Don’t Join The Disposable Society! Why Timely Maintenance Will Save You $$$:
Your house is a money trap.
Let’s be more accurate: the items found in your house are a money trap. You buy them, use them – and they then stop being as efficient as they should be. You find yourself surrounding by items that you’re just making do with rather than getting the best out of them.
Well, it’s your fault.
Yep. No blame on the manufacturers; it’s all you, and you –
Okay, okay, some blame on the manufacturers. They, of course, have a vested interest in making their products more disposable. They sell you a fridge for $500 and it lasts you ten years. Good deal for you, right? But they sell you a fridge that costs $400 and lasts for five years, then you buy another one – good deal for them. In a decade, you’re worth $300 more to them. It’s not just ranting; products genuinely do not last as long as they used to.
So it’s time for you to fly in and save the day. If you make a few changes to the way that you use items, you’ll get the most out of them that you can. You can beat the manufacturers! You’re basically Superwoman, but with the hotpants as an optional.
Want to know how to wring every last drop out of anything you buy? Read on…
Know Your Water: Hard water is a nightmare for anything it comes into contact with. Skin, hair, appliances – it’s an enemy that you can do next to nothing about. You can use a water softener but they’re not cheap, particularly if you have a large house.
If you have hard water, then you need to take special care of your appliances. You might think that that just applies to kettles and washing machines but it’s everything. If it goes into the dishwasher to be cleaned, think of hard water impact. If you clean it with hard water – well, you can see where this is going.
Descale items like irons and kettles on a monthly basis to keep them at their best. Use vinegar to get rid of mineral deposits on crockery, and always clean with softened or bottled water to avoid build-up. As for clothes…
Treat Your Clothes Well: The above sounds a little bit prosaic; very few of us are going out of our way to treat clothes badly. But if you want them to last, they need a bit more TLC. First and foremost, the hard water issue can be handled with products that tackle limescale build up while washing. It still might not be enough, however. If your clothes are somewhat sticky to the touch after washing, then soak them in vinegar before washing to cleanse deposits. Every six months, rinse them in soft water – rainwater is best, so just leave an airier outside for instant softness.
For items you have to wash regularly, such as school clothes or work gear like Urbane medical uniforms, these need extra protection. Wash them on as low a heat as possible and use minimal laundry soap, which can accumulate in the fabric. Avoid using a dryer wherever possible, as this places further stress on the material.
Also, look at their storage. Hangers should be soft with no hard edges. Folding might be efficient but it’s just an extra way for the fabric to be pulled around. Hanging clothes can save space and stop any unsightly creases.
Clean Out Filters: You can find filters in a huge array of household appliances. They’re in your air conditioner, your vacuum, your dryer – the list goes on and on. If you don’t clear a filter out regularly, there are two potential consequences. One is a tad more serious than the other.
1) The item consumes more electricity having to power past a clog. To make things worse, it will also be less efficient when doing so. So you pay more in power for something that does half the work. Not smart.
2) Your entire house goes up in flames.
Yes, dryer vents that are clogged can be the literal ruin of your house. Get into the habit of cleaning it after every single use to prevent lint building up and catching fire. Furthermore, never leave items like dryers, washing machines and dishwashers on when you’re not at home. They’re a fire risk, and you need to be there to take action should the worst happen.
Think About Sunlight: I believe we can all agree that sunlight is a good thing – but not if you want to keep things from looking their best. The same UV rays that can give you sunburn (or cancer) also do a number on your furnishings.
If your furniture has a habit of losing color and looking pale, then sunlight might be to blame. The bleaching effect can make things look much older than they are, to the point that you feel they need replacing before it’s their time. Only glass is immune from this problem, as it lets the sun pass through it rather than bleaching the surface.
Try and keep expensive furniture and decor items away from direct sunlight. This can be a trick of clever positioning in your home or using blinds or curtains during the brightest time of the day. Don’t forget things like picture frames or photos too; even behind glass, they can still go a horrible yellow color with too much exposure.
Only Use Items For Their Intended Purpose: This one should go without saying, but there’s a trend for making items do double-duty. Online life hacks have got a lot to do with it, and on the surface, they seem like an affordable way of getting more bang for your buck.
But if you use items above what they are designed to do, you’re going to wear them out quicker. You might just outright break them. Then you have the worst of both worlds: two chores you have to do and no appliance to do them with. Stick to the guidelines and items will go much further.