Wanda J. Hall - Westford Real Estate



Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 12/21/2015

White distilled vinegar is effective for killing most mold, bacteria and germs due to it's high level of acidity. Vinegar is a weak form of acetic acid that is made from the fermentation of sugars and starches. White vinegar has so many different uses in the home; it is considered the “miracle cleaner”. It is pocketbook friendly, all natural, safe for pets and nontoxic. Why would you use anything else? It is a good idea to purchase two empty spray bottles, keep one full with pure white vinegar and the other with half water and half vinegar. This just makes it easier to dispense and have on hand at all times. A person can work wonders cleaning their home naturally just armed with vinegar and water. There are so many different uses for white vinegar in your home. Here are just a few ideas. Vinegar mixed with water is an excellent cleaner for all kitchen surfaces like counter tops, refrigerators and stove tops. To shine chrome fixtures simply make a paste of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white vinegar. To clean wooden cutting boards simply just wipe with vinegar. Clean refrigerator shelves with a solution of ½ white vinegar and water. Did you know that soaking fruit and vegetables in 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water can remove up to 98% bacteria? Soak fruit and vegetables for at least 10 minutes then rinse to get best results. Vinegar is also useful in the laundry. To decrease lint in laundry add ½ cup straight white vinegar to rinse cycle. To make your bright’s brighter add ½ cup vinegar to the rinse cycle. If you have pets white vinegar is a good solution to have in house. If your dog has the mishap of getting sprayed by a skunk, use dilution of vinegar and water, rub dog’s fur then rinse with warm water. Repeat a couple times. To keep dogs from scratching their ears rub them with a cloth diluted with vinegar and water. Vinegar is so versatile in the home. You do not have to worry about the vinegar smell remaining after you use it because the smell dissipates after it dries. So, for people who believe in living green and healthy, white vinegar is a must have in the pantry closet.





Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 6/29/2015

They say it's a silent killer. Odorless, colorless, toxic fumes with symptoms similar to those of having the flu. It can kill you and your loved ones without you even knowing its there. Are you safeguarding your home against this deadly threat? Step one is knowing where the threat comes from. The United States Environmental Protection Agency states carbon monoxide can come from "unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached garages; and tobacco smoke." (http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html) With winter upon us, and the possibility of power outages during large winter storms a reality, many homes have generators to help in these situations. But improper installation can cause carbon monoxide levels to rise, putting your family at risk. Ensure that generators are installed outside, away from your home, to ensure fumes aren't entering your home. Never install generators in your home, including your garage or basement. Another winter threat is fireplaces, wood or gas, and wood stoves. As you are snuggling up during a long winter night, you need to ensure that ventilation is sufficient. It's always best to have a trained professional inspect and clean your fireplaces and wood stoves on a yearly basis. So what else can you do? Buying a carbon monoxide detector is a cheap and easy way to ensure you are safe. For as little as $20, you can purchase detectors that will alert you if carbon monoxide levels get too high. And if they do, you can quickly evacuate the house and call the fire department for inspection of your home. Most states now require that when you sell your home, these detectors are already installed, just like fire and smoke alarms have been required for years. So be safe this winter season and take precautions as needed. It really could save your life!





Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 5/4/2015

If you have been packing on the pounds it may be your kitchen that is to blame. New research has shown that it could be your kitchen making you gain weight. Here are some tips on how to keep your kitchen from contributing to a growing waistline. No Media The TV in the kitchen is now a media snack station. Parking yourself in front of the TV with food all around you makes snack time a lot easier. Computers in the kitchen can also lead to mindless munching and web surfing. It's too easy to grab a bite when all the food is within arm’s reach. Stand Up Who doesn't love an island prep station? But all the handy seating around the island is an invitation to linger over snacks. So lose all the stools to help resist temptation to gather in the kitchen. Open Invitation The so-called great room isn't so great for your weight. Combination living/kitchen areas make your kitchen the focal point of the home. Add a few partition walls or screens to keep the fridge and cabinets out of sight when relaxing, and watching TV in the living room. Skimp on Storage Pantries, large cabinets are so appealing and offer a great place to stockpile food. They also offer lots of temptation. Too many trips to bargain bulk stores will have your storage full in no time and also create a mentality of surplus. More is always more especially when it comes to food.





Posted by Wanda J. Hall on 10/20/2014

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 Wanda J. Hall on 6/30/2014

Not only do plants make a beautiful addition to your homes décor but they are also beneficial in oxidizing and refreshing the air you breathe. Oxygen producing plants can be used to both produce oxygen as well as remove harmful chemicals in the air. Not only do plants clean the air we breathe but they also have been proven to reduce our heart rate and blood pressure and reduce muscle tension related to stress. There are so many different plants that you can bring into your home to help clean the air. Here is a list of just a few. A popular clean air plant that removes toxins like benzene, trichloroethylene, exylene and toluene from the air is Warneck Dracena. Another good air cleaning plant that is easy to take care of is the Peace Lilly. The Money Plant releases oxygen in the air while removing formaldehyde, this is commonly released by cigarette smoke and adhesives with wood furnishings. The Snake plant also known as Mother-in-Laws Tongue converts CO2 (carbon dioxide) to O2 (oxygen) at night making it an ideal bedroom plant. Other plants to try are Philodendron, English Ivy, or a Spider Plant. While the plants are busy purifying the air in your home, they also provide a therapeutic effect with their color green. The color green has a soothing green effect and helps people to feel at ease. Here is a quote from plantforlife.info “It may sound surprising but as little as 2 or 3 minutes in the company of plants and trees or natural environments can be enough to provide measurable stress relief!" What a small investment for something that can bring so much beauty and health to your home.