Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category
When my husband and I had to relocate for his job last summer, I was a little perturbed. We had lived in the same area for nearly 20 years, and leaving behind all of our friends and family was a scary proposition. Now that we’ve been in our new residence for over a year, I’m amazed at how easy the transition has been.
Most of this can be attributed to our amazing neighbors, who have been warm and welcoming since the day we moved in. The only thing that I haven’t been able to get over, however, is the hard water. I had heard horror stories about hard water before I moved here, but this was my first first-hand experience with it. It certainly isn’t reason to up and move, but it is a constant annoyance. Everyday it seems like I have to whip out my decalcifier and go to work on the coffee machine or some other household appliance.
Nowadays people are quite intimidated by the prospect of performing maintenance on their vehicles and appliances. Something as simple as changing a headlight has evolved into an arcane process which requires the expertise of a trained mechanic. But some technologies are still easy for anyone to maintain, and if you’re willing to make the extra effort, the improved performance is palpable.
Take coffee makers for instance. Most Americans are constantly running their machine, but how often do you see someone take the time to clean it? You may think that this process is complex and superfluous, but it only takes a few minutes and your coffee is guaranteed to taste better. All you need a descaler product, which effortlessly removes buildup and deposits from your machine without leaving any residue or aftertaste.
Simply put, hard water is water with a high mineral content relative to normal, soft water. The minerals most common in hard water are calcium and magnesium, which usually make their way into the water from limestone, chalk and dolomite. Although hard water isn’t a health risk, it can cause some headaches around the house.
First, hard water stinks, literally. This means your laundry and dishwasher may emit a strange odor when you have hard water. It also can cause mineral damage and buildup in the tub and other areas. Mineral buildup is particularly common when the water is hot, such as in coffee makers. So if you have hard water and love your coffee, I suggest always having some espresso decalcifier on hand.
Admittedly, I’m not the best person when it comes to keeping things clean. I tend to wait until my house is borderline unbearable, at which time I do a comprehensive cleansing of the entire house, then neglect my chores once again for the next couple of months. My appliances tend to be in the worst condition when cleaning time rolls around, especially my coffee machine, which I use at least twice a day.
The hard water in my neighborhood simply wreaks havoc on the inner workings of the machine, and for the last few days, the flow of coffee has been dawdling. Yesterday I finally decided to clean the machine, so I pulled out my Durgol. You may be accustomed to the old vinegar method of cleaning coffee makers, but Durgol works much better and there isn’t any weird smell or aftertaste to worry about.
The fact that you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on a coffee machine won’t mean anything if you don’t keep your unit in peak condition. Not only will your machine look grimy, the coffee’s taste will suffer and the flow of coffee through the system will be impeded. There are dozens of recommendations out there for how to clean your machine, but the best method in my opinion is to use a decalcifier like Durgol.
Durgol works to eliminate calcium, lime and other mineral deposits that can build up in your machine, especially if your have hard water. Unlike other cleaning methods, Durgol doesn’t leave any aftertaste or residue in the machine, ensuring a clean, natural tasting cup of coffee. And Durgol also works to prevent future buildup, meaning you have to clean your machine less often.
I’m always a little suspicious of products that work in miraculous ways. Take Durgol for instance. I spent weeks trying to scrub the calcium deposits from my espresso machine with vinegar and nothing happened. Then I put Durgol in the machine and it’s like new in five minutes. If it can bust through calcium and lime that fast, there must be some pretty harsh chemicals in it—at least that was my thinking.
In fact, Durgol doesn’t contain any additives, unlike most other decalcifying products. This means that after you use Durgol in your machine, there isn’t any chemical residue and the machine is odorless—not even the vinegar method can say that. When the Durgol mixes with the minerals, it creates salts, which don’t harm the environment. Durgol actually works to remove lime in the water, which can be left over from detergents.
A few days ago, my son got pulled over for doing 55 in a 40. He just got his license a few months back; I can’t believe he’s already gotten a ticket. My husband and I grounded him for the rest of the summer and took away his license, of course, and while he’s stranded at home, we’ve decided to make him do some long needed chores.
First, I’m making him clean all of the windows in the house and dust the entire place, ceiling to floor. Then he has to retile his bathroom sink, which is totally disgusting. And ever since he started drinking coffee last winter my machine has never worked right, so I’m making him take the espresso decalcifier to it. Now that I think about it, it seems like he’s getting off a little easy; I think I’ll make him do the gutters and clean out the garage too.
My son moved into his own apartment about a year and a half ago, but last weekend was the first time my husband and I had visited his new abode. He was never the cleanest person when he was living at home, so I went in expecting the worst. And I wasn’t disappointed. Garbage and clothes were strewn about the house and half of his belongings weren’t even out of the boxes yet.
Within seconds my maternal instincts took over and I went into a cleaning frenzy, tackling everything from the bathroom to the attic. One area that was particularly dingy was the kitchen; instead of cleaning his dishes, I think he simply goes out and buys new ones. To make matters worse, there is hard water in his apartment complex, so I had to break out my descaler and clean all of his appliances. I know my hard work will all be for not, but at least the apartment will be clean for a few hours.
With the economy in the tank and uncertainty on the horizon, we’re all looking for ways to pinch pennies and cut corners. My husband and I have given up many of the little luxuries we used to enjoy, but one thing we can’t go without is our morning coffee. We like to splurge and buy premium beans and put a great deal of time and effort into crafting the perfect cup of coffee. A few mornings ago I went to brew my morning cup of joe, and much to my dismay the coffee maker wouldn’t even turn on.
Purchasing a new coffee maker was out of the question with our budget, so I decided to go to the secondhand store down the street to see what I could find. Luckily they had a couple of premium coffee makers that looked like they were in fabulous condition. I bought the nicer of the two, took it home and went to work cleaning the exterior and removing the mineral deposits with our Durgol. After the machine was spruced up, it worked even better than our previous model.
For years gift baskets have been touted as an ideal present for any occasion, but, in my opinion, giving them has become a bit taboo. Sure they work for business associates and casual acquaintances, but for close friends and family members, I like to give something more personal. Not to mention the fact that there is an astronomical markup on everything that’s in the basket. However, these drawbacks are no reason to disregard gift baskets altogether—they are still a great method for a creating a themed present.
Personally, I like to create my own gift baskets with a personalized touch. For my sister’s birthday last month, for example, I created her a coffee gift basket with some of her favorite goodies. Since I made the basket myself, I was able to include coffee from her favorite producers, some of her beloved flavored syrups and a novelty mug. I even threw in some decalcifier for her machine, which definitely has been through its fair share of abuse.