Quick Tip: Make a Dryer Vent Vacuum Cleaner Attachment

Make a Lint Lizard

Unless you have been hiding under a rock–you have likely seen the lint lizard advertised on TV. It is a long tube attachment for your vacuum. It is designed to fit in hard to reach places inside your dryer to suck up lint that may be clogging your dryer’s exhaust.

But you do not need to buy the lint lizard–you can make one yourself!

1. Go to the hardware store. Buy a five foot clear tubing with a 1 inch diameter. It will cost about $3.00.

2. Get some insulation tape (padded tape). And wrap it around one of the ends of the lint lizard. Keep wrapping until it makes the diamater just large enough to be slightly larger than the end of your vacuum hose.

3. The clear tubbing with the padded end should just fit snugly. You may want to tape the tube to the vacuum hose for added security.

Place the hose in your dryer to suck up the lint. Please unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet before you start.


Plagued by Grot?

MarkdownMom found this new word and it may prove useful in playing the new electronic version of Scrabble.  What does grot mean?  Here are some guesses:

  • gross rot
  • mixture of sweat and skin found in those unmentionable places
  • what politicians exude at political  addresses
  • the smell coming from a refrigerator overdue for a cleaning
  • dirt and crud

Well, it’s all of the above and more.  It’s English slang for rubbish or dirt.  What a neat word?  Think of all its’ uses!  To get rid of grot in its’ physical rather than metaphysical form depends upon its’ source.

For all things grotty, find the answer in Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie’ s How  Clean Is Your House, based on their TV series.   They attack  cleaning nightmares with vigor and green products often found around the house and costing loads less than retail counterparts.  Find at Amazon for $15.57 +sh.

Markdown Mom's Toolbox: Dollar Store Find

Dollar Stores not only provide great savings, but carry many items that you normally don’t come across in your local hardware store.

A snake to clear out a clog is not unusual, many times they are used to clear out a clog in the toilet, bathtub or shower–anything clogging the septic system. However, you don’t want to use a snake that unclogged the toilet in your kitchen or bathroom sink. This handy little snake is just the right size to handle that job and after a plunger–again, not one used on the toilet, please–should be employed prior to any commercial anti-clog solutions.  Won’t solve large blockage problems, but is a great item to keep on hand for small problems and maintenance.  Eco-friendly and for just $1, you can’t go wrong.

This is part of Markdown Mom’s Toolbox, and should be part of yours.

Markdown Mom's Toolbox: A "Must Have Tool" For Garbage Disposal

A set of Allen wrenches are always handy to have; in fact many of today’s furniture that requires assembled pieces use allen wrenches and some kits come with them.  But what if you are an apartment dweller, or not into the carpenter thing.  Well, if you rent an apartment or own a home with a garbage disposal, sooner or later something that shouldn’t have will go down into that cavernous mouth and freeze up your disposal?  What to do? 

Well, don’t stick your hand in if the motor is running.  Not a good idea.  You can cut the power and attempt to remove the item.  Sometimes that works, not often, but sometimes.  Or, you can go to your local Home Improvement Center and purchase a universal key by insinkerator®to loosen the blade.  What this universal key is a fancy Allen wrench that goes in the bottom center of the round end of your garbage disposal–that’s right, the unit under the sink, not the top.  This will release the blades so that you can remove the item, and then secure the base again by tightening with the universal key. 

For under $6, saving time, money, and not sharing epithets and blame is priceless!

In Our Own Backyard: Duluth Trading Company

Minnesota is noted for its’ rugged, independent people.  Talented, educated, and industrious are all qualities that personify its’ citizenry.  Despite economic hard times, they press on and for all of us savvy consumers oftentimes you have only to look in your own backyard for some quality products and bargains.  Such is the case of the Duluth Trading Company.  Now one would think by its’ very name that this store is solely for the rugged, outdoor type, while this may be true, you do not have to be Will Steger or Sam Cook to find something terrific that makes you say:  ‘I didn’t know they had something like that–cool!’

MDM found a remarkable quick fix tape that will surpass MDM’s Toolbox must have, Duct Tape.  This X-Treme Tape is heat resistant up to 500° Farenheit due to its silicone base, withstands UV rays, acid, and fuels, and serves as quick fixes for electrical repairs and is air and water tight if your pipes spring a leak!  You can use it on muffler repairs, air ducts, and radiator hoses.  Comes in 6 different colors, and a kit of 6 rolls, each 10 ft. long and 1 Inch thick for $29.50.  Just think what the Red Green Show and our crafty DIYers can do with this product! 

This site is having a sale right now and features some terrific sales, and check-out their Last Chance Countdown where items are reduced every Wednesday until they’re gone, The Scout’s Weekly Special where you will find a great item reduced up to 60% off

Great site for our outdoor bargain hunters, travelers, and handymen and women, and it’s in:

 Markdown Mom’s Own Backyard!


It’s The Little Things In…

Sometimes life seems like the many wires going to our computers:   tangled, confusing, put together in rather a hodge-podge manner.  The technology of today adds a new dimension to our lives and new problems.  An entire new line of furniture has been developed to hide our black boxes and other equipment.  Entertainment centers, armoires, storage units are all in response to incorporating technology into our lives at home. 

One of the most difficult organizational problems is dealing with all the wires, cables, cords and keeping them organized so that we don’t short circuit our equipment and ourselves.  Like many others, MDM has found that even color coding wires does not eliminate the confusion entirely, but one answer is to group them and attach them to  make them less noticeable, more secure, and less likely to trip over or to snag.

Now this can be done using garbage bag closures, both wire and plastic, but MDM found these Velcro ®One-Wrap® Cable Straps.  The ones that MDM found were instore at Target® and are made for smaller devices, but you can find many online in varying lengths at Good Buy Guys.com, CyberGuys.com, and even on Ebay

Because these straps are made from velcro, they wrap back onto itself and can be cut to any length and are reusable.   In various lengths, widths, and colors, these straps are great for cables, crafts, and clutter–its’ uses will only be limited by your imagination.  Such a little thing, but a big problem solver!

It’s The Little Things In Life That Add Up!

Tools For Jewelry Bargain Hunters

Tools are important for DIYers.  They not only are important in producing professional results, but are necessary to obtain an expert outcome.  It is no different for jewelry bargain hunters.  You need the right tools to find the real bargains.  In evaluating the worth of jewelry pieces and other antiques the tools of the trade are centered around knowledge of the product.  Oftentimes this includes honing our senses such as sight to view gems, smell to find chemical makeup of a piece as in bakelite, touch to disclose any chips, and sometimes taste to ascertain glass from plastic beads by rubbing them against your teeth.  MDM found that Jewelry Television™$19.99  has a couple of items to assist the jewelry bargain hunters. Kits start at and include jeweler’s loop, gauge and tweezers, and individual tools from $9.99-$76.81.

  As MDM repeatedly pointed out the importance of gaining knowledge through expert reference booksabout antiques and collectibles and at Jewelry Television™, a site to find some real bargains on pearls, MDM found great books on pearls especially this one for $15.99.  Additionally, check out this site’ free  Learning Library for  information on gemstones, jewelry making and more in video format, articles and guides.   Get the lowdown online from the experts on characteristics, care of,  and history absolutely FREE

Then with tools in-hand, go forth jewelry bargain hunters confidently,  with the knowledge that you will find those bargains waiting for you at garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, estate sales, pawn shops, and more!!!

Tip of the Week #25: Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Holes In The Tub?

A friend of Markdown Mom is currently planning a renovation of his split entry home, bumping out the entryway and adding a one car attached garage.  In the process, he plans at a future time to bump part of the small main bathroom into the new entryway, and using the space underneath for storage.  However, that is somewhere down the road after the initial shell of the new entryway and garage is built this year.  MDM will bring you more on this project as it proceeds.  Right now though he has a problem since the current bathtub, a plastic prefab has developed holes from a shower chair as a result of a disabled family member.  Since he will eventually replace the tub in the new addition with a whirlpool, accessible tub, for now he does not want to go through the expense of demolition and retrofit only to change it  at a later date. 

What to do?  The answer  MDM came up with was a process of filling and repairing the tub sufficiently to restore the integrity of the structure to prevent any leakage plus making it cosmetically acceptable.

As you can see in Photo#1, the depth of the holes varied from a slight indentation and cracks on the right to deeper ones on the left and middle to the wooden support structure beneath.

Step 1.  In visiting a local home improvement store, a clerk suggested to use a plumbing filler such as the one in photo #2.  Now MDM has had experience with another product, an epoxy, however, that has to be applied in layers with drying in between application.  With the deep holes this would involve more time to achieve complete filling and repair of those holes. 

MDM did try the filler as a first step, but the plumbing filler proved not to be an ideal material repair since it never did fully dry and therefore had too much give to achieve a hard surface.

Step 2.  With the failure of the plumbing filler,
MDM went back to applying coats of Marine Epoxy and slowly building up the
holes and indentations until level with the surface of the tub. 

Marine epoxy can be applied with a putty knife, slowly layering and filling the holes.  Mix the epoxy per the instructions and apply with stick and putty knife.  Use sandpaper between applications. 

Step 3.  The final 1-2 applications can be smoothed out with a foam brush, sanded with medium and  then a fine grade of sandpaper to achieve smoothness. 
Be sure to steam or wash any grit left from the sandpaper.

Step 4.  Cosmetics.  After the sanding has achieved the desired smoothness, use a white spray primer for the undercoat.  Rustoleum was chosen by MDMfor this application.  Be sure to follow instructions about venting the area.  After the initial application, leave the room until the paint smell dissipates.  Apply 1-2 coats of the primer.

Step 5.  Follow the primer with a gloss or semi-gloss spray paint.  Your eye will determine the number of coats you will need to achieve the best results.

These were unusually large deep holes and required time and patience, but this technique is applicable for any crack or hole that a tub or tub enclosure may develop.

 Plus MDM recommends to prevent holes or scratches from a shower assisted stool consider purchasing a Tiki stool by Offi  from Amazon.  Because of its’ round shape, it’s stable–distributing weight evenly, durable, and another plus is that it is slightly higher than regular shower stools. Oh so chic, too!

It’s The Little Things In Life…

How many times when looking for your favorite CD, you found it out of the case in a pile of who knows what?  Now, maybe you could expect this if you had small children, but no, all your children are older–aha!  That’s precisely the problem, they "borrow" your CD’s, "Yeah, I’ll give it back right after I listen to it," hoping that we will have a senior moment and forget that they have it. 

Well, let’s face it, we do have that senior moment, but one day from the dark recesses of your mind, you remember "Didn’t so-and-so borrow my CD and never gave it back?"  Then you try to find the other two members of your family, namely, Not Me and I Don’t Know!  Alas, by sheer luck you come across it in that pile and you experience great joy of finally retrieving it, and simultaneously great despair and frustration in that you realize the CD has scratches on it and you will never experience the joy of playing it again! 

But don’t despair, all is not lost.  Now Uxcell has a new high quality, non-toxic CD Repair Cream!  Restore optical disks with a tube of cream and soft cloth (not included).  Reg. $6.99 for $1.99+sh.(which for the 1st item is $5.00, so if you only buy this one item, the shipping is cancelled out by the savings–which is okay, but if you find anything else you like–easy to do at this neat site–then you save on sh).