Monthly Archives: September 2016

5 Garbage Disposal Dos and Don’ts

“Do you know what you shouldn’t put in a Garbage Disposal?  The list is longer than you might think.”

Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team

Got a garbage disposal or thinking about getting one? Then knowing garbage disposal dos and don’ts is important. They’ll not only help you avoid garbage disposal repairs in the future, but also extend the life of your appliance.

DO: Follow These Simple Tips to Help Unclog Your Disposal

Never pour bleach, drain cleaners or other chemicals into the garbage disposal as they are corrosive and can damage your pipes. Follow these simple tips to unclog your disposal, and if those don’t work, you may need to get it repaired. Thankfully, your American Home Shield® Home Warranty can help protect your budget.

DON’T: “Sharpen” the Blades with Ice or Eggshells

Garbage disposals do not have blades. They have impellers that are not sharp, but blunt. So, putting ice or egg shells down the disposal to sharpen the blades will not do any good. In fact, egg shells are not recommended for the garbage disposal as the membrane can get wrapped around the impellers and cause damage.

DO: Use Cold Water, Not Hot, When the Disposal is Running

While hot water does dissolve grease, it may actually do more harm than good and could actually push grease further into the pipes and create clogs. It could even cause your disposal to overheat. Cold water is better, as it helps grease to solidify and move more easily down the drain with the wastewater.

DON’T: Pour Grease or Food Scrap Down the Disposal

Never pour fats, oil or grease into your disposal or down your sink. Your disposal simply grinds items. Chasing it down with dish soap won’t always work either. Fats, oil and grease can congeal, stick to and build up in plumbing and clog the sewer. Food scraps are best thrown in the trash not in your disposal.

DO: Keep Using Your Trash Can

Although a garbage disposal is durable, it is not indestructible. Disposals are designed to grind down soft food particles, not hard food waste like bones, corn cobs, fruit pits, and un-popped popcorn kernels. A good rule of thumb is if you have a hard time chewing it, your disposal will probably have a hard time grinding it. If you’re not sure about an item, it’s better to throw it in the trash. Avoid dumping other foods like pasta or rice as they expand in water and could clog your drain. Also, avoid starchy or stringy vegetables like celery, rhubarb, asparagus, potato and banana peels and coffee grounds.


Originally published on American Home Shield

To-Dos: Your September Home Checklist

“As Summer comes to and end, and the weather becomes cooler, it’s time to take a look around and take care of early Fall Maintenance.”
Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team
From the first days, which probably still feel like summer, to the last, when you may notice that first chill in the air, September is a time of transition. Get your home ready for the season ahead by ticking off these to-dos, from adding cozy layers to scheduling necessary maintenance — and then curl up in your favorite chair and savor the comforts of home.

10 Home Hacks for Every Room in Your House

“We always love to find little ‘Hacks’ to make life easier.  Here are some for each room in the house.”
Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team
Our list of top home hacks will help you organize your home and get the most out of each room.

Photo by: Shutterstock

Life is a lot less hectic when you find ways to keep your home organized, simplify storage and find DIY solutions that are affordable and easy. Here are some of our favorite clutch tips for your home.
Kitchen Home Hacks

via The Sweetest Occasion

1. Kitchen

Add personality to every meal with customized dishware that you can make yourself in minutes. You don’t need to be an artist or have special art supplies. Just grab a Sharpie® and draw your design freehand (or use a stencil for more intricate patterns) on your dishware or mug. Clean, white enamelware works well. You can personalize your creation with a name, signature monogram or even a favorite quote. To make it permanent, bake your finished design at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Tip: Start with a cold oven to allow the dishware to gradually come up to temperature. Also, hand washing will help your artwork last.
Living Room Hacks

via Storage Talk

2. Family Room

Family rooms often have to do double duty as a playroom and entertainment hub. But finding room to store all your playthings without compromising your sophisticated style can be challenging. This hack meets that challenge head on: Simply store your puzzles, dice and other game pieces in decorative jars. They’re even fun to look at and provide a unique storage solution so you don’t have to make room for bulky game or puzzle boxes. Choose jars in different sizes, shapes and colors to add visual interest and to match your decor. Mason jars, apothecary jars, etched glass jars or pressed glass jars are all great options.
DIY Storage

via Buzzfeed

3. Bedroom

Seems you can never have enough storage, especially in the bedroom. This hack lets you add storage and a decorative wall detail at the same time. Just create instant shelves from old drawers. Vary shapes and sizes for an eclectic look. Line the bottom of the drawers with patterned paper or paint for added color. Look for dressers with unusual curved drawer fronts or undulating profiles. Tip: You can often find reasonably priced dressers/drawers at garage sales, resale shops, vintage stores or estate sales.
Closet Hacks

via Make Space

4. Clothes Closet

It can be frustrating fighting to find your favorite jeans in a cluttered closet. If you’re not ready to slim down your wardrobe, have no fear. This hack lets you retain all your perfectly worn-in pairs, but in a more organized manner: Hang your jeans on shower hooks. Saves a ton of closet space and makes finding your favorite pair a snap!
Hanger Home Hacks

via Buzzfeed

5. Bathroom

Sure bathroom hooks are essential for hanging wet towels or robes, but no one says you have to use standard hooks that are purely functional without any decorative appeal. Instead, use old doorknobs as hooks. This super simple hack adds a ton of character to your bathroom while it maximizes wall space. Tip: For a cool shabby-chic vibe, use a grouping of vintage doorknobs that have finishes with a little wear and tear.
Home Hacks for Every Room

via Green Idea Reviews

6. Laundry Room

Bet you didn’t know that you could easily conquer dryer static with just some ingenuity and aluminum foil. It’s true! It turns out balled-up aluminum foil can minimize dryer static. Here’s how: When you’re ready to dry your washed laundry, just throw three aluminum foil balls (about 3 inches in diameter each) in your dryer and tumble dry your load as normal. These anti-static wonders are easy to make, economical, reusable for up to 6 months, recyclable and help you avoid toxic chemicals found in dryer sheets. Tip: Heavy-duty foil works best. Wrap a tennis ball in foil. This will help you use even less foil to make a sizable ball and the tumbling tennis ball helps fluff your laundry as it dries.
Phone Hacksvia Mashable

7. Home Office

Smartphone accessories, like a phone stand, can be kind of pricey…unless, of course, you know how to make it yourself with inexpensive office supplies. This hack makes good use of binder clips, which you probably already have at home. When positioned in just that right way, your binder clips can make a quick and functional phone stand. When you’re done using your ingenious phone stand, just slip the clips back in your desk drawer. Job well done!
DIY Garage

via House Logic

8. Garage

Rusty tools are the bane of any true handyman or handywoman. Here’s a great way to make sure you won’t have to worry about that: Use blackboard chalk to prevent your tools from rusting. Just place several pieces in your toolbox. The chalk traps dampness, which helps keep your tools rust-free, giving you one fewer excuse to not be handy around the house.
Space Saving Hacks for the Home

via Childhood 101

9. Playroom

Playrooms can be a messy prospect, but they don’t have to be with this awesome household hack. Just use an over-the-door shoe organizer for toys or art supplies. The clear compartments make for easy access and easy clean up. So simple, it’s like child’s play.
Kitchenware Home Hacks

via Olives ‘n’ Wine

10. Dining Room:

Chances are if you’re hosting and elegant party in your dining room, you’ll want to break out the good china and silver. That means making sure your silver sparkles and shines. Here’s how with just some baking soda and hot water. Line a pot or your kitchen sink with foil. Fill it with very hot water and mix in about 1 cup of baking soda. Add your tarnished items and let soak for about 30 minutes or until you see the black residue lifting off the surface. Then just rinse and dry (or first clean with a mild dish detergent) to use right away! Et voilà, dinner is served!

Originally Published on