The Best Tips for Top Loading Washing Machine Maintenance



Top loading washing machines are known to be the most efficient at helping you have clean clothes all the time. While they are great at what they do, and they are built to last, this does not mean that they do not need some regular maintenance. What many users often overlook is the fact that even a washing machine needs to clean itself, and the fact that it washes clothes doesn’t count. There are areas inside the washing machine that are not easily reached by water and detergent, and, while it may look clean to you, this doesn’t mean that some germs and allergens cannot find their way inside and make nest there. Here are some great tips on how to offer the best maintenance for your top loading washing machine.


Top Loading Washing Machine


Use the sanitize cycle

New models of top loading washing machines come with a sanitize cycle, which, as you may well suspect, is there for a reason. Now you should know that there are different models and each one comes with its own set of instructions. Some may require you to use bleach or another kind of cleaning substance, while others do not because they come equipped with onboard heaters.

What to do if your machine does not have a sanitize cycle? You can create one yourself. Set the machine on the hottest setting and the largest load. Add a quart of vinegar and 4 ounces of baking soda, to create a grime removing agent. This combination is very effective against removing hard water buildup, as well, which will translate in a longer life for your washing machine.


Protect your house against flood incidents

The hoses that connect your washing machine to the water supply can suffer from wear and tear. Cracks and small blisters can lead to serious damage and, if they burst, you will end up with a flood incident on your hands. This type of incident can cause serious damage and you will have to pay more than just for replacing the hoses. The best course of action is to inspect the hoses regularly, and replace them every five years, even if they don’t look that worn. This way, you will not have to worry about floods caused by your washing machine and the unpleasantness that comes with them.

Water level switch malfunctions are other culprits for such accidents. You can appeal to some clever products especially designed to detect water flow related malfunctions and stop the alimentation with water right away.


Make sure the washing machine is leveled on the ground

All the legs of your washing machine should sit firmly on the ground. If they are not leveled, the machine will start to vibrate and even shake a lot. This can cause the machine to be thrown off balance and, in time, this can lead to malfunctioning. It is a good idea to purchase a machine with adjustable legs, so you can place the machine as near to the floor as possible. You will be able to avoid any vibrations in the body of the machine and the eventual damage that can appear over time.

Another bad habit that can throw the machine off balance is to overload it. Manufacturers strongly recommend to avoid overloading the washing machine and always pay attention to the advised loading sizes.


Top Loading Washing Machine1


Take care of the outside, too

It is very important to pay proper attention to the exterior appearance of your washing machine, as well. The eventual gashes and scrapes in paint that can appear over time will give room to rust, and this is something to avoid, if you want to use your washing machine for a very long time. Some touch-up paint can solve the problem fast and easy.

Clean the exterior at least once weekly, as the remains of detergent, softener and other substances used, can turn the washing machine into a sticky mess that can accumulate a lot of germs and bacteria. An all purpose cleaner and a soft piece of cloth are all that you need to clean the exterior and give your washing machine the shine and cleanliness it deserves.


Avoid mildew and mold

Once you are finished with the washing machine and you have to let it rest until next time, make sure to leave the lid open, so that the interior can dry properly. Any traces of moisture remained in the washing machine can prove the perfect environment for mildew and mold which, in turn, will cause your clothes to smell badly and also put your health in danger.




The Best Tips for Snow Boots Maintenance



Protecting snow boots can look like a daunting task, particularly if this is the first pair you have ever owned. The important thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. With several simple tips and tricks, you can maintain your winter and snow boots in perfect shape. We’ve put together a short guide that can assist you in caring for your boots, since they can be damaged by a lot of things, including mud, rain, and snow.


Snow boots


The basics

Let’s say you’ve recently purchased a pair of new snow boots. Believe it or not, maintenance should start ever since you’ve received them at your doorstep. Often times, the manufacturer will recommend a waterproofing spray that the buyers can utilize in order to increase the water resistance of the model they have purchased. If possible, begin by spraying the waterproofing product right off the bat.

If your boots are made of leather, you might want to consider saddle soap. Even though it might be regarded as an old-fashioned product, you may find that it can do wonders when it comes to cleaning, conditioning, and protecting the leather. If you are feeling a bit puzzled as to how you may use saddle soap to cover the boots, we’ll put your mind at ease. Use water and saddle soap to create a lather to cover your boots. Allow it to set and dry for a couple of minutes, and then remove it with a piece of cloth.

Since saddle soap can affect the coloring of some types of leather, it might be a good idea to test the lather on a small portion of the boot to realize whether or not it might affect the overall color of the unit.



Salt and the winter season

Above all, salt can take a toll on snow boot. In this sense, the crucial consideration is to clean the boots right after taking a stroll in the snow. You’ll require warm water, laundry soap or detergent, some baking soda, vinegar, and a towel, as well as soft cloths and sponges. Salt stains have to be cleaned as quickly as possible, provided you take notice of them in a timely fashion.

If you plan on soaking your boots in their entirety, use a mixture of warm water, white vinegar, and detergent. Just allow the inserts to soak and gently rinse the outside and inside of the boots.

Things are somewhat different you’re the owner of a pair of suede boots, you might want to remove salt stains by using an eraser or sand with an emery board. Brush the flattened nap with the help of a towel or toothbrush.

If possible, don’t allow the salt to penetrate the surface of the snow boots. Sometimes, whatever you do, this might occur. Rest assured, you still have the ability to clean them, but you’ll probably need to use commercial products.


Cleaning snow boots



Shiny, polished, and clean

Leather boots are the most difficult ones to maintain, as you’ll have to polish them rather frequently. Nevertheless, even models made with synthetic fabrics require a little maintenance, as a little warm water never hurt a pair of boots. If you are looking to remove scuff marks, you might want to know that the most effective combination is the one composed of baking soda and warm water.

If you came across an unhappy accident and somehow managed to get oil stains on your suede boots, don’t panic. Use either talcum powder or cornmeal to brush off the stains as soon as possible.



Store in a clean, dry place

This piece of advice might come up with any product you might purchase, be it food or clothing. Nothing beats storage when it comes to snow boots, because some people live in areas where winter isn’t something that goes on for ages. If you don’t store your boots properly, you have a high risk of finding them either moldy or cracked. It goes without saying that the mold that affects your snow boots may just as well contaminate the other pieces of clothing you have stored in the same area.

Both leather and suede have to breathe from time to time, which is why plastic bags should be out of the question. While keeping your boots in direct sunlight isn’t the right way to go about things, checking on them from time to time is. The warmer and sunnier the place, the more likely they are to develop cracks.



The Best Tips for Buying a Plasma Cutter



With a good quality plasma cutter, the serious do-it-yourselfer can lower cutting costs while improving productivity. Craftspeople who’ve experienced air plasma arc cutting can see the huge difference from standard oxyacetylene or mechanical cutting involving the use of snips, shears, saws and cut-off wheels. The plasma cutter eliminates the need for going through a preheat cycle and is able to cut any electricity-conducting metal while enabling effortless portability and reducing the heat-affected zone. Cuts obtained are characterized with small kerfs (cut ends or slits). If you need to trace shapes, cut holes, bevel, gouge or pierce smoothly and in less time, make sure to observe the following procedures for using a plasma cutter.


plasma cutters


Make sure everything you need is in the package

A complete plasma cutter package includes all the torches and cords for use with the plasma cutter itself. Make sure you have a work or ground clamp as well. You also need the right power cord. Some models come with pigtail adapters for 220-volt current and 110-volt current. Plug the correct pigtail adapter to the power cord.

Everything in the package comes in a heavy-duty carrying case, which keeps all the items required to operate the machine in just one place, including consumables and consumables cases.



Set up the workpiece

Take the ground clamp and affix it to the workpiece.Make sure the ground clamp is attached close to the exact spot where you will cut. Although the metal you work on has light surface rust in places or has some heavy coating of mill scale, those factors won’t really cause plenty of issues to what you are going to do. One great advantage to plasma cutting is the method can cut through thick rust, but you may not be able to get a good ground through. To handle this issue, just wiggle the clamp through the surface till the teeth are able to dig through the rust, Should the rust be really heavy on the surface, work it off using a good quality grinder to give the ground clamp a spot on which to attach. The working surface should be safe while enabling you to move freely. Using a grate or something similar as a worktable should be just fine.



Select the correct tip suitable for the amperage setting

A tip used for lower amperage settings features a small orifice to ensure maintenance of a narrow stream of plasma at the exact low setting. If you have an 80-amp setting and use a tip designed for 40 amps only, the orifice of the tip will get distorted and this will also decrease the life of the consumable. On the other hand, you won’t be able to focus the plasma stream that well when you work at lower settings utilizing an 80-amp tip, which also results in a wider kerf. To cut in corners, utilize patterns or work in tight areas, you need to get further reach via extended tips.

With faster travel speeds, you can get cleaner cuts, especially on aluminum. Adjust the machine to full output and vary your travel speed as well when working on thick material. For thin material, use low amperage settings and change to a low-amperage tip to get a steady narrow kerf.


Plasma cutter


Set up the machine with the right air pressure

Plug the machine in. Connect the air hose to the back of the machine. Turn the air flow on. Make sure you have clean, dry air, as running wet air can also result in a waste of consumables, and the machine is not going to cut as well as it should. Blow the moisture out to drain the the bottom of the air compressor.

Some units have a regulator knob sticking out the side of an air compressor tank, which allows you to dial in the exact air pressure you need. Other models have an LED regulator. A top-mounted knob is to be turned until the middle LED lights up, indicating the machine is ready to go. An automatic internal regulator ensures safe operations. Set the current based on the gauge rating of the metal you will be working on.



Start cutting

It will be a good idea to make a sample cut first using the same type of material you will be cutting to make sure you have set the right setting and travel speed. The trigger activates the machine. Typically, the trigger is equipped with a safety system that has to be lifted first before the trigger itself is depressed. Engage the pilot arc, which burns through any rust, paint or grease that may be on the workpiece and comes in contact with the workpiece itself. At this point, the larger cutting arc takes over.

Make sure the cutter stays close to the metal. Use the guide around the nozzle to cut with templates when available. Some plasma cutters come with a drag shield, which enables the user to leave the torch on the surface of the workpiece while ensuring that the tip doesn’t come in contact with the metal. Allowing the tip to touch the surface of your workpiece will not only shorten consumable life but will also ruin the quality of the cut.

For models without a drag shield, use your other hand to support the hand you are using to hold the plasma cutter.

The cutting arc should exit the workpiece at a 15- to 20-degree angle opposite the travel direction. If the arc travels straight down, the user may not be moving at an optimal speed. On the other hand, you are moving too fast if the arc sprays back.

After cutting, turn the machine off and detach the clamp.




The Best Tips for Huting Deer with a Crossbow



Making a clean and ethical harvest out in the field when hunting deer with a crossbow will require that you practice a foolproof protocol for targeting at close range. Any small change could influence the results of your hunting trip, and you could either come home successful with a great catch or shamed due to being empty handed. Before heading out to bag your biggest buck ever, you need to know how to hunt deer with a crossbow.


Crossbow for deer hunting



Practice using your crossbow on a target before actually heading out

This will help you know the range you are comfortable with. Practice using several ranges, from 30, 40 to 50 yards or more so you can feel really comfortable making a shot. When you do get to the field and know what range you’re comfortable with, it’s important to mark that range so when the deer comes out, you are confident you can knock it down.



Wind direction, as well as camouflage, is extremely vital

Deer hunting is a stealth activity. Whenever possible, the wind should be in your face. Hunting downwind gives away your presence easily. It is sensible to have various places and stands to hunt so you can make sure the wind is always in your face.

To ensure that you do not stick out in the hunting environment, do wear camouflage clothing. This will enable you to blend yourself as much as possible into the environment. Your face and hands should also be covered.



Be quiet and scentless

Movement and sound can give your presence away. Do not move around too much while waiting for the prey to show up, or just make sure any movements are executed slowly. Be as perfectly quiet as possible. None of your gear should rattle or create noise. As the deer moves into your area, take the safety off the crossbow slowly and quietly so as not to startle the prey away with a loud clicking sound.

Scent control is also essential. Your hunting clothes shouldn’t carry a strong scent, preferably laundered in scent-blocking detergent or ordinary baking soda and then hung to dry outside.

Refrain from chewing or smoking while in the hunting stand, but if these can’t be helped, do not throw or spit your cigarette butts on the ground. Put the trash in a receptacle and never leave trash lying around after hunting.

Lure the deer in using proper deer attractants, so the prey will focus on that smell and not on yours.

Avoid brushing up against branches and leaves on the way to the stand. Instead, use the crossbow to push aside any branches.



Being out in the field is a lot different from shooting at a target

Try going after a good mature doe before trying to knock down a big master buck.

Be in the stand at least an hour early, preferably even before the sun rises to allow the woods to settle back down. Hunting in the evening requires that you go ahead of the normal time the deer moves, so the area can also settle down.

When you sight your deer, make sure the line of vision of the prey is obstructed by a bush or tree, or that its head is turned away from you. Raise your bow, making sure the deer doesn’t see your movement. Keep in mind that the whitetail species will try to see if they can detect any movement by surprise. Just keep immobile and do not look whitetails in the eye. Keep a steady stare and do not move your eyes. Look to the side of the deer’s face and not directly at the eyes. Breathe deeply and calm yourself down.


crossbow target practice



Take the kill shot

After making sure you are calm enough to take a sure, slow and steady shot, wait until the deer moves into a kill shot position. Do not take spine or brain shots. Aim instead to execute a center lung shot. Follow the back line of the front leg from broadside up to the center of the chest, then drop down a bit to obtain the perfect shot. Should the deer be at an angle, just visualize where its lungs are and aim for the center of this specific mass. When hunting from a treestand, this is the spot just behind the deer’s shoulders and right at the center of the body. This spot will ensure that you hit the heart, lungs or spine, delivering a one-shot kill.

Do keep in mind that if the deer does not move into the kill shot position or for you to take a kill shot, you should never attempt to shoot.

You’d be better off going home empty-handed than just wounding a deer superficially without killing it.

A lost or wounded big game animal is something that a serious hunter cannot easily live down.



The Best Tips for Choosing a Fun Board Game



From the thousands of board games on the market, the consumer can pick any one that can really get the whole family or a group of friends engaged in fun competition and entertainment while developing teamwork, good sportsmanship and a variety of valuable life skills such as decision making and prioritizing. At play in this kind of entertainment are family dynamics, age groups and personal interests, so choose the most applicable board game that maximizes those elements. To be able to thresh out which board game is the best for your group, take note of the following essential factors.


Board game



Board Game Type

To narrow down your choices, start with the game type the whole group can enjoy playing together.

A matching game such as dominoes or Memory is perfect for players fascinated with pattern recognition and memory. Word games such as Boggle, Scrabble and Prolix are suitable for developing word recognition, reading skills and ability to do simple math to keep score. Chess, checkers, Blokus and Go are good strategy games that require the employment of advanced planning as well as critical thinking. Some fantastic choices for reading, making inferences and trivia knowledge are Trivial Pursuit and themed variations of it. You will want to play Fantasy games such as Dread Pirate and Settlers of Catan to use your critical thinking, planning and creativity skills.

For players enticed by monetary values, counting and strategic planning, financial games in the likes of Monopoly, Easy Money and Life can be the perfect board games.Party games such as Pictionary, Cranium and Scattergories test your ability to work as a team member, read, draw and do critical thinking.



Suitability to the Group’s Age Bracket

You won’t want to have children under ten having to think of the most outrageously horrid replies to cards in games touted to be designed for people with horribly dark humor, will you? A suitably complex game is perfect for experienced gamers who like to do plenty of critical thinking. For those new to board gaming or for children, go for something simple and non-elaborate. Many games cut across borders easily, while others can get older players bored despite being tremendously entertaining for children. The bottomline: choose a board game that will engage everyone playing and not leave some participants completely out.



Fits the Allotted Time

Play times are often indicated on the box cover, so you should determine if the play group can play within this time. While some games can be finished in less than half an hour, there are some board games that provide hours of playing. For family game night, the playing time can be an issue, since young kids generally have shorter attention spans compared to older kids, making quickly finished games a suitable choice. Extended gaming sessions may not even be something that teens and older kids who can focus longer can truly enjoy. There are also games that take multiple game sessions to do completely. In order to find a suitable board game, determine the suitable length of time the players are willing to devote to it.

The most sensible thing to do is to have several games on hand and find out which one can be suitable for the time everyone has.


Board games



Number of Participants

Fortunately, there is a huge variety of board games designed to be played by two or more participants. This makes them perfect for various size families. On the other hand, there are games that call for at least three players or perhaps a number of teams. The information is typically found on the box cover as well as the product description. The number of tokens in the package also indicates the maximum number of participants. Other indicators are the quantity of play money, cards or dice in play. For players who are fascinated by head-on challenges, tournaments can be organized using one-on-one games.



Classic Games never lose their charm

Classic games always make good family games. People of all ages have enjoyed them for years. Suitable for kids while amply entertaining for adults, many of these do not need skills more complex than color recognition and counting, which can easily get the youngest family member to take part.

Candy Land features color-coded cards that players use to go along a path dotted with a variety of pitfalls or traps. Special cards allow players to advance to different slots through the board.

Chutes and Ladders has had variations including Snakes and Ladders and more, with a single die rolled or a spinner to indicate how a participant will move across the board, whether it is to go forward with a ladder or to slide back down through a chute.

Other classic games that only require a player to get to a finish line ahead of the others include Trouble, Sorry, and Parcheesi. These can involve bonus moves dictated by lucky card draws or dice rolls, and sending fellow players back several paces as a factor of competition.



The Best Tips for Taking Care of Your Snow Boots



Your snow boots keep your feet protected and thus go through a lot. Subjected to a variety of wintry elements, snow boots plough through snow, mud, rain, dirty snow and salt, as well as a variety of chemicals and street dirt. If you neglect your snow boots, they won’t last beyond the present winter season or will end up looking really shabby. To make sure your favorite snow footwear sees you through many winter seasons, try to give them that much needed care through these simple procedures.


Snow boots


Start protecting your snow boots when they are new

Use a waterproofing agent or formulation on new snow boots. This will increase their resilience against water even before you start using them. It is not unusual for manufacturers to recommend a specific waterproofing product. Use the waterproofing formulation on a regular basis to enhance the boots’ factory-set protection capability. Snow boots that do not have this protective layer won’t offer long term usage. By applying waterproofing agent, you seal the protective layer in.

Make sure to brush the snow boots using a suede brush before and after treatment.

Some snow boots owners suggest the use of saddle soap to keep leather boots protected longer. Thanks to the protective, softening and waterproofing agents in saddle soap, your winter footwear should last a long time. First, give the boots a wipe over using a damp cloth. With the saddle soap and water, create a lather using the cleaning cloth. Apply the lather to the snow boots, leave to slightly dry and then wipe off any lather left. Do test spot the mixture first as it can darken some types of leather.



Salt stains need to be cleaned off immediately

Living in a community where salt is used to keep the streets clear of snow will mean your favorite footwear will be picking up a lot of salt as well. Just a single salt stain that sets in will ruin the appearance of your snow boots. The metallic parts, such as hooks, zippers and others, will develop rust if salt deposits are not cleaned off immediately. It is smart to clean off salt stains the minute you spot them. Use a desalting agent that the manufacturer recommends.

New wet salt lines can be fixed immediately using a warm, damp cloth to wipe the boots over. Leave the snow boots for drying in the mudroom, never by a heater. Stuff some newspaper or other scrap paper into the boots to help them maintain their shape. For salt lines that have dried on, use commercial formulations to eliminate them. You can also use your own desalting formulation if you have a specific recipe for it. One good example is using equal parts vinegar and water to make a liquid solution. Moisten a cleaning rag with the solution and then wipe on the perimeter of the salt line. Finish with a clean damp cloth to wipe the applied solution off along with any salt line left. Use a dry towel to wipe the boot/s and then leave to dry not near direct heat, of course. Buff when dry.

For suede boots, use an eraser or sand gently with an emery board to clean any marks away. A flattened nap can be straightened up with the use of a clean towel or toothbrush to brush the nap up. You can also steam gently over the spout of a freshly boiled kettle.

Heavy dirt stains can also be blotted out using a bit of white vinegar and a clean towel.


cleaning snow boots



Liquid spills can be cleaned with cornmeal or talcum powder

If your suede snow boots have liquid spills on them, pat the spot using a clean cloth or towel. Then, apply a layer of talcum powder or cornmeal. Leave to set overnight. The next day, brush the snow boots using a suede brush to clear away the dried powder.



Keep your snow boots clean and polished

Leather boots should be kept well-polished. Generally, any type of boot should be taken care of by keeping it clean. Many synthetic boots can be given a regular wipe-down using warm water to help clean away dirt and other elements that have gotten encrusted on the surface. Scuff marks on leather boots can be wiped off using a damp cloth dipped in baking soda. Leave to dry and then buff.

Suede boots should never be cleaned with water, as this will affect the footwear’s texture and color.

For oil stains, rub with talcum powder or cornmeal immediately. Gently brush off the boots using a towel, then leave for a few hours to allow the powder to soak up the grime.

Removable boot liners should be hand or machine washed separately. They should be completely dry before being re-inserted into the footwear.



Make sure snow boots are completely clean and dry before storing

Do not put snow boots into storage after the winter without cleaning and drying them. Doing the opposite will result in boots that are cracked, moldy and damaged come next winter. Stains that are allowed to set in can weaken the footwear. Articles of clothing and other shoes kept in storage with your moldy snow boots can also be cross contaminated.

Using plastic bags for storing snow boots is a no-no. Plastic bags do not allow the leather and suede material of the boots to breathe, which can result in drying out and trapping mold. You can use fabric shoe bags, pillowcases and cloth bags instead.



The Best Tips for Taking Care of a Leather Sofa



To keep a leather sofa looking good through the years, the homeowner may be tempted to try out the many leather conditioners out there to ensure a waxy finish on their favorite loveseat or couch. Contrary to popular belief, leather sofas age beautifully and are not that tedious to care for. Unlike fabric that wears out, leather wears in, giving it a natural patina with time. Leather is a natural material and leather furniture can last a lifetime. Here’s what to do to ensure that the investment made in a leather sofa is truly worth it.


Leather sofas



Wipe the sofa down regularly

Caring for a leather sofa only entails regularly wiping down the piece of furniture using a clean, dry cloth. Spills should be wiped up as soon as they happen. With regular wiping down, dust is removed from the leather to keep it looking fabulous.

Leather conditioning should never be considered optional. You can use leather conditioner either annually or semi-annually. Otherwise, the material will develop cracks or can dry out and turn brittle.The creamy consistency of leather conditioner enables you to buff it into the material. The leather conditioner you use will depend on the type of leather used in making the sofa. It is best to ask the manufacturer about a suitable leather conditioner for the unit.



Clean out dust and debris from the sofa’s crevices

This is where a good vacuuming can be effective. Like any other piece of upholstered furniture, your leather sofa can accumulate its share of debris and dirt in those tight corners and crevices, as well as under the cushions. Use a vacuum hose attachment to suck out the collected dirt. Vacuuming leather furniture entails no precautions whatsoever.



Refrain from using regular cleaning products to wipe down the leather sofa

Soaps, solvents, detergent and other cleaning reagents need not be used. Dusting spray such as Pledge will only cause buildups that become so difficult to eliminate without ruining the leather. Varnishes, oils, rubbing alcohol and too much water may create a bigger problem than the offending stain.



Small scratches can be buffed with a microfiber cloth

There may be times when inconsiderate guests or crazy relatives can leave cigarette burns of knife gouges on your priced leather sofa. Eventually too, since animal hide is what leather is made from, the material can develop small scratches and cracks or just dry out. You can coax such damages into healing themselves by gently buffing them with a microfiber cloth until they no longer look so wicked or their appearance improves.


Leather sofa cracks



Keep in mind that sunlight can have damaging effects on leather as much as it does on human skin

It is important that your leather sofa be kept out of direct sunlight or light. Fading can happen with constant sun and light exposure. The material will also dry out.Position leather couches and loveseats away from windows through which the sunlight will be shining through. If there’s no other choice because of space restrictions, simply condition the often exposed areas more frequently.



Select good quality leather when you have kids or pets in the house

Generally, your leather sofa should be as safe as any other piece of furniture even if you own pets or have kids in the home. With that said, you can always go for protected leather in your sofa. This type of material is given an extra application of finishing to help protect the material, so children and house pets can settle on the sofa without you worrying constantly about the material getting damaged.



Don’t experiment with various types of cleaning reagents to work on persistent stains

Handling a persistent stain by yourself may not be sensible and could easily result in further damage to your investment. It is better to seek the assistance of a professional leather specialist to clean out stubborn stains and prevent creating greater damage to the material itself.


Leather sofa stain



Keeping a leather sofa covered ensures protection from dust and dirt

If you own a leather sofa and do not want to have to be constantly worried about maintaining its rich, clean look, covering it with a lightweight sheet when not in use will help protect it from dirt and dust. This will also reduce the maintenance you have to do to it so you won’t have to clean the sofa as often as when it is kept without a cover. A lightweight sheet will also keep sunlight off from the sofa to prevent the material from cracking and drying out over time. If a leather sofa is placed in a high-traffic area, having a slipcover on it may be more effective at keeping grime and grease away.



The Best Tips for Using or Installing a Wireless Range Extender



Typically, people install a wireless range extender so wireless signal can cover all areas in the home or office. This type of equipment provides internet connectivity through wired or wireless connection in hard-to-reach areas or wireless dead zones, repeating the wireless signal of any router or access point. Configuring the range extender can be a lot easier with an installation CD or simply changing the wireless settings on the access point or router. However, if those elements are not provided, you may have to do manual setup of the device.


wireless range extender



First, choose a wireless extender that really expands your wireless coverage

Wireless extenders can halve the throughput even when they extend the range. For users who have wireless coverage issues, it is best to get a dual-band router. This type of device allows the user to boost a 2.4Ghz signal further while boosting the 5Ghz short-range signal to make it stronger. Pairing the extender with the 2.4Ghz band allows the user to reserve that band for tasks that require lighter throughput, such as checking email and web browsing. The 5Ghz band can be employed for streaming multimedia or linking to gaming consoles or smart TV’s on wireless devices, which pretty much covers throughput-intensive tasks.



Check out models with a signal strength indicator

With the right equipment, you also have to determine the best location to have your wireless extender at. The ideal position is midway from the router to where the wireless coverage seems to drag. It won’t do to put the device too close to the WiFi modem, since this would hinder you from getting the best coverage. Too far and you just waste what you have with a weak signal.

It is good advice to buy a wireless extender that has an indicator for signal strength to help you locate the perfect spot.

Some experts suggest setting up a chat app between two users on different devices in the home network to find a good place to position the wireless extender. The two devices have to be wirelessly connected to the router. One of the users positions themselves next to the router, while the other moves farther and farther from it. Once the chat connection drops or lags, the weak signal area has been found, making it the ideal location for the wireless extender.

Yet another means of determining where the signal drops is to employ free software such as the inSSIDer, which allows you to view the signal strength of the router. This software can be installed on both a Windows and Mac laptop or an Android device. It will work the same way as when using a chat app: the location where the signal strength drops is where the device has to be positioned.



Identify the wireless settings of the router or access point

These include: the wireless network name or service set identifier (SSID); the hardware identification number; and the wireless password, security/network key or the modem’s wireless security key.

The network name or SSID of the extender is a 32 case-sensitive alphanumeric character identifier sent over a wireless local area network, which acts as the password to connect a mobile device to the basic service set. It is what differentiates one WLAN from another WLAN. In principle, all devices connecting to a particular WLAN should utilize the same SSID.

The hardware identification number is a number that identifies each device connected to the network. The last four digits of this number have to be written down.

The WPA key is typically on a sticker found either on the back of the modem or underneath the device. It’s the same security key used to have the laptop connect to the modem.


wireless range extender position


Choose a Method for Setup

One quick method is WPS, which broadcasts the same network name and password as the source modem so it’s no longer necessary to switch between WiFi networks. This is a simpler method.

The slightly slower Ethernet Cable method enables the user to specify the SSID of the extender, allowing manual switching between WiFi networks based on signal strength.

Plug the range extender to the AC outlet, and make sure the LED lights for power and signal strength are stable. The WLAN light will keep flashing.



Set up the wireless extender with WPS

Launch a web browser. Enter the default IP address in the address bar. Note:should your PC have a defined default startup web page on its browser, a dialog box requesting entry of a username and password will appear automatically.

A window prompting you to enter a username and password will appear. Leave the username blank then enter admin in the password field and click Log In.

Click Wireless, then choose Basic Wireless Settings. Next, set the radio button to Manual and put in the router’s network name or SSID.

On the Wireless Security section, choose the security settings that correspond to the configuration of the router. Put in the WEP key or passphrase and click Save Settings. It is recommended to utilize WPA/WPA2 wireless security on both the range extender and router.


wireless range extender with WPS



Synchronize the range extender with the router

Unplug the power cables for the range extender and router for about half a minute. Plug the router in first, then once all the lights are stable, plug in the range extender.

To ensure successful installation of the range extender, open your router’s DHCP table and make sure the range extender is there along with its IP address. Ping the device using a wireless PC and make sure you can elicit replies from it.



Expand your network

Some other devices on the market aside from wireless range extenders can help users expand their local network whether wirelessly or through wired means. These include wireless bridges, access points and switches.




The Best Tips for Taking Care of Washing Machines with Agitators



With the way a washing machine handles the bulk of the task for doing the laundry, it also deserves to get some TLC from the owner. The washer eliminates the need to do hard scrubbing, so taking care of it ensures consistently smooth performance and protection against breaking down. Here’s what to do to give a washing machine with agitator some tender loving care.


washing machine with agitator


Keep the machine stable

Position the machine on a level floor. If needed, adjust the feet to keep it balanced. The vibrations that occur with an unbalanced unit could make connections come off and also cause some degree of internal damage.

Open the door of the machine after use to help the drum dry out.



Do not overload the washing machine

The desire to finish the washing in one go can be tempting, but this could lead to a broken machine. When there are too many clothes put in beyond the machine’s capacity, this pushes the motor to overwork and eventually overheat. Stuffing the machine with clothes also results in poor spinning, or worse, no spinning at all. A heavy load can be washed using a heavy load option, however, which utilizes a huge amount of water so clothes can be cleaned optimally.

Do remember that heavy load wash options can strain the motor and can require a greater amount of water, aside from influencing the quality of the finished laundry.

Also, using too much detergent than necessary can damage water pipes, the motor, and of course, clothes.


washing machine with agitator detergent



Clean the machine inside and out

Your washing machine handles the laundry but it can’t clean itself.

Often, without regular cleaning, small detergent spills can develop a sticky residue on the machine. This makes it important that the machine be wiped down on the outside at least once weekly. Use a mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid and water.

Wipe down the inside tub regularly as well using a damp cloth. Soapy residue, dirt and lint will easily build up if you don’t. Once your clothes do not come out as clean as they should, the machine needs some deep cleaning. An odor inside also indicates the need for deep cleaning.

Use a formulation for machine cleaning once a month to give your washer thorough cleaning. This not only ensures a cleaner drum but also helps the machine clean better. You can run an empty cycle on hot wash with the machine cleaner, or just laundry detergent, if you prefer. You can also run the machine with water and no clothes plus two cups of lime juice or white vinegar on the hottest wash cycle. You can do this once every 3 months.

You can also mix your own washing machine cleaner. For sanitizing, mix ¾ cup of bleach plus 1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent. Run the machine through a soak cycle with the solution, then have the washer run a rinse cycle to clear out the cleaning solution.

If the machine has a detachable lint filter, remove it and clean out the collected lint from clothes, then attach the lint filter back. Lint clogs water pipes and can also bring about improper washing of clothes. Old clothes usually have a layer of fluff on them, so it is good advice to check the lint filter regularly.

Clean off grease, detergent buildup and dirt from the drum, water pipes and dispensers.

A washer with an agitator will require cleaning of the area under that component (agitator) as the smell could transfer to the clothes. The smell comes from mildew and mold growing in the drum. The area under the agitator is a rich breeding ground for those organisms, since it is usually damp and warm.

Find rusted spots in the tub or dispenser and eliminate them with two cups lemon juice then running the machine on hot water for one cycle.


top load washing machine with agitator tube



Use knobs gently and the machine settings wisely

Don’t use too much pressure when turning knobs. Don’t turn the knobs and dials in the wrong direction either. These elements are quite sensitive so be gentle.

Choose normal wash for standard loads, gentle wash for baby clothes and other delicate items, and the strong wash setting for heavily soiled and/or greasy loads. Using the suitable setting not only protects clothes from getting ruined but also keeps the machine running damage-free.



Be prompt with repairs

Washing machines may not last forever, but by observing proper maintenance, the unit can last for years. If you hear a strange noise, notice parts coming loose or a general decline in washing performance, call washer repair experts ASAP. Running the machine even with those obvious problems can only create bigger problems. Should your unit break down, call washer repair technicians or experts to help you determine the cause. The appliance may still have an applicable warranty or be subject to product recall, so it pays to ask an expert’s help.



The Best Tips for Choosing New Golf Balls



Not all golf balls are created equal. Golf balls have been manufactured nowadays to match the advances in the engineering of golf clubs, which is good news for those who love the game as much as they love playing their best golf. You can considerably improve your game by choosing the right golf ball. Amidst the tweaking in design to accommodate the different needs of players, choosing the right golf ball has become a necessity rather than an afterthought.

golf balls


Check out the material

The cover of the golf ball can either be urethane or ionomer.

An ionomer cover is constructed using plastic elements. On the other hand, a golf ball cover made of urethane is made using soft, rubber ingredients. Choosing the material for the golf ball cover really depends on the player’s specific skill level aspects, which include the driver distance as well as unintentional habits to spin that the player may have.

Someone new to the game or who has a high handicap is better off checking out ionomer-enclosed golf balls. This type reduces slicing and hooking while allowing the user to get the ball travelling higher, which those with slow to moderate swing speeds can fully appreciate. This type of golfer can also work well with a two-piece ball that offers emphasis on low spin and distance.

Golfers who play on an expert level will do well with a urethane-enclosed golf ball. A player of this type typically shoots in the 70’s to the low 80’s, which signifies excellent control of the swing and the capability of going on a birdie run in every round. Urethane-covered golf balls are beneficial for short games while being long on the tee. The expert player can select between 3- and 5-piece balls.

The player whose skill level lies between the first two requires more focus on their side spin. This makes a 3-piece ionomer-enclosed golf ball a good bet, which delivers low spin, high launch and more roll on the ground.



Take note of the construction

Choose the type of golf ball construction to suit your needs. Golf balls are marketed as multilayer items with 2- or 3-piece designs. Multilayer balls are geared toward minimizing the effects of spin on them.

For golfers who want additional backspin, a 3-piece ball is ideal.

In addition, once you have understood your greenside control needs, pick a ball to fit those needs.

If you are the type of player who considers control around the greens as critical to every game, a three-piece urethane covered ball should do fine. If control on the greens is not really a big deal, or even a soft feel, or all you want is just getting a long distance from your driver and a spin with full irons is vital, check out golf balls with medium- to low- hardness on the cover.

A number of golf balls can give far distances with soft feel. However, control around the greens doesn’t come with soft feel.


golf ball on green



Take note of compression ratings

Low core compression can give a ball a soft feel despite a relatively hard cover, which won’t grip high-loft clubs. Thanks to improvements on core technology, there are now plenty of good choices in the category for feel-distance in golf balls.

For players who have high swing speeds and can propel their drive over 240 yards in the air, a suitable compression rating is 100. Individuals with lower swing speeds should do well with a compression rating from 80 to 90.



Check out Spin

With a low spin golf ball, the side spin of shots is reduced so the ball can fly straighter and truer through the air. The distance travel may not be much but the decreased spin will result in a higher amount of roll when landing. This type is suitable for those who find it challenging to achieve ground distance or who slice the ball.

A mid-spin gold ball offers a choice between a low spin and a high spin golf ball. By taking the benefits of the other two types of balls, the mid-spin ball delivers strong distance with a unique feel and softness. This type is usable by all players.

A high spin golf ball is engineered to raise the level of air spin for it. When hit, this type is propelled through the air with a certain level of back spin to cover a longer distance. This type is made for those who hit the ball right to left with a draw.

high spin golf ball



The golf ball should match all aspects of your game

You want a golf ball that will complement all aspects of your game. It is necessary to evaluate one’s overall game along with their weaknesses before making a final decision on a golf ball.

For those who often end up 10 to 15 yards short on their target driver length or on long par 3s, going for a golf ball geared to provide further distance is always the best choice.

Individuals who find themselves hitting greens while the ball remains unstuck, a ball geared for higher spin could enable possible hitting of more greens in moderation.