Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Clean your front Loader Washer and make your dryer dry faster

I have always had a dream of having the nice sleek front loader washer and dryers, that have an inviting feel when doing laundry.... Ok, there is nothing that has an inviting feel to do laundry, or at least I have never found. I came close though when I was doing some laundry for my mother-in-law. They had Bosch front loaders and I was helping with some laundry one day, I had washed a whole load of jeans - probably about 7-10 pairs of jeans. I went about my business and I'm not kidding, 10-15 minutes later, the load was done. WOW!! First thing through my mind was, my family of 5's laundry wouldn't take all day with these!! When I was telling my husband about them you would have thought it was the best invention since sliced bread.... to me it was close to it!! So from then on, I wanted a pair, bad!!
When we moved into our new home last month there was a regular washer and dryer that we needed to hook up. You would have thought I won the lotto when my in laws brought their washer and dryer over (they had moved and didn't need them anymore) for us to have. That is when I was excited to do laundry!!
We went through how to use them, what soap to use etc. She said to wipe the seal in the washer out about once a week and to prop the door open when not in use to prevent molding of the seal. I did this religiously! But about a month into using it the clothes were coming out smelling really bad of a mildew smell. I could not figure it out. I wiped the seal out, tried it with beach, nothing was working. So I was on a hunt. Look what I had found!!! YUCK!!!


Most of us when we wipe around the seal, it is just the inner part of the seal that we see. And yes, doing this helps to cut down on mold and the smell, but if you CAREFULLY pullback the lip of the seal you will see more mildew that you are not getting. - Or likely not getting. EWWW!! So much for clean clothes!! So I was on the hunt on how to get rid of this. I took a thin towel and filled up our laundry room sink with warm water with about a cup or two of bleach. I wiped down all of the seal a few times and got all the mildew out. - It took some scrubbing but it was worth it. I then wiped down the drum of the washer with the same rag after I rinsed it out. After it was all clean I wanted to make sure the smell was gone. I put baking soda right into the drum of the washer and turned on the washer with the hottest setting I could. I then added about 1/2 cup of vinegar to soap area. The mix of that worked amazing and got all smells out and make it very clean!!
I have since wiped out the seal with a little bit of bleach once every few days, done the baking soda and vinegar about once a week. I also think that the laundry soap I make helps to cut down on it too. - It is really easy, works great for HE machines, and costs about $5.00 to make a five gallon bucket!! Can't beat that price. (I have heard many times that people think it takes too long to make.... nope I have a batch done and ready to sit over night to cool in about 10 minutes!!) Give it a try! You will love it!
Another great trick to help you cut down on your drying time is to clean your lint filter about once every other month - or as needed. You will knock about 10 - 15  minutes per load off with this trick. I love doing it, and can't believe I didn't know about this trick before! Here is the video I made for it...
So here is the before and after on the seal... let me know if this works for you!



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Elf on the Shelf, Skittles

I love Christmas time! Well not the holiday crowds, the cold weather or the being super busy. But all the magic of the holidays. I love watching the kids with Santa and how they truly believe. The other day we went to our city's annual tree lighting, and Santa was there to see all the kids. My 5 year old was AMAZED by him! She kept saying, "I have never seen Santa this close outside." The twinkle in her eyes brought tears to my eyes. I loved every minute of it!
Last year my Mom bought my kids The Elf on the Shelf and they love seeing the elf move around the house and leave them little messages and notes. This year they couldn't wait to get our Christmas stuff out to have "Skittles" out. Once he was out, we read the Elf on the Shelf book to remind them that they can't touch him and what he is there to do. They were excited.
 The first morning we found him at the "drive in movies" with Barbie in her car. They were watching a Christmas movie. The girls laughed so hard!
The second day, we caught him "fishing" for goldfish crackers.
The third day Skittles decided to have a little bit of fun with them. He took the brightest red lipstick he could find, and drew on their noses so they all looked like Rudolph. Then he left a note in their bathroom with the lipstick to check out their noes.
Last night Skittles made a mess.... He took a tube of toothpaste and drew on the kids bathroom mirror. He said, "Brush your teeth." The kids thought this was great. The older ones laughed at the mess he made that Mom was going to have to clean. - Yeah that elf must not have thought that one through too much ;)
Then this morning the girls got an extra note from Skittles at their bus stop. When they got there he was holding an envelopes, each addressed to each member of our family. Inside there was a ticket to ride the "Minivan Express"(easily made in Word, I will try and attach a printable document for you soon.)  tonight. The ticket says, they have to wear their PJ's, slippers and bring a crayon in their favorite color.The ticket also says that "The Minivan Express" is not equipped with bathrooms so to please make sure you go before boarding.  It also told them to write down 3 reasons why they are blessed and 3 more reasons why they love each other. - This was to prevent any fighting in the car. Skittles figures that they will have at least one fight, but he can remind them why they love each other to maybe prevent any other arguments.
While they were at school Skittles was busy, not only cleaning the mirror from last night... but also writing up a letter from Santa and a Christmas light scavenger list that he placed in "The Minivan Express" for them to find with they load. They will work together on the scavenger list to find things like a house with all white Christmas lights, a Santa on something that is not a sleigh etc. They also must sing jingle bells, name 3 Christmas songs and find someone they know to give them hot chocolate - this is where a stop at Nana and Papa's house comes into play. At the end of the night when we are done driving around seeing Christmas lights, we will arrive back home to watch the Polar Express. Then off to bed. I thought this was a pretty fun way to break up the week and have a "night off."
I hope that Skittles can continue to come up with fun actives and messages for the kids this year. 19 days left :) then he is back up to the North Pole until next year.
If you do not have The Elf on the Shelf, it is very much worth the investment. My kids have a blast trying to find him, and reading what he writes. I would like to invest in 2 more elves so they can each have their own to pass onto their families when they get older. This is just another way to take an extra minute with your kids each day, and watch the magic in their eyes as we near Christmas.
Here is our Christmas Light Scavenger list.... have fun with yours!!
Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt
·        Used only white lights
·        Has more than one fake Christmas tree set up in their yard
·        Santa on the roof of their house
·        More than three inflatable Christmas decorations in their yard
·        A white Christmas tree
·        At least 3 candy canes in their yard
·        Santa holding a bag of toys
·        An angel singing
·        Wrapped the trunk of more than one tree in their yard with lights
·        More than two Disney characters
·        A wreath on their front door
·        Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
·        Snowman with a top hat
·        At least two decorations that move
·        Santa riding on anything except a sleigh
·        The Grinch
·        Lights that twinkle
·        Name all of Santa's reindeer
·        Sing a couple rounds of Jingle Bells
·        The names of 3 Christmas songs
·        Find someone you know to give you hot chocolate