The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 19, 2001 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, April 19, 2001
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Page 13
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THURSDAY APRIL 19, 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL Home & Garden ASK THE BUILDER / C2 CLASSIFIED / C2 ALMANAC / C8 Clean up this spring witln a few lielpful liints By JANE GREIG Cox News Service AUSTIN, Texas — Spring has sprung. The rising sap and budding trees are accompanied by a mysterious urge to clean. Suddenly, the tops of doors are revoltingly dust laden, the refrigerator door handle is a bit sticky, and that greening world is barely visible through grimy windows. Admit it, they need cleaning. Now is the time. By May, it wiU be too hot to move about the house, much less clean it. Need another reason? A recent University of Michigan study found a correlation between an adult's education level and the cleanliness of the childhood home. Seems those raised in houses rated "clean to very clean" completed almost two years of education beyond their counterparts raised in "not very clean to dirty" homes. Higher education translated into high income (to the tune of about $2 an hour more). So, Mom and Dad, if the dust bunnies creeping out from under the bed did not induce guilt, maybe the fact that a dirty home threatens your children's future will. What's an over scheduled homeowner to do? Give in to the itch to clean, readers. This edition of the Greig Files brings tips When did spring and cieaning become synonymoiis? Hark back to those chilling days of yesteryear. Homes were heated by burning fuel — wood, coal, dung. The winter-long buildup of soot and ashes left a fine film of dust and grime on virtually everything. When the weather permitted, the windows were finally opened. Time to dig out from under the cinders. Furniture was taken outside, and mattresses to rugs were beaten to remove the dust and soot. Walls were washed; floors scrubbed. Not altogether an easy task since water had to be heated and that effective but caustic lye soap was a homemade creation. In addition to beating the rugs, there was starch to be made, coal cookstoves to be maintained, icebox drains to clean and composition floors (cork, rubber, linoleum) to maintain. In your grandmother's day, housecleaning Included all sorts of basic maintenance — from whitening clothespins to cleaning gasoline- or gas-powered Irons. on spring cleaning and a perspective on housework. Want to remove dents in the carpet caused by heavy furniture? Losing an ongoing battle with a foggy bathroom mirror? By the time you finish a Saturday morning cup of coffee and this article, you win have all the answers and cleaning pointers you need to catapult you into action. So grab that dustbin, lemon juice, vinegar, rags and leaf blower and start cleaning. You, and your children's SAT scores, will be glad you did! Wliat's in dust? Dust varies from home to home — but not much. Dust is a melange of fibers from plants, fabric and humans. Dander, dead skin flakes from humans, is the major component. And those beloved pets add some hair and skin also. Add a pinch of insects and arthropods (spiders, mites, ticks, etc.), pollen, household insulation and foam backing from upholstery and carpet. And, oh yes, a smidgen of earth and sand floats around in dust also. Laundry room/bedroom • Add V2 cup Cascade dishwasher powder per wash load to whiten linens and towels. • Goo Gone removes ballpoint pen ink from fabric. • Remove lipstick or any grease- based stain with shampoo. • Use pure soap such as Ivory or Castile on antique quilts. Wash in the bathtub and dry on a rack. • Remove crayon marks from walls by spraying WD-40 and wiping with cloth. Clean residue with soap and water. • Remove dust from light bulbs. • Pillows, even feather, can be washed in cool water on delicate cycle, two at a time. Tumble dry with tennis balls. • Wash sheets in an enzyme-based detergent, such as Biz. • Take tape off walls and woodwork by heating the glue with a hair dryer. Illustrations by RICHAE MORROW / The Salina Journal Living room/dining room • Take water rings off furniture with a paste of fireplace ashes and oil. Rub. Let sit. Remove. Repeat. • Dust silk flowers in a bag with salt and shake until salt turns dark. • Remove spots from flower vases with vinegar after every washing. • Remove dents in carpet from heavy furniture with a mister of water or an ice cube. Coax fibers up with a comb or fork. • Place an umbrella upside down under a chandelier before cleaning to protect the furniture and carpet. • Clean dust off decorative candles with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. • Remove marks on wallpaper with an artist gum eraser. • Identify streaks when cleaning windows by wiping vertically inside and horizontally outside. The basics • Begin at the top of the room and work your way down. " Eliminate clutter — the trash can is your friend. • Carry cleaning tools with you to speed up the process. • Remove small rugs. • Dust ceiling, walls, curtains, window frames, woodwork and doors before dusting furniture. • Clean windows, mirrors and pictures. • Vacuum or damp mop floors. Kitchen • Sometimes cloudy glasses respond to denture cleanser. • Remove the rubber disposal lip and clean built-up gunk. Put lemon or orange rind down the disposal to freshen. • To clean the interior of a dishwasher, run a short cycle (no dishes) with one cup vinegar. • Freshen the interior of the microwave by zapping (30 seconds) a cup of water containing Vi cup lemon juice. • Take spots off stainless steel with a paste of baking soda and water or a creamy silver polish or Bar Keepers Friend. • Remove price stickers from glassware with WD-40. • Prevent silver discoloration, if you wash silver in the dishwasher, never let it touch stainless steel. • Remove lime deposits from teapots by placing equal parts water and vinegar in the pot and boiling for 10 minutes. Rinse well and repeat. Bathroom • Clean rubber decals off the tub with Shout or Spray 'n' Wash aerosol. Saturate; let soak for an hour. Remove with plastic scraper. • Use an old dryer sheet to shine bathroom faucets and kitchen sinks. • Whiten toilets by placing one cup bleach in bowl. Close lid and leave undisturbed at least an hour. • Keep bathroom mirrors from fogging up by cleaning with shaving cream. • Use lemon juice and salt to remove rust on fixtures and sinks. • Oven cleaner works wonders on shower doors. • Toss the shower curtain in the washing machine with a little beach to kill mildew. Hang and let a spray of hot water remove wrinkles. See CLEAN, Page 02 T MASTER GARDENER Survival of the fittest holds true in plant kingdom CHIP MILLER KSU-Sallne County Extension Horticulture Agent • Hot, dry summer and wet winter weed out less hardy plants in garden I'm not the type of gardener who has his home landscape on a regular watering schedule. Furthermore, there is no way I can water the entire landscape in case of drought. I don't worry about this because it is a natural selection process. Those plants less tolerant of drought will die, and those more tolerant will replace them. This past year challenged plants to survive and gardeners to make reasonable choices. Not only was late summer hot and dry, but winter was wet and cold, just the opposite of the mild and dry winters of the past decade. This was a lethal combination for some plants and a minor inconvenience for others. Some of the less-weU-established parts of my fescue lawn died. I can replace it for little more than the cost of seeds in the fall. Some bargain trees we planted late last spring croaked. My only option is to buy replacement trees. I lost some dianthuses to the wet winter and some other perennial flowers to the dry summer. I have two choices here: Buy replacements — either the same plant or tougher species — or divide those plants that prospered. Walk around the yard and observe those plants that not only survived a dismal year in the garden but look great this spring. These are the plants that are tough enough to grow a lot of. Many can be divided. From one plant you can get several, for only the price of your time and effort. A few days before dividing an overgrown perennial, water it thoroughly Later, prune back the foliage to about 6 inches above the ground. Dig the entire clump. A spading fork works well. Insert the tines deeply into the ground and rock the fork back and forth gently to loosen the soil. Loosen the ground all around the clump and then attempt to lift it. If you hear squeaking and snapping sounds, stop and loosen again. Lift the clump onto a newspaper or tarp. In the case of perennials that send out new plants with individual crowns and roots, dividing is merely prying the tightly knit plants apart. Daylillies become tangled masses that require some force to separate. Plants such as peonies have large rhizomes with eyes on them. The eyes are buds from which new stems will arise, like the eyes on a seed potato. Cut the rhizomes into pieces with three to five buds attached. Soil must be prepared before planting because this is your last chance to make amendments without disturbing a plant. Dig the soil deeply then add organic matter and fertilizer. Peat moss is a good organic material. Fertilizer should be high in phosphorus. One handful of garden fertilizer per plant is adequate. Plant the divisions at the same level from which they grew be­ fore. There are two exceptions: If the plants were extremely crowded, they may have pushed one another higher If a peony plant grew but never flowered, it may have been planted too deeply (more than 2 inches). Water well but prudently after planting. Don't neglect recent transplants during the winter. They will need supplemental water during dry winter months. Weather damage may have been severe for your broadleaf evergreens, especially boxwood and Manhattan euonymus. Evergreen trees such as Colorado spruce and scotch pines also suffered badly If they don't show signs of recovery in the next six weeks, it may be time to start over, with better- adapted choices. SUGGESTIONS? CALL RICHAE MORROW, GRAPHIC DESIGNER, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjrmorrow @8aljoumal .com

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