6 Cleaning Mistakes that Could Ruin Your Phone (and Other Electronics)


It’s better to be dirty than useless. Some cleaning methods can permanently damage your device, or maybe even render it unusable.
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8 Quick and Easy Cleaning & Laundry Tips that Airbnb Hosts Swear By


Those of us who survive and thrive in this world of letting strangers tell the internet how tidy we are have learned some mad skills when it comes to cleaning and laundry.
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What to Do About a Clogged Toilet, Sink & Other Common Plumbing Issues

Is there anything worse than a clogged toilet? First, there’s the sheer panic as you pray it doesn’t spill over onto your floor. Then, there’s the frustration of attempting to successfully plunge it. And all of this doesn’t even take into account the potential for embarrassment. Fortunately, if you’re dealing with this situation, we’ve got two pieces of good news. First, you’re not alone. Second, we’ve got tips and tricks to help you out.

clogged toilet

Protect your sparkling bathroom by neatly handling your plumbing issues with this guide. Image: Astronaut Images/Getty Images

Fast stats on common plumbing issues

Mr. Rooter Plumbing, a Neighborly company, recently commissioned a study about this exact situation — and all the other plumbing challenges homeowners and renters face. Here are some quick facts and figures the study uncovered:

  • Nearly one in five homeowners deals with a clogged toilet on a regular basis
  • 15 percent of homeowners have recently spent time fixing a backed up drain
  • Almost one in ten regularly deals with a clogged sink
  • 6 percent have low water pressure
  • 4 percent have garbage disposal troubles

Sound familiar? Whatever plumbing issue is plaguing you, you want to get it dealt with as quickly as possible. And fear not! If you’re one of the 46 percent of people who’ve turned to the internet for support, we’re here to help. We talked with Mr. Rooter Plumbing to get some expert guidance for you.

How to fix a clogged toilet

First things first, step away from the handle! Continuing to try to flush your toilet when it’s clogged will just leave you with a mess all over your bathroom floor.

Instead, grab your trusty plunger. Oh, wait, not that one. James Doyle, President of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, gave us a crash course in plungers. And taught us that not all are created equal. The most common plunger type is a sink plunger, which is a simple flat rubber cup attached to a handle. Your toilet needs something extra.

Toilet plungers have a soft rubber flange running along the inside of the plunger cup, which makes them much more effective at plunging your toilet. “With the flange plunger’s universal design, it can also be used on sink and toilet clogs,” Doyle points out. “But don’t use the same plunger on both surfaces! Keep one plunger strictly for the toilet and another one for flat surfaces.”

clogged toilet - toilet bow

You need a plunger designed to fit well inside your toilet bowl. Image: bymuratdeniz/Getty Images

How to properly plunge, as explained by a pro

Ready to get plunging? Once you’re armed with your flanged plunger, Doyle offers step-by-step guidance for optimal results:

  • “Take your plunger (make sure you have a good connection with the plunger and the toilet) and begin the plunging motion with a good amount of force behind it. The goal is to push the blockage through.
  • “Be quick and repetitive with the plunging motion and keep your eye out for movement in the toilet, which means the blockage is being pushed through.
  • “Make sure the water is draining before you try to flush the toilet. Never pour a chemical drain cleaner down your toilet; harsh chemicals can irritate your skin and eyes or cause damage to your plumbing pipes.
  • “If you can’t repair a clogged toilet on your own, contact a professional plumber for assistance.”

With the right tool and the right action, you’ll have that toilet cleared in no time at all.

clogged toilet 1

Plumbing issues can arise pretty much anywhere in your bathroom. Image: dit26978/Getty Images

Fixing other common household plumbing issues

Unfortunately, Mr. Rooter Plumbing’s survey revealed that a clogged toilet is far from the only plumbing issue you could face. Fortunately, they offer other tips and tricks you can use.

Clearing a backed up drain or clogged pipe

Whether you’ve got a drain that’s moving slowly or it’s completely clogged, a simple household item could be the solution. Mr. Rooter Plumbing recommends taking a wire coat hanger and straightening it, then creating a small hook with one end. Use that hook to fish down into your drain and pull up any hair or other buildup, clearing your pipes.

If your fishing expedition doesn’t yield results, Mr. Rooter Plumbing recommends a natural but effective way to reach further into your pipes. Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar and pour it down your drain (be prepared to move quickly, because this mixture will foam — and fast). Let it sit as long as you can. An hour works, but overnight is best. The fizzing action will help break up any gunk in your pipes, allowing water to run freely through them.

Still stumped? Keep reading for more guidance on clearing your drains.

clogged toilet - aerator

Your sink’s aerator can be screwed off to making it easy to clean. Image: PAVEL IARUNICHEV/Getty Images

Restoring water pressure to a sink

Fix your sink’s low water pressure in minutes. Simply screw off the aerator, the little cap at the end of the nozzle that prevents your sink from splashing. Clean it out, screw it back on and voilà! You should have improved water pressure.

Fixing a clogged garbage disposal

It’s tempting to run a chemical pipe cleaner through your garbage disposal, but it will likely be ineffective and can hurt the disposal itself. Instead, take the garbage disposal off and visually inspect it. You can do this by simply unscrewing it from the base of your sink. Don’t forget to disconnect it from power when you do to keep your hands safe!

Once you’ve located your issue, safely remove it, reattach the garbage disposal and test it to confirm you’ve found — and resolved — the issue.

See, being your own plumber doesn’t have to be a huge headache or mess. That said, don’t be afraid to call in the pros for support. If the above tips don’t do the trick, getting a hand from a professional can save you a lot of hassle.

The post What to Do About a Clogged Toilet, Sink & Other Common Plumbing Issues appeared first on Freshome.com.


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Exclusive! The Most Popular Benjamin Moore Colors Across the US

No two individuals are alike. Similarly, each region in the U.S. has distinct styles in fashion, food and music. “These traditions and trademarks permeate all elements of the region’s culture, including into the homes of its residents,” Hannah Yeo, Color & Design Expert at Benjamin Moore, tells Freshome.

In fact, Yeo says Benjamin Moore has been able to spot a geographic design trend in how colors are being used. These are the most popular paint hues in eight cities across the U.S.

white entrance

Benjamin Moore: Simply White. All images courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Los Angeles

“Lighter colors are favored in the interior of the home across the nation and Los Angeles leads this trend,” Yeo says. As a hub for great design, she says white becomes an essential color in this area. “From warm pinkish white to the palest blue — or even the combination of whites — the soft nuances of whites enhance LA homes.”

On the home’s exterior, Yeo says homeowners often use richer colors to add curb appeal. In the photo above, you’ll see a top pick: Simply White. It’s a clean, crisp, multi-purpose white. Simply White is a favorite for ceilings, trim and walls. Iceberg, Swiss Coffee, and Revere Pewter are some of the other popular colors in the area.

Black kitchen

Benjamin Moore: Black HC-190

San Diego

With over 39 million residents, California is the most populous state in the U.S. Although San Diego is only 120 miles away from Los Angeles, the state is so large that it could be considered a separate region. And San Diego also has a different color palette. While Los Angeles embraces shades of white, San Diego leans toward the most stylish color of every year: black.

“San Diego isn’t afraid of color,” Yeo says. “Dark, neutral colors, like black, are balanced with light yellows, blues and pinks.” Black HC-190 is part of the Historical Collection inspired by America’s historic landmarks and works well in traditional and contemporary spaces. Other popular colors in this area include Eagle Rock, Sidewalk Gray, Butterfly Kisses and Love & Happiness.

Blue attic

Benjamin Moore: Van Cortland Blue

Denver

“In Denver, nature-inspired hues such as blues, greens and cool neutrals complement the surrounding landscape,” Yeo says. Van Courtland Blue is a decorative old-world blue that also works well in contemporary spaces. Plus, it mimics the city’s mountainous views. Other popular colors in this part of the country include Kendall Charcoal, Pale Oak, Decorator’s White and Silver Marlin.

Balboa Mist office

Benjamin Moore: Balboa Mist

Chicago

“From off whites to light grays, soft neutrals dominate Chicago,” Yeo says. “Blues with gray undertones are fresh additions to the soft, neutral palette.” Balboa Mist, a part of the Classic Color Collection, is a timeless, elegant color that is always a favorite among consumers and professionals in the Windy City. Other popular colors include Edgecomb Gray, Sea Haze, Gray Owl and Beach Glass.

If you’re selling your home, take a note from Chicago. Soft, neutral colors are recommended by many realtors when your home is on the market.

Blue door

Benjamin Moore: Toronto Blue door

Miami

“Florida also has a distinct color palette,” Yeo says. “Due to the warm temperature, cool whites are often used on the exterior of the home to keep the heat away. Bright blue accents are used to bring a nice breeze indoors.” Toronto Blue is a bold, saturated hue that excites and inspires, adding pops of color. Mountain Peak White, Collingwood, Evening Blue and Pale Oak are other popular colors in this area of the U.S.

beige room

Benjamin Moore: Shaker Beige

Philadelphia

“Philadelphia’s palette is comforting yet sophisticated,” Yeo says. “From cool grays to warm neutrals, these versatile hues provide a soothing backdrop to any space.” Shaker Beige is an inviting mid-toned tan with a beachy vibe. Other popular colors in Philadelphia include Stonington Gray, Pleasant Pink, Buckland Blue and Woodlawn Blue.

Caliente door

Benjamin Moore: Caliente door

Dallas

“Red, white and blue colors best represent Dallas,” Yeo says. “Off-whites and pale neutrals provide a soft backdrop for bold reds and blues to pop.” Caliente is a vibrant, charismatic shade of red — radiant, strong and full of energy. Other popular colors in this part of the country include Bermuda Turquoise, Icicle, Chantilly Lace and Iron Mountain.

gray walls

Benjamin Moore: Raccoon Fur

Nashville

“Nashville also embraces colors from the Benjamin Moore Historical Collection, which was inspired by 18th– and 19th-century architecture,” Yeo says. “Neutrals and blues feel calm and composed for an updated traditional look.” Raccoon Fur is a pure gray color that can be used in a variety of color combinations. Other popular colors in Nashville include Manchester Tan, Palladian Blue, Wickham Gray and Shaker Beige.

pink desk area

Benjamin Moore: Touch of Pink and Sunlit Coral

Tips for homeowners trying to choose paint colors

Selecting colors for your home can be overwhelming, but Yeo provides a few tricks to make the process easier.

“First, start by finding a point of inspiration. This can be anything from a favorite fabric to the colors in your kitchen countertops,” Yeo says. “Even a color drawn from a piece of wall art, a page torn out of a magazine or a picture found online can be a great source of inspiration.” This can be a helpful first step in narrowing down the color choices you consider.

Navy wall

Benjamin Moore: Hale Navy

“Once you’ve figured out which general color families appeal to you, set your focus on that portion of the display at the store or that section of the fan deck,” she explains. “Within each color family, you will see a wide range of colors, so go with your instincts. Chances are you will be drawn to a few colors that will help you narrow down the choices.”

Yeo also recommends thinking about the existing dominant color in your space. “This can help you to further narrow down your selection,” she says. “For example, if you have cherry wood kitchen cabinets, you should consider that in making your color choice.”

beach glass walls

Benjamin Moore: Beach Glass

Before making a final selection, Yeo recommends buying a pint sample to fully understand how the color will look in your home. “Remember that the light in the store will be different from the light in your home,” she says. “So the best way to make an informed decision is by painting a sample in the room where you’ll be using the color.”

Be sure to view the sample during the day to determine if you like it. Also, consider the different types of paint sheen — flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and gloss — to ensure you pick the right finish for your project.

The post Exclusive! The Most Popular Benjamin Moore Colors Across the US appeared first on Freshome.com.


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The 5 Most Important Home Maintenance Tasks You’re Forgetting to Do, According to Home Inspectors

Professional home inspectors see what goes wrong in maintaining a home. Here, the half-dozen tasks and missteps they say homeowners often make when it comes to home maintenance 101.
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