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Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Monday, January 11, 2021

5 Ways to Decrease Wear and Tear on Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is one of those modern conveniences you likely take for granted. It’s easy to load it up, turn it on and forget about it – unless something goes wrong. With many of us staying in more (and eating out less), we’re relying on our household appliances more and more – including our dishwashers.

Because we’re using our appliances more, it’s important to be mindful of the increased wear and tear we’re placing on them. No one wants a full load of dirty dishes and a broken dishwasher to deal with. The typical cost to repair/replace a dishwasher is $100 to $650.

The next time you get ready to run your dishwasher, keep these maintenance tips in mind so it runs efficiently and you can help avoid repair costs.

1. Keep the Filter Clean

You might not know it, but your dishwasher has a small filter that helps trap food particles and keep your dishes clean. When this filter is clogged or dirty, your dishwasher won’t work at its best – and you’ll likely find some small food particles stuck to your dishes after a wash cycle finishes. You should clean your dishwasher’s filter at least once a month. And fortunately, it’s easy to do.

The filter itself is located in the bottom of the dishwasher, below the bottom rack. Simply unscrew it, lift it out and rinse it under your faucet to clean it, then replace it.

2. Use Hot Water

When it comes to cleaning dishes, water temperature matters. It might be tempting to run a cycle using warm water to cut energy costs, but doing so could set you up for problems. Ideally, the water in your dishwasher should be at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use water below this temperature, your appliance will have to run longer, and you’ll increase the likelihood of detergent residue building up and affecting performance. Both of these things can quickly reduce your washer’s lifespan.

It's also becoming more common to run the kitchen sink until you get hot water before starting the dishwasher. This is because the new Energy Star rated units don’t use more than six gallons of water during a cycle, which can lead to half of the water in the cycle not getting to 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the cycle. This can then lead to dishes not being completely clean or being left with soapy residue.

3. Check the Sprayer Arms and Nozzles

Every dishwasher has wash arms in the bottom that spin and spray water to clean your dishes. To keep your washer performing at its best, check the small nozzles in these arms each month or so for food debris and other clogs that may prevent water from spraying. The nozzles are small, and you can remove any clogs you find easily by using a toothpick.

Before you run a cycle, you should also spin the wash arms to make sure they don’t accidentally hit dishes – especially if you have large items like casserole dishes or pots in the rack.

4. Load it Thoughtfully

You might think it’s best to cram everything you can into your dishwasher, but don’t do it. If you do, you’ll put increased wear on your appliance, and your dishes are less likely to get clean. For optimum performance, make sure your dishwasher is full but not overflowing – you’ll do fewer loads in the long run and your appliance will last longer.

When loading dirty dishes, be sure to scrape off any large pieces of food (like chicken bones) that could cause clogs or damage. These items should go into the trash. Load the dishes with the dirty sides facing toward the center and make sure cups, bowls and pots face downward so the water and detergent can get them clean.

5. Manage Hard Water

Certain areas of the country have water with higher levels of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, in it. This is called hard water, and it can cause buildup in your appliances, including your dishwasher. If you’re not sure if you have hard water, look for a cloudy film on your clean glassware – that’s a dead giveaway. And if you have hard water deposits on your dishes, you have them inside your appliance, too. To manage this, clean your dishwasher monthly with a descaling product like Affresh or Finish, which are easily found in stores or online.

Remembering these simple maintenance tips, your dishwasher should run better and last longer.


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Monday, January 4, 2021

The Hearty Cuban Sandwich

This is a wonderful dinner sandwich because it's served hot
 and makes for a quick filling lunch or dinner.

Great for after the Holiday's to use up leftover Ham and Turkey!

We first had this sandwich in Little Havana when we lived in Miami. I used to take the kids to a coffee shop after church on Sundays to get myself a Cafe Con Leche and they would have Mexicoke's.  We would order these sandwiches for lunch. They were so good. One day my son asked what the sauce was that they used. The waitress told him the ingredients, but not the amounts. Of course, they were Cuban Brands, but we figured out what they were, then experimented with different amounts to try to get the correct flavor.  This is what we concluded it tasted like.  Yummy Sammy!


Mayonnaise - 1 1/2 cups 
Italian Dressing - 1/3 cup and 2 Tablespoons and 1 teaspoon
Mustard - 1/4 cup and 2 Tablespoons
Sourdough Bread - 12 slices
Deli Turkey Slices - 3/4 pound
Deli Ham Slices - 3/4 pound
Swiss Cheese slices - 3/4 pound
Dill Pickle slices - 1 1/2 cups ( if desired)

Olive oil


1. In a small bowl/jar mix together Mayonnaise, Italian dressing, and Mustard. 

Spread dressing mixture on inside slices of bread.

On each sandwich arrange layers of Turkey, Ham and Cheese. Top with Dill Pickle slices. 

Close sandwiches and brush tops and bottoms with Olive Oil.

2. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Place sandwiches in skillet. Cook sandwiches for 2 minutes, pressing them down with a plate or skillet.  

Flip and cook for 2 more minutes or until Cheese is melted. Remove from heat, place on plate and cut in half diagonally.

Serves 6

Muy deliciosa!

More recipes

Sunday, December 27, 2020

How to Make a Plastic Pot Look Like a Terra Cotta Pot

With the pandemic there has been few and far between sales, with due cause.  So when Cause for Paws had a plant fundraiser, you can bet we were there with bells on! Being very familiar with these ladies and volunteering at the local shelter we knew there would be social protocols in place and adhered to.  And there were - masks, social distancing and only so many allowed at the tables at a time.

Needless to say I came home with my far share of succulents and others, even this tiny faux orchid that called out to me each time I passed by. I was there for real plants not faux ones!  But she wore me down, besides it was for a good cause, and at 25 cents I couldn't just leave her there. ♥

And I had an idea I wanted to play around with to which she would be perfect.

The flowers were still bright and full of color. The top moss? covering had seen better days and the orchid was in a thin plastic pot.

Time to play! 
Goal - Make it look like an aged terra cotta pot

I first added Joint Compound to the pot, hoping it would resemble the mineral build up clay pots get as they age..
Since I'd never done this before, I started out slow ~ 

Then went for it!

Once it was completely dry. I sanded some of the 
lumpier spots down until I was happy with the way it looked.

Once done sanding I wiped it down with a damp rag to remove any dust.

On the way, but not quite

Next I dabbed on browns and greens
Browns to resemble dirt
Greens to resemble moss

Wasn't happy - too dark

Lightened it up with a bit of Antique White

I added some fresh Reindeer Moss to the
 top and down the sides

In the end I wanted it to coordinate with
these two larger pots

Pretty pleased with the way it turned out.
Since I had everything on hand from other projects, 
total cost 25 cents!

More Trash to Treasure projects here


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