Archive for the ‘Other Building Materials’ Category

These vintage 1940's silver candle sticks show how silver should look. Photo courtesy of BerdAndBee

Most people do not have a kitchen full of silver any more, but for those of you who do have a few items, perhaps candle sticks or goblets, there is a really easy way to clean it.

Silver gets a black sheen or coating to it just from being exposed to air.  If it is also subject to handling, it will get a tarnished look very quickly.

But do not despair, it is not like the old days when you would have to sit and rub and rub that silver till it once again shone.  No now we have some quick and simple tricks and you already have all the things you need at home.

1. Grab your toothpaste and squeeze some onto your fingers, run this over the silver product ensuring that you have a thin but even coat all over the silver item.

2. Now get your old tooth brush kept for cleaning – if you do not have one, you really should, so use your current tooth brush and buy a new one for your mouth – then with a bit of warm water on the tooth brush work in short brushes all over the silver.

3. Rinse the toothpaste and water off your silver after a good brushing.

4. Using a soft cloth or tea towel give your silver a good rub to dry and polish.

And that is it, quick and easy silver cleaning!

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Image courtesy of Michelle Kenna

Have you got clothes strung all over your house?  Crazy idea, but perhaps it is time to put up a clothes line?

There are plenty of different clothes lines available, so first you need to determine if you want to go old school hills hoist or one that folds out from your building.  But assuming you know you need one, and it was always a matter of time, these are the things that you should know.

Choosing the best spot for your line

In order to maximise sunlight ensure your washing line faces north or south.  You also need to make sure that if it is a hoist line that you have enough space around the central point, or if it is a fold out that the wall is both wide enough and free of obstructions.

Washing lines are usually available in a range of sizes, so whatever the amount of space you have, you should be able to find something to suit your needs.  There are two main types of washing line, the hoist washing line and the fold out washing line.  Whichever type you purchase, the washing line will come with instructions which should be followed.  The following information is simply to give you and idea of what is involved.

Hoist installation

A hoist washing line is like the one in the picture above.  Modern versions usually allow the arms to be folded down in order to reduce the amount of space they take up when not in use, however you will always have the central pole.  Select the site for your pole and then ensure that you have enough room around it, free of obstructions like trees or fences that clothes might catch on.

To insert a hoist line you will need to plan on digging a hole, and filling it with concrete to secure your central pole position.  You will need a spirit level to ensure the pole is straight.

Wall installation

With a wall installation unit, the washing line in most cases will attach to the back of your house.  You need to ensure that you have enough space to fit the washing line and that you are not trying to put the bolts in near the ends of the brick (for example corners or window frames).  Going to close to the edge could cause that corner of brick to break off.

All the pieces required to assemble the unit are usually supplied with the washing line.  Measure about 50cm above your height and mark on the wall.  You will need a masonry drill to drill into your brick work and a spirit level to ensure that your line is straight. Measure twice to avoid mistakes.

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