Bottom line; the planet can&rsquo;t afford the courtesy flush any more. If we&rsquo;re down to saving the planet one drop at a time, we can certainly make a difference by eliminating the millions of gallons wasted every year due to politeness or shame. Do your part folks.&nbsp; <br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/there-are-cheaper-ways-to-return-to-a-greener-earth">There are Cheaper Ways to Return to a Greener Earth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-end-of-the-energizer-bunny-six-products-that-dont-need-batteries">The end of the Energizer bunny: SIX products that don&#039;t need batteries.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/our-obsession-to-clean-is-making-us-trashy">Our Obsession to Clean is Making Us Trashy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-most-businesses-just-going-green-to-save-some-green">Are Most Businesses Going Green Just to Save Some Green?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Green Living Lifestyle bathroom environment flushing green toilet Thu, 11 Dec 2008 18:49:29 +0000 Paul Michael 2641 at http://www.wisebread.com How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes! http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/toothbrush.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I&rsquo;ll admit it.<span>&nbsp; </span>I don&rsquo;t always practice what I preach.<span>&nbsp; </span>I love the idea of greener, simpler cleaning products.<span>&nbsp; </span>I&rsquo;m also addicted to those chemical-laden cleaning products that instantly transform a foul bathroom into something more shiny and apple-scented.<span>&nbsp; </span>I know that what I&rsquo;m paying for isn&rsquo;t as safe or as economical as those natural and cheap remedies that often contain vinegar or baking soda.<span>&nbsp; </span>I just needed to try it.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Frustrated by the dark black residue that was taking over my tile grout, I resolved to do something about it - today.<span>&nbsp; </span>With 3 little boys in the house, it was impossible to keep my bathroom clean for very long, and the years of mud, sand, and you-know-what had left permanent reminders of their rambunctiousness.<span>&nbsp; </span>Simply put, I had white tile and black grout.<span>&nbsp; </span>It was really bringing me down.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I took a quick inventory of my bathroom cleaning supply.<span>&nbsp; </span>Toxic, toxic, and even more toxic was the order of the day, but I had a headache, and didn&rsquo;t feel like putting on my rubber gloves and handkerchief.<span>&nbsp; </span>I grabbed a box of baking soda from the cabinet.<span>&nbsp; </span>It had been successfully keeping my husband&rsquo;s teeth whiter than usual, so it had to work on grout, right?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I dumped a bunch in a bowl, added just enough water to make a &ldquo;paste&rdquo; and went to work, carefully placing an even amount of paste down each line of grout.<span>&nbsp; </span>Then I took the most frayed-looking toothbrush from the toothbrush holder (sorry, Kylin) and began brushing where I applied the paste.<span>&nbsp; </span>Three words entered my mind:<span>&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;What the _____ ?&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>&nbsp;</span>I couldn&rsquo;t believe the results.<span>&nbsp; </span>Less than a minute after I put the stuff on, I had sparkling (no kidding) white grout in the areas I cleaned.<span>&nbsp; </span>A bit of water rinsed it right off, and when my toddler came busting through the door to use the can, I didn&rsquo;t have to scream at him to avoid the toxic run-off from my cleaning project.<span>&nbsp; </span>(It was, after all, just baking soda.)<span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="baking soda treated floor" title="Baking Soda Treated Tile" width="500" height="375" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u148/baking_soda_1.jpg" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;<em>(Small area of bathroom tile after baking soda treatment&nbsp; See how dark the &quot;before&quot; areas are?) </em></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;Just for fun, I used some actual high-powered bathroom tile and grout cleaner, designed for such a task.<span>&nbsp; </span>It burned my eyes as it came out, and after 5 minutes of setting on a reserved area of grout, took some of the black stuff off &ndash; kind of &ndash; with a lot of scrubbing.<span>&nbsp; </span>Afterwards, I felt dirty, and considered hiring a HAZMAT team to rinse off my bathroom floors.<span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="Chemical Floor" title="Chemical Floor" width="446" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u148/chemical_floor.jpg" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;<em>(Bathroom floor after chemical cleaner. The cleaner didn't get into every bit of the grout, leaving it looking cracked.)</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The choice for me was clear.<span>&nbsp; </span>All-natural, really effective grout cleaner for under a buck at my local grocery store (and the cost of a trashed toothbrush)?<span>&nbsp; </span>Or that $4 specialty poison that works almost as well and leaves me coughing and frightened for the little toes that walk over it days later?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Is it really even a choice?<span>&nbsp; </span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks DIY General Tips Green Living baking soda bathroom cleaning Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:47:10 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2467 at http://www.wisebread.com