How to Make Your Stuff Last Longer

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Many of us are watching our pennies right now, and every dollar is going toward keeping the family safe, healthy, and happy.  Here are some ideas on how to keep your appliances running smoothly, make your kitchenware last longer, and stretch a dollar out of your closet.

Listen for the Fridge

If your refrigerator sounds like it is straining, make sure the condenser coils (radiator looking thing on the back) are clear of dust and dirt, there is at least one inch between the back of the refrigerator and the wall, and check that the door seal is not dry or cracking.

Furniture: Keep it Clean

Treat furniture with a soil repellant to create a barrier for spills and clean up any spills as quickly as possible. Make sure to use fabric appropriate cleaners and test any new products first in a hidden spot of cloth. To give the furniture a deep clean, gently work in the cleaning power of your choice, wait 30 minutes, and then vacuum.

Keep Plastic Containers Like New

Before storing tomato sauce or soup in a plastic container, spray it with nonstick cooking spray. To restore stained containers, dampen a paper towel with fresh lemon juice, wipe, then set the open container in the sun for at least an hour.

Keep Towels Fluffy Soft

A fluffy towel after a hot shower is one of life’s simple pleasures, but over time, towels get stiff and rough.  Add a half-cup white vinegar to the washing machine’s liquid fabric softener dispenser when you wash towels to make them like new! And they don’t smell like vinegar.

Sharpen Knives

You need to sharpen your knives annually.  Your local hardware store can do it, or you can use a handheld sharpener.  Electric sharpeners may strip away too much metal if used incorrectly.  About once per month, I fold several pieces of aluminum foil and make two to three cuts with each pair of scissors.

Sparkling White T-shirts

Before washing, treat sweat stains on white t-shirts with a paste of baking soda and water.  Let the past sit directly on the stain for about 30 minutes before washing.