wooden patio furniture

Many types of wooden patio furniture can be left outside all year long. Wooden furniture if properly maintained can provide years of comfort no matter the season. Several varieties of wood are naturally resistance to rot, cracking or splintering caused by exposure to moisture. However, there are things that homeowners can do to enhance any woods natural resistance.

Redwood and cedar are two of the more popular woods used to make wooden patio furniture. Both redwood and cedar are considered renewable because of cedars fast growth and the replanting of redwoods, as the old growth is harvested. Both woods are naturally resistance, but both will provide even more years of service if treated with a water repellent sealer. Woods that are not native to the United States are also used for manufacturing wooden patio furniture. Two of the more common varieties are cambara and ipe or more commonly known as ironwood. Both can be treated with a water repellent.

To maintain the woods natural beauty a clear waterproofing sealant is recommended. The clear sealant protects while still allowing the natural grains and color to show. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how often the water repellent must be applied. The furniture must be clean and dry before applying the sealer. The sealer can be applied with a power sprayer, brush or roller.

Wooden patio furniture can also be painted to make it weather resistant and prolong its life. Furniture painted with a quality exterior paint can be left outside all year around, as well. How often the furniture must be painted depends on the quality of paint and weather conditions. Once the paint begins to peel or fade it is time for a new coat. For best results, the old coat of paint must be removed and a quality primer coat applied before painting the top coat.

Effective Wicker Chair Cleaning Methods


One of the most important things to know about a wicker chair is how to clean them. One of the first things a person should do is to vacuum off all of the dust. This will allow you to begin the next step of the process. People should use a duster in order to get the best results. The next step is to get a paint brush and then cut the bristles. Then take the paint brush and use it to clean the surface so that it gets rid of all the debris. The next step is to get some water and soap. The type of soap doesn’t really matter.

Something like safeguard or dove will do just fine. Take the soap and water and scrub the entire wicker chair down. It is important that you dry off the wicker chair once you are finished. This will decrease the chances that it will deform the chair or discolor it. Some people like to set the wicker chair in the sun for a bit in order to speed up the entire process. The choice is entirely up to the person. If there is mold on the chair, water and bleach should be used. These are great in getting rid of mold, which can accumulate over time.

In order to prevent mold from accumulating, the wicker chairs should not be left out in the rain. More often times than not, the weather elements are the reason why the wicker chairs accumulate mold. This can all be circumvented by keeping the chairs inside when they are not in use.

All of these things should be considered when cleaning a wicker chair. These steps will help make the process of cleaning the chairs easier, and can help minimize damage that might happen if people take the wrong steps.

The Benefits of the Aeron Office Chair

aeron chair

Both a stylish addition to the office and a solution to posture problems, the Aeron is a highly adjustable ergonomic chair that has gained popularity especially with those suffering from back or upper leg pain. Its unconventional but fashionable look has even rewarded the chair with a permanent space in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Many people who need to spend hours every day sitting at a desk soon begin to notice deterioration in their posture as a result of using cheap and poorly designed chairs. A chair that encourages good posture, like the Aeron Office Chair, not only makes the user feel more comfortable immediately, it also aids in the proper functioning of internal organs.

Physicians are more frequently recommending ergonomic furniture. Standard chairs, not built for comfort, can result in unnatural sitting positions, constricting blood vessels and breaking up circulation. Many users have reported being able to work for many more hours without experiencing discomfort when switching to the Aeron Office Chair.

Comfort also helps productivity due increased concentration levels caused by the calmness of mind gained by lack of pain. The Aeron Office Chair is one of the most comfortable ergonomic designs available with features including PostureFit control, allowing users to adjust the chair back for variations on the standard lumbar support.

The Aeron is available in either the basic version or the highly adjustable model that comes with additional features. There is also a stool version that includes a foot ring for those working at higher than average work surfaces.

While the price of the chair is high, most users agree that it is a worthy investment, and one of the better models of modern office chair. Good posture does not only provide physical benefits, it gives the appearance of someone who is working hard and interested in their job.

Shag Rug with Carpet Cleaning Equipment

Each of us has had a dirty carpet at one time or another. Traditionally, carpet cleaning has been an artificial, chemical process. Noisome concoctions such as Tetrachloroethylene and Napthalene left us with carpets that smelled like a dry-cleaners or a closet full of mothballs. These chemicals not only pose a danger to carpet owners, but also to groundwater supplies if improperly handled. 2-Butoxyethanol is slightly better since it decomposes in air after a day or two, but is still harmful in large concentrations, or if improperly used.

What can we do? The best solution is to keep the carpet clean as you go instead of hiring a professional, industrial cleaning service. For small jobs, an ancient solution of equal parts vinegar and water will do wonders. Home owners haven’t used it for thousands of years for nothing! Mixing vinegar and water with borax and salt will yield a paste capable of defeating tougher problems. Simply leave the paste on the stain overnight and vacuum it up the next morning. There are also many commercially available, green cleaning products if we do not want to make our own. Labels will be our guide.

What do we do if the carpet dirt has gotten out of hand and home remedies are unsuccessful? We can call a professional service that specializes in “green solutions” to carpet cleaning. Most cleaning firms realize that if all they offer is carpet cleaning with harsh chemical products, they won’t get much business if other companies use green products and achieve the same results. We should research any company we plan to hire to determine which cleaning solutions it offers. It shouldn’t be difficult to find out, even if we have to ask the company itself. If you’ve spent the money buying an eco-friendly carpet or rug, you’ll want to invest the time into cleaning it in a green way!

To be environmentally conscious, we must pay attention when cleaning our carpets.

Should You Reuse Plastic Water Bottles?


Many people spend a lot of money on plastic water bottles each year, so it’s only natural for those of us who do to want to reuse them. After all, not only does it seem to save us money, but it also helps us to recycle. Every year, millions of people fail to recycle their plastic bottles, and the bottles end up filling up our landfills. But is reusing plastic water bottles good for our health? As it turns out, some say it’s not good for us at all.

One of the main concerns when reusing a plastic water bottle is the build-up of bacteria on the bottle. Sometimes, you can make the bottle sanitary by washing it properly with hot water and soap. If you see any kind of dirty build-up in the bottle, it is best to let it soak in bleach overnight, but be sure the bottle has been rinsed thoroughly before using it again.

Another concern many have in regard to reusing plastic water bottles is how the bottle’s chemicals will react to elements such as heat and cold. Some people have come to the conclusion that when plastic bottles are exposed to extreme temperatures (placed in the freezer or left in the backseat of a car on a hot day, for example) they begin to release toxins called dioxins that can cause various types of cancers. On the other hand, many researchers and even the Food and Drug Administration have claimed this is simply untrue. According to the FDA, extensive testing has proven that plastic bottles that are meant to come in contact with food and beverage are safe and do not release dioxins.

Bottom Line: Reusing your water bottle probably won’t cause cancer, but if not properly cleaned, it can expose you to unhealthy bacteria. If the bottle is not meant to be used over and over, it’s probably best to use it once or twice and recycle it.

How to Make a Rustic Antler Chandelier

antler chandelier

Rustic antler chandeliers make an impressive display of natural stately beauty. Constructed from trophies or a collection of deciduous horns that have been gathered from annual shedding, their many designs are the result of the quantity, quality and type of antlers that are available.

The antlers commonly used to make antler chandeliers come from whitetail deer, mule deer, elk velvet, moose, caribou and others. Taking into account the size of the room and the drop, or the ceiling height in relation to the where the chandelier is going to hang will have much to do with determining the design or construct.

Begin by assessing the antlers to be used. Using natural pieces, as opposed to castings or artificially replicated antlers, makes each rack unique. It takes some prearranging and walking around the layout to see what there is to work with before settling on a design. Ultimately, the basic construct will be like that of a conventional chandelier but with the stunning elements of protruding horn tips that are drilled to receive the light bulbs.

Deconstructing or reverse engineering an existing chandelier will provide an understanding of the how they are put together. Kits are available for constructing your own rustic antler chandeliers. Putting it all together will involve drilling into the horns to allow for wiring, lights and mounting them into the block that will support the superstructure. The horns are cleaned with oil soap and allowed to dry before applying a few layers of lacquer spray.

Wire is threaded through the pieces to electrify and hold antlers together, and modeling clay is used to level the bulbs. Finally, consider the weight of the finished piece and there should be no need for hesitation in getting a professional to help with anchoring and connecting it to the electrical source.

How to Clean Fabric Lampshades

cleaning lamp shades

The cleaning of fabric lampshades has always been one of the difficult and daunting chores for people! I was taught at a very young age by watching my mother clean hers. I assume that many people have never seen this done, which accounts for the lack of knowledge. Also I think people forget that this is a chore that needs to be done, especially around spring cleaning time!

I often dust my lampshade using a soft bristled brush wiping from top to the bottom of the shade using the long sweeping movements repeatedly until there is no more dust. While cleaning the cold settings of my lampshade, I take caution to avoid snagging any fringes. I have even heard of a great tip from a reader who uses a hairdryer to blow off the dust.

To remove the grime from the hard shades of plastic liner, I use a soft cloth since it’s gentle. I have always avoided the use of water when cleaning the fabric surface of a hard shade with a plastic lining since it is known for leaving marks on the surface of stretched fabric, and that will totally ruin the shade.

The lining fabric of the soft tailored sheds is dusted using the soft bristled brush. This is an automatic process that happens while dusting the outer surface of the lampshade.

These are just but a few tips, for more about cleaning fabric lampshades you can ask the particular manufacturer of your lamps, as most of these companies have websites and phone contacts for service.

The Best Way to Clean Stone Tiles


When I installed the stone tiles in my home, I asked the plumber who did the installation about tips on the best way to clean the stone tiles. As a result, he sent me a guide book which had the following important tips.

One of those amazing tips is that it is important to clean any spillage on the floor, and most importantly, clean it as soon as possible! This is a very crucial part of maintaining your expensive new floor.

The choice of a detergent for stone tiles is also very important. Because of the corrosive nature of some detergents once they come in contact with stone tiles, it is a must to never use acidic detergents like vinegar to clean the stone tiles.

To avert corrosion, the best (and most eco-friendly!) thing to do is to use a homemade detergent of soap and water. This is equally efficient when cleaning stone tiles.

The material needed for this work is a soft mop and a bucket. Once you fill water in the bucket, dip the mop inside and wring it. Wring it twice if you are using vinyl. Thereafter, start mopping the floor. After several rounds of mopping, dispose of the dirty water and refill the bucket. Ensure that all the stains have been scrubbed off the floor.

After that, let the floor dry without interruption that may cause foot marks on the floor.

These steps look simple. However, the problem arises when using detergents as most people use those ones that corrode the stone tiles making the floor rough within a short period of installation. I recommend using these professionally acquired tips to have the best results.

Another Spring Pre-Cleaning Checklist


Every spring, many make the vow to join the spring cleaning frenzy. The idea of spring cleaning is actually easier said than done. When the time finally comes to get the cleaning started, it is very easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of work that actually has to be done. It’s amazing what one winter season can do to a home! Before starting it is a very good idea to make a checklist so that you know exactly what it is you would like to accomplish. Below are a list of things that you might want to consider when making your very own checklist.

What materials do you need to use?
It is easiest to tackle the job when you know what you need. Make a list of exactly what you need so that you won’t have to do any last minute shopping. Gather all of your materials before you begin to clean so that you stay as organized as possible.

What areas need the most time and attention?
If you know exactly what rooms you would like to clean then you will be able to plan your schedule better. Planning a schedule before you start will assist you in staying on track with your work. Also, make sure to stay cleaning one area at a time. Do not become distracted and begin on another area, because trust me it will take you forever to finish your work.

How will I get rid of junk, and where will I put all of my junk?
De-cluttering your house is the very first step to the spring fix. It is important to get rid of junk before you begin so that there is nothing in your way when you start the actually scrubbing, dusting, etc. Finding something to put your junk/trash in before you get started will enable you to get through your work faster.

An Apartment Spring Cleaning Checklist

spring cleaning

If you are like me, you can’t wait for spring to bloom. Luckily, it is just around the corner which means it’s time to start planning my apartment spring cleaning! And because I can’t seem to do anything without making a to-do list – here’s my version of a checklist! As with everything, I want to keep an environmentally friendly focus while still getting the job done right. The following is list of the supplies you will need to start the cleaning process:

-Large, Heavy-Duty Trash Bags
-Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Supplies (Seventh Generation, Simple Green, Green Works)
-Sponges, Brushes, and Towels
-Dusting Supplies

Once you have all these items, prepare to start cleaning! Pick up trash, file important documents, and de-clutter your living space. Wipe down and disinfect all surfaces before moving on to cleaning all your window coverings and windows.

Tip: The acidity of white distilled vinegar kills all types of nasty mold, germs, and bacteria. Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a medium size bucket. Cut up an old t-shirt into large squares, dip in vinegar solution and clean all types of hard surfaces including counter tops, sinks, refrigerator shelves, microwave, and the exterior of kitchen appliances. Using vinegar and water is a great alternative to harsh chemicals. Also – check out my post on making your own lemon cleaner!

Clean furniture, lamp shades, and other decorative items. Finish off with cleaning all the floor surfaces.

Tip: When cleaning ceramic tile floors avoid using harsh, abrasive cleaners; these will scratch the glazing. Damp-mop ceramic tile with an environmentally friendly cleaner. Dry the floor with an old t-shirt to avoid streaks.

Through my experience it helps to choose a beautiful day to take on this daunting task. Open the windows to let some fresh air in, crank up your favorite tunes, and start cleaning! Remember, the best way to welcome spring is having a well organized and clean apartment to show off to all your friends and family.