Today’s tip is one that is gentle on your washer (HE and regular), but most importantly it will save you money! If you’ve ever looked at the cost of laundry detergent, you may have choked at the cost. I have a wonderful recipe to make your own Liquid Laundry Detergent for only $1.25 per year! And the detergent is low suds and low residue which will keep your washer and clothes cleaner.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

How to Make DIY Laundry Detergent

If you think this detergent couldn’t possibly work on dirty clothes, think again. I can tell you that in addition to our regular clothing, I’ve been using this recipe for 9 years on my boys’ clothes, on my own work clothes, and my husband’s karate clothing. And it really works. Whatever stains don’t come out in the wash are no match for my DIY Miracle Stain Remover.

The ingredients for the laundry detergent are simple and can be purchased at your grocery store. Just look on the high or low shelves in the laundry detergent aisle. If you can’t find them there, you can also look at your local hardware or home improvement store.

To make the detergent, you only need about 15 minutes and then let the detergent sit overnight. The next morning, you stir, add more water and you are done! Do you think that’s too much time to devote to making laundry detergent? What if I told you that this batch lasts our family of four (did I mention two of them are young boys) six months or more.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

Click Here to Download the Printable Version of the Recipe

Laundry Detergent for $1.25 a Year

Several of you asked me to make a video showing how I make my own detergent. For your convenience you can watch the video, then scroll down to read the directions.

Ingredients:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

DIY Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Please note, you can purchase these items cheaper at your local grocery store or hardware store. The links are here to help you see what the box looks like or to order if you can’t get to the store.

Optional: Essential Oil for Scent (see below for scent ideas)

Instructions:

  1. Cut Fels Naptha Bar in quarters. Grate one quarter of the Fels Naptha Bar using a fine cheese grater.
  2. Boil 1 cup of water. Pour grated Fel Naptha into pan of boiling water. Stir continuously until the soap has dissolved. Meanwhile, pour 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water into a large container or bucket. Pour dissolved Fels Naptha into the bucket of water. Stir.
  3. Add 1/4 cup Super Washing Soda and 2 TBSP Borax to the bucket.
  4. Add 2 1/2 quarts more water and stir.
  5. Cover the mixture and let is sit overnight out of reach of pets or children. Uncover the bucket and stir the gelatinous mix.
  6. Add 5 Quarts (20 cups) of water to the bucket. Stir.
  7. Add 15-30 drops of essential oil of your choice.

Some essential oil scents you may like:

Citrus scents: lemon, lime, orange, bergamot, or grapefruit
Herbs scents: peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, basil
Other scents to try: Eucalyptus, chamomile, cypress, lemongrass
Want to fight mold & mildew? Use Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)

Blends to try:

  • basil & lemon
  • lavendar & lemon
  • orange, bergamot, and lemon
  • chamomile, lavender, and orange
  • lemon & tea tree

Miracle Stain Remover Recipe:

If your clothing gets stained, try soaking in this miracle stain remover a day or two before laundering. You’ll be amazed how the stain lifts out effortlessly.

miracle stain remover

How did I figure out my cost per year?

I had to do a little guestimating to figure out my cost. In the nine years I’ve been making this recipe, I’m only on my second box of Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.

Each batch of DIY laundry detergent consists of at least 4o cups. If you use the required 1/4 cup per load (do not use more, as more detergent won’t get your clothing cleaner) you can easily get 160 loads from each batch.

All this to say, I came up with a very conservative estimate that I pay $1.25 for laundry detergent per year!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

Storing Your Laundry Detergent:

When I first started making this recipe, I used my empty laundry detergent container. But, it was often too small for the batch size. Next, I used an empty 2.5 Gallon Water Jug. But, several years ago I bought a big glass drink dispenser and a smaller bottle with a flip top stopper. The smaller bottle is filled and used for dispensing detergent into the 1/4 cup measuring cup and then added to the washer. The large drink dispenser holds all the excess detergent. This is a prettier solution to storing all the detergent.

DIY Laundry Detergent | Pretty Handy Girl

Gift Idea:

Once you try this DIY laundry detergent, I know you’ll love it. And then you’ll want to share this recipe with everyone you know! I like to share the recipe with a small sample amount in a laundry themed basket.

DIY Laundry Detergent |Pretty Handy Girl

If you want more uses for that big box of Borax, check out my 2 Ingredient Ant Killer!

PHGFancySign

Pin this page for later!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

 

Don’t miss a single tip! Sign up to get all the tips in your email:


Sign Up for Email Subscription


When I first walked through the Millie’s Remodel house, I knew I had to do two things to the home. First, I needed to add a doorway for the laundry room inside the house. Second, I really needed to add a second bathroom. Believe it or not, I was able to accomplish both goals in one room. Come see my design plans for the shared powder room and laundry room.

Millie’s Remodel: Powder Room & Laundry Room Design

If you remember, Millie’s laundry room was only accessible from the back deck. You had to walk out the back door, make a U-turn and go into the laundry room. I’m certain it was a major inconvenience doing laundry if it was raining, snowing, or just plain cold outside.

To remedy this situation, I had my masonry contractor brick up the door and we put a transom window at the top of the opening to add some natural light into the room.

But, I got ahead of myself. Did you remember what I found under the laundry room floor and door?

ROT! Lots of wood rot and a fungus growing on the floor joists. My framers came in and replaced all the damaged joists and put down AdvanTec material for the subfloor. This is my new favorite material for subfloors. It’s moisture (and therefore mold) resistant. AdvanTec has tongue and groove edges so there’s virtually no movement or squeaking in the floor.

open framed wall looking into new powder room and laundry room

A new door opening has been framed into the house. The doorway may seem extra wide, but that’s because I still have to install the pocket door frame there.

Now that the subfloor and framing is done, it’s time to focus on making this room beautiful again. Here’s my design board for the shared laundry and powder room.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Ceiling Mounted Light | LED Wall Light | Round Modern Mirror | 24″ Vanity with Top  | Gold Sink Faucet | Stacked Washer & Dryer | Cement Tiles

This bathroom has to do double-duty as a laundry room and powder room. For this reason, I opted for a vanity with storage inside. I can’t wait to see all these elements installed in this room. Personally I like the classic navy and white color palette.

What about you? Do you like the design choices I made for this room?

A special thank you to the Millie’s Remodel Sponsors:

The Millie’s Remodel project sponsors have donated materials for the Millie’s Remodel project. As you know I am very particular about the brands I work with and recommend. As a general contractor, I choose the products used on my projects wisely to make sure they last a lifetime. Therefore, I have no reservations putting my name behind each and every one of these sponsors.

millies remodel sponsors logos

How to Install Cement Tiles and Achieve Professional Results

How to Install Cement Tiles and Achieve Professional Results

If you’ve been browsing Pinterest lately or flipping through the pages of your favorite home design magazine, you’ve probably seen (and likely fallen in love with) real cement tiles. Cement tiles are trending, so much so that porcelain and ceramic lookalikes are popping up at most tile retail shops. The first thing you’ll notice about real cement tiles, is the price tag can be steep. What you probably don’t realize is cement tile can be a bit trickier to work with than standard ceramic or porcelain tiles. Don’t let this dissuade you, because today I’m going to show you how to install those beautiful authentic cement tiles and achieve professional results. Plus, because we’re friends, I’m going to share with you my affordable source for real encaustic cement tiles!

Cement Tile Look Alike on Bathroom Floor

Cement tiles purchased from most tile retailers can run upwards of $20 per square foot. But, I’m about to let you in on my secret tile source. Shhhh, lean close so I can whisper it in your ear. “TheBuilderDepot sells real cement tiles for less!”  In fact they sell more than just cement tiles and their prices can’t be beat! You might remember I used beautiful marble subway tiles from TheBuilderDepot when I was renovating my kitchen.) The Builder Depot offers popular tiles at a discount because they cut out the middle man. (Here’s a brief explanation on why their prices are lower than other retailers.)

How to Install Cement Tiles and Achieve Professional Results

Seeing those beautiful cement tiles and a great price prompted me to contact my friend at The Builder Depot and ask him about being a Saving Etta sponsor. He agreed but on one condition; he asked me to write a tutorial on How to Install Cement Tiles and discuss the pitfalls and risks associated with improper installation techniques. Apparently customers were unaware of the proper way to install cement tiles. In fact, even seasoned tile installers were making costly mistakes because they were treating cement tiles like ceramic and porcelain tiles. There is a big difference between them.

What’s the Difference Between Cement Tiles and Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles:

  • Ceramic and porcelain tiles are slick (often shiny) and aren’t absorbent on the surface.
  • Encaustic cement tiles are highly porous and absorbent from the surface to the base.
  • Porcelain and ceramic tiles can be grouted immediately after the thinset mortar has cured.
  • Cement tiles must be sealed before grouting or you risk the grout staining (or permanently sticking to) the surface.
  • Porcelain and ceramic tiles do not need to be sealed.
  • Cement tiles need careful handling to avoid staining and scratching the tiles.
  • Porcelain and ceramic tiles are forgiving and can stand up to a lot of abuse.
  • Encaustic cement tile patterns are created by pouring different colored clay baked into the tile. It’s not merely a coating.
  • Porcelain and ceramic tile patterns are applied in the glazes (painted on top of the tile).

Here’s a beautiful video showing exactly how encaustic cement tiles are made:

Now that you know more details about cement tiles, you can have a beautiful cement tile floor. But, you need to follow this tutorial closely. (Almost all these instructions will apply to installing cement tiles on a wall, so keep reading.)

Making Manzanita's tile shower niche cement tilesCheck out this beautiful bathroom makeover with a Cement Tile Niche
by Making Manzanita

How to Handle Your Cement Tiles:

When you receive your cement tiles you’re going to be tempted to rip open the box and rub your grubby hands all over the smooth tiles (or am I the only weirdo that likes to stroke tiles?) Regardless, before you open the box, wash your hands. Cement tiles are EXTREMELY porous and will absorb oils and stain easily. Until you get to the sealing step, you’re going to have to handle these tiles with care (kid gloves wouldn’t be a bad idea.) Lest you think you can seal the tiles before installation, don’t try it. The tiles have to be porous to release moisture while the mortar is curing. If you seal it ahead of time, there’s a good chance your tiles will develop a ghosting appearance.

Cement tiles can scratch easily. Keep the packing material between the tiles until you are ready to install them. Don’t mark your tiles with a pencil or pen for cutting (unless you will be cutting off the marks.) Even faint pencil lines can’t be easily removed from the tile surface.

How to Prepare Your Floor for Cement Tiles:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Just like when you paint a room, you’ll get the best results if you take the time to prep your space before you begin.

Before laying tiles on your floor, you must put down a substrate to prevent future flexing that can lead to cracks in your grout or worse in your tiles. Typically tile installers will use cement backer board. But, because the cement tiles are so thick, I chose to use an uncoupling mat to reduce the finished floor thickness.

cutting uncoupling mats.

Measure and cut your mat (or cement board) with a utility knife. Dry fit the mats (or boards) before proceeding.

Whichever substrate you use, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. For improved waterproofing, you’ll want to cover seams with the recommended seam tape. For completely waterproofed floors, add seam tape around the perimeter of the room (as shown in this video.)

Installed uncoupling mats, finding center of room. Marking perpendicular lines.

Next find the center of your room and mark perfectly perpendicular guidelines to use as a guide when laying out your tiles.

Layout cement tiles starting in the center.

Dry fit the tiles with spacers in your room before you begin. Make any adjustments to the tile layout or pattern before you begin.

Dry run. Layout cement tiles before installation

How to Install Cement Tiles:

With your substrate installed, it’s time to install your tiles. Before we begin, make sure you have these tools and materials. A quick note on cutting the tiles. You can use a score and snap manual tile cutter for straight lines, but nothing beats a wet saw for angled and more complicated cuts. If you don’t want to buy a wet saw, you can rent one. Tile setting is a one person job, but it helps to have an assistant to speed things along by making cuts and mixing more mortar and grout.

Materials:

Instructions for Installing Cement Tiles:

Here’s a video I made to help you learn how to install cement tiles properly and keep them looking beautiful!

Mix your thinset mortar according to the package directions. (I usually try to achieve the consistency of peanut butter.)

Prepping Your Cement Tiles:

One of the most important tips for working with cement tiles is to soak them in water before installation. Allow them to soak for at least 30 seconds before laying them into the mortar. If you don’t soak them, the tile will absorb too much moisture from the mortar.

Soak tiles in water tub

Starting from the center of your room, apply the thinset mortar to a small area and use your 1/2” notched trowel to comb the thinset. Lay your tiles down. Lift one tile to check and see if the mortar is completely covering the back of the tile. If not, your mortar consistency may be too dry.

Avoid the temptation to lay more than a few tiles at a time.

Lay first four tiles in thinset mortar

After your first small group of tiles are set, insert spacers. Check to make sure the tiles are level and the same height. Then immediately clean any and all thinset off your tiles using a damp sponge.

Now you can move on to installing the next small grouping. Periodically check to make sure your tiles are lined up with each other and there are no lips between tiles. (Using these self leveling spacers will eliminate any lippage on tiles.)

After all your tiles are installed, block off the room and keep off the tiles for at least 24 hours while the thinset hardens.

How to Install Cement Tiles and Achieve Professional Results

Sealing Cement Tiles:

We’ve arrived at the most important step when installing cement tiles! You must seal the tiles before grouting them. Use a penetrating sealer made for porous stone or cement tiles. Before sealing, make sure your tiles (and the thinset for that matter) are completely dry. You can test the tiles for any remaining moisture by laying down a piece of plastic on the tiles after installing them. If there is moisture the next day when you lift the plastic, they aren’t dry enough. Wait for them to dry or you could risk discoloration of your tiles.

Clean the tiles by sweeping off any debris and clean with a ph balanced cleaner (a bucket of warm water with one drop of dish soap is a good cleaner.) Let the tiles dry. Wipe or buff with a rag.

Pour the sealer into the dish pan. Dip your pad applicator into the sealer liquid. Squeeze off excess sealer against the edge of the dish pan.

Apply sealer with pad applicator

Apply the sealer in thin coats working in one direction. Remove any excess sealer from the tiles BEFORE it dries. (See the streaks below? Those streaks and any puddling needs to be buffed off to avoid uneven drying.)

Avington Black & White Cement Tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com

Let the first coat of sealer dry completely. In fact you may want to take a break for 30 minutes or so between coats.

Buff off excess sealant from tiles.

Be prepared to apply many coats before your cement tiles are fully sealed. (My tiles needed 5 coats to seal them. Then I had to wait another 24 hours for the sealant to fully cure before grouting.) It may seem like a long process, but this insures the tiles will withstand regular use and resist stains.

After each coat of sealant dries, you need to test to see if the cement tiles are completely sealed. Drip water onto the tiles. If the water beads up, they are sealed. However, if the water absorbs into the tiles, add another layer of sealant and try the water test again later.

Water beading up on cement tiles means it's ready to grout.

Once your tiles are fully sealed, wait 24 hours before grouting.

How to Grout Tiles:

Because I work alone, it takes me a little longer to grout. To prevent my grout from hardening too quickly, I like to float my mixed grout container in a bucket of ice water to slow down the setting action.

Load up your float with fresh mixed grout. Holding your grout float at a 45 degree angle against the floor, spread the grout over the gaps between the tiles in a diagonal motion. Work in small 3 – 4 square foot areas. Then scrape any excess grout off the tiles using a clean grout float.

grouting tiles with grout float

Immediately wipe off any excess grout using a clean damp sponge. Ring out and refresh your sponge with clean water frequently.

It is imperative to get all the excess grout off the tiles or you risk the grout staining or settling into the tiles. Go ahead and move on to the next section, but go back to the previous tiles and buff off any haze with a dry rag.

Avington Black & White Cement Tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com

After the grout has cured, clean your floors with a pH neutral mild cleanser. Then apply one final coat of penetrating sealer. A new coat of sealer should be reapplied every 6-12 months for floors, and every 2-3 years for wall tiles.

Avington Black & White Cement Tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com

Cement Tile Maintenance:

To protect your beautiful cement tile floors, clean up any spills immediately. Never leave anything sitting on the floor that could stain or scratch your tiles. If your tiles get scratched or stained, you can use a fine grit sandpaper to sand off the stain. Just be sure to re-seal your tiles after sanding.

Still on the fence about installing cement tiles in your home? This is a good article breaking down the pros and cons of cement tiles.

A big thank you to The Builder Depot for providing the laundry room tiles for the Saving Etta project and for giving me excellent instructions for installing the cement tiles. What do you think? Do you love the cement tile look?

Laundry Room with Avington Cement Tile Floor.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Happy tiling!

How to Install Cement Tiles and Achieve Professional Results

Disclosure: The Builder Depot is a proud sponsor of the Saving Etta project.  I was provided with materials for this project. I was not told what to write. All opinions and ideas are my own.

 If you haven’t done so already, be sure to *subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

*My followers on YouTube get sneak peeks of some of the projects I’m working on, so subscribe today!

 

If you liked this post, you’ll also find these tile posts helpful:

How to Install Cement Tiles and Achieve Professional Results

How to Tile a Backsplash

 

How to Install Cement Tiles and Achieve Professional Results

How to Grout Tiles

It’s been a decade since we bought our front-loading HE washer and I’ve managed to keep it smelling clean for 10 years! With just three simple steps, you too can banish the funky, mildew, and moldy smelling clothes washer. Here’s How to Keep Your HE Clothes Washer and Laundry Smelling Clean!

How to Keep Your HE Clothes Washer Smelling Clean

How to Keep Your HE Clothes Washer Mold Free for 10+ Years

We all know the HE (High Efficiency) washer uses a lot less water than the old top load clothes washers. And, they cut down on drying times with a super spin cycle that leaves clothes damp not wet. With all those positives, you’d think everyone would be clamoring for an HE washer. Unfortunately, HE washers can start to stink if they grow mold or mildew inside. What would you say if I told you that after 10 years I’ve cleaned the inside of my clothes washer twice? It’s true, the only times I had to clean it was once when the washer sat in our garage for over a month closed up during renovations. And the second time is when we had a house guest who didn’t know to do three things to keep the washer clean and smelling fresh.

Do These 3 Things After Every Load of Laundry:

  • Wipe out the gasket
  • Leave door open to dry
  • Open detergent drawer (or remove to let it drip dry.)

Here’s how to keep your HE front loading washer clean and fresh like the day you bought it:

1. ALWAYS wipe the door off after each load.

he washer freshness cleaning window

2. ALWAYS wipe out the gasket (top to bottom) to remove any water and moisture. This is the main area that will get mildewy first. Gently pull the gasket toward you to wipe inside and behind the gasket. Wipe especially well around the drain holes at the bottom.

washing machine clean upkeep rubber seals

3. Leave the door open after your wash is done to thoroughly air out your washer. Obviously if you have a closet instead of a laundry room, this can be a problem. Your best bet will be to invest in a top load HE washer when it comes time to replace your washer. Until then, try your best to keep the washer open about 30 minutes after you’ve washed a load.

he washer airing out to keep clean

4. Open or remove the detergent drawer to allow it to air out.

Pulling Out detergent drawer on clothes washer

If you still have odors or smelly laundry, try some of these remedies:

Visible mildew

Inspect inside and around the gasket for signs of mildew (usually black spots.)

he washer mildew cleaning bleach, toothbrush and container

Mix a small amount of bleach and water in a container. Dip an old scrub brush or old toothbrush into the mixture. Scrub mildew spots with the brush. Wipe clean with a clean rag dipped in water to remove the bleach mixture. Repeat as necessary. When the mildew has been removed, wipe dry with a clean rag.

smelly washer cleaning using old toothbrush

Smelly Washer:

Does your washer smell like a locker room. To eliminate smells, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda inside the drum. Add a cup of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser.  Press start to run the washer empty on the hot water setting.

If this doesn’t eliminate all the odors, you can run the washer empty again but this time put 1/2 cup of bleach in the detergent dispenser.

Remember to open the washer immediately, wipe out any moisture, and leave the door open to air dry.  (I can’t stress how crucial it is to do this after EVERY LOAD.)

Smelly Clothes:

Do your clothes, or more likely your towels, come out of the washer smelling like a locker room? Believe it or not, you could be using too much detergent. Liquid detergent is often the culprit. Particles from the soap don’t wash out of your clothes completely and bacteria from sweat and more end up sticking to the fabric. Try switching to a powdered detergent or use this DIY laundry detergent which is low sudsing (and also costs pennies). You can also try this Smelly Towel Cleaner (affiliate link) additive to your laundry, that I use when our towels start to get a little funky (especially the dog towels.) It helps get the odor out.

Remember: Never use more detergent than is called for (even if the item you are laundering looks like this jacket.)

super dirty jacket. Clean clothes in he washing machine tips

Speaking of dirty clothes. I must share this hands down BEST Stain Remover recipe with you:

Miracle Stain Remover

I’d love to hear if these tips helped Keep your HE Clothes Washer and Laundry Smelling Clean!

he washing machine cleaning pretty handy girl

Like this post? You’ll definitely want to learn how to prevent dryer fires:

prevent fires replace dryer hose

And don’t miss How to Clean Out Your Dryer Ducts to Prevent Fires.

how to clean out your dryer ducts

 

The reality is...it's not real | Pretty Handy Girl

The reality is that what you see on TV and magazines isn’t real life. We all know this, but do we tend to forget after a while?

I was watching one of those popular HGTV reality shows the other day. This one happened to be filmed in our neighborhood, so I was very familiar with the home that was being renovated. I drove by the house several times while the work was being done and I only saw the show hosts there three times. Those were the few days that filming was being done. The rest of the time (many months of renovating) I never saw the hosts. But, I’m sure you probably already realized this fact. It’s understandable, the celebrity hosts have to record other shows. And there’s no reason for them to stick around and watch joint compound or paint dry.

As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to see the episode. Before the show aired I ran into the homeowners while walking our dogs. We chatted for a while and I thought they were a super delightful couple. Both polite, kind and fun to talk to. They both shared my love for our neighborhood. When the show finally aired last month, I was dismayed to see this young couple turned into picky, hard-to-please homeowners that fit into the “script” of the show. But, what surprised me most was the final reveal of the “new” value of the improved house. The home was valued above homes almost 1,000 sq feet larger in similar condition in our neighborhood. I shouldn’t have cared much. But, I did.

I’m not sure why I was feeling anger. I’ve known for a long time that reality tv isn’t really reality. Maybe I was angry because I see too many photos and TV shows that portray “real” people living in perfect homes. I think I was angered because the more we watch, the more we read and the more we pin — we begin to forget that what we see isn’t reality. I think we all need a reminder about how unreal “reality” is. Read more

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you have an appliance that has scratches and/or rust spots? Unfortunately over time the rust will get worse if you don’t deal with it.

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Today I want to show you how to refinish scratched and rusted appliances so you can extend the life of your appliances and make them look almost like new again.

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Before you get ready to tackle this project, you’ll need to order spray paint specifically for your appliance. If your brand doesn’t carry a touch up spray paint you can try the universal spray paint by Rustoleum. Or buy the liquid touch up paint and only paint the rust spots.

Be aware that all white paint is not the same color. However,  typically the colors are usually the same within a specific brand. (i.e. All Whirlpool white appliances are painted with the same white.)

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Instructions:

Begin by sanding any rust spots down to the metal. Sand the entire surface lightly to minimize scratches.

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Fold the sandpaper in half to get into grooves and tight spots.

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Vacuum up any sanding dust and dirt.

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a clean damp cloth to wipe any additional dust off your appliance.

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

If you can drag your appliance outside, that’s the best way to spray paint it. But, if you can’t, you can mask off an area around your appliance with cardboard and newspaper. You can also use saran wrap to mask off tricky areas.

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are working inside, crack a window and open a door. Use a fan to pull air away from your work area. Send the kids and pets outside if you are painting indoors.

How to Refinish Rusted & Scratched Appliances | Pretty Handy Girl

Put the respirator mask on. Spray the appliance with the spray paint. Use back and forth strokes that extend off the appliance and onto the masked area. If you stop at the edge you’ll have puddles of paint. A light coat is all you need for your first coat. Read more

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Having a utility sink in the laundry room rocks! Having everything that we store underneath it on full display isn’t so rockin’. It was time to create some Hidden Storage Under our Laundry Room Sink.

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

In the previous incarnation of our laundry room I had hot glued a skirt onto the sink. But, it was awkward to access the trash can underneath.

AfterSinkandBasket

When the new sink was installed in the laundry room I wanted to find a better way to hide the storage under the sink.

Materials:
(contains some affiliate links)

Instructions:

If you have something solid on each side of the sink (in our case the dryer and a wall), you can use a small shower curtain tension rod. Follow the directions on the shower curtain rod package, but basically you’ll twist the rod until it is tight against the surfaces you are mounting to.

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Slip the rod off the wall for a minute and slide the grommet topped curtain onto the rod.

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Fold under the excess and pin where the curtain meets the floor.

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure 5″ up from the pinned edge. Cut the excess off. Fold over 1/2″ at the raw edge and fold again to create a 4 1/2″ hem.

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Iron the folded hem.

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Stitch along the 1/2″ fold.

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Slip the curtain back onto the tension rod and adjust the rod an inch away from the sink (to allow room for the curtain to accordian.)

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

When we need to access the trash can or mop bucket, the grommets slide smoothly along the rod.

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy hidden storage under a laundry room sink!

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s so nice not seeing the bucket and trash can. Speaking of mop bucket, that’s a fancy Mopnado you’re seeing under the sink. If you haven’t heard of the Mopnado, they make moping a lot more fun! The mop head fits in the top and spins to release excess water. You can see how fancy it is in this video:

(Yes, they sent me a complimentary Mopnado to try. No I was not paid or sponsored to mention it.)

What do you think of this quick and easy tutorial to create hidden storage under a laundry room sink? Do you have a utility sink that can use this trick?

Laundry Room Sink Skirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Have a great weekend y’all! I’m headed to Dallas for a little fun project with Thompson’s WaterSeal. Follow me on Instagram to see what I’m up to on my trip.

PHGFancySign

 

Pin for later!

Keep your laundry room looking tidy with this tutorial for hidden under-sink storage from Pretty Handy Girl! | DIY storage | Home organization #prettyhandygirl #laundryroom #laundryroomstorage #homeorganization

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever reached for a towel and realized that the towel bar was barely secured to the wall? Installing a New Towel Bar Securely is a fairly simple DIY task if you know how to anchor the brackets.

As part of my little laundry room refresh, I decided to replace the dated brass towel bar that had started to come loose.

Install a Towel Bar Securely Materials:

(Contains some affiliate links)

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional:

Install a Towel Bar Securely Preparation:

Begin by removing the old towel bar if you have one already installed. Look underneath for a tiny set screw. Usually you will need a small flat head screwdriver or allen wrench to remove it.

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Once the mounting bracket is removed, you will see the mounting plate which can be removed by unscrewing the screws. Patch any holes in the wall and touch up the paint before installing the new towel bar.

Mounting Instructions:

Find the template that came with your new towel bar. Sometimes it is on the instruction sheet, and sometimes you have to cut it off the product box.

Hold the template up and line up the bracket locations with studs. If  you can’t line it up with two studs, you can use a good wall anchor. Don’t use the anchors that came with the towel bar. (Here’s why you should never use those freebie wall anchors.)

How to Securely Install a Towel Bar | Pretty Handy Girl

Tape the template in place and level it. Make any adjustments necessary to get the template perfectly level. Read more

Tile-setting-withouto-thinset-mortar

You may remember years ago when I installed Smart Tile adhesive tiles in our laundry room. Well, truth be told, they weren’t looking so smart after 3 years and a water leak. I had a few leftover marble subway tiles from our kitchen backsplash and decided to use them to freshen up the laundry room. While I was at Lowe’s I decided to try Mussel Bound tile adhesive used for tile setting without thinset mortar. I figured this would be a good place for a trial in case I didn’t like the product.

smart-tiles-peeling-off

To remove the Smart Tiles you are supposed to use a hair dryer or heat gun to soften the adhesive. The tiles on my wall were already peeling off and they came off very easily.

peeling-off-the-smart-tiles

There was some minimal damage to the drywall, but if I had used the hairdryer it probably would have come off cleaner. To minimize any issues, be sure to clean your wall with a mixture of TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) and water using the instructions on the package.

Wipe the walls clean with a damp sponge after cleaning.

clean-wall-adhesive-with-TSP-trisodiuom-phosphate

Ready to start tiling with less mess?

Materials:
(Contains some affiliate links)

materials-mussel-bound-tiling

Optional: Grout Shield

Instructions:

Before you begin, layout your tiles and spacers to determine the height you desire for your backsplash. Transfer this height onto the wall around the sink. Read more

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Welcome to Day 9 of my 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes. Would you believe that a burst water line can cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home? It’s true! If one of your water supply lines is not braided metal, you could be putting your home in danger of a massive leak; leading to a flood; which can lead to rot, mold and termites! Yup, termites love moist wood.

Day 9: Replace All Water Lines with Braided Metal:

Take a few minutes to look behind your toilet, behind your washing machine and under sinks to see if you have water supply lines that look like these:Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

If you do, it’s time to change them out for braided metal water lines:

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

And if you are purchasing a new washer, dishwasher or refrigerator, request braided metal water supply lines instead of the basic lines that are sold with the appliance. The cost difference is literally a few dollars in some cases. That extra dollar or two could save you tens of thousands of dollars!

Replacing the water lines is as easy as attaching your garden hose. To replace your washing machine hoses, locate the water shut off (usually it is behind the washer.) Turn the knobs off. Then remove the supply line from the shut off and the back of the washer. Have a towel underneath to capture any drips.

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

Tighten the new braided hoses onto the washing machine and the water shut off valve. Turn the water back on and look for any drips or leaks. You might need to use a wrench to tighten up to half a turn more if you notice any drips after you turn the water back on.

Replace Water Lines with Braided Metal Hoses | Pretty Handy Girl

Replacing the water lines to your toilet and sink is almost as easy, usually the shut off valve looks like this:

water_shut_off_valve

Replacing the dishwasher water line can be a bit trickier if it is behind your cabinets. You might need to call in a helper to help you remove the dishwasher.

PHGFancySign

Pin for later!

water line replacement

 

I’m participating in Nester’s 31 Days Challenge. Check out all the other bloggers who are participating!

31 Day Writing Challenge

Don’t miss a single tip! Sign up to get all the tips in your email:


Sign Up for Email Subscription



Other tips in the 31 Days of Handy Home Fixes series: