Front-loading washing machines are energy efficient and use less detergent than top-loaders, but they sometimes have a tendency to harbor mold and unpleasant smells. By giving your washing machine a quick clean once a month, you’ll keep your front-loader fresh, which means cleaner clothes, too. This eco-friendly method doesn’t use bleach, costs only pennies to make, and comes together with ingredients you already have on hand.
What You will Need:
- 2 cups vinegar
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup water
- Scrub sponge
- Start by mixing together the baking soda and water in a small bowl. This is going to be the “detergent” for cleaning the washing machine. Pour the vinegar into a measuring cup and head over to your washing machine.
- Add the baking soda mixture to the detergent container of your machine and pour the vinegar into the drum. Set your washer to normal load at the hottest water setting. Close the door and start the machine, letting it do all the hard work for you. The baking soda and vinegar naturally break up mineral deposits and any mold growth while cleaning and refreshing your washing machine.
- Use a clean scrubber to rub around the opening of the washing machine, removing stubborn mold or residue. Wipe clean with fresh water.
- Your washing machine is sparkling clean and ready to do a load of laundry!
Does the inside of your microwave need to be cleaned? Here’s one way to clean your microwave.
- Remove any plates and movable parts from the microwave and wash these separately, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Put the bowl with vinegar in the microwave.
- Microwave for about five minutes (high-powered microwaves may need less time – the inner walls should be steamed up when your allotted minutes are up).
- Wipe out the inside of the microwave with a microfiber cloth – be careful, as the bowl and the water will be hot!
- The vinegary steam will loosen any dirt on the microwaves inside.
- Next (or as an alternative), chop your lemon in half and microwave it for a minute or two.
The microwaved lemon and vinegar will kill off any germs lurking amongst the dirt, and loosen up anything badly carbonized. The lemon will also add a pleasant scent the inside of your microwave.
- When using a car charger, do not charge the battery when the inside temperature of your car is hot. Wait until the car has cooled before you plug in the phone.
- Check to see if your phone has a “Battery Save” option. If so, you can turn this on to increase the life of your battery.
While charging your phone, keep it on any non-heat absorbent material such as wooden table, plastic shelf, book, metallic table most effective (as it is conductor of heat, it takes away minor heat generated by battery).
- Turn the TV off: You don’t want to interfere with any pixels while they’re still firing, and turning off the TV will enable you to see dirt, dust, and grime better since you’re working with a dark surface.
- Find a microfiber cloth: These soft, dry cloths are the same type of cloth you would use to clean eyeglasses. They’re perfect for LCD screens because they don’t leave lint.
- Wipe the screen: Use the microfiber cloth to gently wipe off any dirt or grime that’s visible.
Don’t press hard on the screen if the dirt or grime does not immediately come off. Simply move on to the next method below.
Do not use paper towels, toilet paper, or old shirts as your cleaning cloth. These materials are more abrasive than microfiber cloth and may scratch the screen and leave lint residue.
- Examine the screen: If it now looks clean, there may not be a need to wash it. If you see splatters of dried liquid, built up dust or other gunk, move on to the method below to give your flat screen some extra shine
- Clean the frame of the screen: The hard plastic frame is less sensitive than the screen itself. Use the microfiber cloth or a duster to wipe it off.
- Examine your available speakers:The number of speakers you will be connecting will determine the type of surround sound you use. The most common setups are 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1.
2.1 is two front speakers and a subwoofer (the .1).
5.1 is two front speakers, a center speaker, two surround speakers, and a subwoofer.
7.1 is two front, one center, two surround, two back, and a subwoofer.
- Place the subwoofer near the center of the home theater: The subwoofer is omnidirectional sound, which means you will achieve similar results no matter where the subwoofer is placed. Many people like to place it towards the front of the configuration so that it is easily connected to the receiver. Although subwoofers are omnidirectional, placing them against walls and corners will amplify the bass, making it difficult to control. Try to place the subwoofer in an area that sound can escape somewhat evenly. This will allow you to adjust the labels much easier.
- Place the front speakers to each side of the TV: Make sure that if the speakers are marked that they are on the correct side. Front speakers should be placed equidistant from either side of the TV, usually around three feet from each side.
- Angle the front speakers towards the audience: Each speaker should be angled in slightly so that it point directly to the center of the seating area. You should be able to “draw” a symmetrical triangle between the two speakers and the center of the seating area. THX recommends a 45° angle for your front speakers
- Raise the front speakers:For the best audio quality, the front speakers should be raised up so that they are ear level with the audience. You can either use speaker stands or your home entertainment cabinet.
If you are setting up a 2.1 system, you are done with speaker placement and can move on to Connecting the Speakers.
- Place the center channel speaker above or below the TV:The center channel bridges the gap between the left and right speaker. It helps when sound pans from left to right, and keeps dialog synced with moving mouths on the screen.
Angle the center channel up or down so that it points at the audience.
Do not place the center channel behind the TV, or you will not be able to hear it.
- Place the surround channel speakers to the side of the viewing area:The surround channel speakers are what give the effect of sound happening around the viewer. They do not transmit as much sound as the front speakers, but enhance the action on the TV by enveloping the viewer.
Your two surround speakers should be placed on either side of the viewing area, pointed directly at the audience. You can place them slightly behind the viewer if you aren’t using 7.1, as long as they are still pointed directly at the viewer. This means that they will be at a 90°-110° angle to the TV.
- Raise the surround channel speakers:Your surround speakers should be placed about two feet above ear level. Angle them down slightly so that they point at the audience. This will provide the best auditory experience. Use any included stands or available furniture.
If you are setting up a 5.1 system, you are done with speaker placement and can move on to Connecting the Speakers.
- Place the back channel speakers behind the viewing area:Try to place the two back channel speakers as close to each other as possible. This creates a bubble of sound around the audience. The back channel speakers provide more ambiance and support the surround speakers.
The back channel speakers should be the same height as the surround speakers.