by HeatherRoberts on Friday August 15, 2014

Eco Domestic cleaning – how to clean a clothes-horse

Use a clothes-horse? You should. They are a great alternative to the dryer in winter months since they use zero energy.

Students are especially likely to use a clothes-horse since they are so cheap. But, with all due respect to students, there’s likely many of you out there who don’t have a clue how to clean it. In fact, you probably didn’t think it needs cleaning since it only ever has washed clothes placed on it.

While this is true, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that our clothes are damp when placed on the horse, otherwise we wouldn’t need to use it at all. It follows that a typical student cleaning area is likely located in the bedroom. Here’s the image that springs to mind – the radiator is up on full and there’s clothes slumped all over the horse. True, there’s nothing wrong with this, but think of how much moisture and heat there is present in your room. There’s a lot. Especially if you’re unwilling to open the window during the steepest part of winter, your room is like an oven, only probably with even less ventilation.

Not to worry. Here’s how to clean your horse the natural way, keep this procedure in mind across other areas in domestic cleaning as it sheds some vital light on how to whiten, which is something applicable throughout home cleaning and especially in washing clothes.

Trusted organics you will need:

A small plastic bucket
A tablespoon
Baking soda
A lemon
Orange peel
Sea salt
White wine vinegar
A small bottle of household hydrogen peroxide
A double-sided sponge
A bath mat, or something similar

Eco Domestic cleaning - how to clean a clothes-horse

Step 1 – Prepare everything

It helps to have everything needed in front of you prior to starting. Simply place all of the above items out on your bath mat.

Step 2 – Pre-wipe

Make sure your clothes-horse is entirely clear before placing your plastic bucket in front of you, and on top of the bath mat. This will act as your liquid station and will help keep your room tidy during. For the purposes of being more universally applicable here, we are supposing that, as a student, cleaning will take place almost entirely in your room, apart from any rinsing where you may have to go and retrieve some hot water.

Anyway, for now, simply pour a cap-full of vinegar onto the soft side of your sponge and wrap it around each beam of the horse in performing a pre-wipe.

Step 3 – Make your solution

The emphasis here is on whitening. This is why we are using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, sea salt and even orange peel.

Pour 6 tablespoons of baking soda into the mix, followed by double cap-fulls of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Also slice the lemon in two before squeezing as much juice out as you can. Finally perform 5 solid grinds of the sea salt. Stir the mix for 60 seconds with the tablespoon.

Step 4 – Clean

Dip the coarse side of your sponge into the mix before scrubbing each beam of the horse, wrapping the tool around each one.

Step 5 – Let it sit

Let your horse sit for a solid 30 minutes, ideally allow sunlight to steam through the window, otherwise turn your bedroom radiator on, setting it to full. Any drips will fall onto your bath mat beneath.

Step 6 – Repeat step 4

Now that your solution has had a chance to sit and penetrate all existing dirt and discolouring, it pays to do a repeat clean. Simply repeat step 4 before waiting another 30 minutes.

Step 7 – Polish with orange peel

Return after half an hour. Complete the job by polishing the beams with orange peel, ensuring the inside of the orange peel, the white side, is that which touches the beams.


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by Sarah on Thursday August 14, 2014

boy-in-the-soviet-gas-mask-1-1085783-mIf you’re someone who is passionate about doing all that you can to reduce outdoor pollution, you’re probably already doing things like getting your car serviced on a regular basis and carpooling or walking more often. But what are you doing when it comes to reducing the level of indoor air pollution that is inside of your home? Being that pollution in houses is 2-5 times worse than what’s outside, it’s a valid concern.

If you’re curious to know about some of the cleaning tips that can significantly reduce the amount of indoor air pollutants that you might currently have, here are five of them:

Use homemade cleaning products. Even if your house is sparkling clean, it can still be full of toxins. The reason why is because of what you are choosing to clean the rooms of your house with. The reality is that a lot of the more popular commercial cleaning products are loaded with chemicals. That’s why it’s best to use homemade cleaning products instead—ones that are made out of items that are probably already in your home like lemons, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, olive oil and white vinegar. One website that has a list of 67 homemade cleaning recipes is KeeperoftheHome.org. Just go to the site and put “homemade, all-natural cleaning recipes” in the search field.

Control the moisture in your house. Something else that is known to contribute to the level of pollution inside a house is how much moisture it has. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do in order to keep humidity from affecting your home. First, you should conduct an energy audit a couple of times per year. That way, you will know if there are any water leaks inside of your house. Another thing that you should do is install some exhaust fans into your kitchen and bathroom. If you turn them on when you’re cooking and showering, it will significantly reduce the amount of moisture that you have. There’s also something that you should do when it comes to the outside of your house: clean out your gutters. By doing so, that will reduce the chances of your ceiling being damaged by water leaks. For information on how to conduct your own energy audit, visit Energy.gov and put “DIY energy audit” in the search field. For tips on how to clean your gutters, visit DIY Network and put “tips for cleaning gutters” in the search field.

Regularly wash your bedding. Although it’s not something that a lot of people give much thought to, bedding tends to collect a lot of dust, debris and dead skin cells. And when your bedding is not changed on a weekly basis, that can also add more air pollution into the rooms of your home. So, make sure that you change the sheets and pillowcases on your bed once a week and that you have your comforter dry cleaned every 4-6 weeks.

Change your HVAC’s air filter. Say that you were reading an article about your HVAC unit as it relates to how to make your unit more energy efficient. If it addressed how to save energy with the right thermostat settings, something else that it might recommend is that you change your air filter too. For one thing, an unclogged filter keeps your unit from having to work as hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Also, a clean filter is able to catch more of the dirt, dust and tiny particles of debris that may be moving through your unit. It’s a great way to save money and have cleaner air.

Take your area rugs outside. If you happen to have area rugs on your floor, when it comes time to clean them, make sure to take them outside and hit them against the side of your house. That way, whatever dust and dander that has collected on them will fly out into the atmosphere rather than into the rooms of your house. For more tips on how to properly care for your throw rugs, visit BHG and put “how to care for throw rugs” in the search field.


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by Sarah on Thursday August 14, 2014

thermometer-1140004-mYou might think the only thing that matters when it comes to cooling your home is the AC unit that pumps out cold air. But there are actually several components involved in making sure that the cool air you crave makes its way to your living spaces. Your AC unit is certainly a crucial element since it is responsible for converting hot air to cold. And having an energy-efficient unit will definitely help to save money in the long run. But you also need a series of ducts to carry the cool air throughout your home, as well as a system of dampers, perhaps connected to a zoning setup, that ensure the cold air gets exactly where it is needed most. And of course, your system can’t function at all without proper control by way of a thermostat. In fact, your thermostat could end up being the most important feature of your AC system when it comes to saving money even as you stay cool all summer long. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your thermostat.

The place to begin is by upgrading to a programmable thermostat if you don’t yet have one. Dial thermostats are notoriously inaccurate, not to mention all too easy to throw out of whack. Even a gentle bump can alter the accuracy of a dial model enough to warrant recalibration, and it often has to be performed by a professional technician. So a digital thermostat is obviously preferable. And if you’re going to upgrade anyway, you might as well get a programmable model. Of course, you actually have to program it if you want to realize energy savings, not to mention a lower utility bill associated with your air conditioning.

According to Department of Energy standards, the optimum setting for your AC when you’re in the home is 78?F or higher. But if you want to enjoy greater savings, you should program your thermostat to account for times when you’re away from home. When you set the temperature at 10-15 degrees higher during the eight or nine hours a day you spend at the office, you stand to shave as much as 15% off your energy bill. And you could also adjust the temperature slightly when you and your family are asleep.

Another thing to consider is how your thermostat works with your AC unit. Some units are single-stage, which basically means they only run at one speed, whether you demand that your home be 1-2 degrees cooler or you want to cool it by ten degrees immediately. But if you have a double-stage unit, the amount of cold air you demand could affect efficiency. For a temperature shift of only a couple degrees, your AC unit will stay at stage one, optimizing energy efficiency. But demanding a greater increase in air flow (3+ degrees) could cause the second stage of operation to kick on, increasing output but decreasing efficiency. So it pays to know how your thermostat usages impacts your AC performance and energy draw.

And don’t forget that constant demand could lead to common AC problems, especially if you don’t have regular tune-ups. So schedule annual maintenance (cleaning, inspection, repairs, etc.) to ensure that your AC unit is running properly. And don’t forget to have your technician check out your thermostat and perhaps even offer advice on how to use it to manage your AC more effectively.


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by HeatherRoberts on Friday August 08, 2014

If you, like many others are concerned by the plight of the planet that we live on, then it is important that you can be contributing to the cause in every way possible. It is clear that not enough people on the planet have the necessary respect for the place that they live, so it is up to those who do to ensure that they are giving their efforts an extra push in the right direction. Ensuring that your removals company and your removal in general is an eco friendly one is pretty vital, and you will find that it revolves around ensuring that you can get the company that you need, as there is a lot that they will do behind the scenes that could affect your removals impact on the environment. It is all well and good you ensuring that everything that you have to do with the removal is safe for the environment, but if the removals company that you hire are less bothered, then your hard work may well be being undone by their lazy attitude!

Some removals companies will advertise themselves as being ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ and these are usually marketing tools to sway a customer in to choosing them. However, some of the claims are not as well rounded as they may appear, and you will find that you can often ask a few questions about the following aspects of their practice that will show you whether this company is as legitimate in their ‘greenness’ as they are claiming.

Is your removals company an eco friendly one?

First off, the main factor in a removal is transport. How are the company that you use fighting the emissions of their vans in to the atmosphere? Some companies will purposefully use newer models of vans, to ensure that they have the latest technology in their engines, which uses the fuel more effectively and efficiently, ensuring that you are saving on the fuel as well as reducing emissions. You will find that this technology is not like a hybrid, but it is certainly better than a smoke belching diesel transit van!

If you are packing a lot of things up, where are you sourcing you materials from? Many companies offer to supply you with the adequate packing boxes, but the reality is that they may not be sourcing them responsibly. You need to be sure that the boxes are recycled, and that they offer to recycle them afterwards as well. If they are made in the same country, and bought locally then theta is even better. Be sure to avoid allowing the company to use acres of bubble wrap if they are packing for you as well, as this stuff is terrible for the environment in how it is produced, as well as being very expensive.

It may well cost a little more to hire a green removals company Battersea, but if you have checked them out well enough beforehand, then you will find that they are worth the effort. Ask about carbon offsetting, which will cost a fair bit, but given that the amount of travel that you need to undergo in a van on your removal, you may feel it is worth it. Here, the emissions that you put in to the atmosphere are neutralized in your name by specialist services for a fee. You will find that whilst it is not an answer to the problem overall, it is not a contribution to it, which is worth something at least!


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by Sarah on Wednesday August 06, 2014

attic-1007147-mThere are a number of advantages that come along with more insulation and ventilation in your roof and attic. For one thing, insulation can make your attic more impervious to leaks and moisture damage. Moisture damage and leaks can become a serious problem in an un-insulated attic – especially in the wintertime – because the warm air from your home escapes more easily through the roof and melts ice and snow. All that melted water winds up getting inside your eaves and into your home – causing major damage. However, an attic that isn’t insulated can also make your entire home less energy efficient. Here are five roof and attic ventilation and insulation tips for homeowners.

  1. Insulate around your ductwork. There are many benefits of good ductwork design, but no matter what, you may experience loud noises or energy loss as your HVAC ducts travel through your attic. To prevent this issue, simply insulate around the ducts when you re-insulate your attic and roof. This makes your HVAC system work much more efficient and it will significantly reduce banging, clanging and other sounds that ductwork is known to make from time to time.
  2. Make sure that you have the correct R-value. There is a good chance that the rest of your home is already insulated, but you may not know what R-value your contractors used. You may be able to find a swath of exposed insulation, but if you can’t, you want to purchase insulation with the right value for your geographic climate region. Insulation will come with different types of density, so that you can properly protect your home. When it come to your attic, the R-value is especially important because you don’t want to install insulation that is too weak.
  3. Install a ventilation window. You can install a ventilation window anywhere along the perimeter of your roof. The windows can usually be controlled automatically or from a central thermostat. When it comes to making sure your attic has proper insulation, these windows are incredibly important. If you want to prevent mold, mildew and other issues, you may want to think about investing in a ventilation window. If your roof is particularly large, you may want to invest in two or even three ventilation windows.
  4. Place a vapor retarder over the insulation. You would be shocked to learn about all the moisture that gets trapped inside your home. Even breathing can cause an excess amount of moisture to get inside the insulation. To prevent this, you want to place a sheet of vapor retardant over the insulation – this is especially important if you are leaving the insulation bare and not behind drywall.
  5. Purchase all the right tools for safety. Working with insulation can be dangerous if your hands and eyes are not protected. This is why you want to wear goggles, gloves and maybe even a mask to help you breathe. Many of the materials in insulation can cause respiratory issues when breathed in. The last thing you want is to injure yourself, or make yourself sick, during the installation process.

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