Best bathroom cleaning tips
Few things leave a worse impression with guests than a bathroom that is less than sparkling. Before holiday guests arrive, pay special attention to these spots, where germs can linger. Deep-cleaning tips are courtesy of Real Simple.
1 To keep your showerhead spraying freely, clean it while you sleep. Pour an ample amount of white vinegar into a plastic grocery bag (enough to fully submerge the nozzle) and tie it over the showerhead for an overnight soaking. Remove it in the morning and run the water to rinse.
2 For shower doors, make a paste of 1 cup baking soda and a few drops of distilled white vinegar. Apply it directly to the door (it’s nice and thick, so it will stick) and let sit for an hour. Then, rub with a microfiber cloth to loosen grime. Rinse and buff with a fresh, dry microfiber cloth.
Never miss a local story.
3 To clean unsightly grout, dip a grout brush in straight bleach and scrub. Rinse thoroughly. (Be sure to ventilate the room.)
4 To remove stains from the toilet, pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl. Let sit for a few minutes; brush and flush. Still seeing spots? A damp pumice stone is abrasive enough to remove stains caused by mineral deposits and lime scale but gentle enough not to damage surfaces.
5 For clear drains, pour white vinegar and baking soda down the drain and flush with hot water.
6 Use the sanitizing setting of your washing machine to deep-clean hand towels. Replace with clean towels as needed.
Review the entire list at http://nando.com/ma.
Best new use
Raleigh resident JoAnna Foegeding answered our call for new, repurposed uses for old things. She turned an old, inexpensive fireplace screen into a unique metal headboard.
Seeking your best tips
We’re looking for a new batch of home and garden tips to highlight each week. If we use your tip, you’ll be entered in our quarterly drawing for a Visa gift card. Send your tips to email@example.com. Be sure to include your name, street address and city. Put “best tips” in the subject line.
Best for slow cooker
Raleigh reader Vesna Kidd wrote in to share her go-to recipe for Easy Peasy 3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Taco Chicken.
You will need:
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 (1 1/4-ounce) packet low-sodium taco seasoning
1 (16-ounce) jar of your favorite salsa
Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over it and pour salsa on top. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (or high for 4 hours). Stir to evenly mix salsa with chicken.
Serve immediately with rice.
Make your home smell warm and inviting with the scent of the holidays with this homemade potpourri from the How Sweet Eats blog.
You will need:
• 5 cups water
2 navel oranges, peeled
1 apple, sliced in half
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
1 teaspoon-sized knob of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat over low heat until simmering. The blogger says that she has kept this going for a few hours, adding water when needed. Or throw everything in a slow cooker and set it on low or high with the top off.
See the illustrated post at http://nando.com/mb.
Best holiday craft
Make an adorable pumpkin-lid centerpiece or mantelpiece with this idea from the Fun Home Things blog.
You will need:
20 regular mouth canning lids
Orange spray paint
3 to 4 cinnamon sticks
1 Spraypaint the lids on each side until you reach the coverage you want.
2 String the lids onto the yarn, making sure they all face the same direction.
3 Tie the two ends of yarn together in a double knot and cut the excess.
4 Place the cinnamon sticks in the middle and adjust the spacing of the rings.
To see a step-by-step pictorial and the finished product, visit http://nando.com/mc.
Best of the tube
Gloomy mountain retreat: Mark, Amie and their sons were looking for a serene life in the mountains. But their dream home soon turned gloomy. Designer Jillian and her team aim to transform this cold, dark rustic home into the homey retreat it was always meant to be. Realtor Todd hopes to find this family a new mountain home that is bright and welcoming. Tune in at 8 p.m. Friday to find out if they’ll “Love It or List It.”
Send news and photos to The News & Observer, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, N.C. 27602; email firstname.lastname@example.org.