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Save Time While Cleaning

What's In
For Outdoors
Stay Fresh
On The Go
Smart Waste Removal = Savings Proper
Lawn Care
DIY
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Brighten Up Your Kitchen Low-Maintenance Landscaping

Save Time While Cleaning

(NAPSI)—The federal government says we spend about 45 minutes a day cleaning. The secret to effective cleaning is to make the best use of your time:

Get rid of clutter: Donate or sell reusable items and throw out the junk.

Use a multipurpose cleaner: You can save time and money by using a cleaner for multiple purposes. One example: JAWS (Just Add Water System) Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser is non-toxic, doesn’t have a harsh smell and cleans appliance interiors and exteriors, tile, granite countertops, sealed wood floors and even hard-surface outdoor furniture and grills. Each bottle of 32-oz. cleaner comes with an attached refill cartridge (Jawscleans.com).

“The refill cartridge not only saves you money, it cuts down on kitchen cabinet clutter since you reuse our bottles and just buy the small refills,” said JAWS International CEO Bruce Yacko.

Clean from top to bottom and back to front: Dust and grime often collect on top of furniture, bookshelves or cabinets. Start at the top and work your way down. Then work from the back of an area to the front to avoid cleaning do-overs.

Choose the right air filter: Many air filters come with ratings that range from good to premium. home your filter every one to three months based on the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Focus on one project at a time: You could clean all the windows one day and save the bathrooms for next weekend. Or, clean the dirtiest room first. You’ll have a greater sense of accomplishment and a much cleaner house.

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What’s In For Outdoors

(NAPSI)—If you want to get more enjoyment out of your yard, you can consider creating attractive outdoor spaces that are both easy to take care of and good for the environment.

American homeowners are increasingly drawn to adding outdoor rooms for entertaining and recreation on their properties. That’s what the most recent Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects discovered. The survey results also show demand for both sustainable and low-maintenance design.

Landscape architects who specialize in residential design were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements. The category of outdoor living spaces, defined as kitchens and entertainment spaces, received a 94.5 percent rating as somewhat or very popular. Ninety-seven percent of respondents rated fire pits and fihomes as somewhat or very in demand, followed by grills, seating and dining areas, and lighting.

Decorative water elements—including waterfalls, ornamental pools and splash pools—were predicted to be in demand for home landscapes. Spas and pools are also popular.

Terraces, patios and decks are also high on people’s lists.

Americans prefer practical yet striking design elements for their gardens including low-maintenance landscapes and native plants.

In addition, more people are opting for food and vegetable gardens, including orchards and vineyards.

Good To Know

If you’re thinking of joining them, a few food-growing facts and hints may help:

• Food gardens can be easy, rewarding and sustainable. For starters, you can use fallen leaves in autumn and grass clippings in spring and summer as mulch and weed suppressant.

• Perennial plants can be low maintenance—they come back every year without replanting. Some great examples include asparagus, blueberries, blackberries and rhubarb.

• Herbs can make for an especially sustainable food garden, as many prefer hot and dry areas of your yard, with chives, sage and tarragon returning every year.

Learn More

Additional information on the survey and on residential landscape architecture in general can be found at www.asla.org/residentialinfo and (888) 999-2752.

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Stay Fresh On The Go

(NAPSI)—In the history of efforts to smell good, humans have tried all kinds of inventions. Ancient Egyptians placed scented cones of wax on their heads, while other cultures sipped rose water or chewed fennel seeds. Modern efforts at odor control have led people to “crop dust” their clothes in a haze of wet sprays that may even be worse than the problem they aim to solve.

For centuries, the only real solution to keeping clothes fresh was to launder, dry-clean or air them out for days. For most people, however, the demands of today’s busy lifestyles leave little time for such labor-intensive methods.

Many of us have sought in vain for an effective way to freshen our clothes without a total wardrobe change. Now, however, there’s a quick solution to get fresh on the go—Reviver clothing wipes. The easy-to-use wipes rub on dry to instantly remove unwanted scents from your clothing and hair.

The compact, reusable wipe is easy to apply in any situation. Slip the sleeve over your fingers and rub it against your clothes to release its odor-eliminating compounds, which leave behind a freshly laundered scent.

Los Angeles entrepreneur Ben Kusin invented them when he needed a way to remove the smell of smoke from his clothes but couldn’t find a simple and effective option.

“Everyone has such crazy schedules these days, I just wanted to create something that would allow you to freshen up on the go, kind of like breath mints for your clothes and hair,” said Kusin. “Reviver offers a quick and easy way for you to eliminate the smell of smoke, pets or even perspiration that lingers on your clothes, so you can feel fresh and confident before you head out to your next engagement.”

With Reviver clothing wipes in your wardrobe arsenal, you can reduce costly and time-consuming trips to the dry cleaner or laundry and the resulting wear and tear on your clothes. Just keep the resealable, reusable packet in your purse, pocket, car, gym bag or desk to have it available anytime you need to freshen up.

For more information, visit www.Reviver.com or www.facebook.com/Reviver.

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Smart Waste Removal=Savings

(NAPSI)—Since long before the Industrial Revolution, businesses have had to deal with getting rid of trash. Now, thanks to a technology breakthrough, companies can simplify the process of managing waste, while saving money and being kind to the environment. Here’s how:

For businesses with a lot of trash, waste compactors are more efficient than open-top dumpsters, as they require fewer pickups. Knowing when to call the hauler for a pickup, however, is a problem. Generally, trash is not produced on a schedule, so scheduled pickups are not the solution.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution that doesn’t involve changing haulers or waste compactors: an electronic monitor that can easily be added to the waste compactor. Called the Waste Edge, from One Plus Corp., the device senses when the container is full and electronically notifies the hauler to pick it up. There’s no need to call the hauler. Available as a service or purchase, the system is guaranteed to lower waste-hauling costs by at least 30 percent—many companies see savings of 40 percent or more. As a bonus, it reduces the environmental impact of waste hauling by reducing truck traffic.

Learn More

A visit to www.OnePlus.com can be a real education in waste management, with an informative video and explanations of how companies save thousands of dollars every year with the patented system. You can also call (847) 498-0955.

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Mowing Tips For A Great-Looking Lawn

(NAPSI)—The grass can be greener on your side of the fence if you heed these eight hints on making the most of mowing.

1. Choose the Correct Cutting Height: This depends on the type of grass, the amount of rainfall, prevailing temperature and the lawn’s overall condition.

2. Don’t Cut Your Grass Too Short: Mowing too short can result in weak, thin grass that’s easily damaged by drought and pests. Leaving your grass a bit longer reduces heat buildup and preserves needed moisture. A good rule of thumb is the one-third rule—cut no more than a third of the grass height and never more than an inch at a time.

3. Mow With Sharp Blades: Sharp blades cut grass cleanly and efficiently; dull blades tear at the grass, harming it.

4. Mow When the Grass Is Cool and Dry: Late afternoon or early evening often provides ideal mowing conditions. Don’t mow after rain or even heavy dew and never mulch when the grass is wet. Moist grass can clump beneath the mower deck.

5. Water Your Lawn Regularly: Try to imitate a slow, soaking rain by applying about an inch of water per week. Consider placing tin cans around your lawn so you can check to be sure you’re giving it the proper amount.

6. Use the Right Amount of Fertilizer: A slow-release fertilizer provides missing nutrients for slow, even growth. When to fertilize and how much to use depends on the condition of your lawn and soil.

7. Aerate in the Spring: Using an aerator to remove cores of soil from the lawn increases clipping decomposition speed and encourages deeper root growth by opening up the soil and permitting greater movement of water, fertilizer and air.

8. Select the Right Mower: The right mower for your lawn depends on the size of the property, whether there are hills and whether you want it to help with other chores, such as pulling a cart for yard work. Once you have your answer, you can decide among a walk-behind mower, a rider tractor or a zero-turn machine, advise the experts on lawn care at Simplicity and Snapper.

Learn More

Learn more at www.snapper.com and www.simplicitymfg.com.

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A Smooth Way To Handle Seasonal Chores

(NAPSI)—Any time can be the right time to tackle those household chores you have been avoiding. However, there are a number of tasks that demand to be handled once the weather turns warm.

To help, Liquid Wrench® has an entire family of products designed specifically for do-it-yourself projects.

Whether it’s fixing a squeaky door hinge, prepping the lawn or getting the boat ready for warm weather action, homeowners often turn to spray lubricants or oils to help them get the job done easily and inexpensively. Here are some tips:

• For squeaky door hinges, use a dry lubricant. Unlike a wet or sticky lubricant that attracts dirt and increases hinge wear, this goes on dry, leaving no mess and maximizing effectiveness far longer.

• If the garbage disposal has started to make a racket, use the same dry lubricant. Spray it through the sink drain to the bottom of the garbage disposal. Just make sure water hasn’t flowed through the disposal for at least eight hours so the lubricant can attach itself to the inside parts of the disposal.

• In the bathroom, where hot water and steam from showers can rust door and cabinet hinges, a little silicone spray will prevent that from happening.

• To keep automatic and manual garage doors operating smoothly, you can use a three-pronged approach:

1. Spray lithium grease in the rollers on the inside of the roller cup.

2. Use a dry lubricant in the door tracks to quiet the operation and prevent buildup of debris in the tracks.

3. Lubricate the drive chain with a chain lube to keep links and cables operating smoothly.

• After a cold, harsh winter, penetrating oil is great for freeing up frozen or sticky linkages on lawn equipment and shop equipment, like presses and clamping fixtures.

• For hedge clippers and other lawn equipment, a drop or two of lubricating oil will help get them garden ready in no time at all. It also helps to provide a barrier against rust.

• When it comes to keeping car window tracks running smoothly, many prefer a silicone spray as a lubricant, since it won’t streak the windows.

• And when your chores are done and it’s time to play, a light coat of silicone spray will also turn air hockey and foosball playing surfaces into fast-action fun!

DIY projects and spring-cleaning are all about preserving and maintaining what you have and avoiding breakdowns.

Liquid Wrench has specialty lubricants and penetrants for these and every type of DIY job. Learn more by visiting www.liquidwrench.com.

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Color Your World Wonderful

(NAPSI)—Here’s a bright idea: You can easily enhance your home with a few simple, colorful, practical and decorative elements—without having to spend a lot of the green stuff. These hints on how from home expert Ginny Bean may help:

• In the bedroom: Wake up the way your room looks with an easy-to-make headboard. Have a sheet of plywood cut to the bed’s width and about 48” high. Wrap the plywood with quilt batting and then staple on a colorful fabric, such as an extra flat sheet that coordinates with the rest of your bedding, wrapping it to the back. Screw the headboard to the wall, hiding the screws at the bottom behind the bed.

A quick, easy way to make your bed look more luxurious and inviting is to add a variety of pillows in different shapes, sizes and textures. To brighten it up even more, you can now get sheets, shams and comforters that feature tropical shades of sky blue and goldfinch yellow.

• In the kitchen: Show off your good taste with colorful linens, bright comfortable rugs and eye-catching accessories such as brightly colored canisters.

You may be tickled pink to get blenders, toasters and can openers in hot new shades of pink grapefruit and island blue. The blender has four stainless steel blades. The two- or four-slice toaster senses the moisture in bread to toast it right. The electric can opener’s magnetic lid lifter means safe and easy disposal. The island blue color can also be found on pots and pans.

You can even get cookin’ like Rachael Ray with an oven- and dishwasher-safe cookware set. It features bright fennel-green handles and is available exclusively at Ginny’s, a catalog and website company dedicated to making life a little more fun and a little easier—and to helping you create unforgettable moments. The solid stainless steel handles have heat-resistant silicone grips. The color can also be found on other cookware and bakeware.

Bean, whose motto is “Life is happening. We’ll help you live it, one moment at a time,” has many more colorful, useful products.

Learn More

You can find these, plus facts and tips, online at www.ginnys.com.

 

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Seven Secrets For A Beautiful, Low-Maintenance Landscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

(NAPSI)—Anyone who thinks a low-maintenance landscape has to be plain green and ugly should think again. With a bit of planning, some smart plant choices and the help of these seven garden designer secrets, you can have a yard that’s the envy of your neighborhood—and enough time to enjoy it.

1. Choose plants that will flourish given the realities of your yard. Some plants like full sun while others tolerate shade; some don’t mind freezing temperatures while others are unfazed by relentless heat. Selecting plants that thrive in the existing conditions of your site ensures a healthy, attractive landscape. Observe the light levels around your home—six to eight hours plus of uninterrupted sun each day indicates full sun, four to six hours is considered part shade or part sun, and less than four hours would be a shaded site. Plants at the garden center should have tags that tell you their light preferences. Shopping locally helps ensure that all the plants you see will be suitable for the climate in your yard.

2. Plant drought-tolerant shrubs. These specially adapted plants thrive with limited water once they are established (usually after their first season in the ground). Drought-tolerant plants sail through hot summer days easily, saving you the time and money it takes to water the landscape. Read the tag attached to the shrub for information on its drought tolerance or look for visual cues such as silvery-grey leaves, as are found on Petit Bleu caryopteris, and narrow, needlelike foliage, as on Fine Line rhamnus.

3. Spare yourself the time it takes to prune your plants by opting for compact varieties. Compact (also known as dwarf) plants never get too large for the space where you’ve planted them so you don’t have to bother with confusing pruning instructions. Most people’s favorite plants are available in compact, no-prune varieties: hydrangea lovers can try Little Lime or Bobo dwarf-panicle hydrangeas or the tidy Cityline series of big-leaf hydrangea. Rose fans should take note of the low-growing Oso Easy series with its range of 10 vivid colors, all under 3’ high. Even butterfly bush, a shrub notorious for its giant, sprawling habit, is available in a compact 2’ height with the innovative Lo & Behold series.

4. Choose plants with high-quality, attractive foliage. These look great even when not in bloom, beautifying your landscape for months instead of just a few weeks. Colorful foliage, including the dark purple of Black Lace elderberry or the cheery gold of Chardonnay Pearls deutzia, and variegated foliage, such as My Monet weigela or Sugar Tip hibiscus, make engaging focal points from early spring through late fall. Mix them with such evergreens as Castle Spire holly and Soft Serve false cypress for year-round color.

5. Plant in masses of three, five or seven of the same kind of plant. This gives your landscape a cohesive, professionally designed appearance. Plus, weeds cannot grow if desirable plants are already taking up the space, eliminating that notoriously tiresome garden chore. Planting in groups of odd numbers is a designer’s secret for a bold statement that doesn’t feel too formal or fussy.

6. Mulch. A two- to three-inch-thick layer of shredded bark mulch not only gives your landscape a pleasing, finished look, it conserves water by reducing evaporation. It also keeps plant roots cool and shaded, allowing for healthy, vigorous growth that resists pests and diseases naturally.

7. Don’t be afraid to home the plants that take too much of your time, or those that you don’t really like, with new, easy-to-grow shrubs. At www.ProvenWinnersShrubs.com, there are so many improved varieties available now that there is little reason to settle for anything else.

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