Household Odors: A Home-Ec 101 Guide

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Scientists say that people can smell at least one trillion distinct scents, scent cells are renewed every 30 to 60 days, and women have a better sense of smell than men. Combine all those things together with a house full of people and there is potential for A LOT of odors. On top of all that we know that scent is a powerful memory trigger, and we want our house to smell good and create good memories. Listed below are some articles that can help you find and conquer bad household odors. Just click the title of the one you want to read more about.

Guide to Household Odors

Can This Smelly Freezer Be Saved?

Due to a series of unfortunate events, my small chest freezer (that sits under the house) was left unplugged for 3 WEEKS! Of course the entire inventory was a total loss, but the real problem is the SMELL.

Don’t Just Cover Up Musty Odors

My problem is that I keep towels that we have used in a closet until I do laundry at the end of the week, and I wanted to know if there is anything I could put inside the closet to keep down the musky smell until laundry day?

Eliminated or Hidden? Febreze vs. Stink

I’ve heard from a friend that the way Febreze works is by “gluing” the molecules causing the smell to the fabric.

Help! Our New House Smells Like Mothballs!

There’s only one little problem with our dream home: it smells a bit of moth balls. I’m hoping that most of the stench is attached to the current owners’ furniture, but some of the smell has certainly transfered to the walls and floors of the house.

How Can I Make My Cat’s Litter Box Smell Better?

Why is cleaning out cat boxes such an ordeal? How can I make my cat’s litter box smell better if I’m a little bit remiss about getting them scooped every day?

How to Clean a Smelly Garbage Disposal

How do you de-stink a garbage disposal?

How to Deal with a Cat Marking Its Territory

Our cat marks all areas of our house by peeing especially when another animal comes to visit or where she last marked. We are at our wit’s end…. is there any solution to this problem?

How To Deal With Mildew In The Laundry

I forgot about a load of wash in the washing machine. Of course, it’s almost the entire wardrobe for both my children and the entire load *reeks* of mildew.

How to Eliminate Sulfur Odor in the Laundry

I’ve noticed a sulfur odor in our clean clothes and I can’t get rid of it no matter what I do.

How to Eliminate Shoe Odors in Small Closets

I just did some awesome cleaning in my closet and swapped out my winter for summer stuff. I noticed my closet has a funky shoe odor.

How to Fix Sour Smelling Towels

Why do towels and washcloths smell sour and how do I get rid of that funky odor?

How to Freshen Plastic Storage Containers

My spouse, it’s not me, no never me, has a bad habit of leaving his dirty plastic containers in the back of his car. I have to tell you, they are FUNKY. How do I remove the bad odor?

How to Get Rid of a Fish Odor in the Kitchen

I’m trying to encourage an elderly dog to eat and someone recommended canned mackerel.  It worked a treat but now my kitchen stinks like fish.

How to Get Smells Out of Car Upholstery

Have you any idea how to get the smell of smoke and sweat out of car upholstery without making the entire vehicle reek of Febreze?

How to Reduce Cooking Odors

I love having my home grown bacon or sausage on the weekend, but how do I get rid of the horrible grease smell after I have enjoyed breakfast?

How to Remove Kerosene Odors from Unwashable Items

I do alterations and repairs on bridal wear and I recently returned some dresses that ended up absorbing the smell of kerosene. How would someone remove the smell of kerosene from un-washable clothing?

How To Remove Mildew And Musty Odors From Towels

My towels all smell funky. Is it my teenage son? He’s usually pretty good about hanging up his towel, but lately they’ve all developed a stink. There is nothing quite like stepping out of the shower to be greeted with a musty, mildewed, smelly towel.

How to Remove a Musty Odor from Dresser Drawers

An old roommate of mine borrowed a dresser from me and used it while we lived together. After she gave it back the drawers had a musty smell that I couldn’t get rid of. If I put any clothes in the drawers they come out smelling funky and musty too. What should I do?

How To Remove Musty / Mildew Odor From Furniture

I recently retrieved a table from my garage that was stored for about a year and it smells like there could be a mold or mildew issue. How do I clean the table to remove any traces and the odor of mold and mildew?

How to Remove Mothball Odor from a Closet

There’s only one little problem with our dream home: it smells a bit of moth balls. I’m hoping that most of the stench is attached to the current owners’ furniture, but some of the smell has certainly transfered to the walls and floors of the house. So what is a gal to do?

How to Remove Mothball Odor from Clothes

How does one get rid of this smell; a smell that permeates everything it contacts?

How to Remove Musty Odor from Jeans

For a few weeks I’ve occasionally noticed a musty smell. At first I thought it was something in my house, but I couldn’t ever pin it down. I finally realized it was my favorite pair of jeans!

How To Remove Odors From Shoes

How do you get the foot-stink out of shoes? Specifically, leather shoes, since those make your feet sweat like a fat guy chasing after an ice cream truck in August?

How To Remove Odors From Stoneware

Whenever I cook or use a strong smelling condiment, my dishes always pick up the smell I can never get the odor out.

How to Remove Smoke Smell from Plastic Toys

I recently purchased replacement pieces for a beloved vintage Fisher-Price toy on eBay. They arrived today after a long wait, absolutely reeking of smoke.

How to Remove Urine Odors from a Couch

We contacted the manufacturer, who suggested spot cleaning the urine stained area with diluted dish soap. This got the stains out. Unfortunately, the smell of pee still remains.

How To Get Rid of Musty Odor In A Home

Here’s my dilemma. The house is clean, but there is a fusty, musty odor, like a large dog is secretly living in our house.

Potential Sources Of Mildew In The Bedroom

There is a musty / mildew smell in my home, but I’m having issues locating the source of the smell. As far as I can tell, it’s restricted to one bedroom. I’ve examined all of my clothing, removed the air conditioner, checked all of the furniture, and even the air ducts. I’m guessing it might be in the carpet? Any ideas?

What Causes Smelly Sheets?

I have smelly sheets! I wash them and I promise I don’t use too much laundry detergent. Then I dry them and then store them in a built-in bookshelf that’s in our closet. For some reason as soon as I get the sheets out to put on the bed they smell weird, a little musty.

What To Do About Stinky Shoes

I got my favorite pair of shoes wet last week and now they stink to high heaven. Is there anything I can do to save these shoes?

What To Do With The Drawer That Makes Clothes Stink

After the clothes are confined there for a few weeks, they develop a strong odor that spreads to other clothes which would otherwise not get smelly.

What To Do When Your Mattress Smells Like Cat Pee

It’s been a week, and while my husband swears he can’t smell the urine anymore, I still get whiffs of something–whether it’s urine or just the cleaner, I’m not sure. But it smells funky, and I don’t know what to do!

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

bathroom cleaning

Tips to keep your bathroom squeaky clean!

guide to the laundry room

Click the picture for more tips!

Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day

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Dear Home Ec 101,

I have an 8 am Philosphy class, but I find that a cup of coffee and the crust from last night’s pizza is never enough to power me through my demanding 12 credit minimum. Do you have any no-effort suggestions, Taster’s Choice is pretty taxing already.

Signed,

Anemic in Akron

Heather says:

Scientists agree skipping breakfast is the fast-track to bad health, but who has that kind of time?

Well, you’re in luck the fine folks at Hot Pockets® have solved your breakfasty dilemma. Here’s a handy tutorial, just for busy people like you.

Read the box and note, it must be nutritious, it has real cheese.

Open BoxOpen the box.

Remove the wrapped breakfast pastry.

Open and remove the protective barrier

Place the pastry in the handy cooking sleeve / carrying case.

Microwave for two minutes on high.

Admire your handiwork.

Serve with appropriate garnish and sides.

Enjoy the rest of your April Fool’s Day.

The Laundry Room: A Home-Ec 101 Guide

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guide to the laundry room

It’s great to have a house with a laundry room/area and really, those machines do a lot of work for our family. Why then, do so many people hate doing laundry? I, personally, am so glad I don’t have to use a pot of boiling water or a wringer to wash all of our clothes. The following articles will help you take care of your machines and as a result, the clothes that go through the machines. Just click the title of whichever one you want to read more of!

A Quick Tip To Detail Your Washing Machine

This is a special occasion kind of cleaning, perhaps I haven’t done it often enough (judging by the lint), but don’t think I’m trying to get you to add this chore to your already overwhelming to-do list. Maybe detailing your washer should be done whenever you get around to deep cleaning the laundry room.

Finding The Source Of The Mystery Spots On The New Clothes

I don’t use softeners or softener sheets and every piece of clothing we own is being ruined by these grease stains. I have no idea what it is but I can only assume its from the dryer. And I know, with kids, stains are highly likely but even their brand spanking new clothes are coming out with these stains.

How to Reduce Lint in the Laundry Room

Can you please post an article about keeping that nasty linty space along the sides of the washer and dryer clean?

How To Reduce Lint In The Laundry

My husband wears a lot of black shirts. Lately I’ve noticed that his shirts are covered in fuzz and lint. We’ve never really had this problem before. Is the lint coming from my washer or my dryer? Is there anything I can do to reduce the lint?

How to Remove Detergent Build-up From a Washer

I’ve recently noticed a layer of scum around the agitator.  If I were able to get my head in there I’d probably find it throughout.  Is there a way to get this out without scrubbing the thing?

How to Remove Gum from a Dryer

I / my husband / my kid didn’t check their pockets and now my dryer smells minty fresh, but is covered with with gum. How do I get the gum out of the dryer and off of the clothing?

How to Remove Mildew from a Front Loading Washer

Here is a gross one for you ladies. How do I keep my front load washer from mildewing? It smells so nasty.

How to Remove Ring Around the Washer

I’ve used everything possible I can think of to get the inside of my top-loading washer (where the top of the water line usually is) clean, but it’s still icky looking.

Lipstick In The Laundry

Help!! I took clothes out of the wash and found red lipstick in the dryer and all over my clothes.

Make Your Laundry Detergent Stretch Farther

A Tip to stretch your laundry detergent a bit further

Mildew in the Laundry

I forgot about a load of wash in the washing machine. I’ve rewashed the load at least three times now using a total of two gallons of white vinegar but the offensive odor remains.

Quick Tips From Real Life Laundry Experience

I have a few for you this morning and feel free to guess which ones I learned today and which I had done ahead of time.

Why Is There A Greasy Stain In My Washer?

Lately I’ve noticed a greasy ring around the top of my machine, a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II which is a top loader. I know my clothes are *clean* but the washing machine grosses me out.

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

bedroom and closet cleaning

Click the picture for more tips!

keeping the kitchen clean

Click the picture for more tips!

Friday Free-for-All

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Heather says

I had a couple of questions come in this week that I didn’t post.

1. I have a loveseat that got wet how do I fix it?

I wrote back and found out that it isn’t leather, it’s sort of cloth, but I never got a definitive answer on how wet. Without being able to give her a full answer on her question, I don’t feel right dedicating a whole post to it.

If a piece of upholstered furniture has been damaged in a flood, it’s almost certainly a total loss, unless the water has been extracted exceptionally quickly. Even then the furniture would need to be completely disassembled and dried in pieces. It’s not really a DIY project I recommend a furniture repair service may be able to tell you if it’s worth saving the piece or calling it a loss.

If it was just barely damp, steam cleaning is probably a good idea, if the fabric can tolerate it and keep it in a room where there is a lot of ventilation. Mold and mildew like damp, still places to spread their spores. I’m not guaranteeing the piece will be okay, but if it can dry out quickly there’s a chance to save it before mold sets in.

2. I got paint on the counter, how do I get it off?

I responded what kind of paint and what kind of counter top? No response.

If it is acrylic or latex paint on a laminate counter, scrape off what you can and then use Bar Keeper’s Friend.

Any other combination is probably going to need a case specific answer. I’ll eventually write up a thorough run down, but this week is not that week.

What else?

I’m headed to Atlanta today, where I’ll be giving a talk at WordCamp on List Building Plugins. If you aren’t running a website on WordPress, just know it’s geeky stuff. I’m excited as this is the first time I’ll be talking speaking about something not Laura related. I do plan on speaking about domestic violence in the future, but I’m just not in a place where I can.

If you’re on Instagram, you’ll see too many food pics and lego minifig adventures.

Silliness indeed.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve been working on revamping the archives with some help from Heather (Clift, I am not referring to myself in 3rd person) and Jendi.

I’m excited about this page -still a work in progress as there are many more budget-friendly recipes on this site to dig out and add, but we’re at 30 and that is a good start.

Budget recipes

 

And don’t worry it’s not just beans and rice.

Random

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to reach people who feel they are hopeless in the kitchen. I didn’t learn to cook at home. In fact, when I was 17 I was a nanny for a lovely couple with a newborn. I remember they asked me to make dinner just once. Why? Because I had no clue what I was doing and it was terrible. They were both working full time and realized it would be an uphill journey for everyone. I was so naive I didn’t even realize I should be embarrassed.

So don’t worry, if you’re embarrassing yourself in the kitchen, there’s hope. I promise.

Have a great weekend.

Menu Monday 29

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Menu Plan Monday

Heather says

Ah, Spring  when a young man’s fancy when Heather’s schedule explodes and she wonders if cloning technology could please step things up a bit.

This week I’ll be headed to Atlanta, I’m speaking at WordCamp and I’ll be helping out in the Happiness Bar (think Apple Store version  not martini) at least for the hour(s) I’m assigned and more likely as long as they’ll let me be useful. It’s my time speaking on a topic not grief related since everything fell apart and I’m so glad to feel like I’m hitting my stride once again.

That said over the next few weeks expect a few gaps in the menu plans.

How did last week work out? Did you stick to your plan or fall off the wagon. I didn’t stick to the plan, but we didn’t resort to the drive through, so I’ll call it a sorta success.

What are you looking forward to making? Are you trying anything new?

Monday – L/O Chicken Gumbo over rice 

Easily Make Gluten-FrAee Chicken Gumbo

Tuesday – Buffalo Chicken Tacos and Salads

Wednesday – Meatloaf,  Macaroni, Collard Greens

Easy Recipe and Technique for Making Meatloaf

 

Macaroni and Cheese - Stove Top

 

Thursday – CORN – Clean Out Refrigerator Night

This probably means I’ll be making breakfast skillets or maybe Mustgo Soup, either way, if it’s leftover it needs to get used up so it won’t need to get thrown out when I get back on Monday.

Those of you who read this far? I have a little treat for you.

A meal planning printable / shopping list creator. I find it easier to create the shopping list as I plan. Let me know what you think.

There’s A[n Unwelcome] Party In My Plants

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Dear Home-Ec 101,

I have a dilemma in that I looked up the tiny flies that are strolling around my plant soil. I found that they are called fungus flies and live on the decaying soil matter. I’ve sprayed the soil with Home Defense both bug spray and soapy water (nope), put a dish of apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish washing liquid in it to bait them (nope), and most recently, put coarse sand on top of the soil so the “babies that hatch” can’t crawl up and out and die (yech). Needless to say, they are no longer visible on that plant but the fliers have moved on to my other plants. I will never buy that type of soil again (with small wood chips or something) because I’ve never seen this before.

Is there any other way to rid myself of these without buying enough sand to put on all of my plants? They don’t damage the plants (I’m told), but I can’t stand bugs.

Signed,
There’s a Party in My Plants and They Won’t Go Home

Heather says

Fungus gnats, fruit flies, and drain flies are all pretty annoying, but mostly harmless pests. I say mostly because they are aggravating as all get out.

ThanksbutnothanksCider traps don’t work for fungus gnats like they do for fruit flies because fungus gnats don’t eat rotting plant material, they eat what grows on the material. Fungus gnats smell cider and say, “Sorry, I’m just not that into you.” Okay, maybe not literally, but close enough for our purposes.

The solution for getting rid of the fungus gnats has three parts; the most important being perseverance. Due to the life cycle of the flies, it’s going to take weeks to get rid of the little  buggers (ha ha) once and for all.

How to get rid of fungus flies naturally

Dry out the fungus the gnats feed on.

First, you’ll need to ensure that the top two inches of soil are as dry as your plants can tolerate.  Those two inches will need to stay dry for as long as they will tolerate. If possible, practice what is called bottom watering.

To start bottom watering, you’ll need to set the plant’s pot in a container of water. Ensure that the water level in the container does not rise above the top two inches of soil. Let your plant hang out in the container until you begin to feel moisture along the wall of the container in the top two inches.  You’ll want to avoid setting the wet pot on a surface that can be damaged by water until the container itself is dry.

Allowing the top two inches of the soil to dry will reduce the amount of food supply the larva have available.

Capture the breeding adults.

Gnat StixUnlike immature humans, fungus flies can’t breed until they are fully grown. This handy evolutionary trait allows you to implement step two – hopefully before the procreation happens.

Find sticky traps like these Gnat Stix. You should be able to find them in the garden section of most big box stores or your local nursery. You may want to give them a call first to make sure, though. You’ll want to place at least one sticky trap in each of your plant’s container. Replace the traps when the stickiness wears out or you can’t stand looking at the little carcasses any longer.

Keep at it.

Here’s where the perseverance part comes into play. You’ll need to keep using both of these techniques for a few weeks after the fungus gnats first appear to be gone.

Why?

The next batch of eggs and larva are hanging out in the soil and are just waiting for you to water your plant from the top and ring the bell signaling dinner is ready at the fungal buffet.

Another option is to get a medium the gnats don’t want to hang out in and cover the soil in each plant, this is similar to the sand technique you mentioned but with a different material. I haven’t tried this technique so I can’t vouch for the effectiveness.

I hope this helps.  Thank you for writing in.

Check out these other Pest Related Posts

Submit your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com

 

Should I Use My Vacuum on Construction Dust Clean-Up?

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Dear Home-Ec 101,
I just found your site. I could totally read it all day! I was not given a lot of training on house keeping and still struggle in my 40s now on how to do things properly.

I was reading your article about cleaning fine dust from construction mess and you said don’t use your regular vacuum. This might sound lazy of me, I do like to cut corners when I can, but will it damage the vacuum to use it for this or just fill up the bag quickly? We just had a couple rooms’ ceilings de-popcornized and we’re doing the rest of the sanding and eventually painting ourselves and it is a big dusty mess. We’ve been using our regular vacuum which seems to be working ok. We have a shop vac but my husband says it’s not very good and I would need to get the fine dust bags.

Signed,
Vacuuming in Vancouver

Heather says

Construction clean up is certainly a pain and you have my sympathy. I’ll be right there with you when the contractor gets started here. (I am a wee bit excited)

When a regular household vacuum cleaner encounters fine dust particles it sucks them up, right along with the bobbie pins and legos, but certainly not with that one tiny piece of paper. No, you must run over that multiple times, pick it up, look at it, and put it back before the vacuum will work on that.

That is the household truth of random paper scraps.

So yes, your regular vacuum will pick up the fine dust.

The problem occurs after the fine dust is inside your vacuum. If you have a high-end vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter the filter will quickly clog and put strain on the motor. Some dust will manage to pass through the filter and it will find its way into the motors.

Small appliance motors and dust do not get along well. The fine particles will quickly cause excessive wear or clog the motor. If you live in a more rural area it may be very difficult to find a qualified repair person and even in an urban environment the repair may be cost prohibitive.


If you have a cheap-o vacuum that you were planning on getting rid of in the very near future. I guess you could use it, just be aware that some of the dust particles will get spewed back into the air each time you use the vacuum until it goes to that great hall closet in the sky.

My advice is still to stick with the fine dust bag in the shop vac.

And, please wear a dust mask while you do the clean-up. Yes, they are very uncomfortable, but your lungs are much more valuable than a small appliance motor and they don’t appreciate the particulates either.

Send your questions to HelpMe@Home-Ec101.com

How to Clean Home Appliances

 

Click for all the cleaning articles on Home Ec 101

“Get the FACS”

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Heather says

I thought about writing a long-winded response to this. Instead, I’ll just share the comment I received (name removed) and share the mission statement of this site.

Home Ec 101 is a site dedicated to teaching a broad range of life skills to adults in a conversational and entertaining manner.

-Heather

 

Hi Heather,
I just wanted to share with you that I am a Family and Consumer Science teacher. Since 1994 the old phrase Home Economics was put to bed and our new name of FACS or Family Consumer Science was adapted nationally.
I’ve been having the hardest time converting people, the teachers here, my students regardless of age. I still see it mentioned on TV as Home Ec. But when I talk to new people I meet and I tell them I teach middle school, this is what happens always!

New Person:”oh? what do you teach?”
FACS teacher: Family and Consumer Science
NP: Really? What kind of science is THAT?
FACS: (sighing) You know, Home Ec.
NP: OHHH OK. That’s cool. They still have that in schools? Why did they change the name?
FACS: *face palm*

So through my travels on the web getting things for classes set up and I run across your book and now your website….perhaps I know why this name change is so difficult….because of people like you.

We don’t call a class “typing” anymore because the typewriter is dead and because of computers the name changed to keyboarding. The class called ‘shop’ isn’t for boys and it’s changed it’s name to Technology Education….again computers, tools, designing, autocad etc.
FACS changed from Home Ec because it’s not for girls anymore striving to be homemakers but all about the science of the family of consumers who are balancing anything and everything in our passages of life. My classes certainly are more boys some days….

Anywho, I just wanted to tell you this is my life’s work….converting, informing, enlightening those in the world that Home Ec is a retired word. We need to be aware of what is going on in schools, what we are teaching our kids because our parents don’t have the time to teach what I am trying to teach my students. There still is a big disconnect. Funds dwindling…cutting back….cut out the arts, cut out FACS….we don’t need these classes, they aren’t academic, they are old like Betty Crocker. Languages is what is important now!

Our appliances are computerized, we use computerized embroidery machines, we have our own laptop computer carts, we analyze food and diets on the internet, we use apps on our phones to check for food additives in what we eat. We prepare ethnic foods in our classes. We are valid, we are here, we are important. We aren’t classes full of girls who knit and make ham croquettes!
Please spread the word…..we are alive and well but living under a different name and school counselors are telling your kids to take “other classes” deeming us unimportant.
Thanks for taking the time for letting me vent….

Get the FACS….
Teaching your kids a lifetime of skills…

Menu Monday 28

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Heather says

Let’s kick off with an important Home-Ec 101 housekeeping note: I selected the winner of the $100 Amazon Gift Card via random drawing and notified (her?) yesterday morning. I am waiting for a response. If the email address starting with kweiss looks familiar, please check your spam folder, it’s important.

And back to your regularly scheduled, if a bit late, Menu Monday.

Last week was a very busy week with a fair amount of overtime.. On Friday I decided instead of going the Spanish and tapenade route that I needed to just be creative and made fish tacos while we binged on House of Cards Season 3.

Wow.

I’ll make them again this week just to confirm the recipes / technique, but it’s been requested to go on the frequent flyer program and it will. Thankfully fish tacos really aren’t a labor intensive meal: I used grouper, but any firm white fish will work, Chef Prudhomme’s Red Fish Magic seasoning, a thin coat of olive oil, and baked until just done. The shredded cabbage was just tossed with a tiny bit of honey, lime juice, and fresh cilantro. What made the tacos though was the sauce. I used just a couple of canned chipotle peppers, just like I do to make chipotle mayo, equal parts mayo and sour cream, a minced garlic clove, a squirt of lime and a little cilantro.

We may or may not have eaten ourselves into food comas. Which completely defeated the point of abstaining from meat, but sometimes after a very long week, good food and better company is the answer. Unfortunately, stress is delicious.

What’s on the menu for this week?

  • Monday – clean out refrigerator night As soon as I get off from work, we’ve got some yard work to tackle. As annoying as Daylight Savings is, I’m thankful for the brighter evenings.
  • Tuesday – Sausage Peppers and Onions over Cheese Grits
  • Wednesday – French Toast, Bacon, Fresh Fruit
  • Thursday – Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce, Okra, Rice and Peas
  • Friday – Fish Tacos (you’re not surprised, right?)
  • Saturday – Salads with steak – I’m craving red meat, I’m thinking I’ll do blackened beef tips, but I reserve the right to completely change direction
  • Sunday – we’re attending a thing with food, yay!

So tell me, Home-Eccers, what did you do that worked last week? What failed (my ability to stick to the plan).

Did you try anything new? Will you be trying anything new this week?

-Heather

If you’re just trying to get started with menu planning, this series may help:

Menu planning saves time, energy, and money. You don't have to wait until you are an accomplished cook to start. This is the couch 2 5k of feeding yourself healthy, budget conscious food.

 

Why Is Spring Cleaning a Thing Anyway?

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spring cleaning tradition
Heather says:

Why did Spring Cleaning become a tradition?

In the past many homes were heated with wood fire or coal stoves, both of which produce soot that gets deposited on walls, windows, and flooring. Over the winter this soot and the mud and filth tracked in would build up. Spring cleaning meant opening the windows wide, washing the walls, welcoming in the fresh air and cleaning out the dust, soot, and mud from the winter.

While many newer homes have forced air or other means of heating, it’s still nice to open the windows in the spring and welcome in the new season. Improved heating methods also have done nothing to stop the tracked in mess of mud and salt.

Related:

What is the point of welcome mats, door mats, and runners?

Finally spring cleaning serves as a convenient time to perform annual and semi-annual chores both inside and outside of the home.

  • Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  • Check your fire extinguisher(s).
  • Wash your windows.
  • Rotate mattresses and clean them while you’re at it. You do have a mattress pad, right?

How to clean your mattress and why you should

How to store blankets without inviting mildew

Here at Home-Ec 101 I’ve been giving the site a makeover. I hope you’re enjoying the new more Pinterest friendly graphics. When I started this site, back in the dark ages of ’07, Pinterest didn’t exist. I am not a graphic designer and for years I stressed about how to fix this. Finally, I realized I should hire people who are good at this. HE101 is getting its own Spring Cleaning and articles that have been buried in the depths of the site are getting dusted off, tweaked, and brought out into the light.

My physical home is also getting a makeover and in the next few weeks I should finally have a bathroom that isn’t cringe worthy. Yay! It’s a big project that involves ripping out the subflooring, repairing joists, and adding an extension to a sewage pipe. I’m bringing in a contractor to handle the big stuff, but I still have to finish stripping the wallpaper. Can I tell you how much I hate stripping wallpaper?

While we aren’t a 100% done with the site makeover, if you haven’t looked at the Clean It section of the site, I invite you to take a quick poke around and tell me what you think.

Do you have an opinion on whether or not I should keep the Chore Post-It on the site?

Clean Up with Home Ec 101

Click this picture to read cleaning tips for every room of the house!

guide to spring cleaning

Click the picture to learn more!