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'It's a good time to get things done': Catching up on home maintenance while homebound

Tackling home maintenance projects is one way to pass the time while observing stay-at-home order.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

PORTLAND, Oregon — A lot of people are looking for things to keep them busy while observing stay-at-home orders connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. One good use of time could be tackling a neglected home maintenance to-do list.

“It's a good time to get things done,” said Norman Chusid, owner of Ankeny Hardware in Southeast Portland.

Chusid is used to business spiking during winter storms and heat waves and said the COVID-19 crisis has felt a lot like that.

“It's basically been nonstop,” said Chusid adding that under Oregon and Washington's stay-at-home orders, hardware stores can remain open as essential service providers.

“We will remain open as long as we are all healthy,” said Chusid.

One often neglected kitchen appliance is the dishwasher. To clean it, first remove and clean your dishwasher’s filter. Next, place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of an empty machine and run it through a hot water cycle. Finally, sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short hot water cycle.

Chusid said it's also important to pay some attention to your refrigerator which tends to collect a lot of dust and hair.

“The cooling system doesn't work as well when it's covered up in schmutz,” he noted.

Chusid said if your front grill comes off, you can wipe the coils down with a brush or cloth.

“An old trick you can do is put a wet towel in front of the refrigerator and take a shop vac and blow the air out from the back” suggested Chusid. “The dirt gets trapped into the towel and it doesn't blow all over."

To clean the garbage disposal, Chusid suggested dropping a whole lemon and a cup of ice cubes down the disposal drain to clean and freshen the blades.

“You can do all of these projects in part of a day,” he said.

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