Archive for Hints and Tips

Are You Bonkers To Have Tried Conkers?

When I was little, the only thing we did with Horse Chestnuts or Conkers was tie a string through them and then proceed to bash them to bits against your best mates Conker in the school playground hopefully without taking a painful whack on the knuckles in the process.

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Funny thing was, my nan always had a ready supply of conkers, I always thought it was because she knew I needed them (I was going to smash Jez Swinglers ‘Niner’ this year!). I did not realise till I was grown up, the reason why she always had a steady supply of conkers on hand, it turns out that she was an arachnophobe and had been using the conkers to scare away the spiders from the house.

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Now, being an arachnophobe myself, this time of year is sheer misery, early autumn is when they all seem to migrate to my house and I spend the next few weeks jumping at every imagined corner of the eye movement, jumping out of bed at 3am and stripping the duvet off the bed because something itched on my leg, carefully checking shoes before putting them on because god forbid anything moved while my foot was in it. Spiders are the bane of my existence and you are never more than 6ft away from the nearest one apparently so if there is anything that can keep them away from me, so much the better.

Being a nearly rational person, I decided to do some investigation into whether my old nan was right or simply mixing her pills. After an exhaustive search involving banks of supercomputers, NASA, Google and my mate Geoff who knows everything about everything, I found that while there is no scientific proof or explanation why Conkers repel spiders, an awful lot of people swear that they do.

Just take a look at Ebay at this time of year, there are lots of listings for conkers, why would you pay for them?, they literally grow on trees! mind you, if the closest you can get to a tree is seeing one on television or the kids have already had all the conkers from your local area, then the sellers may be your only option.

Now personally, I prefer the old fashioned way of dealing with those eight legged interlopers but as I am told that a rolled up newspaper or the vacuum cleaner is not sporting, I am forced to rely on other methods to rid myself of spiders. Fortunately, there are many companies that help us arachnophobes out and produce chemical repellents and other more high tech methods involving ultrasound and electromagnetism.

Doff, who are a leading pest control manufacturer have produced The Ultrasonic Spider Repeller. A wonderful contraption that plugs into your mains and emits ultrasonic and electromagnetic waves that spiders cannot tolerate, it also works on rats and mice too.

If you are looking for a more low tech answer, then Doff have also produced Spider Glue Traps. Works like fly paper but you can put it on the floor, the spider crawls inside the trap thinking it is a dark little corner where it can lay in wait and gets stuck to the glue covered sides of the trap, also works on ants and other crawling pests.

If you prefer the idea of just stopping them from entering the home, then No More Spiders will be the answer, just spray the repellent on the door and window frames and the spiders are repulsed and can’t get in. A word to the wise, make sure there are no spiders in the house BEFORE you spray, otherwise they can’t leave and you will be stuck inside with them.

If like me, you just want to get them gone and really don’t care for the casualty rate, then Doff Spider and Crawling Insect Killer is your weapon of choice. Spray the surfaces where you have seen them and wait. Not long before you will be sweeping away dead spiders and other creepy crawlies like woodlice and ants.

Our full range of Spider Repellents can be found here and as always you can click the green links above to go to the product pages directly.

As I said earlier, there is no scientific proof that conkers work as a spider repellent yet people say they do, who is right? Until the end of October, we are going to give you a bag of 10 conkers with every spider repellent product you purchase from our range so you can see for yourself if conkers actually work and I owe my old nan an apology.

How To – Properly and Safely Move A Fridge Freezer or other Heavy Domestic Appliance.

In another of our “How To” series of helpful hints and tips, I’m going guide you on how to move those heavy domestic appliances like a fridge freezer or washing machine.

Moving large items such as Washing Machines, Fridges etc. are a hassle, no matter what the circumstances may be. A washer, a dryer, a refrigerator or a dishwasher is far too big for one person to pick up, and often too big for even two people to pick up and carry.

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There are a number of angles from which you can approach the problem. Depending on what the appliance is, you may be lucky enough that it’s on wheels. Most refrigerator models have some kind of wheels so that you can push them at least part of the way, although you may still have to resort to some other technique in order to maneuver them around angles.

Without wheels or without practical wheels, one easy idea is to use Universal Appliance Rollers or a Scanpart Movable Base. The best ones are the ones that have a long flat edge that you tip it back toward you to can slide underneath the appliance in question then you can push or pull it to the location in which you need it.

If you are moving something over a longer distance, it’s a good idea to use a rope or bungee cord to secure the appliance in position on the Scanpart Movable Base or Universal Appliance Rollers. It may also be a good idea to have a partner help you guide the appliance or steer for you if it’s something particularly large.

Tips for Moving a Fridge:

1. Remove all contents, including freezer items.

2. Unplug the refrigerator and if it has a freezer compartment let the freezer defrost. This will usually take at least 6-8 hours depending on the state of the freezer. It’s best to defrost it overnight, and in the morning wipe out the inside.

3. Remove all shelves and other loose items. If you prefer, tape the fridge drawers closed (be careful that tape doesn’t leave a mark) or remove them. Wrap the shelves with blankets, towels to protect them during the move. Label the shelves appropriately.

4. Turn off the power source and wrap the cord, securing it out of the way.

5. Secure the doors. With a strong cord or rope, tie the doors closed by wrapping the cord around the fridge. If you have a double-door, tie the doors together tightly. Tape will work as well, but just remember that when you remove the tape, the paint surface might be disturbed.

6. Position it into its new space. Before you plug it in, let the refrigerator sit for at least 2-3 hours. This allows the fluids to flow back into the compressor. This is critical to its cooling mechanism.

Leave it plugged in. It’ll take a while before the fridge is ready to use. Some require 3 days before they’ll reach an optimum temperature. Check your manual for details.

Always keep the refrigerator standing upright as much as possible. This ensures that oil won’t seep into the cooling tubes which can cause permanent damage.

Read the manual. Check moving instructions in your refrigerator’s manual before you move. It’ll highlight important safety tips and advice and warn you of potential problems.

Hopefully there are some helpful tips there next time you have to move the fridge to retrieve the cat (true story!).