Tag Archives: featured

Boring Light Bulbs Be Gone, Enter PLUMEN

Looking for a unique way to add some pizzazz to your light fixtures? No longer should you be forced to adorn your sockets with boring, tried, and tired bulbs of the last decade. There are so many new and exciting options to choose from, but here are two from a company called PLUMEN that recently caught our attention:

These are a completely new find for us. Plumen, claiming to make the “world’s first designer low energy light bulbs,” currently offers two distinct versions of compact fluorescent light bulbs. The Plumen 001 offers a chaotic twist to a mediocre spiral CFL, while the Plumen 002 has a more relaxed and minimalist feel. Check them both out below, click on the images for more information.

PLUMEN 001
PLUMEN 001

PLUMEN 002
PLUMEN 002

Removing Hard Water Stains from Glass

GlassIf hard water stains have you down, I have a few tricks to help you reduce or eliminate their appearance. I like to attempt to remove hard water from glass using the least abrasive ways possible before trying the harder ones. These methods are listed from least abrasive to most abrasive, try the lighter ones first then move onto the harder stuff if that doesn’t work for you.

Windex or Any Other Glass Cleaner – Before attempting to buff your glass clean, did you try cleaning it first? Grab your paper towels and favorite glass cleaner, maybe a microfiber if you’re concerned about dust, and see what a general cleaning will do for you.

Lime-A-Way – This one is pretty straight forward here. Spray it onto your glass and let it work its magic. After a few minutes wipe it down with a sponge and rinse the surface with water. This process can be repeated, but may take additional time to remove the calcium build up. If this doesn’t make your glass crystal clear, continue reading.

The scrubber pad on the back of your sponge – Using a lot of elbow grease, I’ve been able to remove hard water spots by scrubbing and buffing excessively using the back of a good sponge. Not only with it help your glass look marvelous, your arms will get one hell of a workout.

Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Pads – While very similar to using the sponge method, this is a slight step up in abrasiveness. Get yourself a new Scotch-Brite pad and go to town. Once these pads get worn they don’t work nearly as well or quickly. Make sure it’s wet and soapy, then begin scrubbing.

Steel Wool – This is hands down my favorite method of cleaning stubborn glass. However, test a small area before you start attacking your glass. You want to remove the hard water, but not scratch the glass. While I haven’t had any issues with scratching or etching my glass, that doesn’t mean you won’t. Make sure the steel wool or the surface you’re cleaning is wet before you begin. If your steel wool doesn’t have soap already embedded into it, then dip it into a water/soap mixture first. Work the wool in small circular motions and keep going until the surface feels and looks smooth.

Razor Blades – While I do not recommend this to just anyone, a NEW razor blade with a perfect smooth blade can be used as a last resort effort to chisel off whatever may be on your glass. Only attempt to use this on smooth glass. Be extremely careful if you attempt to use a razor blade as you can easily scratch and destroy your glass. With the surface wet, gently run the blade over whatever it is that is caked on the glass. Apply light pressure and move the blade in a gliding motion, imagine you’re shaving the glass smooth.

Fixing Low Water Pressure from a Shower Head

Shower HeadOver the last couple of days, I’ve noticed that my shower’s water pressure has dropped to around half of how it normally flows. I spent the week procrastinating and finally fixed it this weekend. A large chunk of what appeared to be rubber was blocking the little openings on the inside of the shower head. Needless to say, removing the shower head and clearing out the debris quickly resolved the issue. Now, I have even better pressure than before this problem arose. While my shower head was removed I also took the opportunity to thoroughly clean and polish it up. Now it’s looking good and working better than it ever has before. Here’s how I did it:

You may need a couple of things to get this project going:

    1. Ensure the water is in fact “off”.
      This may sound obvious, but we might as well cover all of our bases. Generally, just turning the water off using the handles that control your shower will suffice.
    2. Remove the shower head.
      I like to first see if I can use my hand to twist and remove the head before grabbing tools. Holding the shower arm (pipe coming from the wall) with one hand, twist the shower head counter-clockwise with the other. If it doesn’t come off with a good firm twist, find yourself a wrench. Shower heads usually have a slight notch on the base, where it attaches to the shower arm, that make it easy for a wrench to grab onto. I like to wrap a towel around where the wrench comes into contact with the base to avoid scratching or marring the finish.
    3. Clean it out.
      After it’s removed, take a good look inside of the shower head. Check for anything that could be blocking the flow of water. Sediment from the water heater that has managed to make its way out can build up over time at water spouts. In one case, I found a wad of plumbers tape that had untangled and became lodged in the shower head. Clean out the old plumber’s tape from the threads before adding new tape.
    4. Check your pressure.
      Without the shower head attached, turn on the water and let it flow out of the exposed shower arm. Is the pressure still low? If so, it may be a bigger problem than a clogged head.
    5. Clean the front.
      Calcium and lime can build up from hard water on the front of the shower head. Grab yourself a bottle of Limeaway or CLR and soak the head for enough time to break up the calcium. You may need to soak it more than once and manually scrub or brush the head to remove all of the build up. I like to use green Scotch-Brite scrub pads that you can find in the cleaning section at almost any store.
    6. Prepare the shower arm.
      Using plumber’s tape wrap the threads on the shower arm, but be careful not to allow any of the tape to hang loose over the end of the spout. Remember that you’ll be twisting the head back on in clockwise manner. A good idea would be to wrap the tape in the direction that you’ll be turning the head, so it doesn’t get mangled and bunched up while you’re twisting.
    7. Reattach the shower head.
      Begin twisting the shower head back onto the shower arm using only your hand. Try to get it as tight as possible by hand. At this point I like to take the wrench and turn it a quarter to half a turn around to ensure it makes a snug leak-free fit. Be careful not to over tighten the shower head as you can quickly turn a small project into a much larger one if you damage your shower arm.