Cheryl Phelan - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Plymouth

Posted by Cheryl Phelan on 8/31/2016

Have you ever taken your jewelry to be cleaned? Having your jewelry professionally cleaned will set you back quite a bit of money. Making your own homemade jewelry cleaner can give you the same results for a fraction of the cost. Here is recipe for homemadejewelry cleaner: Ingredients: 1/4 cup ammonia 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid 3/4 cup water 1. Mix all the ingredients well, then soak your jewelry in the solution for a few minutes. 2.Clean around the stones and designs with a soft-bristle toothbrush. 3. Buff dry. Caution: Don't use this with gold-plated jewelry; with soft stones such as pearls, opals, or jade; or with costume jewelry, because it could ruin the plastics or loosen the glue.

Posted by Cheryl Phelan on 4/13/2016

It can be a real nuisance and an never ending battle to keep ants out of your house. There are natural recipes to help keep the ants at bay and involve items you are likely to have in your home already. Here are a few natural ways to keep the ants out: -Clean surfaces in your home with vinegar. Mix a half-and-half solution of white distilled vinegar and water. Ants don't like the smell of vinegar and it removes the scent trails they use to get around. -Lemon juice works just like vinegar by destroying the scent trails that ants follow. Spray lemon juice around the places the ants are using for entryways. -Want your home to smell minty and keep the ants out? Try peppermint oil. Wipe surfaces down with a clean damp cloth that has a few drops of essential peppermint oil on it. Ants also dislike the smell of peppermint. Peppermintis also environmentally friendly, and safe for humans and children. -If you know the areas the ants are getting in to your home sprinkle used coffee grounds in those areas. Ants don't like the smell of the coffee grounds they shouldmove away from that area. -Ants will not cross a line of chalk. Try drawing a line of chalk across the spot where the ants are entering your home. Chalk is a natural ant repellent. Do you have any other natural ideas for keeping out the ants?

Posted by Cheryl Phelan on 3/23/2016

Did you know that indoor air pollution is actually worse than outdoor air pollution? Indoor pollution can in fact be 2 to 10 times worse depending on the materials in your home. Many of the materials in your home omit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). According to the EPA, VOC's are in the air that you breathe and can have long term health effects, including liver, kidney and central nervous system damage and cancer. Here is a list of some of the indoor air pollutants that you may want to reduce or remove in order to have a healthier home. Cleaning Supplies The things that clean your home may be making you sick. In fact, bleach is one of the biggest offenders. In order to have a truly clean home, remove all of these chemicals and start replacing them with natural ones. Check the labels of everything. Many sheets that are made for your dryer have formaldehyde in them. Some of the most dangerous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners. Corrosive chemicals can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested, on the throat and esophagus. Air Fresheners Air fresheners may smell sweet but their effect can be anything but. Some air fresheners can send chemicals into the air that contain VOCs. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology looked at plug-in fresheners and found more than 20 VOCs' and more than one-third were considered toxic or hazardous. VOCs can increase the risk of asthma in kids. At high enough levels, they can also irritate the eyes and lungs, trigger dizziness and headaches, and even lead to memory loss. Furniture Believe it or not the place where you sit or sleep could be harming your health. Furniture is such a big part of our life, we eat on it, sleep and sit on it. Furniture also can emit VOCs. Furniture is often made with flame retardants, finishes, adhesives and foam cushions that give off harmful chemicals. Paint You often hear about the dangers of lead paint. You should also be worried about the brand new fresh paint you just put on the walls. Paint, paint strippers, varnish removers and floor stains all emit VOC's into the air. These chemicals don't go away once the paint has dried or once it stops smelling. The harmful chemicals can last for as long as two years. New Flooring That new carpet smell is not good for you. As pretty as it may look new carpet, wood floors or even linoleum flooring give off VOCs. Purchase flooring produced from renewable materials such as linseed oil, rosins, wood flour and jute. Look for wood flooring that is FSC Certified (it came from a Forest Stewardship Council Certified Forest which helps protect old growth forests from being clear cut). For more information read about Sources of Indoor Air Pollution on the EPA site.

Posted by Cheryl Phelan on 6/17/2015

Do you have a mildew buildup in your home? Or are you looking to prevent mildew? You can combat mildew buildup with ingredients you have around your home. Many of the ingredients in store-bought mildew cleaners contain hazardous solvents and petroleum based chemicals, which may contaminate ground water and present a problem to waste water treatment facilities. Here is a recipe to remove mildew:   Ingredients: 1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent 1 quart chlorine bleach 2 quarts water 1. Combine all the ingredients in a pail. 2. Wearing rubber gloves, wash off the mildew. So go ahead and whip up a batch of homemade mildew cleaner. It will cost you only pennies and keep your family safer too.

Posted by Cheryl Phelan on 5/6/2015

Greening up your home is not only good for the environment it is also good on your wallet. According to the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. generates about 208 million tons of municipal solid waste a year, that's more than 4 pounds per person per day. Here are some minor changes you can implement at home that will add up to real benefits. Green up your appliances Replace your old refrigerator and save as much as $150 a year. Appliances are the biggest drain on a home's total energy bill. Replace appliances older than 10 years with energy-efficient models that bear the "Energy Star" logo. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. Take Your Temperature Use a programmable thermostat to keep your home's temperature on a schedule. Program the thermostat in cold weather and keep it higher in warm weather. Set the timer to only change the temperature when you are home. During the colder months, each degree below 68F saves 3%-5%. You may also want to consider replacing older furnaces. Today's furnaces are about 25% more efficient than they were in the 1980s. Use Water Wisely Save every time you flush by installing low-flow toilets. They use only 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to 3.5 gallons per flush for pre-1994 models. Save water at your faucets by installing aerators. This could cut your annual water consumption by 50%. Let there be Light Using Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) will consume 66% less energy. CFLs may cost a little more but they last 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. In dollars and cents, replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Practice Plastic Placement Did you know Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags? Plastics (grocery, trash and sandwich bags to name a few) are made from petroleum. Plastics are considered one of the main contributors to global warming. Always make sure to reduce, re-use and recycle your plastics. There are many more ways to live green. If you are looking for more ideas check out National Geographic's Green Guide. Please share your tips for saving money, energy and living green.