How to Make Just About Damn Near Anything... Last Longer

Shoe Repair Photo

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Duct tape is wonderful stuff! While there are some individuals who will tell you that you can fix just about anything with it, the best way to ensure your things last a long time is through plain old fashioned common sense and proper care. Here are a few preferred ways to take care of all your stuff...

Holiday Stuff

Christmas Holiday Humor Photo

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  • Live Christmas Tree

  • Tip: Re-cut the tree trunk immediately before tightening into stand to maximize water absorption. Sap has a tendency to form over time on the bare trunk, preventing the tree from absorbing water.
  • Wine

  • An open bottle of wine oxidizes quickly, which is why if you cannot drink the entire bottle, it may not taste as good the second time around. Tip 1: To keep wine fresh, you can freeze the bottle, provided you thaw it slowly. Tip 2:You can also refrigerate wine to slow the oxidization process (keeps wine for up to three days). Tip 3: A purchased air-pump cork is a helpful tool to remove the excess air from a wine bottle, thus hindering the process of oxidization all together. Tip 4: Last but not least, adding marbles to a wine bottle helps to displace some of the empty space, thus reducing the amount of air in the bottle.
  • Grandma's Fruitcake

  • Tip: Do absolutely nothing. These will make great doorstops for centuries to come.


    Old Dishwasher Humor Photo

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  • Furnace

  • Tip: Clean or replace the air filter at least once a month to ensure proper airflow and reduce the amount of effort needed to pull clean air through the house/apartment.
  • Oven

  • Tip: Wrapping the drip pans on an electric stove with aluminum foil can actually short circuit the burner, so it is better to just be more careful of spills.
  • Washing Machine

  • Tip 1: Overloading the washing machine not only compromises how well the clothes will be cleaned, but also put excessive stress on the agitator motor. Tip 2: Clean screen inside water hose once a year for optimum washer efficiency.
  • Clothes Dryer

  • Tip: I know you've heard it before, but you should always clear the lint from the trap/screen after each use. It allows the dryer to run at its maximum efficiency, thus requiring less time to dry the clothes.
  • Dishwasher

  • Tip: One of the best ways to keep your dishwasher mineral-deposit and soap-scum free, is to run two cups of vinegar through the system every couple of months. Do this by placing the vinegar right side up in a bowl, then running it through the "light" cycle.
  • Refrigerator

  • Tip 1: Clean the compressor coils every 6 months to ensure it is running at maximum efficiency. A harder working refrigerator not only uses more energy, but also wears out more quickly. Tip 2: Another way to reduce the work of a refrigerator is to displace as much empty space as possible. This mean adding water jugs (or equivalent) to the spaces around the shelves to minimize the amount of work needed to keep the air cool. Tip 3: Also, take time to clean the gasket around the refrigerator to help seal the cold air.
  • Vacuum Cleaner

  • Tip 1: You can reuse a vacuum cleaner bag several times before throwing it away. Tip 2:Never allow the bag to go much past half-full before emptying/replacing, as it will only make it more difficult for the motor to inhale dirt efficiently. Tip 3: Keep the vacuum cleaner brush free of all rug, animal, and human hair/fiber/debris, this helps maintain maximum efficiency and minimum motor wear.
  • Microwave Oven

  • Tip: Keep the inside of the microwave clean, paying particular attention to the small plastic cover, known as the waveguide cover. This small cover is found on the side or top of the microwave cavity and collects food particles and grease. If this gunk is allowed to accumulate and burn on the cover, it will eventually become warped and damaged, warrantying the need for a repair.
  • Blender

  • Tip 1: One of the worst things you can do to a blender is chop ice without at least a small amount of liquid. This is very hard on both the blades and the motor. Tip 2: Never run a blender while it is sitting over top a puddle of liquid (from spills, melted ice, etc.). The reason being, most blenders have cooling vents towards the bottom to cool the motor. The powerful suction can actually pull moisture into the motor along with the air, eventually corroding or short-circuiting the internals and sending your blender to an early grave.

More ways to make just about damn near anything last, on Page 2.

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