How To Clean Your Wood Furniture

Fall is here! If your allergies are acting up, you may want to clean up all of those allergens in your home. Use these tips to properly clean your wood furniture.

There are many types of wood furniture out there, so that means there is more than one way to clean them. Use this guide to keep your furniture looking beautiful, and your allergies at bay. Don't forget to dust frequently between cleanings, this is the best way to keep your furniture looking new!

Painted Furniture: 
You don't need anything fancy to clean painted furniture because it's very durable. Just take some mild soap and dilute it in water. Dip your cloth into the water and wring it out so that it's nearly dry - use this to fight grease and stains. Go over with a clean, dry cloth when you're done. 

 Stained Furniture: 
There isn't much to cleaning stained furniture. Just dust it with a damp cloth. If there is something stuck on the furniture that you can't remove with a damp cloth, just follow the instructions for painted furniture. Remember not to leave the wood wet - do not pour a solution onto the furniture, only apply it from the cloth. You will want to rinse and dry quickly.

Unsealed/Unfinished Wood Furniture: 
Take some mild hand soap and dilute it in water. Dip your cloth into the water and wring it out so that it's nearly dry. Go over with a clean, dry cloth when you're done. Remember not to leave the wood wet - do not pour a solution onto the wood.

Varnished Furniture:
Dust the furniture with a damp cloth. If there are areas where it's not coming clean, you can treat those areas with cloth that has been dipped in a solution of mild soap and water (wring cloth before using). You can polish the furniture with a spray furniture polish that has been applied to a cloth, but not directly onto the furniture.

Veneer Wood Furniture: 
Clean with care. The fine top layer of wood may or may not be varnished and a thin varnish can easily bubble up in water. If unsealed, damp dust only. If covered with a hard-wearing synthetic coating, wash sparingly with a sponge dipped in mild-soap/water. Rinse and dry.

Top 9 Thanksgiving Hacks

There is nothing like the thrill of Thanksgiving, like trying to cook a four-course meal for twelve people in your kitchen that usually only serves four people - am I right? Ok, maybe thrill isn't the right word. Whether you're excited, panicked, terrified, or ready to call the Chinese restaurant for take out, here are some tips to help reduce your stress and make the most of your kitchen.

1. DIY Roasting Rack
No roasting rack? No problem! You can easily make your own roasting rack with tin foil or vegetables. To make the rack with tin foil, simply roll tin foil into a 1/2" thick line, and twist into a spiral shape to fit underneath the turkey. No tin foil? Try cutting some extra vegetables like onions (halving), carrots (peeling) and celery and line the bottom of the pan. The vegetable option gives added flavor to your turkey. 

2. Copy/Print your Recipes & Tape to Cabinets
If you are anything like me, I lose my recipes at least 14 times before I finish cooking the dish. Save yourself the hassle of searching for lost recipes, or trying to figure out what they say underneath the layers of spilled food by taping them to your cabinets. For the handwritten ones, or recipes in books, you might want to make a copy before taping them. Taping recipes also helps create "stations" in your kitchen when you have people helping you cook, so that nothing is forgotten and everyone has space.

3. Mashed Potatoes from the Microwave
Need extra space on your stove? Don't have time to boil potatoes? Use your microwave! You can microwave your potatoes instead of boiling them and it will save time and space. Microwave 4 medium russet, yukon gold, or white potatoes (6-8 red potatoes) for 8 minutes. Then, continue with your favorite mashed potato recipe! 

Bonus hack: For fluffier mashed potatoes, add baking powder when mixing!

4. Use Coolers/Ice Chests for Additional Refrigerator Space
 "Mom, there's not enough room in the fridge for the green bean casserole!" How many times have we heard that phrase, or something similar? Make more room in your refrigerator by putting some items in coolers/ice chests. For added ease, you can assign different coolers with purposes, such as desserts, appetizers, side dishes, etc. 

5. Slow Roast your Turkey Overnight to Free Oven
They say the smell of turkey makes you sleepy right? Get a good night's rest with the smell of turkey on your side by cooking the turkey as you sleep. Since it takes so long to cook a turkey, you can save yourself a few Thanksgiving Day headaches by cooking your turkey the night before. Your turkey will be fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy.

You can use any family recipe to prep the turkey, then use this little guide for baking a 20 pound turkey: 
Place turkey, breast side down in rack in roaster. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Turn turkey over; reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees. Bake uncovered without opening oven door for 10-12 hours. 

Bonus hack: Use warm chicken broth to bring it back to life if it gets cold, by pouring it over the turkey. This is also a great tip for dry turkey.

6. Prevent Pie Crusts from Burning with Tin Foil 
Don't you just hate it when you make a delicious pie from scratch and the edges of the crust are burned? It just burns me dum bum tss. To prevent such catastrophes from happening, simply wrap the edges of the pie in tin foil, leaving the center open to cook. Nothing else will change, just the edges!

7. Grate Frozen Butter for Dough
The biggest secret to fluffy and delicious biscuits is the cold butter. But boy is it a pain to have to cut into the dough! Save yourself some time and energy by grating frozen butter into your dough! This is also a great alternative to if you don't have a pastry knife.

8. Prep - Grocery Lists & Veggie Chopping Ahead of Time
You can budget time and money a little better by planning ahead. Plan out the dishes, recipes, grocery lists, and time in advance. 

By planning your menu early, you save yourself from those last-minute trips to the grocery store on Thanksgiving Day and get the added benefit of hitting sales on certain items by knowing you need them ahead of time. 

Chop early! There is so much prep work involved before making most dishes this holiday season, so relax a little by doing the leg work a day or two in advance. You can even put the chopped veggies/ingredients into separate zip lock bags with the amount written on the outside so you can just toss them into your pan on Turkey Day! For example, if your stuffing calls for 2 cups of onions, chop the onions, put 2 cups in a bag and label it "2 Cups - Stuffing". This is much better than trying to sew finger tips back on after dicing too quickly on the big day.

9. Use Slow Cookers to Keep Sides Hot
Instead of trying to overwhelm your poor oven on the busiest day of the year, cook your side dishes early and use a crock pot/slow cooker to keep them warm for hours! This ensures that your food will be served hot, without having to shove everything in your oven 15 minutes before dinner is served. 

I hope you are able to use these tips to have a stress-free Thanksgiving! 

Reusing to Redesign

Tired of looking at the same ol' same ol' in your home? Me too! But sadly, redesigning the entire house is way out of budget! Here are some tips to help redesign your home without breaking the bank:

1. Rearrange the furniture
Sometimes you can rearrange the furniture that you have in each room to make the space feel new again. However, it can sometimes surprise you to see what you can do by pulling from throughout the house. For instance, take a chair from your living room and swap it with one from a bedroom or game room. 

2. Refinish items
Instead of buying new furniture or knick knacks, try refinishing or painting them. You can bring an old 90's frame up to date with a simple coat of paint! Plus, painting some of your decor will bring consistency to your room. 

3. Change out your Pictures
Sometimes the tiniest details can bring new life to a room. Experiment with changing out pictures in your picture frames, or changing up your wall art. If you want to get crafty, you can always make your own art out of other household items, or try your luck at a flea market for some unique, inexpensive art. 

4. Paint
Paint is cheap and can make a big difference. Try painting just one wall or the whole room to give your space a whole new feel! 

For more tips, questions, or help with your design, please contact Woodmaster Woodworks to help make your house feel like home.