Thursday, July 29, 2010

Make stuff last longer!

Here are a few interesting pointers on how to get the most out of some common household items:

If you’re using a soap pump, then try putting a rubber band around the base of the pump, looping it tightly. This will prevent the pump from going down all the way, but should still cause it to pump out an adequate amount of soap. Expect this to make the soap in your pump last longer. 

Scented Candles
Get your candles to last longer by chilling them!
Some say that the best way to do this is to freeze the candles for 24 hours before burning them. Others say that just storing them in the refrigerator for eight hours before you burn them is enough to do the trick.

If you want to preserve your clothes, then line dry them. This isn’t the most convenient or practical way to dry your clothes, but it will slow down their wear. 

Cheap carpets will typically last you from 3 to 5 years while good quality carpeting may have a life lasting 10 to 20 years, if you take good care of it. At this time, our own carpets are approaching 9 years old and they still look pretty good! These tips should help add some life to your fabric flooring:

  • Rearrange your furniture, so that wear becomes better distributed.
  • Vacuum regularly.
  • Avoid tracking in dirt.
  • Shampoo your carpets and rugs.
  • Snip loose threads.
  • Treat spills and stains quickly.
  • Designate eating areas.

You can save several tens of thousands of dollars if you decide to drive your car to the ground. If your car is regularly well-maintained, you’ll most likely extend your car’s lifespan; and these tips should get you there:

  • Change your air filter yearly.
  • Rotate your tires.
  • Change the oil regularly: depending on your vehicle, that’s around 3,000 miles or 3 months to 7,500 miles or 6 months.
  • Change your transmission fluid generally once every 30 or 60 thousand miles, depending on manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Drain the radiator.
  • Change your spark plugs.
  • Check your exhaust system.
  • Clean your car: wax and wash.

Statistics show that American families end up throwing out 14% of their food because of spoilage. So here are some tricks to keep your food fresher, longer:

  • Store fruits and vegetables separately to slow down the “ripening” process.
  • Store food at proper temperatures.
  • Vacuum seal food in zip lock bags to better preserve them.
  • Protect dry goods from insects and pests.
  • Chill bananas after they ripen. The peel will darken but the fruit will last longer.
  • Store leftovers in airtight food containers.

To maintain them well, I’d try this:

Redistribute the mattress wear so you can get the most out of your bedding. You can flip your mattress every other month. You can also try rotating it without having to flip it. Also, use a mattress pad to keep the mattress clean and away from stains — a great idea since mattress pads can be laundered.