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Four Dangerous Household Smells You Should Never Ignore

Your nose is actually quite powerful, and scents play an important role in our daily lives. However, not all scents are good ones, and when you smell something out of the ordinary in your home, there’s probably something more going on that you need to address.

If you catch a whiff of any of these strange smells, be sure to keep the following in mind to know what that means:

Natural gases don’t usually have their own smell, but they are mixed with certain chemicals let you indicate its presence when it’s leaking. If you smell anything that smells like rotten eggs, especially in your kitchen, this means that your home is at risk of a fire hazard. While you can avoid this by routinely checking for leaks, you will need a professional plumber or home inspector to fix this issue with your home.

Musty smell
Pungent odors in your kitchen could indicate either a leaking sink or a broken pipe, which allows mold to grow and become a problem for those suffering from asthma or are prone to allergic reactions. If you have any non-porous surfaces at home, such as tiles, be sure to disinfect them regularly with a 10% bleach-water solution and ventilate the area well. However, for porous surfaces, you might be better off taking them down and replacing them since they could easily promote mold growth.

Smoke always means that fire. Just like smelling gas, even the occasional whiff can be a big problem that could put your HDB flat or condo unit at risk of a huge fire hazard, and should automatically set off your fire alarm system if you have one. If you smell it when using a particular light, appliance, or light fixture, you need to turn it off and call an electrician to fix the problem right away.

Bathroom odors
You might have a drainage leak that contains toxic components if your home somehow smells like a waste treatment plant. These toxic components can be gases such as hydrogen sulfide and methane, which can cause problems such as eye irritation, unconsciousness, and even asphyxiation from the lack of oxygen.

Causes could either be leaking pipes or just an unused bathroom in general, and the latter can be solved by simply pouring a cup of water or two into the bathroom drain. However, if you can’t find the source of this problem, the issue could be with your plumbing and would need a professional plumber or home inspector.

If you’re worried that your home actually smells but no one seems to be telling you, you can clear your nose by going out for a few hours and then coming back to smell your house again.

Five Amazing Uses for Unscented Bleach in Your Home

Aside from cleaning your white laundry, there are more uses that you can get out of this household item that are reasons enough for you to always have it in handy.

Here’s how you can use bleach for your cleaning different items in your home:

1. Making a disinfectant spray
An easy way to kill germs is by using an all-purpose disinfectant, so when you’re looking to save money on this part of house cleaning, you can make your own by mixing a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water.

You can then fill an empty spray bottle with this and use it on whatever surface you need to clean. However, you should keep it away from ammonia to avoid producing toxic fumes.

2. Cleaning off all kinds of mold and mildew
Bleach and ammonia are great for getting rid of mold and mildew in your home, but because you shouldn’t use them together, you’re better off using only bleach.

One away to use bleach for cleaning off mold and mildew is to add a small part of it to hot water and apply it to the mildewed area, whether it’s washable fabric, unpainted cement, or even tile grouting.

Keep in mind that for other types of surfaces, you may need to let the water-bleach solution set for about fifteen minutes before rinsing off as needed.

3. Sterilizing secondhand items
When it comes to secondhand items, whether they are toys or kitchen utensils, you want to make sure that they are as clean as possible.

You can be safe from any harmful germs or bacteria by taking the waterproof items and soaking them in warm water along with a 3/4 cup of bleach and a few drops of antibacterial dishwashing liquid.

Let them soak for five minutes before rinsing well and air-drying under sunlight.

4. Make white porcelain shine
Your fine white china doesn’t have to go through expensive polishing when you can achieve the same effect with bleach.

To do this, prepare a well-ventilated are and a work surface lined with heavy plastic and place many paper towels over your item of choice, after which you should let them soak in undiluted bleach for at least fifteen minutes.
Once that’s done, rinse and wipe dry with a clean towel.

5. Cleaning cutting boards and countertops
Washing with water and soap alone won’t be enough for certain cutting boards and countertops. You need to use something else to get rid of any leftover bits of food or juices from meats that might have seeped in, and this is where bleach comes in.

The best way to do this is by scrubbing the surface of your cutting board or countertop with a toothbrush dipped in a water-bleach solution, with one teaspoon of bleach for every two liters of water.

5 Things At Home That You’re Cleaning Way Too Often

If you’re someone who doesn’t like doing housework at all, there’s good news – your list of chores is about to be so much smaller.

Enter the concept of “over-cleaning”: while it’s important to keep everything clean and tidy, cleaning certain items too frequently can wear them down or make them more prone to the build-up of dust, dirt, and even bacteria.

Here are five things at home that you’re paying too much attention to when cleaning:

1. Wood furniture
Shelves, tables, and chairs are easily the first places you would think of when it comes to cleaning and dusting, and this is usually not a problem with plastic furniture.

However, if the ones you have at home happen to be made of wood, over-cleaning with water and cleaning products can actually lead to damage and warping in the long term, especially if you clean them frequently.

2. Jeans
Jeans are actually made to withstand long periods of time without being washed, and break down and start to lose their shape when cleaned too often.

But the good news is you can clean your jeans without a single drop of water: place them in a canvas bag and put them in your freezer overnight. This will kill the bacteria from skin cells without damaging the fabric itself.

3. Pillows
While your pillowcases should be replaced every week, you can most likely forgo washing the pillows themselves for three to six months.

If you need to have your pillows cleaned, send them to a laundry service or have them tumble-dried in a washing machine on low heat. You can do this twice a year so the pillows will keep their shape longer.

4. Pantry
If you have a pantry of canned or preserved foods at home, you can rest easy since you only need to clean it and take note of any expired food items once a month. Unlike your refrigerator, your pantry houses items that are airtight or dry, and will likely to last you a long time.

Instead, your refrigerator should be the main point of your focus when cleaning since it stores foods that are easily perishable.

5. Oven/microwave
While it’s important to regularly scrape your oven or microwave to make sure that no food scraps stick and accumulate, you can probably skip out on the deep-cleaning and do it only once every four months.

When you do deep-clean your oven or microwave, be sure to only use water and gentle dish soap, and avoid continuously lathering it using harsh commercial cleaners. You should keep this in mind particularly if you have a self-cleaning oven at home.

3 Amazing Home Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Do you have an allergic reaction to dust? Is your home making it worse for you?

If this is the case, and if you happen to live alone, it’s time to do the cleaning yourself. But don’t worry – just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you can’t approach the problem and help yourself get better.

In fact, here are a few tips you can keep in mind when your allergies start to kick in:

1. Wear a mask when you clean
If you have to clean your home yourself, the best thing you can do beforehand is to wear a face mask that adequately covers your nose and mouth.

When you have allergies, your biggest enemy will be the airborne particles that can get in your nose. These particles are mostly dirt and dead skin cells, and especially the waste from dust mites.

Aside from covering it with a face mask, you should also make sure to avoid sweeping, dusting, or even vacuuming.

2. Baking soda and vinegar are your friends
Don’t use scented cleaning products or detergents when you have to clean, since they will only worsen your clogged sinuses. If you have to use cleaning products to get rid of any mold in your tiles at home, be sure to use unscented ones.

A cheaper alternative to them is baking soda and vinegar, two household products that can clean just about anything when mixed in the right concentrations.

Unscented bleach is also good for cleaning bathroom mold. When cleaning, however, be sure to keep in mind that you should never mix bleach with either vinegar or baking soda, since the resulting fumes can be highly toxic if you breathe them.

3. Clean the air
The best way to minimize your allergic reactions at home is to clean the air, you will need to clear up the dust around the house without moving them.

You can start doing this by lightly spritzing dusty areas at home with a water bottle and wiping them down with a clean cloth. If the cloth gets too dusty, rinse it off with water and replace it with a new one.

Investing in a high quality HEPA filter for your home is also an option if you feel that the air coming into your home is dusty no matter how hard you clean it.

Regular cleaning is the best way to make sure your allergies don’t act up severely at home, as well as provide a clean, allergen-free place for you when they do.

There are many ways to help you deal with allergies, such as over-the-counter medications, but they may not always work or have certain side effects. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking antihistamines.

3 Tips Guaranteed to Give You an Edge in House-Hunting

When you’re just starting out, house-hunting can be really daunting. And there’s a lot of reasons for this.
For instance, the property can be too expensive, or that there’s a problem with the unit that needs fixing, and if you’re looking to rent, no one is renting out because the landlord is questionable.

Other problems may include distance and extended travel time, or that you may not like the neighborhood. And lastly, someone else may have already rented out or bought the unit before you did.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips that will improve your house-hunting experience in Singapore:

1. Know your budget
Your budget is the biggest factor in house-hunting. This should be enough for you to screen through a lot of listings with ease – no need for that dream house when a modest HDB flat is what your wallet can afford.

There are a few ways to find out your financial threshold, such as the Central Provident Fund (CPF) calculator, where you can key in crucial financial details to generate the maximum cost and the estimated loan you would need.

2. Do your homework
Once you have your budget figured out, it’s time to start looking at the units within your price range – you can find these in listings and recommendations from friends and family, though you will have to actually visit the units yourself.

If you can, you can even visit the neighborhood twice a day to get a feel for the area. Be sure to talk to the landlord and the neighbours in the area and ask questions like, “What’s the neighborhood like during the day/at night?”

And lastly, don’t fixate yourself in one particular housing area or district. While some areas do have their own personalities and may be nicer to live in, being open to other districts allows you more units to choose from.
The same goes for the housing type, space, and the number and size of bedrooms – you’ll be surprised how many bedrooms can fit in such a small condo space.

3. Hire a housing agent
You may have heard about people who have had a terrible experience, but this shouldn’t stop you. A great housing agent has the following qualities:

• Has an in-depth knowledge about the different property prices in Singapore
• Capable of negotiating rental prices on your behalf
• Researches apartments before taking you to them
• Takes care of a good chunk of the paperwork for you

Be sure to find a good agent and take advantage of all of these mentioned qualities, and you will have a smoother experience in your house-hunting.

Whether you’re an expat or a local, there are all sorts of surprises you will find in your house-hunting. If you keep an open mind, you’ll find all kinds of housing units that might just be right for you.

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