Category: DIY

Snow Blower Maintenance Basics

The nice weather brings about the perfect time to give your trusted snow blower some much-needed attention. It’s easy to forget or neglect basic maintenance tasks in the depths of winter when it’s often cold, dark, and overwhelmingly coated with snow. In those cases, you mostly want to get outside to clear your driveway and your sidewalk and scurry back inside where it’s warm and cozy as quickly as possible.

The fact is, we rely heavily on our snow blowers to do their job when it counts. We owe it to them to make sure they have what they need to get the job done, and what better time to do it when you can actually stand to be outside for a minute. So whether it’s your first time giving your snow blower the attention it deserves or you’re just looking for a quick brush up on the best practices take these tips into account when you get ready to pull your sleeves up and get down to it.

Change the Oil

If you have a bit of experience with engine maintenance then this step should be pretty straight forward. Regardless, it’s one of the most important maintenance tasks to perform if you want your snow blower to keep running for years to come. You’ll want to drain all of the dirty oil out into an empty can, which you can bring to most garages for disposal. Then just replace it with high-quality motor oil of the correct type. Consult your owner’s manual for the right motor oil for your snow blower.

Check the Spark Plug

Gasoline engines require an energy source to start the combustion cycle, and this is almost always generated with a spark plug. Over time though the spark plug will corrode and will begin to function sub-optimally and eventually not at all. When you’re storing your snow blower always unplug the spark plug, but since you’re at it now take the time to inspect and replace it if necessary. They’re relatively affordable and will save you quite the headache.

Check the Shear Pin

Shear pins connect the snow blower’s auger to the drive shaft, ensuring that the blower can effectively break up and throw the snow. The point of a shear pin is to be the weak link in the chain should a jam occur, whether from a rock, a big stick, or a heavy load of snow. If your shear pin has broken then blower simply won’t work, at least where the auger has been disconnected. Again, now is a great time to replace it so take a look and get on top of it if it needs attention.

Check The Tire Pressure

Fluctuating temperature corresponds directly with fluctuating pressure. It’s described neatly in the ideal gas law that we were taught in high school chemistry. In practice it’s not perfect though, as minor gaps in tire seals or valve stems can lead to minor leaks over time, and your snow blower’s tires might lose pressure. You’ll want to make sure the tires are optimally inflated for the best performance. Use an air compressor to bring the pressure back into specification if it has drifted over the course of the season.

Decide If It’s Time To Buy A New Snow Blower

If as you’re going through this process you keep coming back to the idea that your snow blower is really coming upon its last days, it may be time to take a step back and decide if you want to keep putting the effort in to keep your trusted snow blower going. Snow blowers are no minor expense, but of course, there is an expected lifespan on every tool we buy. If you’re even feeling a little this way, it’s best to check out some snow blower comparisons to get a feel for whether or not it’s time to retire your old workhorse.

Pat yourself on the back for being a proactive homeowner, and rest easy knowing that when the winter rolls around again this year your snow blower will be rip-roaring and ready to go for the first storm.

5 DIY Face Masks That Will Make Your Skin Shine!

Hello Friends and welcome to another edition of Shine, Skin Shine! 

Today we’re going to share fabulous ways to make your pretty little face shine like the sun. 

Let’s get to it. 

First and foremost, we’ll cover some important things to consider then we’ll get into making face masks using some basic kitchen ingredients. 

Important Thing #1) It is highly advisable to do a small skin test to the ingredients that you will be applying to your face. If your skin turns red, itches or swells, rinse, pat dry then move on to the next mask. 

Important Thing #2) Less Is More. We’re big fans here of using what you have because everything you need is in the kitchen. Keep it simple, less is more! 

Important Thing #3) This is going to be so much fun! As you are preparing your ingredients thank them for doing a wonderful job of making your skin shiny. Thank you avocado mask for your wonderful oils and making my skin so shiny and pretty. This is a wonderful experiment in delight, you get to play with your food and eat it too! 
Whenever possible, use organic ingredients. Clean in is clean out. 

Important Thing #4) Wash off the mask with warm water then rinse with cold. This is a wonderful form of hydrotherapy that gives your skin a nice rosy glow. 

Important Thing #5) Whatever you do, do NOT mix vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda fizz like a mini volcano. Put another way, keep vinegar and baking soda away from each other. 

Alrighty then, now that we understand a few important things, let’s make some shiny skin masks. 

Shiny Face Mask #1) Molasses Grapefruit or Honey Lemon. 
These masks are a wonderful combination of sugar and citrus acids designed to slough off dead skin cells revealing the beauty below. You can mix your favorite citrus to any of these sugar acid substances like molasses and honey. We’ve found that molasses works well with olive and dark complexions, and honey works well with lighter ones. 
Feel free to mix your own perfect ratios of sugar to citrus. Leave on your face until you feel mummified, about 15-20 mins then rinse. 

Shiny Face Mask #2) Cool Black Tea Bags. Take some tea bags and let them soak in cool water with vinegar* for a few minutes. Take out tea bags and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Place tea bags on your face in a reclining position until you feel the moisture has dried up. No need to rinse unless you feel like you want to. This is a great mask for tightening pores. You can even drink the liquid when your done. 
*Keep tea bags soaked in vinegar out of eyes as vinegar will sting the eyeballs. 

Shiny Face Mask #3) Avocado Lime Salt Mash. Mash an avocado, squirt some lime and add salt for this delicious mask. The oily avocado does a great job of shiny skin. Keep this mask out of your eyes as well because the lime and salt will definitely sting the eyeballs too! 

Shiny Face Mask #4) Olive Oil and Baking Soda. Take any oil* you have in the kitchen, butter even and add a pinch of baking soda to it. Mix and apply to face. This mask you can rub off and pat dry with cool water. Be careful with this mask because oils and butter stain clothes. 
*Canola oil and lard are not recommended. Though if you must, do a small skin test first. 

Shiny Face Mask #5) White Egg Peel. Take the egg white and whip it lightly. Apply to face for 15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water then cool. This white egg wash is also excellent for burns, battle tested in many a fire station. 

There you go, Friends! Have fun with your shiny face masks and we’ll see you in another life!