Day 22 – Is Your HVAC Choking?

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Is your refrigerator running? Then go catch it. Is your HVAC choking? Time to administer CPR! When was the last time you looked at your HVAC unit? Specifically the condenser which is the big box usually located outside the house.  At first glance it doesn’t look too bad, but if you peek around the back…

Is Your HVAC Choking? | Pretty Handy Girl

…you’ll find a stray vine trying to make its way inside.

Is Your HVAC Choking? | Pretty Handy Girl

In order for your HVAC system to work efficiently and live longer, it’s important to keep vegetation and leaves away from the condenser. Never plant bushes or shrubs too close to the unit.

To discourage weeds and plants from growing back lay down some mulch, rocks or other weed resistant materials. I used leftover slate slabs around our unit. It’s what I had on hand and it was FREE.

Is Your HVAC Choking? | Pretty Handy Girl

Go check your condenser and if it’s choking give it some CPR by pulling back all the weeds and shrubs.

PHGFancySign

I’m participating in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge. Check out all the other bloggers who are participating!

31 Day Writing Challenge

Don’t miss a single tip! Sign up to get all the tips in your email:


Sign Up for Email Subscription



Other tips in the 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes series:


Day 21 – DIY Laundry Detergent

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Today’s tip is one that is gentle on your washer (HE and regular), but most importantly it will save you money! If you’ve ever looked at the cost of laundry detergent, you may have choked at the cost. I have a wonderful recipe for DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent that will cost you 20¢ for 75 loads! You read that right, not 20¢ per load, but per 75 loads!!! And the detergent is low suds and low residue which will keep your washer and clothes cleaner.

Day 21 – DIY Laundry Detergent

If you think this detergent couldn’t possibly work on dirty clothes, think again. I can tell you that I’ve been using this recipe for 2 years on my boys’ clothes and it works! Whatever stains don’t come out in the wash are no match for my DIY Miracle Stain Remover.

DIY Laundry Detergent |Pretty Handy Girl

The ingredients for the laundry detergent are simple and can be purchased at your grocery store. Just look on the high or low shelves in the laundry detergent aisle.

To make the detergent, you only need about 15 minutes and then let the detergent sit overnight. The next morning, you stir, add more water and you are done! Do you think that’s too much time to devote to making laundry detergent? What if I told you that this batch lasts our family of four (did I mention two of them are young boys) six months or more.

Here’s the recipe:

DIY Laundry Detergent |Pretty Handy Girl

I bought a big glass drink dispenser and a small bottle with a stopper at Home Goods. The small bottle is filled and used for dispensing detergent into the washer. The large drink dispenser holds the excess detergent.

DIY Laundry Detergent | Pretty Handy Girl

Once you try this DIY laundry detergent, I know you’ll love it. And then you’ll want to share this recipe with everyone you know! I like to share the recipe with a small sample amount in a laundry themed basket.

DIY Laundry Detergent |Pretty Handy Girl

If you want more uses for that big box of Borax, check out my 2 Ingredient Ant Killer!

PHGFancySign

I’m participating in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge. Check out all the other bloggers who are participating!

31 Day Writing Challenge

Don’t miss a single tip! Sign up to get all the tips in your email:


Sign Up for Email Subscription



Other tips in the 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes series:


Day 20 – Scrub Away Hard Water Stains

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl
 

Do you have hard water? If you do, you probably understand when I say, “It’s the bane of my existence when it comes to cleaning sinks!” However, I have a trick to scrub away that stubborn hard water crusty stain in no time! And I use a little power to save myself from fatigue.

hard-water-crust

Day 20 – Scrub Away Hard Water Stains

The other day I shared my non-toxic drain opener with you. Today, pull that vinegar and baking soda back out. You’ll also want to grab a good scrub sponge. I’ve been using the Scotch Brite Non-scratch Scrub Sponges and like them because they are non-scratch and use natural fibers. (I was not paid to say that!)

Pour some baking soda and a tiny bit of vinegar to create a paste on the hard water stain. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

vinegar-baking-soda-scrub

While you are waiting, cut a piece of the scrub sponge to fit on the sanding head of the Dremel Multi-Max. The hook and loop will hold the scrub sponge in place. If you don’t have a Multi-Max, you can scrub by hand, but it will take a little longer to remove the crusty stain.

cut-scrub-sponge-to-size

Before you plug in the Multi-Max, make sure your vinegar baking solution is more paste and not too much liquid. If there is too much liquid, add more baking soda. You want to make sure you are working with a paste to avoid any potential electrical shocks.

Turn on the Multi-Max and let the vibration of the sanding head do all the work for you! It may take several passes until the hard water stain is gone.

dremel-multimax-scrubbing-sink

Before:

hard-water-crust-around-sink

After:

How to Scrub Hard Water Stains Away | Pretty Handy Girl

I love finding ways to clean with power tools!

hard-water-stain-removed
PHGFancySign

I’m participating in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge. Check out all the other bloggers who are participating!

31 Day Writing Challenge

Don’t miss a single tip! Sign up to get all the tips in your email:


Sign Up for Email Subscription



Other tips in the 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes series:


Day 19 – Drill Holes to a Certain Depth

  Occasionally you need to drill a hole to a specific depth. Or you want to drill a hole into but not through your wood. This simple trick helps you do just that! Day 19 – Drill Holes to a Certain Depth When I was drilling the top of the new closet doors, I marked […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 18 – 5 Ways to Find a Stud (without a Stud Finder)

locate-nail-in-moulding

Using a stud finder is the quickest and easiest way to find a stud. But, if you don’t have one or are too lazy to find yours (I’m often guilty of this), you can use one of these ways to find a stud. Day 18: 5 Ways to Find a Stud (without a Stud Finder) 1. […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 17 – Two Ingredient Ant Killer

2 Ingredient Ant Killer | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s no picnic when you realize your home has been invaded by sugar ants. Instead of spraying your kitchen (or wherever you find them) try this Two Ingredient Ant Killer. Photo by Stephen Ausmus – http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/dec04/k11622-1.htm Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons Day 17 – Two Ingredient Ant Killer Mix equal parts sugar and Borax into […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 16 – Holes in Your Trash Can

Take out the papers  and the trash…ummm take out the trash? Grrr, don’t you hate when the trash bag gets stuck in the trash can? No worries, I have an easy fix that will make taking out the trash a much easier chore. It may sound a little crazy, but it involves drilling holes. Day […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 15 – Use Good Wall Anchors

Good & Bad Wall Anchors | Pretty Handy Girl

Curtain rods, towel bars, and other wall mounted accessories are relatively easy to hang. The trick is securing them to a stud so they can hold up to the abuse. But, how often have you found that you don’t have a stud where you want it mounted? Probably 98% of the time, right? That’s where it is important to […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 14 – Non-Toxic Drain Opener

Non-Toxic Drain Opener | Pretty Handy Girl

A clogged tub or sink is an inevitable situation for any homeowner. Before you reach for the toxic drain cleaner, try this easy and inexpensive Non-Toxic Drain Opener. All you need is a box of baking soda and cheap white vinegar. Day 14: Non-Toxic Drain Opener Remove the drain pop up and pour a LOT of baking […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 13 – Remove Your Shoes at the Door

  Want to cut down on your vacuuming? Want to make your carpets last 10 times longer? Want to keep bacteria out of your home? Wow, sounds like a miracle product right? Actually you can accomplish all of the above by simply training yourself and your family to remove their shoes at the door. Day […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 12 – Protecting Spigots from Frozen Burst Pipes

Protect Spigot from Frozen Burst Pipes | Pretty Handy Girl

Winter is coming and this year I want to help you protect your home from a burst pipe because it froze. Much like your water pipes (which should have foam insulation sleeves on them,) it’s important to protect your spigot on the outside of your house from freezing. Luckily, Frost King makes this handy dandy […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 11 – Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner

Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner | Pretty Handy Girl

I love to paint rooms! It’s one of those meditative tasks that leaves you with instant gratification when  you are done. But, I don’t like the clean up afterwards. Several years ago I came up with an Easy Clean Up Paint Tray Liner that costs next to nothing! All you need are two plastic grocery […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 9 – Easy Tricks to Remove Wall Scuffs

Easy Tricks to Remove Walls Scuffs | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have a ghost in your house? I do! Want to know how I know? Because we have scuffs that magically appear on the walls. It doesn’t bother me because I know a few easy tricks for removing wall scuffs. Day 10: Easy Tricks for Removing Wall Scuffs My number one tool in my arsenal against […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 9 – Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 9 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Would you believe that a burst water line can cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home? It’s true! If one of your water supply lines is not braided metal, you could be putting your home in danger of a massive leak; leading […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 8 – Replace Foil or Plastic Flexible Dryer Duct Hoses

Semi-rigid vs. flexible dryer duct | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 8 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Today I have a VERY IMPORTANT tip to prevent a fire from starting in your laundry room.  I’m going to show you how to replace your flexible foil or plastic dryer vent duct with a much safer semi-rigid ductwork. Before we go any further do you […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 7 – Clean Out Your Dryer Vent Duct

vacuum out your dryer duct | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 7 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. We’re sticking with the laundry room theme for a few days. Today I have a tip to help protect your home from a fire. Cleaning out your dryer vent duct is an extremely important home maintenance task. The good news is that you can do most of […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 6 – Keep Your HE Washer Funk Free

Welcome to Day 6 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. So you finally upgraded to an HE washer. You have to be careful because if you don’t take care of it you’ll have a stinky funky mess. Funky music = good. Funky washer = bad! The HE washers (front load especially) are air tight, which […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 5 – Add Weather Stripping to Doors and Windows

Adding Foam Weatherstripping | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 5 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Winter is fast approaching and now is a good time to assess your doors and windows. Do you feel a draft by your window when the wind kicks up outside? Can you see daylight seeping through your door? If you answered yes to either of those […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 4 – Removing a Stripped (or Painted) Screw

Stripped Screw? Use the Rubberband Trick | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 4 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes.  What happens when you strip a screw head just enough that the screwdriver won’t get a good grip? Or the screw has been painted over so many times that you can’t get the screwdriver head in the hole? Ahhh, well, I have two quick tips […]

[Continue reading...]

Day 3 – Fixing a Stripped Hole in Wood

How to Fix Stripped Holes in Wood | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 3 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes.  Have you ever tightened a screw 1,485 times before you finally admit that the hole is stripped? Procrastinate fixing that stripped hole no more! Grab some wood glue and tooth picks and we’ll fix that hole in a jiffy. Day 3. Fixing a Stripped Screw […]

[Continue reading...]