Dishwasher, Dishwashing odor, DIY, Home improvement, Uncategorized, Waterproof

Remove Unwanted Dishwasher Odors Once and For All

Remove Dishwasher Odor Quick and Clean


Remove unwanted dishwasher odors quickly and effectively. Keep your dishwasher working and smelling good.

Have you ever run your dishwasher at night, come down in the morning to grab a cup for your first steaming mug of coffee, and been hit by foul odors as you open the door to said dishwasher? Don’t call a repair person yet. This problem most likely has a simple and low cost repair that you can do yourself. Likewise the resulting knowledge and expertise you gain can help you keep your dishwasher working it’s best and smelling clean also. Follow the steps and the video below to learn how. 

  1. Find the owner’s manual to your dishwasher. If you can’t, maybe locate information on the internet. Familiarize yourself with the main parts and recommended detergent and/or rinse agents to use with your particular make and model.
  2. The first place to check is the screen, clean that out thoroughly. Remove any parts that can or should be removed and make sure those are clean then replace them.
  3. Next you will need to locate and clean the dishwasher sprayer arm ports. You can use a small object such as a toothpick to do this. Be careful  you do not break off the toothpicks or any other item as they will get stuck in there.
  4. Tip the door of your dishwasher and clean the bottom edge of the dishwasher and the lip all the way around. Clean any surface areas where you can see there is food or build up.
  5. As a final solution you can purchase a special cleaner for your dishwasher and run your dishwasher on a full cycle using this cleaner. Follow all manufacturer’s directions on the product and make sure whatever you purchase is compatible with your dishwasher model and make.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do keep up regular cleaning of your screen and sprayer arm ports to avoid future unwanted odors in your dishwasher
  • Do let the cleaner that you spray around the lip and edge of the dishwasher sit for some time to assist in cleaning and degreasing the surface
  • Don’t use bleach on your dishwasher. It’s is very corrosive on metal parts and does not solve the problem
Circuit breaker, DIY, Electrical, Home safety, Wirings

Locate and Understand How to Reset Your Circuit Breakers

Reset Circuit Breakers Safely and Quickly


Understand what and where your circuit breakers are and how to reset them. Feel confident and safe in your own home to address this key electrical home repair.

As a homeowner and as a renter for years it became necessary to buck up and learn some of the basics on electrical issues, self reliance is a great motivator and teacher. The best place to start is the beginning, and in most homes this would be the circuit breaker box. The circuit breakers inside this box divide the supply of power to different major appliances or areas in the home and provide a protective fuse for each breaker. When the lights or power goes out the simple home repair to check your circuit breakers and reset them if necessary is a first line, simple and safe home repair.

  1. If you do not know where your circuit breaker box is you should locate it. Locate it prior to needing to find it. Since in many instances if there is a problem you could literally be searching for it in the dark. Most circuit breaker boxes are located in a basement, garage, hallway or storage room behind a small metal door.
  2. Behind the door there should be a panel of switches. The switches have a corresponding number and either next to them or on the door of the box there is writing that tells you what appliance or area each circuit goes to. Check to see if there is one of these circuit breakers that has flipped from the on position to the off position. Before you do anything else,  go to the appliance or area where the circuit breaker has flipped off and make sure everything is unplugged or turned off. This is an important safety precaution.
  3. Circuit breakers stay in the on position unless they have been tripped for some reason, such as a power surge or overload. The circuit breaker automatically turns the circuit off to avoid dangerous overheating of the circuit.
  4. To reset the circuit breaker gently and firmly switch it all the way to the off position and then to the on position. The lights or appliance corresponding to that circuit breaker should come back on.

The below video can give you basic steps to reset your circuit breaker, the  number to call at the end may not be the one for your particular power company but the steps are the same.

Things To Know

  • If your circuit breakers continue to trip there might be a fault in the wiring of a particular appliance or a problem elsewhere. My recommendation would be to contact a professional at this point.
  • Again, it is important to know where your circuit breaker box is before things become a problem. Locate it and make sure that it remains accessible and safe to get to.
Cracks, Downspout, Home improvement, Leakage, Waterproof

Install Downspout Extensions to Preserve the Foundation of Your Home from Leaks and Cracks

Downspout Extensions Prevent Damage to Foundation


The most important part of any project is the foundation. And preserving and protecting the foundation of your home is also an excellent place to start with home repair. Water runoff from gutters that end directly next to your home can mean water seeping into the ground there and creating cracks in your home’s foundation. To avoid this you can easily and quickly install several different kinds of downspout extensions depending on the location of your downspout and what your needs are. Choose which one is best for you and your home and follow the steps below.

There are several options that you have when it comes to choosing which extension to use to channel water away from the end of your downspout and the foundation of your home. The easiest one is simply a splash block. You simply purchase the splash block and then position it under the elbow of the downspout to direct water away from the bottom of the downspout.

Another option is to purchase a downspout extension that comes equipped with a clip that you attach with a screw, higher up on the spout. You remove the elbow at the bottom of the downspout and attach the extension with screws on either side of where it attaches to the downspout. Then you screw the clip on the side of the downspout so that you can raise or lower the extension should you want to mow or work close to the house.

You can also purchase an accordion downspout extension. It is attached exactly the same way you would in step two. The advantage of this option is that it is very flexible and can be cut to at the end where the overflow comes out. You can easily direct it around shrubs or anything else close to your home.

You can watch this short video below to get a better sense of which extension you might get and how to install them following the steps above.

Keep In Mind

  • Measure and look carefully at  your downspouts and decide which extension will suit your needs best. Take into account what you will be doing around each downspout, such as yardwork. Not all of your spouts will necessarily need the same solution.
  • There are other options besides the three listed above so before you  go for the least expensive or quickest option make sure you will get the results you  want.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
DIY, Energy Efficiency, Home improvement, Light Bulbs

Convert Your Home to LED Lights And Save Money and The Environment

Convert to LED Lights Save Money and Environment


By converting to LED lights in your home you get longer lasting bulbs. It is cost effective and environmentally responsible.

A switch to LED lights in your home is probably the easiest home repair you can do and it can have a big impact in a number of ways. First, LED lights last much longer than any light bulb 50 times longer than a regular incandescent bulb, they even last nearly 10 times longer than CFL or fluorescent bulbs which were initially touted for their energy efficiency (personally CFL lights always make me look sallow). Safety is another important consideration, and because LED lights emit almost no forward facing heat and run effectively at a lower voltage they are safer. Get started on this project with the steps below.

Determine what size led lights you need for each light you plan on replacing. You can do this by matching the base of your old bulb to the base of the LED light you plan on using to replace it.

An example of a replacement would be a 4 Watt LED light. This would typically have a 450 Lumens Output. This would make it a good replacement for a regular 40 watt incandescent bulb.

LED bulbs can be decorative also, and add to the ambiance of a particular room or area in your house. For example some LED’s have warmer light or are designed with filament to look like old fashioned bulbs.

LED’s will work with dimmer switches. However the package for the LED bulb must specifically state that it is compatible with a dimmer and the dimmer must be LED compatible. Older dimmers will most likely not work with LED’s.

Watch this quick video to give you directions and ideas on how to convert your lights quickly and easily to LED.

Things to Keep In Mind

  • Always make sure your LED bulb is under the maximum wattage of your fixture or lamp.
  • When you go to purchase your new LED bulbs, take the bulb that you plan on replacing with you so that you know you are matching the base of the LED bulb to that.
  • LED lights are great to use in fixtures or lamps that are hard to reach, because these bulbs last longer. They are also good to use in lamps or fixtures that get a lot of use for the same reason.
DIY, Home improvement, Leakage, Toilet

Fix That Leaky Toilet, Save Your Money and the Environment

Fix Toilet Leaks-Save Money and Environment


Fix your leaky toilet. You can save money on your water bill and help to protect the environment by easily and quickly fixing your leaky toilet.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency the average household’s leaks  can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. The negative impact of that on the environment is disturbing, to the tune of nearly 1 trillion gallons nationwide in an estimated 11 million homes. That doesn’t even take into account the cost to consumer, which can not be overlooked. Simple home repair can help save you money and help save the environment at the same time. There are several potential causes for leaks in your toilet, however the most common is a faulty or worn flapper valve. I have included a link to a video for how to repair/replace that, as well as information about what else might cause this problem. To repair/replace the flapper valve in your toilet follow the simple steps below.

  1. Shut off the water supply valve behind your toilet. Remove the lid and flush the toilet to remove as much water as possible from the tank.
  2. Remove the lid on the tank of your toilet. Inside there is a lever and chain attached to the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank. Remove that chain from the lever, then disconnect the flapper valve from the drain that it is covering.
  3. Wipe around the drain before replacing the flapper valve to make sure there is no build up and you can get a tight seal with the new valve. Attach the new Flapper Valve directly over the drain and reattach the chain to the lever.
  4. Push on the flush mechanism to make sure that the flapper valve is aligned properly over the drain to create a seal.
  5. Then turn the water supply for your toilet back on, allow the tank to fill, listen and check to make sure there is no water leaking in the tank. Replace the lid and discard the old flapper valve. 

This video can give you the confidence to and know how to successfully replace your Flapper Valve.

Other Things to Keep In Mind

  • This link gives some of the most common causes of a leaky toilet, in addition to a faulty  flapper valve. If your toilet continues to leak check these other parts.

  • It’s particularly important, before refilling the tank, to check and readjust the chain that connects the new flapper valve to the lever to make sure it is raising and lowering the flapper valve right over the drain in order to get that proper seal once the tank is refilled.
  • It is helpful to have a few rags or work towels on hand in case something should happen or there are drips of water anywhere. Best to be prepared and not have to go search for them when you need one.
Drywall, Home improvement, Plaster, Spackle

Patch Your Drywall to Clean and Protect Your Walls

It’s not a big deal, just unsightly at first. However those small holes and cracks in your drywall can easily become larger when ignored and create more problems. As the mother of 2 grown children there are countless places where posters of the latest pop star or video game were hung, now just an unsightly little hole. Not to mention the time someone accidentally put a slightly larger hole in that wall while playing ball inside, I’m sure nobody knows who. Follow the steps below and fix those bothersome holes and cracks easily and efficiently. You can restore the look of your walls and protect them from further damage.

  1. Use a utility knife or a painter’s 5 in 1 tool to remove any cracked plaster, drywall, or chipped paint. You will want to pull away any loose debris or paper and make sure the surface is smooth.
  2. Use a flexible putty knife to apply spackle and fill in any small holes. Swipe on in smooth, even strokes and remove any excess as soon as possible. Follow manufacturer’s directions to let it dry and then buff with a block of fine  sandpaper.
  3. For slightly larger holes you will repeat the process of cleaning and smoothing the area, then apply self-adhesive, fiberglass mesh tape to cover  the whole following manufacturers directions.
  4. Repeat the process of applying spackle to cover the mesh tape, removing any excess with your spackle tool or putty knife. Allow the spackle to dry overnight and then smooth it over by using a block of fine grain sandpaper. It’s best to lay down a drop cloth first to catch the spackle dust that will fall and you may want to wear a mask so as not to inhale any.
  5. Once the process is complete you may need to add a second coat of spackle to make sure it is a completely smooth surface. Then you are ready to prime and paint.

* Below is a video to follow with all the directions for completing these steps and some additional tips and tricks to protect and preserve your walls.

Things to Avoid and Keep in Mind

  • Holes that are larger than 1 ½ inches or so probably need to be repaired with bridging material and a more complex process.
  • Allowing spackle to dry properly between applications is critical to get proper results. Take the time in the beginning to get a good result in the end.
  • When you are done sanding and smoothing the surface after your final coat of spackle it is helpful to use a slightly damp cloth to make sure all particles of dust are gone before applying any paint. You will get the best look and finish and your paint will adhere properly.
Closets, DIY, Home improvement, Silicone

Fix the Loud Slam on Your Cabinet Door and Find Some Peace and Quiet

If you are like me I sometimes jump at unexpected or loud noises. I am even startled when I know the noise is coming . I’m not super anxious or edgy, though I could cut back on my coffee intake, it’s just a natural human reaction. Loud cabinet doors in my home take me off guard,  it’s disconcerting and annoying as the process is repeated. Fixing the loud whack of cabinet doors can be done with a simple and effective home repair. Follow the below step by step instructions and video link included to take this DIY task in hand and regain a little peace and quiet in your home.

1.      You don’t need any tools or equipment for this project, outside of maybe some rubbing alcohol and a clean rag. You will need to purchase self adhesive silicone bumpers.

2.      Silicone bumpers are available in many home improvement and hardware stores, or online. Make sure you measure your cabinets and count to get the right number and size before you purchase them.

3.      Whatever surface you affix these bumpers to should be thoroughly cleaned prior to putting them on. I recommend using rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth, and letting it dry before trying to affix the bumper. Be sure this will not damage your cabinets before doing so.

4.      Once the surface is prepared, peel the backing off the silicone bumper, put it in place and hold it on the spot you want it to adhere to on the cabinet. Follow manufacturer’s directions to get the best results.

This video is for a particular brand of silicone bumper however there are many available on the market to suit different needs. The steps to follow are the same.

Things to Keep In Mind

·         If you put one of the silicone bumpers on and it does not adhere or comes off quickly then do not try to reaffix it. Once the oils from your hand or anything else have come in contact with the self-adhesive side it will not work properly.

·         Buying a pack of silicone bumpers with plenty in it, or even an extra pack, is the best way to ensure you will have enough. Even if some do not adhere properly the first time, or happen to fall off.

  • This project is not meant to completely remove any sound from closing your cabinet, but to reduce it. In order to completely remove any sound that would require the installation of soft close door hinges or similar items. This is a  more costly and involved home improvement project you may want to look into if you are so inclined.
Energy Efficiency

Install Weather Stripping on Your Windows for Cost and Energy Efficiency

Install Low Cost Efficient Weather Stripping

Install weather stripping on your windows to save money on your heating and cooling bills and reduce energy waste.

Weather stripping on your windows is cost effective, improves the value of your home and is eco friendly. This simple and effective home repair project saves on your utility bills by avoiding unwanted warm air when you are trying  to cool your home during the summer months and unwanted cool air during the winter months. The steps below are for weather stripping a double hung window using v flex weather stripping, the most common type of windows.

** In the directions below and the video  the window sash refers to the frame of each window pane that holds the glass and the jam is a larger window frame around that that the windows sit in.

Use a damp rag to wipe clean the window jam, and any area that you intend to apply the weather stripping to on the inside and outside panes of your window.

Cut the strip to the length that you want, to be precise it is best to use a measuring tape to get the right length. Cut your piece 1inches longer than you will need.

To fully seal the window you need a piece for both sides of the inner and outer sash, the bottom of the inner sash, the top of the outer sash, and the meeting rail where the outer sash meets the inner sash.

Start on one side of your inner sash. Peel away the backing of the strip except for an inch or so at the top, later you will need to push this piece up between the sash and the jam and this makes that easier.

Press the strip in place on the window jam with the v facing inside and fold it over. Tuck the extra tape up between the sash and jam. Repeat this on the other side of the inner sash and close the sash. Peel away that backing that you left and adhere the tail end of the strip on each side.

Install the piece of weather stripping you measured for the bottom of the inner sash and the top of the outer sash in the same manner in step 4.

For the meeting rail lower the outer sash to expose the inside face and install a piece of weather stripping as you did in step four with the v facing down.

Review the steps in this video carefully before you begin your project to help it go smoothly and much more quickly.

Things to Keep In Mind

  • Measuring your windows and how much weather stripping you will need before you begin the project will save considerable time and hassle.
  • Purchase some extra weather stripping in order to avoid running out mid way through or in case there are any parts that you need to redo during the project or later on.