Clean a Stinky Garbage Disposal

If your kitchen is developing an odor and you’ve taken out the trash, it could be your garbage disposal.  Even if you run your garbage disposal until the last shred of food is gone, and you let the water run the recommended time, you can still wind up with an out-of control science experiment that stinks up your kitchen.

The reason is – some food is going to stick to the inside of the grinding chamber, and it’s going to decay.  You can clean the chamber by grinding ice and lemon rinds, adding baking soda or rinsing with vinegar and water.  Or, you can add commercial cleaners like Disposer Care, which is available at discount stores and most home centers.

garbage disposalIf there is still an odor after cleaning the grinding chamber, you’ll need to attack the underside of the splash guard.  Cleaning the splash guard is easier than you think.  you don’t even have to remove it.  Just clean it with a toothbrush and cleaner as shown.

Dip an old toothbrush in antibacterial grease-cutting kitchen cleaner and lift up one corner of the splash guard.  Scrub off the crud and rinse with cold water.  Repeat with each flap until it’s totally clean and rinsed.

Simple as that!

To prevent future odors and to ensure all the food particles are cleared away, don’t turn off the garbage disposal as soon as the grinding noises stop.  It is better to leave the garbage disposal on (with the water running) for several seconds after the grinding noises subside, as there may still be small particles in the disposal unit which have not yet been cleared away.

– S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

10 Ways We Reduce Dust (and Allergies) in our Home

Today is the first day of spring and we are looking forward to cleaning up the garage, the yard, and “spring cleaning” inside the home.  With two small children, it’s hard to have a perfectly clean home every day but the one thing that will stop me dead in my tracks year round (no matter what I’m doing) is dust.  Why does dust bother me so much?  Because dust mites live in dust.  YUCK!  And, Pat and Jack have allergies that can go berzerk.

I know dust mites exist and I try hard not to think about them living in our pillows, bed covers, mattresses, furniture, carpeting, and clothing.  (Another YUCK!)  But, I feel better knowing I can reduce the amount of mites in our home by staying on top of the dust with some easy steps.

Here’s our top 10.

  1. Vacuum floors and upholstered furniture once a week
  2. Keep your closet clean and the floors clear so you can vacuum easily & regularly.
  3. Keep furnace filters clean.
  4. Limit knickknack decor.
  5. Instead of heavy drapery, hang lightweight curtains & shades.
  6. Avoid stacking piles of mail, newspaper, and magazines on tables and shelves.
  7. Keep clothes you wear regularly in your bedroom or closet and store the rest.  Use garment boxes and clear plastic containers to store items on shelves so they don’t collect dust.
  8. Store stuffed animals in a closed toy box or closet & regularly wash stuffed toys in hot water.  I’ve heard you can put a stuffed animal in a plastic bag and in the freezer overnight every few weeks to help kill dust mites – but I haven’t tried that yet.
  9. Wash your sheets (and the blankets you wrap up in when you snuggle on the couch) weekly
  10. Have your area rugs cleaned once or twice a year

Can you think of any other ways to reduce dust in the home?  Who’s ready to get started “spring cleaning”?!

– S.O.
POB Agency

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7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall

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We’ve had some great weather lately and we’ve been spending A LOT of time outdoors.  We love when the weather gets cooler and we can enjoy our new bonfire that I built with my own two hands.  (Yes, I can get my hands dirty on occasion). 

Chances are you too have been spending more time enjoying the great outdoors.  While you’re outside having fun, take some time to prep your home for fall with these 7 must dos! 

  • Clean your gutters. Overflowing water from clogged gutters can damage your roof and lead to cracks in your home’s foundation.  Clear out your downspouts and direct them away from your foundation and basement to avoid water damage.
  • Replace damaged/missing shingles. Cracked, broken or missing shingles leave your roof exposed to the elements.
  • Trim trees and bushes. If you let trees and bushes grow too close to your home, they can block the sun and lead to water damage.
  • Have a professional tune your furnace. By having your furnace checked and tuned by a professional, you can reduce temperature variations, improve air quality and protect against carbon monoxide.
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors run on batteries, check them at least once every season.
  • Put unused lawn equipment away. If you’ve finished with your lawnmowers, clippers, rake and other implements for the season, put them away in a safe place for next spring.
  • Have your chimney checked. A professional chimney sweep can evaluate the condition of your chimney and, if necessary, clean it to get rid of creosote, which is flammable and can be dangerous.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary while you’re inspecting your home and knocking out these 7 tips, contact us for advice.  If you’d like a referral for work that requires a professional, we can refer you to a reputable resource.

What other “must dos” are you doing to prepare your home for fall?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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– POB Agency