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Barbeque Cleaning tips

Cleaning your barbecue while it is still warm is the best time, since any stuck on food is more easily removed before it cools and dries on. This can be done with a grill brush and spray bottle filled with water with a gas grill once the flame is turned off. Simply spritz the grate and scrub with the brush until clean. Wipe down with a cotton cloth and spray with non stick coating before the next use.

When cleaning the grate that the food is cooked on once the grill has cooled, chemical free cleaners are the best route to take. While some people may use harsh oven cleaners, when cleaning your barbecue, you have to keep in mind these chemicals can leach into your food if not removed completely. So what do you use?

Barbeque Cleaning tips

Baking soda to the rescue. Using several layers of dampened newspaper, or thick towels you no longer use for anything else, put the grate on top, and wet the entire surface, soaking the paper also. Sprinkle with a generous amount of baking soda, really cover it well, and put more paper or towels on top. Now wet these down thoroughly with hot water. Allow to soak like this for two to four hours, checking to make sure the paper doesn’t dry out.

cleaning your bbq

Once the grates have set for a time, remove the top layer of papers, and discard, or put the towels in the wash. Using a grill brush, and a spray bottle filled with water, wet and scrub the grates. The baking soda will cut grease and act as a gentle abrasive. Rinse the grate and replace it in the grill.

Using a non stick spray on the cooking surfaces can help make cleaning your grill easier, and keep food from sticking during your cook out.

Amazing Apartment Balcony Garden Ideas

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Just because you live in an apartment or condo, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the wonderful benefits that come with having your very own garden! There are very innovative ways and products that have been designed to make the most of your limited space. You can grow a wide range of flowers, plants, and even vegetables just outside your apartment!

It’s very important to consider the different factors for growing things on your balcony. The temperatures in your area, how much sun your balcony gets and which plants do best in those hours of daylight.

To create the ultimate balcony garden, use a lot of variety in the kinds of planters you use, as well as the different plant sizes and varietals. Try and stagger flowers and plants, with the higher growing plants in the back and smaller more delicate ones in front of them. If you’re a real stickler for uniformity in the garden, try using similar plant types and similar flower colors.

The best edibles to grow on balconies include tomatoes, strawberries and even some lettuces, so be sure to ask your local florist or home garden store expert for advice on what works best in your area.

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balcony garden for a smaller apartment condo

balcony gardening ideas

balcony garden ideas pictures, garden

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cute indoor herb garden

Spring is in the air, and from the very first day that I hear birds chirping outside, I start to think about all the things I’m going to do in my home to welcome the sunshine and fresh air! This year, I’m going to tackle a project I’ve been thinking about for a while, but never had the time.

I would love to have an indoor herb garden in my kitchen! I know this is something I could have done in the colder months, but I like the idea of being able to transfer the plants in and out of the kitchen on days where there’s lots of great sunshine. My mother kept an indoor herb garden in our kitchen the entire time I was growing up, and it was so lovely to have access to fresh thyme, mint, basil and many other sweet and savory flavors throughout the year.

There are lots of ideas here, from mason jars to re-purposed wooden pallets, so you’ll find something here that appeals to your design senses!

Not only is this a cooking lover’s dream, aesthetically speaking it looks so wonderful in a kitchen, and brings a summery, green brightness into your home, year round. So with this collection of images I’ve found, I hope you’ll be as inspired as I am this year, and start your own kitchen herb garden! Check out the picture and don’t forget to click the “More Pictures” button to see many, many more pics!

cute indoor herb garden

DIY Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden Kitchen

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herb garden for kitchen

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cleaning-leather-sofa

The easiest sofa fabric to clean, and one of the strongest fabric quality is better known as leather.

If the sofa manufacturer created the sofa with a cotton like fabric. It could attract a lot of lint. I would probably use a vacuum to clean it all up. If something spilled on the sofa with a cotton like fabric. The cotton will absorb all of the liquid, because cotton operates like a sponge. Not even a vacuum or a cloth could clean such a horrible stain.

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Leather is by far the easiest sofa material to clean. Especially, if the leather is black, dark blue, dark brown, or any dark color. If I was to accidentally spill some type of juice or ketchup on the leather sofa. The leather will also absorb some of the liquid, but absolutely very slowly.
If the leather sofa did not come with instructions, here are some tips on everyday cleaning and care.I would try to clean the leather sofa gently first. I would consult a professional if the stain is difficult to clean. I would use a wiping motion without scrubbing. I would wipe the leather sofa with a soft, clean, white cloth every week or so. I would vacuum the sofa from time to time, and I would also use a damped cloth to keep the dirt from building up.

I highly recommend not to use harsh chemicals, like alcohol, bleach, and abrasive cleaners or strong detergents to clean the leather sofa. If I was to use harsh chemicals, I could potentially damage or ruin the color.

4 Reasons to Renovate Your Basement

downstairs modern house

With the housing market in a rather delicate state, many people are sticking with their lot. This doesn’t mean that there’s any reason you can’t upgrade to a larger home. Rather than uprooting and moving out, consider renovating your current abode to add always desired extra space and a new feature to your place. Now is the time to put those long-term renovation and grand design dreams into play.

Thanks to fewer planning restrictions, people are beginning to look at where they can utilize space in their homes. One place often overlooked as merely a storage room is finally receiving some attention as useable space – the basement. If you have room underneath your house, there are plenty of benefits to be gained from revamping your basement. After all, do old golf clubs, unwanted clothes, broken toys, odd paint pots and that violin that you said you’d “definitely learn to play” really deserve a floor to themselves? With some necessary waterproofing and clever design choices, your basement could become your homes best feature. Here are four good reasons why renovating your downstairs room should be your next home project.

Living Space Basement Remodel

Space

If you’re looking for extra space in your house, the basement is a great place to find it. Rather than cutting into valuable garden space with an extension out the back, utilize the already existent space underfoot to enlarge your living space. Initial outlay can be a problem, but thanks to fewer planning restrictions, extending and redesigning your basement can be a relatively straightforward process. Of course, basement waterproofing is a must and the option of sump pumps should be considered as a guarantee of keeping things dry.

Storage

When we say storage we don’t mean all the accrued junk you have. We mean clever design ideas: finding extra cupboard space, utilizing crawl spaces, and the novel idea of using storage as display. Maybe your comic book collection got a little out of hand over the past twenty years’, or perhaps your career as an amateur athlete has left you with a burgeoning trophy collection. There’s no need to throw these away or hide then; instead use the extra basement space to tell the world you’ve completed a marathon or that you’re Batman’s biggest fan in the most space saving way possible. Clever storage design can give you enough room to house all of your prized collections, while making room for additional furniture and floor space.

Entertainment

Some people might be tempted to make the basement the guest bedroom. However, with its close proximity to a home’s utilities, your basement space could alternatively be used as a space for entertaining. Here is where the fun benefits can be reaped from renovation. From games rooms to basement cinemas, purpose-built banquet rooms to home gyms, there are myriad uses for a basement conversion – you could even theme the basement, making it into a man cave, or a family-oriented cabin-like room – check out this rustic furniture for ideas. But whatever you do decide, keep the future in mind. For instance, that light-up dance floor may not seem like such a good idea when you come to sell.

Value

The simple fact is that basement conversions are not the cheapest of renovations to undertake. But if you’re not looking to sell anytime soon, then the benefits can be quantified in ways other than simply monetary gains on a property’s worth.

A basement adds an extra dimension to any home. Whether as a cinema room, family area or just extra space for entertaining guests, all add to the value of your home. Besides, even a large outlay can be recouped when, or if, you decide to sell, as basements can add as much as 20 to 30 per cent to the value of your home.

How to Care For Stone Countertops

Professional Granite Countertop Cleaner At Brookstone—buy Now!

Stone countertops can be a beautiful accessory in many homes and buildings. While stone countertops are very durable, they may be liable to scratches and fading over time. Since most stone countertops are manufactured from a solid material, there are several effective ways one can give a stone countertop a second lease on life.

The best way to avoid problems with a stone countertop is through the proper maintenance techniques. It’s a good idea to avoid cutting meats, vegetables and other food products directly on the surface of a stone countertop. Over time, the use of a knife directly on a stone countertop may cause scratches.

Granite Countertop Care And Maintenance | Granite Care

In addition, it’s important to understand how certain abrasive cleaning products can damage a stone countertop over time. In many cases, a stone countertop can be damaged by cleaning products that contain a strong oxidizer. This includes most cleaning agents that use bleach as a disinfectant. Instead, it’s a good idea to use an ammonia-based cleaning agent for sanitizing a stone countertop.

To refurbish a stone countertop, an individual will need a sander, a buffer and a filter mask. Using a low-grit sanding pad, grind away the surface of the stone countertop until it has no scratches or marks. Once this is done, it’s time to buff the surface to remove the fine scratches caused by the sanding pad.

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Gorgeous Examples of Zen Home Design

Zen Designs

Design
A home is one’s paradise. Zen home design combines architecture and therapeutic design to promote tranquility. Use of open ventilated spaces, curvature design, and fine wood materials changes the dynamics of your house. The idea is to mix the outdoors with the indoors. By simplifying the design of your house with zen architecture, you exhibit the essence of nature and do away with chaotic clutter.

Zen Home Interiors

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If you don’t have much of a green thumb, you’re not home much, or simply don’t really have the patience to take care of plants, feel comforted in the fact that you still can own house plants. There are numerous types of house plants that are extremely easy to care for. In fact, some of them are downright impossible to kill. Many require very little sunlight and don’t need to be watered much, making them perfect for those of us who don’t really want to spend all day and night caring for our houseplants. Let’s talk about five house plants that are very easy to care for.

The Snake Plant, otherwise known at Mother-In-Law’s-Tongue, is a visually stunning plant as it has tall, upright leaves that can grow up to four feet tall. It requires a good deal of indirect light, but you can get away with watering it only about once a week or even every ten or so days.

Spider Plants are also easy plants to care for as they do not require direct sunlight, but sufficient indirect sunlight. These plants have long leaves that resemble blades of grass or a spider’s legs, hence the name. Keep the soil moist and drained well and that is pretty much it for this hearty plant.

Ivy is easy to care as it requires little water and very low light. It will pretty much grow anywhere, so no need to find the perfect spot in the sun for it. Ivy looks beautiful trailing from hanging baskets and it can adapt to almost any environment. Some people use it to decorate shelves as its vines grow very long and pretty. Some common types of ivy include Irish Ivy, Persian Ivy, Algerian Ivy, and English Ivy.

Another houseplant that requires little care is the Wax Plant. This plant looks great in hanging baskets and it has thick, green leaves that are sometimes speckled with white. The Wax Plant needs more direct sunlight than the other plants we have mentioned, but is still very easy to care for. If it gets enough light, it may produce white or pink sweet-smelling, star-shaped flowers.

Arguably the simplest houseplant to grow is Pothos. It features long-growing vines full of beautiful heart-shaped, pointy leaves that can be variegated in white or yellow. This plant requires little water. In fact, you can get away with watering it a couple times a month. Three varieties of Pothos include Marble Queen, Golden, and Tri-color. It is very easy to produce other Pothos plants by simply sticking a cutting of the plant in a cup of water. When the roots start to grow, plant the new plant in a pot with some nice, fertile potting soil.

Efficient Lawn Watering Tips

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A lush green lawn is an aesthetic appeal in an area used for playing or relaxing purposes. Lawns need a lot of care such as mowing, seeding and regular watering to maintain their natural beauty. Watering lawns is a very tricky process because they require a lot of water, especially if they are located in dry areas. It is therefore highly recommended to explore watering strategies that use less water but still keep the grass healthy.

Watering lawns should not necessarily be done on a daily basis; lawns should be watered only when they need water. Plants only take in the amount of water they need, excess water on the lawn would either evaporate into the atmosphere or percolate downwards to the water table. Different types of plants require different amounts of water; many people may fail to realize when they are over-watering. Using a shovel, it is important to dig three inches under the surface to check the moisture content in the soil. Even if the soil appears dry yet the moisture content is high, there is no need for watering. Another method of determining whether the lawn needs watering is an observation whereby footprints remain on the grass for long. Grass also acquires a blue-gray tint and older plant leaf blades curl up when the moisture content is low. Watering when it is necessary is the most efficient lawn watering tip.

The best time to water a lawn is very early in the morning or very late in the evening. At these times the air is usually calm, reducing the risk of some of the water being drifted by the wind. When using sprinklers, some of the water is likely to evaporate before hitting the ground during the day. Early in the morning and late at night are the best times to water a lawn as the least amount of water is lost to evaporation.

The sprinklers should also be adjusted to water the lawn only and not the sidewalks or the streets. Portable printers are ideal for this purpose. Sprinklers vary in range and distribution methods, the chosen sprinklers should match with the shape and size of the watering zone.

The soil type influences how often the soil should be watered, heavy clay soils for instance require more frequent watering. Leaving sprinklers running while it is raining is very wasteful. Sensors should be installed to automatically turn off the sprinklers when rainfall begins.

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We are all aware that water conservation is an important issue. However, many people try to conserve water by watering lawns and gardens less often, or at hours when there is less evaporation likely to occur.

The key to effectively using water in an ecologically responsible manner is to change the types of grasses and vegetables that we grow. Choosing crops that require less water is a more practical way to use water for gardens, which is a renewable water source. The water that is saved can be diverted for more effective conservation and management of non-renewable water uses, such as industry and consumption.

These are some vegetables that you can grow that require less water to maintain.

1. Tomatoes- Tomatoes generally require less water, but there are also drought-resistant varieties available, such as “Heatwave.”

2. Squash- Squash has a lower water-content per fruit than most vegetables, so it requires less water to grow them.

3. Black-eyed peas- Not only do they produce a large volume and have low watering needs, black-eyed peas are also very healthy and nutrient-rich.

4. Snap beans – Snap beans require less plants to produce a large yield of product, and due to their deep-rooting system and size of the stalks and leaves, they require much less water.

5. Mustard greens- Mustard greens are one of the high-nutrition greens that bear a large crop but doesn’t require a lot of watering. Like spinach, they love dry, sandy soil.

6. Herbs- Herbs add flavor and aroma to your life, grow a large amount in very little space, and have low watering needs. In fact, too much water can damage them.

In general, pick plants that have a high-yield per plant, and deep root systems. Plant vegetables that have similar watering requirements in the same area, and add a layer of mulch to keep soil moist and prevent run-off and erosion.

Instead of daily watering, deep-water them a couple of times a week, or use a system of drip irrigation so the water goes down where it is needed instead of running off.

Another factor in making a home garden that is environmentally responsible lies not only in what you grow, but how you grow it. Intelligent garden layout and planning are the other half of the equation.

By planting your garden in such a way that the water stays where it is needed and useful, you help prevent the problems of run-off and soil erosion, which can damage the ecosystem.