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Baking Soda and Vinegar: In the Home and Garden


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Baking Soda and Vinegar: In the Home and Garden

Like many of us, I like to keep a clean house. Cleaning my kitchen and bathroom sinks, counter tops and vanities once presented a challenge. How so? I refuse to use harsh chemicals, mainly because of my children's allergies and asthma. I also prefer an environmentally-friendly cleaning solution. I've found all this and more, by cleaning with a homemade paste I make from baking soda and vinegar. This all-natural cleaning solution removes most of my everyday stains and grime with ease. I just scour the surface with a scrubby-type sponge and it's a breeze. In addition to kitchen and bathroom surfaces, I use baking soda and vinegar cleaning paste on my parrot's cage. There are no harsh chemicals or fumes, so it's also perfect for cleaning the toddler's room. Try the same solution diluted with a bit of water to kill your garden weeds. You'll be amazed!

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Keeping Your Aluminum Furniture In Great Shape

Aluminum lawn furniture is designed to be tough and durable, but it can be susceptible to a wide range of elemental damage. Follow this process to keep your aluminum furniture in great shape.

Basic Cleaning And Maintenance

There are three basic types of aluminum patio furniture available on the market: cast aluminum, tubular aluminum, and wrought aluminum. Each of them are sprayed with a coated finish to protect them from decay. However, you still need to make sure you regularly clean any stains off of the surface to ensure that they don't break apart that coating and cause corrosion.

To clean your aluminum patio furniture, follow this process:

  1. Remove cushions and set to the side
  2. Set garden hose to "rain" setting and spray the furniture
  3. Lightly scrub the surface with a soft cloth soaked in mild dish detergent
  4. Pay special attention to hard-to-reach areas, such as the joints
  5. Rinse with the hose to remove soap
  6. Rub a dab of baby oil on the surface for extra protection

Protecting From Freezing

Like most types of metal, aluminum has difficulty in cold weather with expansion and contraction. However, aluminum chairs have holes drilled in them that help keep air out and to drain water. Unfortunately, these same holes can easily collect water if chairs are stored improperly. And this water will go through the freezing process in the winter, causing damage to your chairs.

Since these holes are usually located on the bottom of the chairs (to allow easier draining), always store your chairs in their upright position. You also need to store them out of the reach of the sun, as this can promote mold and mildew growth which can also promote freezing damage.

Repairing Damage

Over time, your aluminum patio furniture may be susceptible to a wide range of damage. Most of this damage starts out on the surface, but it can quickly spread and become serious over time. Inspect your patio furniture for damage using this simple process:

  • Examine the surface of the chair for scrapes, breaks, and worn away paint
  • Check all the nuts and bolts to ensure they are in place
  • Inspect the welded areas (spots where the metal is fused together) for breaks

After completing this simple inspection process, you need to fix any damage. Start by sanding areas with worn paint and spraying a self-etching primer onto these areas. Wait a few hours for the primer to dry, and then apply a few coats of enamel paint that closely matches the color of the furniture.

Next, tighten any bolts or nuts that may be loose using a properly sized wrench. If any bolts are missing, go to a hardware store, buy replacements, and install them. To repair weld breaks, take your chair to a professional welder. Some may perform such a simple welding job for free or for little money.

Follow this simple process and your lawn furniture will stay in great shape for years to come.