How to Make Your Own Homemade Carpet Stain Remover

How to Make Your Own Homemade Carpet Stain Remover

The fact is inevitable. If your home has carpet, it’s going to get messy. Try as hard as you might, accidents happen. Even without kids or pets, wine will spill, mud will get tracked in, and despite your firmest grip, you will drop your fork. But all is not lost. Even the whitest of carpets can be salvaged from the reddest of stains. And the best news of all is that you don’t need a shelf full of harmful chemicals or expensive stain removers. All you need for a homemade carpet stain remover is a few items you already have lying around. Take a look at these common household products to see how you can mix and match to make a DIY natural carpet stain remover quickly and cost-efficiently.

Vinegar Homemade Carpet Stain Remover

A little white vinegar, mixed with some other common household items, creates a homemade carpet stain remover that can clean almost anything.

Vinegar + Salt: For most stains, a simple combination of ½ cup of vinegar with 2 tablespoons of salt dissolved in it will suffice. Pour the mixture onto a towel or clean rag, then blot the stain gently. Let the mixture sit on the stain and dry before vacuuming it (and the stain) away.

Vinegar + Salt + Borax: If the stain is dark or stubborn, try adding borax to your solution. Two tablespoons dissolved in the vinegar along with the salt is a stronger combination that should tackle even those tough stains. Let it dry, then vacuum it up.

Vinegar + Water: diluted vinegar works well on coffee and tea carpet stains. Never pour it directly onto the carpet, but use a towel or sponge to lightly blot the stain

Vinegar + Cornstarch: For mud, dirt, and ground-in stains, a 1:1 solution of vinegar and cornstarch is an easy and natural carpet stain remover. For those really tough stains, keep the solution on for two days before vacuuming.

Vinegar + Laundry Detergent + Water: If your carpet stains are from a new paint job, try dissolving 1½ teaspoons of vinegar and 1½ teaspoons of laundry detergent in two cups of warm water. Use a sponge to blot out the paint before it dries, then rinse the carpet with cold water. This same mixture is great for fruit and fruit juice stains as well.

Baking Soda Homemade Carpet Stain Remover

Baking soda, like vinegar, is almost a catch-all when it comes to how to get stains out of carpet, and it does a lot more for the smell than vinegar can.

Baking Soda: On stains left by pets or others who can’t control their bodily functions, baking soda alone is your best bet. Clean up any solids that you can, then cover the remaining stain with baking soda and pat gently with a paper towel or rag. Let it sit until it is dry (it may take a few hours), then vacuum it up. Don’t be afraid to repeat the process a couple times for the best results.

Baking Soda + Salt: If you need to know how to get stains out of carpet caused by grease, look no further. Equal parts baking soda and salt scrubbed into the carpet and left for five hours will vacuum right up.

Baking Soda + Dish Soap + Vinegar + Warm Water: For a great all-purpose natural carpet stain remover, combine these four common ingredients together in a spray bottle. Almost any stain will disappear after a spritzing, a drying, and a vigorous vacuuming.

Ammonia Homemade Carpet Stain Remover

Ammonia may not be the first thing you grab at the store, but if you happen to have some in the back of your cleaning closet, it can become a great homemade carpet stain remover.

Ammonia + Water: One tablespoon of ammonia mixed with a half cup of warm water creates a great solution for removing tough stains. You can sponge this mixture onto the stain or spray it and blot with a towel or sponge.

Hydrogen Peroxide Homemade Carpet Stain Remover

Hydrogen Peroxide is tough on stains but still safe for your carpet. Try mixing it with a couple common products for a great DIY carpet cleaner.

Hydrogen Peroxide + Cream of Tartar: A teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a pinch of cream of tartar will create a paste that is sure to get out dark and stubborn stains. Dab the paste right onto the stain with a cloth, then rinse it off.

Hydrogen Peroxide + Non-Gel Toothpaste: Adding just a half teaspoon or so of toothpaste to a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide will have the same effect as the cream of tartar and may leave your carpet smelling minty fresh.

Don’t Panic: DIY Stain Removers Can Help

There’s no need to worry about how to get stains out of carpets, or about bringing harmful chemicals into your house. These simple DIY homemade carpet stain removers are safe, natural, and will help you get tough stains out of your carpet.

Everything you Need to Know About Plumbing Vents

Everything you Need to Know About Plumbing Vents

Plumbing vents are an important part of your home’s plumbing system. They ensure the integrity of your pipes, help to clear out debris, and rid your house of sewer gases and other toxins. But what are plumbing vents exactly, how do they work, and what can you do if something goes wrong? Read on to learn everything you need to know about taking care of your home’s plumbing vent.

What are Plumbing Vents?

Plumbing vents might sound strange at first. Plumbing is for liquids and vents are for air. But neither can function without the other. A plumbing vent has two major functions. The first is the regulation of air pressure within your plumbing system. Your house is constantly washing liquids and other waste out through plumbing in toilets, sinks, and showers. Without proper air pressure, though, that waste would easily be backed up or clogged. Just like pouring milk or juice out of a jug, air has to find its way in to fill the void left by the emptying liquid. A plumbing vent pipe allows air to fill the space vacated by the waste of the plumbing. With this equalized pressure, water is able to flow freely through the pipes and out of the home without interruption or fear of backsplash.

The second major function of a plumbing vent pipe is to ventilate the sewer gases emitted from your home’s sewage. To put it delicately, your plumbing can harbor harmful and toxic sewer gases that need to be released. To put it realistically, sewage stinks and you don’t want your house to stink as well. That’s where your plumbing vent stack comes into play. As part of your home’s plumbing system, a plumbing vent pipe is connected to your sewage pipes, and then connects to the vent stack which runs up and out through your roof. This allows the sewer gases to escape your home without affecting the area where you actually live. The gases dissipate and the smell is never an issue.

How to maintain and repair a plumbing vent

As you can see, having a fully functioning plumbing vent is paramount. Without it, plumbing issues could lead to water damage, burst pipes, and other smelly dilemmas. To make sure that all of your plumbing is working at peak performance, there are a few things you can do regularly and some fixes to try if you suspect your plumbing vent has been compromised.

1. Take Care of Your Plumbing

First and foremost, take care of your plumbing. It may go without saying, but taking care of your entire plumbing system is important to keep all of your pipes and vents in good shape. Never flush anything down the toilet besides toilet paper, make sure that your sinks have stoppers, and run your garbage disposal regularly. It’s also wise to read your owner’s manual regarding your garbage disposal. Not everything that falls in the sink should go through your garbage disposal. Certain organic foods like eggshells and banana peels can damage more than just your disposal if they get through to the pipes. Flushing anything down drains that doesn’t belong means you run the risk of causing a block in your pipes, leading to further damage.

2. Correctly Diagnose the Issue

If you have a clog in a sink or other drain, it may be unclear whether the problem is with the plumbing vent pipe or more directly related to the drain where the problem is. Some signs you can look for are clogs or slow draining water from multiple sites in your home. If the problem isn’t localized, that could point to a plumbing vent clog. If you hear a lot of gurgling when you run water down a drain, that might also signal a problem with the main plumbing vent. Or, if you’re able to clear clogs but they keep returning, your problem most likely lies further down the line with the plumbing vent. Sometimes vigorous plunging from the problem site is enough to clear the clog, but more often than not, the obstruction needs to be dealt with directly.

3. Seek Professional Help

If the plumbing vent becomes completely blocked, you will no longer hear gurgling, you will get standing water, and the smell of sewage will begin to permeate your home. In these cases, it’s best to enlist professional assistance as soon as possible. Not only will a complete blockage disrupt your entire plumbing system, but the smell can become unbearable. It’s always best to fix these problems as soon as you notice them to prevent any future damage or setbacks.

Plumbing vent pipe installation is an important part of any home’s plumbing system and should be done by professionals. Building codes dictate that drain pipes need to always point down to let gravity pull the waste, and If you believe there is a major problem or that the plumbing vent pipe installation was not done properly, make sure to contact a plumber.

Stay Proactive and Prevent Plumbing Vent Issues

Plumbing vents are an important part of your home that keep the good in and ensure that the bad stays out. Always take care of all your plumbing. Keep bathroom fixtures free of unflushable materials, deal with clogs quickly, and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a certified plumber. Taking a little care of your home now can save you much more costly repairs in the future. And for help keeping your home protected from costly repairs, a home warranty may help.

How Do You Clean Self-cleaning Ovens?

How Do You Clean Self-cleaning Ovens?

Just like every other room in your home, a kitchen gets dirty and needs to be cleaned. But unlike every other room, the kitchen gets its mess from food, not just dust. The kitchen is full of appliances that are difficult to clean but unfortunately are often the dirtiest. Food spills, grease, and burnt goo in your oven can cause problems while preparing dinner. Not only can they cause smells and smoke, but they can actually interfere with the food that’s supposed to be cooking in there.

Thankfully, there’s a solution, particularly when it comes to oven cleaning. Most modern kitchens have self-cleaning oven options that may sound too good to be true. While it’s not quite completely hands-off, using your self-cleaning oven to do most of the hard labor for you does take away a lot of the dirty work. They can also keep you safe from dangerous fumes found in traditional oven cleaners. If you’re not sure how to use a self-cleaning oven, how they work, or why we use them, read on to learn everything you need to know about self-cleaning ovens.

How Does a Self-cleaning Oven Work?

So how does a self-cleaning oven work? It’s usually one of two ways. The first is the most common and traditional: high temperature. This process burns the mess away. What makes ovens so difficult to clean is that the mess and grime are literally baked onto the surface of the oven. It’s usually not as simple as a quick wipe or even a thorough scrub. With a traditional self-cleaning oven, the temperature is raised to almost 1000 degrees for anywhere from one to four hours. This will burn away the mess and turn it into ash. Then the clean up is as simple as a quick wipe to get the remnants out.

The second method is through steam. This method is much faster than the traditional pyrolytic ovens and doesn’t leave your house smelling of a campfire or radiating with heat. Instead of burning off the grime, water is placed in the bottom of the oven and the high temperatures create enough steam to loosen the mess. Unfortunately, however, steam won’t work on every spill. For those tough to get messes, the longer pyrolytic method is still preferable.

Many modern ovens offer both self-cleaning options. If you need a quick clean, steam is your best bet. For those thorough cleanings or tough messes, you may need to set aside time to do the full, high-temperature self-clean.

How to Clean a Self-cleaning Oven with the Pyrolytic Option

Now that you know your cleaning options, it’s time to get to work on cleaning the oven. The first thing you should know about how to clean a self-cleaning oven is to always read your owner’s manual instructions. Ovens can be dangerous and the self-cleaning settings use a lot of power that could mess with your home’s electrical set up. A quick readthrough of your owner’s manual will help you handle it in the safest way possible.

1. Empty the Oven

No matter which method you use, the first thing to do is to empty the oven. Remove all the oven racks and any dishware you might have in there. Make sure everything is removed from above or below the oven as well. Temperatures will get so high that items close by may melt or burn. You’ll also need to remove any big food particles. Anything that a quick wipe with a wet rag will pick up should be removed from the oven first.

2. Set Aside Time and Monitor

Even with the steam option, a self-cleaning cycle is lengthy. Make sure that you clean your oven at a time when you can be home but don’t need to be in the kitchen. In case there is smoke, you need to be there to aerate the room. Make sure that your oven vent is working, open a window, or turn on a fan to get the smoke out of the house.

3. Protect Pets and Children

The burning of food particles into ash may release a lot of carbon monoxide and other dangerous fumes. Those fumes can be harmful to pets and humans alike. Make sure that you move any living creatures to another room of the house where there is plenty of ventilation. Birds are especially susceptible to these dangerous fumes so take extra care of your feathered friends before cleaning your oven.

4. Start the Self-cleaning Process

Once your oven is emptied and your loved ones cleared out, it’s time to clean. Select your cleaning cycle and let her rip. Many ovens will let you select the time range anywhere from one to four hours. Once you’ve selected your time and hit go, let the cleaning cycle run its full course. Lock the oven door if possible or at least make sure that anyone else in your home knows not to open the oven. While the cleaning cycle won’t be disrupted, the extremely high temperatures could blast the opener and cause serious damage.

5. Let the Oven Cool Before Wiping Away Ash

After the full cycle, allow your oven time to cool completely. After it has completely cooled, use a wet rag to wipe away the ashes left on the oven floor. Never use any chemicals with a self-cleaning oven, the fumes from these products are dangerous. There are a few modern products that are self-cleaning oven safe, but they shouldn’t be necessary if you’ve read your owner’s manual and followed the steps above.

How to Clean a Self-cleaning Oven with the Steam Option

If you choose the steam option, the process is very similar: clear out your oven, clean out any large food particles, and remove any items close by. Pour the correct amount of water into the bottom of the oven (your owner’s manual will tell you how much), and turn it on. The cleaning cycle will be much shorter, but you still need to be at home for the entire process and wait for it to cool down completely before wiping clean.

Scrub your oven racks with warm soap and water and let them towel dry. Leave the oven door open while the oven dries as well.  Once everything is cooled and dry, you can reassemble your oven and bask in the cleanliness.

Follow the Directions and Enjoy the Magic of a Self-cleaning Oven

If you are not sure how to use a self-cleaning oven or if your oven has a self-cleaning option, always consult your owner’s manual for instructions. Cleaning your kitchen can be a breeze when you use your self-cleaning oven to do all the heavy lifting.

What You Should Know about Water Heater Maintenance

What You Should Know about Water Heater Maintenance

An average water heater should last at least 10 years before needing serious repairs or replacement. This is good news since a brand new water heater can be a significant expense. The better news is that with a little bit of care and some DIY heater maintenance, you can extend the life of your water heater by years and save yourself significant money.

Basic Water Heater Maintenance

Just like your car or computer, a water heater needs a tune-up every now and then to make sure it’s running properly and to prevent any future catastrophes. As part of your annual spring cleaning, here are a few maintenance tips to make sure your water heater is clean, safe, and working at peak performance.

1. Test the TPR Valve

The TPR valve, or temperature-pressure-release valve, is your water heater’s safety mechanism. If the water pressure or temperature rises above safe levels, it will release water to prevent a dangerous malfunction. It’s very important that this piece of equipment is working perfectly. To check it, turn off the power and the water supply valve to the water heater. Put a basin or bucket underneath the pipe connected to it. Once everything is in place, slowly lift the tab on the valve to let a little water out. Once a little water comes out, let go. It should immediately stop the flow of water. If it doesn’t and water continues to flow, the TPR needs to be replaced with a new one.

2. Check the Anode Rod

Making sure that your anode rod is still good is the easiest and most effective regular water heater maintenance you can perform. The anode rod’s sole purpose is to make sure your water heater doesn’t rust. It’s screwed into the top of the heater and is often the first thing to go bad. Empty the tank a few gallons before unscrewing it. You’ll be able to tell right away if the anode rod is good or if it has rusted and needs to be replaced.

3. Clean Out the Tank

Along with regular maintenance checks, your water heater deserves a little cleaning itself. At least annually, you can drain all the water from your heater by first turning off the power and then attaching a hose to the tank’s drain cock. Once it’s empty, mix up the sediment remaining in the tank. The best way to do this is by opening the cold-water supply valve for just a few seconds and then draining that water. You’ll need to perform this several times until the water drains out clean. Then you simply close the drain cock and fill the tank back up.


How to Keep Your Water Heater Running Longer and More Efficiently

Aside from regular water heater maintenance, there are a few one-time things you can do to make your water heater work even more efficiently.

1. Insulate the Pipes

The purpose of the water heater is to heat the water, but if heat is escaping through pipes, you’re either getting lukewarm water, or you’re using more power than you need to heat the water. You can wrap the pipes around your water heater with pipe foam insulation. Measure your piping and go to any hardware or home improvement store to find the right sized foam. Slip it around the pipe, squeeze it closed, and tape it tightly. Even cold pipes can benefit from good insulation.

2. Insulate the Tank

While the pipes are releasing heat, the hot water stored in the tank is also letting heat escape. Just like your pipes, you can perform some hot water tank maintenance by insulating your entire tank and keeping your storage of hot water protected and ready to go. An insulating blanket looks like bubble wrap on aluminium and can be purchased online or at any home improvement store. Surround the tank but make sure that the pipes, TPR valve, and temperature controls are unencumbered and open. For oil or gas water heater maintenance, do not cover the top. For electric, you can place a circular insulation cutout on top and tape it to the blanket with foil tape.

3. Adjust the Temperature

The easiest thing that you can do to make your water heater the most efficient is to adjust the temperature. If your water is scalding hot, it’s probably turned up too high and is using too much energy. If you turn your shower on and wait forever for it to heat up, your temperature might be too low and you’re wasting water, which is wasting energy. Locate the temperature control and adjust accordingly. Remember that just a tap of the dial can make a big difference so be very careful when adjusting the heat. And make sure that your water heater is set at 120 degrees or lower for the safety of you and your family.

With these tools and maintenance tips, your water heater’s ten-year life expectancy could improve greatly while saving you money on your energy and water bills. Always take care while servicing your water heater and do not hesitate to contact a professional if you are concerned about the integrity of your water heater or its parts. And if you’d like coverage for your water heater, a home warranty can help.

What to do About a Clogged Sink

What to do About a Clogged Sink

Standing or slowly draining water may indicate that you have a clogged sink. Not only is a clogged drain annoying and often disgusting, it can also be harmful to your plumbing, eventually causing damage. As soon as you notice that your sink is clogged, take action to clear the blockage and get your water running smoothly again.

First Response to a Clogged Sink

There are some simple things to try when you discover that you have a clogged sink. Whether it’s in the bathroom or kitchen, try running very hot water down the drain. As long as your piping isn’t plastic, boil the water and immediately pour it slowly down the drain. Sometimes just a kick of hot water is enough to clear out whatever is blocking the way.

If it’s your kitchen sink, make sure that the garbage disposal isn’t full. Run some warm water and flip on the garbage disposal. It may seem like a simple solution, but it is a very common and worthwhile solution that’s worth a try.

Another simple first line solution is salt. Make sure that any standing water is emptied from the sink, then pour about a half cup of table salt down the drain, followed by at least four times as much boiling hot water. Let that sit for a few minutes and then run the hot water to clear it out. The heat mixed with the texture of the salt may be able to loosen up the clog.

Chemicals to Fix a Clogged Sink

If the simple solutions didn’t work and the drain is still totally clogged or emptying slowly, it may be time to get science involved. There are several products on the market that can help break up stubborn clogs that aren’t too expensive. Draino, Insta-Flo, and Liquid-Plumr are just a few brands that are available online and at most major retailers.

You don’t necessarily have to buy a special product, though, to get the chemical reaction needed to clear out a clogged sink. There are quite a few simple DIY methods that will get the gunk going from your drains.

Everyday household items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are all you need if your sink is clogged. Combining the right household products in the drain will cause a foaming reaction that may break up the blockage and clean out your pipes.

The most classic recipe for fixing a clogged sink is one half cup of white vinegar and one half cup of baking soda. No mixing necessary, simply pour both agents down the sink and let them sit, undisturbed and covered, for at least half an hour.

If you don’t have baking soda, or would like a fresher smell, try lemon juice instead. Double the amount of vinegar to a cup and add a cup of lemon juice. Again, let the mixture sit for at least half an hour. These two products should react and form a foam that will break up the clog. After half an hour, rinse the drain with hot water and let everything ease away.

Tools to Fix a Clogged Sink

If using a liquid agent or household products still doesn’t work, you may need to step up your game and add some additional tools. A clogged sink may have something wedged in so tightly or made of such a material that won’t be easily affected by vinegar and baking soda. The first step is to plunge. Using a smaller, sink-sized plunger, cover the entire drain with the seal of the plunger to create a seal. Push up and down vigorously to force pressure into the drain. Unlike the chemical agents, this actually works best when there is water in the sink. The additional pressure from the water may help to clear the drain.

If plunging isn’t working, it’s time to snake. A drain snake, or zip-type clog remover, is a long, metal cable with a spring at the end. You can either snake it in from the sink drain or from an access point under the sink if the clog is that far down. You feed the line through the drain until it comes to the blockage and stops. From there, you twist the cord so that the spring end embeds itself into the clog. Then you pull it back and the clog should come with it. For the DIY method, a metal coat hanger can also be an efficient drain snake.

Plumbing Repairs for a Clogged Sink

If none of the methods above work, you’ll have to get your hands a little dirty and clean out the P-trap. The P-trap is the curved pipe under the sink. Drain all the water in the sink and make sure you have a bin underneath before you disconnect any piping. Dirty water will definitely pour out. Clogs are common in this tight area and can sometimes only be cleaned out directly. If problems still persist, don’t hesitate to call a plumber. Repairs can sometimes be more extensive than the average homeowner can handle on their own. It’s always best to have a professional check it out if you’re unsure of the problem.

A clogged sink is a common household problem, but as such, it can usually be fixed with common household products and methods. Don’t let a slow drain or standing water intimidate you. Try out these methods to run your tap with confidence.

When Is the Best Time to Buy Appliances?

When Is the Best Time to Buy Appliances?

Buying appliances can be a stressful endeavor. Not only do large appliances often come with large price tags, but it’s also a lengthy commitment you’re making. Most major appliances, with adequate maintenance and minor repairs, will last more than 10 years. Making the right purchase at the right time can help make those 10 years a joy instead of a hassle.

The Best Times to Buy Appliances

  1. September, October, and May
  2. Holidays
  3. End of the month
  4. Weekdays
  5. Off Season
  6. Online

Pricing trends suggest that there are better times than others to buy appliances. Ranging from price differences to options available, we’ve compiled the six best times to shop for appliances.

1. September, October, and May

The absolute best time to make most major purchases, be it a washer and dryer or a car, is right before they release the newest models. Stores and sales people will do what they can to clear out the old inventory and make room for the newer, shinier versions. Most major appliances, like dishwashers and trash compactors, are released in late fall to get ready for the holidays which means that September and October are prime times to sweep in and get the best deal on last year’s model. The one notable exception is for refrigerators. The best time to buy a refrigerator is in May. New models are released in the summer, so late spring will get you the best deals at stores and online.

2. Holidays

If you’re in the market for some new appliances, you don’t necessarily have to wait for Christmas. You’ve probably heard people say that the best time to buy a washer and dryer, dishwasher, or refrigerator is on Black Friday. They’re not wrong. The Friday after Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s basically one giant sale. If you’re looking to do some home improvement, You can really stock up on Black Friday. But it’s not just the Thanksgiving weekend that comes with good deals. Most appliance stores run great sales around every holiday. Memorial Day, Labor Day, President’s Day, and even Columbus Day can often mean great deals on large purchases. Celebrate the founding of our country with a brand new oven and range.

3. End of the Month

If you can’t wait until the fall and there isn’t a major holiday coming up soon, then the best time to buy appliances is at the end of the month. Most sales people work on commission and they have certain quotas to meet every month. If you go shopping for new appliances when they are desperate to meet those quotas, you may be able to negotiate a better deal. Not only can you get the sticker price lowered, but they’ll often throw in extras like an extended warranty or free repairs in order to make the sale.

4. Weekdays

While you’re planning to go in at the end of the month, make sure that you don’t go on a weekend. Saturdays and Sundays are often crazy in shopping centers and malls. With so many customers, employees won’t be able to give you the attention you deserve. That may scare off some potential buyers, but it could also lead to feeling rushed and making an unwise purchase without thinking about it or negotiating the price. If it’s not a holiday sale, your best bet is to go on a slow weekday and take your time.

5. Off Season

The best time to buy appliances is during the time of year you won’t use it. People don’t usually think about air conditioning units in January or outdoor grills in the winter time. Try to think ahead and buy out of season. Stores don’t want to waste precious floor space with large items that no one is using, so they are much more likely to strike a deal to take the out-of-season item out of their showroom. It may be a little inconvenient to store an air conditioning unit through the winter, but the money you save will be worth it.

6. Online

Cyber Monday is a new tradition to rival Black Friday and it has the same perks, with the added benefit of never having to leave your home. Online shopping is quickly becoming a more favorable method of purchasing in the US, and with good reason. You can instantly search and compare prices, read consumer reports, and find the best product at the best price without going to multiple stores. Most retailers will have online deals for holidays as well, so it’s worth checking online at all the same times as mentioned above. But if you need to make a purchase quickly, you can usually find the best deals by spending a little time online comparing and shopping around.

Tips for Buying Appliances

While there are ideal times to buy appliances, there are also a few general tips that will help you no matter when you make your purchase.

  1. Do your research
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Ask boldly for what you want

1. Do Your Research

The first is research. Before running to Best Buy and dropping a thousand dollars for a refrigerator, spend a little time researching them. Find the appliance that will work best for your home and your family. Read consumer reports, look at online feedback, and, if you can, see the appliance in person. Spending a little time looking into it beforehand can save you a monstrous disaster if you bring home the wrong thing.

2. Plan Ahead

Secondly, plan ahead. Most people like to use their appliances until they break. While that may sound economical, it often leads to overspending on repairs and energy costs. By all means, take care of your appliances. Keep up to date on maintenance and make any repairs you can. If you wait until your refrigerator dies to buy a new one, you may make a rushed purchase and likely even overpay. Figure out the lifespan of your appliance and plan to make a purchase before you absolutely need to. This will give you the flexibility to take advantage of sales and timing.

3. Ask Boldly for What You Want

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. It can seem uncomfortable to haggle in the store, but it never hurts to ask. Especially if you have followed the above advice, a sales rep is usually more interested in making some sale than no sale and will be willing to work with you. Ask for an added warranty, ask for free delivery and set up, ask for a discount. You may be surprised by what they’re able to offer.

Of course, buying appliances is no small thing: the money, the time, the commitment. But if you do your homework, plan ahead, and go shopping at the best time to buy appliances, you’ll walk away with the appliance of your dreams at a price just as nice.