Women

Total Time Savers : Your washing machine, Plating pointers

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Shortcuts to make it less of a chore

Your washing machine

A stinky washer signals that bacteria and mold may lurk inside. Here’s how to freshen it up

Description: A stinky washer signals that bacteria and mold may lurk inside

A stinky washer signals that bacteria and mold may lurk inside

Front loader

  1. Select the preset cycle to clean the washer’s interior, such as Clean Washer or Tub Clean.
  2. Follow your model’s manual direction or add one cup of chlorine bleach to the dispenser. Run the cycle; with a cloth, dry puddles in the rubber door gasket.
  3. Remove the dispenser drawer and rinse it with warm water. With a soft brush, scrub away any softener or detergent residue – it’s a magnet for mold and mildew.

Top loader

  1. Select the normal cycle, largest load size, hot water, and an extra rinse. For high-efficiency machines with no agitator, follow the steps for a front loader.
  2. Pour one cup of chlorine bleach into the dispenser or tub. Run a full wash (minus detergent), double rinse, and spin cycle to kill bacteria clinging to the agitator.
  3. Rinse and scrub removable dispensers as you would for a front loader.

Make it easier next time…

After use, leave doors and lids open for an hour or so to speed evaporation

Before tossing in dirty towels, use them to wipe detergent dribbles

Try a washing machine cleaner monthly, like those by Tide ($8.50 for three), Clorox ($4), and Affresh ($7)

Double duty – Rubber Band

Coming in and out with your hands full? Loop a single rubber band around a door’s inside and outside knobs, twisting it as you do so that the “X” presses the latch open. Once finished, hang the band on the inner knob for the next time.

Plating pointers

Jealous of those folks with lush flower beds or bumper crops of beans? Now it’s easy to join them: The When to Plant app compatible with IOS 5 ($1.99; for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) takes the guesswork out of seasonal planting with month-by-month options based on your zip code – telling you the perfect time to start seedlings indoors, sow seeds outdoors, or harvest a crop. With detailed info on 120 fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers, the app also breaks down how much water and sun they’ll need. Brown thumbs, begone!

Description: based on your zip code – telling you the perfect time to start seedlings indoors, sow seeds outdoors, or harvest a crop

based on your zip code – telling you the perfect time to start seedlings indoors, sow seeds outdoors, or harvest a crop

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