4 Ways to Erase the Most Common Household Messes

No matter how neat you keep your home, odors and stains are inevitable. These can be especially challenging to remove in areas prone to spills and smells. Check out these tips on how you can freshen even the most stubborn spots in your household.

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1. Wall Stains – Have your kids made artwork on your walls, or has a leaky roof caused a water damaged mess? Tough wall stains like these can be hard to get rid of, but are easily sealed by applying a high-quality stain-blocking primer.

Before covering the problem area with primer, clean the wall thoroughly with a grease-cutting solution and lightly sand the area to be painted.

2. Refrigerator Odors – Refrigerators are subject to a variety of spills and odors. To clean your fridge, begin by emptying its contents and throwing out, recycling or composting any food that is expired or beginning to smell.

Next, pull out any removable drawers or shelving and place them in the sink. Using a damp soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge, wipe down these pieces, the interior of your fridge and the door with a multi-purpose cleaner. Or, mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of hot water for a natural soap alternative. Don’t forget the seams of the shelves and rubber door seal.

If your fridge requires an extra-deep cleaning, unplug it while you work to avoid wasting energy. Before putting all of your food back in the fridge, wipe down the exterior of each jar or container with a damp cloth.

3. Grout Lines – Tile surfaces are prone to dirt and debris, especially in bathrooms or high traffic-areas. To keep tile looking fresh and new, grab an old toothbrush or electric toothbrush for a deeper scrub. Before you start, wash the surface with water then mix two parts baking soda with one part water. Scrub the resulting paste into the cracks and crevices, then douse with water again. If the grout lines are stained, spray a mixture of equal parts vinegar and warm water onto the area and brush. After a final rinse, the grime will be gone.

4. Washing Machine Mold – If you own a front-loading washing machine, you’ve probably noticed the unpleasant smell that can linger after completing a load of laundry. Despite being more energy-efficient, these machines have a tendency to hold odors and harbor mold. To clean and prevent grimy buildup, try this: instead of detergent, cycle two cups of vinegar and a quarter-cup of baking soda on a hot setting. When it’s done, use a clean sponge to scrub down the inside. Finally, rinse with a plain-water cycle, and you’ll see (and smell) the results!

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

4 Ways to Erase the Most Common Household Messes

Firework Safety Tips

The month of July is filled with celebrations and of course, fireworks! If you are planning on using fireworks, check out these safety tips to keep everyone and yourself safe.

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AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Firework Safety Tips

Survival Skills

Here are some useful tips to help homeowners fix common household issues.

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Fix a leaky faucet
Usually due to a bad washer or cartridge in the handle.  Turn off the water supply (under the sink), and cover the drain so no small parts can go down it.  Pop the cover on the handles, remove the screw, and the handle.  Disassemble the stem next, using a wrench and lining up the parts in order so you will know how to put it back together.  Remove and replace the damaged or cracked parts and reassemble the stem and handles.

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Open a seized dead bolt
Spray some WD-40 into the keyhole to lubricate the mechanism. Prevent it from seizing by spraying once a year with Teflon spray.

Stop an overflowing toilet
The float inside the tank drops when the toilet is flushed and water from the tanks moves into the bowl.  It then rises as the bowl and tank are re-filled.  To prevent more spillage when the bowl is brimming over, lift the lid on the tank, grab the float and lift it to close the valve.  While holding the float, turn off the toilet’s water supply.  Now it’s clean up time!

Pick an interior lock
Toddler locked in the bedroom?  Look for a small hole on the knob or the plate around it.  Take a slim piece of metal (screwdriver for eyeglasses, ice pick, metal skewer) and slip it into the hole to compress the spring inside.  In some cases, you will need the flathead screwdriver to insert into a slot on the spring and turn it.  Either way, you’ll disengage the lock and set your little one free!

Use a fire extinguisher (remember PASS)fire
P – Pull the Pin

A – Aim nozzle at the base of flames

S – Squeeze the trigger

S – Sweep the spray from side to side

Work calmly but quickly!! (most extinguishers have 8 seconds of life)  Call 911 and let the pros confirm that the fire is really out.

 

 Prune a hedgehedge
Trimming a shrub from the top only will make it too bushy and will prevent the sun from reaching interior branches and roots.  Pruning from the interior out will help bring it back to health.  Pull back outer branches so you can reach the interior to clip away dead branches.  Cut back tall shoots where they join the branch rather than snipping the end.  Use this method to prune about 1/3 of the bush for 3 years and your bush will thrive!

 

Unclog a sink
Skip the liquid drain cleaner and remove manually.  Remove the stopper and block off any overflow holes.  With water in the sink, use a flat-faced plunger to plunge the drain and remove clog.  If it doesn’t move, use a wrench to remove the U-shaped trap under the sink and look for the clog there.  If the clog is deeper, rent a hand-snake to reach it.  Slowly feed the coil into the drain, when you get to the clog carefully, twist, pull and push the coil to dislodge the clog. 

 

Unstick a door
Excess humidity in summer can cause a wooden door to swell and stick.  A gap of 1/8” to 3/16” between the door and jamb is recommended to accommodate seasonal changes.  Note where the door sticks and use a bench plane to shave off the high spots.  Round over any sharp edges with sandpaper and paint the exposed wood.  Allow to dry completely before closing the door.

 

Bypass garage door opener if your power  is out
Pull the red cord that dangles from the ceiling-mounted operator to disengage the electric chain drive.  Then you can slide the door open manually.  Be careful, a full-size garage door can be very heavy! 

 

Remove the base of a broken lightbulb
Unplug the lamp or turn off the fixture.  Cut a potato (russets are best) in half and gently press it onto the jagged glass.  Turn slowly to remove the base.

 

 

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Survival Skills

7 Ways to Boost Your House’s Value

Renovating your home is exciting but it does come with a few surprises and overlooked expenses. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty wants to give you the opportunity to complete your dream renovation, CLICK HERE to find out more information on the BHHS $50,000 HGTV Fixer Upper Sweepstakes. You have until June 15th to enter. In the meantime, here are some ideas on how to increase the value of your home!

May IOV ECard

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

7 Ways to Boost Your House’s Value

BRIGHTEN UP YOUR HOME

Now that spring has officially arrived, it is time to put your heavy winter blankets away, open up the curtains and let the light in. If you are looking to place your house on the market or are a homeowner, here are five simple and cost effective ways to brighten up your home.

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Swap your Light Bulbs

Switch out your yellow bulbs for bright white ones. This will make your space look crisp and fresh. Lightbulbs are measured on a kelvin or K scale – the higher the kelvin number, the whiter the glow. Look for counts between 3500 and 4100k.

Paint your walls

Nothing compares to a fresh coat of paint to brighten up a space. Going over a wall with a new coat will help light bounce off the walls and open up the room.

Remove Screens

Screens do help keep the bugs out, but they also collect dirt. You should remove screens seasonally, since during the colder months your windows aren’t normally open and you can give the screens a nice cleaning. When the warmer months roll around, return the screens to their proper windows.

Clean Your Fixtures

When was the last time you truly cleaned, not just dusted, your light fixtures? Wash down your sconces and chandeliers to get rid of months and months of dirt buildup and to allow more light in your house. Try to make this part of your seasonal cleaning.

Expand Your Curtain Rods

By expanding your curtain rods a few inches beyond the window frame, your windows will appear bigger. This will also ensure that when you draw back the curtains, the fabric won’t block any light from coming in. Another great idea is to mount the braces slightly above the window frame to give the illusion of height.

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets. Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate office in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, Lancaster, Wyomissing, Chambersburg, Gettysburg,Harrisburg and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |   Tips for Home Sellers  |   Tips for Homeowners

BRIGHTEN UP YOUR HOME

Spring-spiration

Finally, spring is officially here. As the days continue to pass by during the season, day time will begin to increase. Spring refers to the season/idea of rebirth, rejuvenation and regrowth.  Therefore, spring is the perfect time to renew your garden/landscaping.  Here are a few tips to get your garden/landscaping a fresh new look.

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Prepare your lawn:
Rake your lawn to remove winter debris, dead growth, and leftover leaves from the fall. This will help bring light and air to the top soil level and allow the grass to grow. If there are any bare patches on your lawn, rake the area(s) firmly and then reseed.

Weed the young weeds now:
Any weeds that are in your garden beds will be the easiest to pull now since the roots are shallow. To minimize the growth of new weeds, cover bare spots with mulch or a ground cover.

Clean your gutters:
To prevent water from drowning on your plants below, be sure to clean your gutters. A house-end attachment specially designed for gutters will make the process a lot easier.

Fertilize:
Using coffee grounds to prep your soil is a great way to save money and be ‘eco-friendly’. Coffee grounds are filled with nitrogen, a mineral that helps in plant growth.  You can also use egg shells as a fertilizer. Crushed egg shells are rich in calcium carbonate which helps enrich the soil.

Water your plants:
Use cooking water. Watering plants with left over cooking water is a great way to add vitamins and minerals left behind after boiling pasta and vegetables. Make sure that the water has cooled down before you shower your plants. To fight off plant infections, use cooled off chamomile tea.

Garden at night:
Studies have shown that planting in the moonlight will actually make your plants grow faster and stronger. Planting at night also maximizes water usage.

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leasing real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets. Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate office in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, Lancaster, Wyomissing, Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Harrisburg and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |   Tips for Home Sellers  |   Tips for Homeowners

Spring-spiration

5 REMINDERS FOR HOMEOWNERS

March IOV Flier

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

5 REMINDERS FOR HOMEOWNERS