Simple, Non-toxic Tips to Oven Cleaning

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

7 Alternative Methods to Clean The Oven

After cooking you are usually faced with a small problem – how to clean the oven?

Sometimes this task is not so easy, especially if you have to deal with accumulated grease and soot.

Mix 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of salt and 3/4 cup of baking soda until it became a thick paste. Wipe the oven with a damp cloth and spread the paste over the entire surface.

Leave it to act all the night and wash it in the morning. This method is most effective when the oven is not too dirty, so clean it regularly!

You will clear the brown plaque from the window of the oven by diluting baking soda in warm water. Apply the solution over the whole place and leave it for 15 minutes. Then you’ll wipe the dirt considerably easier.

You can also use plain vinegar. Apply a small amount of liquid on the cool surface of the oven with a damp cloth and distribute it throughout the area. Leave it for some time to act. If the contaminants are small, you will be able to wipe them easy, but if they are big, you will need a brush.

Mix vinegar with baking soda. This will help you remove even the oldest deposits on the walls of the oven. Finally, rinse with warm soapy water and it will shine again like new.

Dilute some soap or detergent for washing dishes in hot water. Pour it into a container, moisten the walls and then put it in the oven.

Run the oven at 120 degrees for 30 minutes, without opening it. Then open and allow to cool slightly. With a damp cloth, you will remove the fat without difficulty.

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Safeguard Your Home when on Vacation

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

outdoor-lighting-home-securityHow to Keep Your Home Safe While You Are on Vacation

No one wants to worry about their home while on vacation. Here are some tips to help keep your house safe from burglars while you are enjoying your holiday.

Don’t Advertise

It’s only natural to want to share your vacation plans with others. But sharing them on social media is a bad idea. Once it’s out there, you have no control over where the information ends up. Your plans could end up in the hands of thieves. And they’ll know that they have lots of time to do a thorough job of clearing your home of all your valuables.

Likewise, sharing photos and updates on social media isn’t a good idea either. I’ll admit, I was guilty of this. It’s hard to not share photos and exciting stories about the fun things you’re experiencing. But wait until you get home to share your vacation online.

Lock it Up

Lock up valuables and documents in an immobile safe, bank safety deposit box or leave them with a trusted friend or family member. For Example:

Tablets and Laptops
Important documents (Social Security Cards, birth certificates, spare credit cards, password lists, etc.)
Keys to your home, office, car, etc.
Expensive jewelry and electronic devices
Firearms and ammunition

A portable, fireproof safe is fine for protecting valuables from fire. But it won’t stop a thief from walking off with it. If you use portable safes, leave them with a friend/family member while you’re away.

Make Your Home Look Occupied

Put your mail and newspaper on hold or ask someone to pick them up for you. If you’re gone for more than a week, have someone mow your lawn in the summer. (If it’s winter, ask someone to shovel your driveway after a snowfall and leave footprints going to and from your door.) Don’t leave your garbage bins by the road. Ask someone to put them out and bring them in or skip it altogether.

Put a few indoor lights (in various rooms) on timers. Don’t use just one light; it’s a dead giveaway that you’re not home. And don’t have the lights all go on and off at the same time. Try to set them up so they switch on and off at the same times that you would switch them on/off when you are home.

Put outdoor lights on timers, too. Or hook them up with light sensors so they’ll go on at dusk and off at dawn.

Put your radio or TV on a timer so that there is noise in your home now and then. If you have a home phone, turn off the ringer so that thieves won’t hear your phone ring, and ring, and ring…

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Lawn Mower Cleaning And Maintenance Tips

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

lawn-mowerCleaning And Maintenance Tips For Your Lawn Mower

The ability of your turf to have healthy and good-looking grass depends greatly on your lawn mower.

Your turf will suffer greatly if you are using a poor piece of equipment when mowing. You will have a hard time as well getting the result you want for your lawn with a poorly performing equipment.

To avoid such problems, it is important to properly and regularly maintain and clean your lawn mower.

Below are some of the key lawn mower cleaning, care, and maintenance tips you should follow:

Regularly check and change your mower’s oil. Experts say that you should check the condition and level of your equipment’s oil every eight hours of use. Fresh oil will have a golden or amber color and it will darken as it ages.

True-Value-Hardware-store-reedsburg-wisconsin-lawn-mowersAt least once per season or after every 50 hours of use, change the oil. Also, always use oil that is recommended by the manufacturer for that model.

Add a fuel stabilizing product to fresh fuel. Adding the right amount of fuel stabilizer will keep fuel fresher longer.

However, make sure you follow the equipment’s manual for instructions on leaving fuel in the engine during storage since this usually varies depending on the brand or manufacturer.

Always clean the air filter properly in place. The air filter of a lawn mower prevents dirt, dust, and debris from entering the carburetor and engine. It should be cleaned or changed every 25 hours of engine operation or at least once per mowing season.

Also, you need to replace the pleated, paper air filters regularly as well. You can clean the foam air filters with hot water and a small amount of detergent and leave it to air dry before being saturated with new engine oil and reinstalled.

Get rid of oil stain using a degreaser. Spray a good brand of degreaser on oil stains. Leave the degreaser on the stain for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth and rinse everything off with a hose.

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Garden Composting Basics

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

compost-gardeningUnderstanding How To Incorporate Garden Compost Into Your Garden

Just like people gardens need nutrients to grow and flourish. Incorporating garden compost into your garden allows you to feed your plants and vegetables and improve overall soil quality.

You can obtain ready prepared bags of garden compost from most garden nurseries or garden supply stores.

Many garden supply companies and gardening websites offer an online service and will deliver. It is important that you choose the right garden compost for your soil and particular needs.

natures-care-compostSome plants and garden shrubs such as rhododendrons and azaleas require special compost to make the soil more acid. While other garden compost is suitable for general use for vegetable and flower gardening.

The main advantage of using compost on your garden is to improve the soil structure. Good garden soil needs to be loose and be able to hold water but with adequate drainage.

Clay soil can be very heavy, so adding garden compost will improve the structure and drainage. For soils that are sandy, garden compost will absorb water and improve the water-holding capacity of the soil.

As well as improving the structure and water retaining properties of soil, the decomposing compost will gradually release nutrients vital for healthy plant growth.

Nitrogen is a vital nutrient in plant growth which can be obtained from garden compost. The use of adding manure as well as compost will ensure a good supply of nitrogen if growing highly productive crops.

homemade-compost-binsFor those who do not want to buy their garden compost, making your own compost in your garden has several advantages.

Firstly, it allows the gardener to recycle garden wastes. This means less waste to have to dispose of. Secondly, you will know what has gone into your garden compost.

So if you want to be an organic gardener, you will have control over what has gone into your compost.

When deciding on your home garden compost bin it is best to design it into your garden. Making a home compost can be made from ready made plastic drums which turn, to wooden enclosures made yourself or from kits ready to assemble.

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Gas vs Charcoal – What’s the Best Grill?

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

gas-grills-true-valueGas Vs Charcoal Grill – Which Is a Better Grill For You?

When it comes to cooking and enjoying a great tasting meal, grilling has always been one of our top choices of cooking method. It does not only cook our food in a flavorful way, but it’s also a great bonding activity for everyone to enjoy.

So now you are thinking of buying your own grill, but there’s a whole range to consider from electric, pellet grills and even hardwood cooking. It’s just so confusing!

However, the most commonly debatable and widely used among all kinds of cooking grills are whether to use charcoal or gas grills. So here I will be focusing on that aspect.

In choosing what kind of cooking grills to use, convenience and flavor usually compromises each other. The more convenient a grill is, the lesser flavor the food tastes.

So if it’s just a matter of having the most convenience, electric grill has always been the top choice, however, it won’t give you the grilling satisfaction as most would in terms of actual cooking experience and taste.

kamado-grillWhile hardwood fire can give you the best smoky flavor to your food, it is also the hardest to deal with. Hence, charcoal or gas grills have always been in between and considered by average grill enthusiasts.

Charcoal Versus Gas

I’ll get to the point and be blunt to say that generally, gas grills are better choice than charcoal grills. There are just more benefits when you use them that you won’t be able to get from using charcoal grills.

Here are the following reasons:

Taste

In terms of taste, charcoal grills undeniably give you flavorful meals, which has always been their claimed advantage over gas grills. The aroma it can provide from heating charcoals has become its edge. However, smoky flavor can still be achieved as the drippings of the food when evaporated, coat the food you’re grilling.

This process is the reason for giving a flavorful characteristic of grilled taste to your food. A process that does not rely on the use of charcoal. Not to mention lately, grill manufacturers have also produced “Flavorizer bars” which then create a radiant heat which charcoal naturally generates.

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Reedsburg True Value Anniversary Sale

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Martens Reedsburg True Value Anniversary Bucket Sale

Friday, July 14th – 7am to 8pm

Saturday, July 15th – 8am to 7pm

Sunday, July 16th – 9am to 5pm

20% OFF Everything You Can Fit Into a True Value Bucket! *

  • Register to WIN Prizes
  • Over $3,000 in Giveaways
  • FREE Balloons and Popcorn

Mark Your Calendar and Come Join the Fun!!

*Regular priced items only, some exclusions apply, see store for details.

reedsburg-true-value-sale

martens-true-value-hardware-sale

Get Ready for the 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

fourth-of-july-american-flagGet Ready for the July 4th Celebration with Party Supplies, Decorations and American Flags at Martens Reedsburg True Value!

Annin Nylon Replacement U.S. Flag, 3 x 5-Ft.

ANNIN FLAGMAKERS model # 002450R item # 535763
SALE $15.99

Online price. In-store price & availability may vary.

U.S. Flags & Accessories: 20% Off Online Only

Stop by Martens True Value Hardware to Check out our Value-Priced Selection of American Flags.. Just in time for Independence Day!

barbeque-grillsGet the Grill of Your Dreams at Reedsburg True Value before the July Fourth grilling begins!

From the casual weekend griller to the year-round enthusiast, True Value has the grills and smokers that will satisfy your quest for fire.

Deliver your best grilling performance with quality gas, charcoal, electric or infrared grills from leading brands. Or step up to the versatility of a Kamado charcoal grill.

outdoor-patio-furniture-dining-setOutdoor Patio Furniture Available at Reedsburg True Value Hardware

Watch the fireworks in style relaxing on your new patio furniture and get inspired to dine and relax in style.

Create your backyard retreat from our beautiful styles — all durably made of aluminum, steel, cast-iron or resin.

In sizes to fit every space: decks, patios or space-challenged balcony. At prices to fit every budget.

Plus adirondack chairs, garden benches, patio tables & patio umbrellas.

Shop Early for Best Prices and Selection… Stop by Martens True Value in Reedsburg Today!

 

Pest Removal: Groundhogs or Woodchucks

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

woodchuck-groundhog-repellentGroundhog Removal

A groundhog belongs to a big group of ground squirrels called marmots, of which there are fifteen species. They are often referred to as whistle pigs, land, beavers, or woodchucks.

Groundhogs extensively burrow and primarily eat vegetation. Because of these two factors they are consider a big garden pest. If left alone, a groundhog family could very easy eat a food crop in a short amount of time.

If it appears that there is an infestation, or the start of an infestation it is imperative to get rid of them.

There are many ways to do away with groundhogs. All gardeners have their own preferred method. Some want to do away with them humanely without resorting to killing them.

Others just want them gone efficiently and quickly. After you get rid of the groundhog, it is necessary that you watch out for a reappearance of a groundhog population.

If it does not bother you using chemicals in your mission to do away with the groundhog, a relative humane way to do so is by using ammonia. It is a quick-acting way to get a groundhog to move away.

It may sound brutal and inhumane but if you handle it correctly, the groundhog inhabitants will move away without having to kill them. The way it works is by causing their burrows to be distasteful to them. With a distasteful burrow, they will journey on their own to another area of land away from the garden.

To use the ammonia method you want to wait until you have sunny days and warm temperatures, usually summer or spring. Otherwise, you will not get the groundhog to leave their burrow.

If you can find it buy some cloudy or sudsy ammonia but if you cannot find it make your own. Use one part water with seven parts ammonia along with a couple of tablespoons of dish or laundry detergent and mix.

Spray it around the entrance and just inside their borrow. Once the smell gets into the burrow, they will depart in a couple of days, unless they have babies. In this case, they will leave find another burrow. Once the parents are settled, they will return for their babies. This could take several days.

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You Need the Right Tool for the Job

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

power-tools-drill-bitsChoosing the Right Tool for the Right Job

You would not try to split a 10 inch diameter log with a hatchet instead of an ax.

By the same token you would not want to try to drill a 3/4 inch hole in cement with a standard 1/4 drill.

You hear people all the time bad mouthing a particular tool because it did not work well when the real problem was the user. They did not choose the right tool for the job at hand.

Most tools, if not all, were made for a specific range of jobs to perform. When you try to use it beyond the range it was made and designed for, you start having problems. Then it is human nature to blame the tool or the manufacturer when the fault really lies with the person using it.

electric-drillThere are always exceptions in tool usage as well as in all other walks of life.

For example, I have a 1/4 inch standard electric drill that I have owned for twenty plus years. I have used it for everything from drilling a one inch hole in cement and metal to driving a # twelve four inch screw into hard wood and it still works fine. It was and still is an exceptional tool. With the beating I gave it, it should have failed long ago but it is one of the exceptions we come across in life. There is no answer for it.

All manufacturers of tools will have specifications on their tools such as amperage, RPM, size, weight, capacity and etc., etc. They are there for a purpose, to help us choose the tool we need. In a lot of cases price is the determining factor when we buy and not what the item was designed for.

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Add Curb Appeal with a Simple DIY Project

Monday, June 5th, 2017

walkwayDIY Patio Projects That Will Add Major Curb Appeal

If you’ve seen the albums on decorating and landscaping sites, you know how much a walkway or a canopy can bring together your backyard. Luckily, many of these home and gardening staples are easy to do yourself.

If you have a shovel, a hammer, a saw, and an afternoon, you can finish one of these projects.

Walkway

Having a paved walkway from your back door to your patio brings a certain elegance to your backyard. With the advent of pavers, you don’t have to ruin your back placing and leveling hundreds of bricks in order to make this dream a reality. Depending on how long you want the walkway, you might only need a few pavers to complete the project. You can choose from several different interesting stone varieties to bring visual interest to your space.

Canopy

A canopy is a great way to bring some shade, keeping your family or guests cool during the summer months. Canopies can range from intricate architectural pieces to simple canvas-and-pole designs.

For the latter example, four poles or beams driven into the ground and a piece of thick, water-resistant canvas are all you need. You can attach the canvas to the poles using a hammer and nails, or you can peruse your local hardware store for rings, tacks, or ties to create a unique hanger.

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Patio Decorating Ideas

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

outdoor-patio-waterfallPatio Decorating – Ten Simple Patio Decorating Ideas

When Mother Nature begins to warm, thoughts of outdoor entertaining, including B-B-Qs, poolside parties, lunch (or brunch) on the patio, tend to get us thinking of decorating ideas, specifically deck or patio decorating ideas. Decorating doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor to spruce up an outdoor patio; a few simple changes can do the trick without breaking the bank.

With a plethora of decorating magazines on the stands, interior/exterior decorating websites and design blogs, it’s easy to want more than what the budget will allow. So it is always a good idea, as you formulate decorating ideas for a patio, to determine what your budget can afford.

patio-decorating-seatingAs you assess the outdoor area in need of a makeover create a list of things that need attention. For example, is the patio furniture looking a bit tattered? Are decorative plants healthy and thriving? What patio decor items could be added or replaced?

Maybe a coat of fresh paint to outside walls or a trellis with climbing vines to make an unattractive area more appealing.

Reviewing visual resources such as garden and patio magazines and interior design websites can help generate ideas; use photos to assemble a theme or style suited to your desired effect.

If you, a friend or a family member, have a talent for crafty work, do-it-yourself (DYI) instructions are readily available for almost every type of patio, or deck, decorating project such as an in-ground pond or water fountain, a stone path or a mosaic tile table top. The options are endless. It helps to have a general plan before you begin to keep the entire project manageable.

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The Health Benefits of Gardening

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The Many Health Benefits of Gardening

Spring is in the air. And when spring is on the horizon, many of us are aching to get out and plant a garden.

In the interim, there are a lot of garden shows and seeds that we can buy to plan our ultimate garden outside. Spring is such a hopeful time of year.

But did you know that gardening had a lot of health benefits too. When we are out in nature to garden, we get to commune with nature and we get to feel so much better about ourselves and about life in general. Many times, our problems just melt away, and we release a lot of feel good endorphins.

But there are more benefits than this even. In this article I will outline some of these benefits of gardening in more detail so that you can also get urge to start planning your garden earlier this year than ever.

So, without further ado, here are the known benefits of gardening.

• When you plant your seeds in the ground and watch them grow, you have a sense of achievement and accomplishment. This can help you to feel better and more motivated.

• You will weed out negative thoughts. As you are weeding your garden, you can think of your negative thoughts just like weeds that you can get rid of. And as you pull out your weeds, imagine weeding your negative thoughts one at a time. This will help you feel better overall and less depressed.

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