Spring Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2017 at 11:51 am


With spring just around the corner, here are some inexpensive tips for spring-cleaning, and you don’t even have to leave the house to buy supplies to do them.

These tips are to help eliminate odors, remove stains and rid food build-ups in the kitchen.

Doug Rogers, president of the Mr. Appliance Corp. says, “Don’t neglect your kitchen appliances during spring cleaning. Your appliances never get a day off. They take the most abuse yet probably get the least attention. Keep them clean to help them last longer and run more efficiently.”

Give spring-cleaning a whole new meaning with these different and often forgotten tips from Mr. Appliance® and Mr. Rooter Plumbing®:

  1. Eliminate odors in the refrigerator by using vanilla extract soaked into a paper towel and wipe down the walls inside the refrigerator.
  2. Soak removable refrigerator parts in a sink with warm, soapy water to remove stains and spills.
  3. Run an empty dishwasher with a cup of vinegar to remove food residue.
  4. Removed caked on foods from over racks with warm, soapy water.
  5. To eliminate odors in the garbage disposal, place ice cubes and citrus peels in the disposal. Turn on the cold water and then run the disposal for 15 to 30 seconds. After turning the disposal off, continue to rinse with hot water for 15 more seconds.
  6. For cleaning the inside of microwave surfaces use a mixture of two tablespoons baking soda and one quart warm water to remove food stains.
  7. To avoid the yellowing of white appliances, use a mixture of ½-cup bleach, ¼-cup baking soda and four cups of warm water. Using a sponge wipe down the appliances let it set for 10 minutes before rinsing and drying.
  1. To remove grease build up from garbage disposals, turn on the hot water then the disposal and squeeze a tablespoon of dish washing liquid into the disposal. Run the hot water for 15-30 seconds and turn off the disposal but let the hot water run until all the suds are gone.
  2. For cleaning residue and stubborn stains on the inside of the microwave, heat a bowl of vanilla extract for three minutes and use it to wipe down the inside of the microwave (be careful the vanilla extract may be hot.)
  3. To clean the condenser coils, which are located behind the fridge, use a brush or hand-held vacuum to remove dirt, dust and pet hair.

“The best way to ensure an odor-free and grease-free kitchen sink is to prevent the smell and build-up before it begins”, said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Corporation. “A good dose of spring cleaning can clear the air, keeping your garbage disposal in good working condition.”

Kitchen appliances and plumbing fixtures will continue to sparkle and smell fresh for many years to come just by following these tips from Mr. Appliance and Mr. Rooter Plumbing.


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Winter Driving Readiness

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2017 at 4:26 pm

When it comes to preparing their cars for winter, most people fall into one of three groups.

‘Group One’ is the worst. Look into one of their trunks and you’d see something like the following:

  • One spare – flat
  • Four empty cans/bottles
  • A rusty screwdriver
  • Moldy rags
  • One ice scraper with broken handle
  • Two wet, moldy paper bags
  • A thing (cannot identify)
  • A cheap flashlight with corroded batteries

Pitiably, ‘Group Ones’ think they’re ready for winter driving. On a good day, they might even check the oil and battery, but will probably forget. However, ‘Group Ones’ rarely look in the trunk because they’re confident that the one flashlight, and screwdriver they bought on sale for $1.99 (batteries included) just after they bought the car two and a half years ago are still there. They are so proud of thinking ahead. Nice job guys!

Then there are the ‘Group Twos’.

‘Group Twos’ are actually an enviable lot. ‘Group Two’ people are prepared – compared to ‘Group One’, that is.

They tune up their cars, put on the snow tires, change the oil and check the windshield washer fluid. (Group One, are you still there?) They examine the air in the spare tire (or whatever you call that whimpy Cheerio-sized rubber thing the car companies put in the trunk these days.)

‘Group Twos’ have even been known to keep a folding shovel in the trunk, a flashlight with new batteries and a blanket.

They’ve got tools in the trunk: pliers (2), screwdrivers, including a Phillips (3), electrical tape, spare wire, hammer (I don’t know why they would need it either, but I certainly can’t complain because I’ve got one, too), socket set, adjustable wrench, extra gallon of windshield fluid, rags, a pair of work gloves, umbrella, bungee cords, first aid kit, maps, extra fuses, fire extinguisher, road flares, traction mats to get unstuck on snow and ice, a good-quality ice chopper, snow brush and jumper cables.

Most ‘Group Twos’ even put a bag of rock salt in the trunk for better traction. I’m proud of you, ‘Group Two’. These are also the people that use to have CB radios in their cars before cell phones to help all of you ‘Group One’ people when you get stuck. They’re the ones who stop when they see you on the side of the road trying to flag down traffic with wet, moldy paper bags.

Now for “Group Three’. Before we start, I know that ‘Group One’ will think ‘Group Threes’ are “sickos”. So will many ‘Group Twos’, but we ‘Group Threes’ don’t really care. My wife says she wishes I would “act normal” and join her in ‘Group One’, but I’ve told her that “I’m ‘Group Three’ and proud of it.”

Now that winter is here we ‘Group Three’ people are in our glory, prepared for the worst. Psychologists and psychiatrists would probably call us insecure, but let ‘em. We say we’re secure because we’re prepared. Our trunks have everything

We would never suffer like my good friend Bonnie, who spent a miserable night some winters ago stranded on the expressway while driving across Michigan during a snowstorm, waiting for the roads to be plowed.

In my typically ‘Group Three’ trunk is survival stuff. Not just any stuff, but Grade-A, first quality stuff:

A genuine military survival knife, in addition to the Swiss army knife, a space blanket (in addition to the regular blanket), a canteen with metal cup for melting snow into hot water for soup, made from the bottle of bouillon cubes (which are also in the kit.)

Hexamine Fuel Tablets and four-inch Hexamine Stove, which can boil a cup of water in four minutes that I got along with my army food rations (crackers, cocoa, beverage powder, peanut butter) at any army/navy surplus store. I also keep a whistle; waterproof matches, mints, candy, gum, compass, rope and yes, a can opener.

I also took an old one-pound metal tobacco can with lid, punched small holes all around it, and filled it with five-inch candles. I figure that if I am stuck in the cold, and if I crack a window just a bit, I can provide some heat in the car as well as a little light.

I’m going to need the light because I keep a deck of cards and a book in my survival kit so I won’t be bored to death.

It goes without saying I keep a couple of packages of Kleenex, but don’t ask me why.

“Group Threes’ also keep a snake bite kit as well as sewing kit in their survival packages. Chances are pretty good I’m never going anywhere with my car that I’ll get bitten by a poisonous snake, but if you are, won’t you be glad to see me!

Luckily, we don’t have to lug the bag of rock salt around in our trunk. Who has room for it?

I did a calculation once that the third group was responsible for almost one-fifth of the gas shortage of just a few years ago. A surprising statistic considering we in ‘Group Three’ never run out of gas.

By now I’m sure that some of you ‘Group Twos’ are waiting for the army/navy surplus store to open so that you can get what you need to cross over. We’ll be glad to have you.

Meanwhile, if I’m fortunate enough to get stranded on the freeway this winter, while I’m waiting for my bouillon to boil, I might be inspired to write about how much fun it is to be around the house with a typical ‘Group Three’.

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Holiday Safety

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2016 at 11:51 am

The holidays are supposed to be fun and we want them to be safe.

I’ve compiled a holiday safety checklist to get you started and keep you and your family safe. I know most of the list is common sense, but look it over and at least use it as a reminder.

Christmas Trees:

  • Always buy a fresh cut, healthy tree. You can check by looking and feeling. The tree must be green, the bark moist and green, and the needles should bend and not break when you bend them.
  • Run your hand down a branch. If the tree is fresh, some needles will fall off but only a few.
  • Tug on a few needles; they should be difficult to pull off from the branches.
  • Bend a few branches; if they snap off or crack, the tree is too dry and won’t last.
  • When you get the tree home, cut a few inches off the bottom of the trunk at an angle so the tree can absorb more water.
  • Set the tree in a sturdy tree stand. Make sure the base or legs are sturdy to keep the tree stable so that it will not tip over, which can pose a danger to children and small pets.
  • The stand should be able to hold a lot of water and the water should be checked and maintained. A six-foot tree requires approximately one-gallon of water every other day.
  • Do not place the tree next to, or close to fireplaces, heaters, radiators, heat registers or candles.
  • Never place the tree in front of a doorway or in the path of any exit source in case of an emergency.
  • If you use, or are planning on buying an artificial tree, make sure it is fire resistant. Don’t take the salesman word for it, check the label.
  • Install a smoke/fire detector as well as an ABC fire extinguisher in the room with the tree.
  • Ribbons and tinsel are a big temptation for small children, cats and dogs. It can wreak havoc in the pet’s intestines or stomach. Small children also love the shiny tinsel and bows on presents and need to be supervised or the tree needs to be barricaded with some type of gate or fencing for safety measures.

Holiday plants:

  • Poinsettias are a common household Christmas plant, but toxic to little ones and pets. The sap from the leaves may cause vomiting and skin irritation. Avoid placing it where pets and children may reach it.
  • Christmas Mistletoe is also a favorite to hang where people can kiss under it. Hanging it high up is best as the berries from this plant are highly toxic for children and pets. Remove the berries for the best safety precautions.


  • Only use UL listed labeled lights and cords.
  • Never use electrical lights on a metal tree.
  • Before using any and all holiday lights, inspect all connections and cords. Look for cracked, brittle or frayed wiring or cords.
  • Do not coil or tie extension cords when in use. They could overheat.
  • Inspect all lights for broken or damaged sockets.
  • Make sure the bulbs work and are not loose of missing.
  • Never use indoor extension cords, outdoors.
  • Never lay cords under carpets or across walks or steps.
  • Outdoor light sets should be marked “waterproof”.
  • Never shorten or splice light sets.
  • Make sure all outside lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (G.F.C.I.) outlet.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets. If you are trying to use dozens of light sets, plug them into different outlets on different circuits.
  • Turn off, or better yet, unplug all tree lights and decorations when going to bed or leaving the house.


  • Have your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned and inspected to remove creosote.
  • Never use a fireplace without a screen to protect against sparks and ashes.
  • Never use gasoline or barbecue starter fluid to start a fire in a fireplace.
  • Keep all combustibles including, gifts, paper, furniture and holiday stockings away the fireplace and mantle when using a fire.
  • Install a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in a room with a fireplace.
  • Burn only clean, dry firewood.


  • Never put lit candles in windows.
  • Never put lit candles within reach of small children.
  • Do not leave a room with candles burning.
  • Do not use candles in children’s rooms or on Christmas trees.

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