How To Keep Bathroom Fixtures Like New.

 

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

 

Nothing is sadder than a bathroom with pitted chrome or bronze finishes gone from antique to merely elderly. Even if you can’t afford to completely renovate your bathroom, new plumbing fixtures update your style and give a fresh, clean look that bathrooms are all about. A few tips on maintaining your bathroom fixtures will keep them looking like new.

Chrome fixtures are not solid chrome, because is too soft to use except as a high luster coating over other metals. Residue buildup will cause it to pit, exposing the metal underneath. By then it is too late, so regular cleaning is the key to maintaining a mirror-like finish.  A damp rag and some soapy water are all you need for regular maintenance. Never use ordinary household cleaners, because acids eat into chrome and abrasives scratch it. You can clean around faucet bases and drains with a soft toothbrush dipped into soap and water. About once a month, go over your chrome fixtures with a one-to-one mixture of warm water and vinegar. This will help remove tough lime scale. If your chrome is rusty, try rubbing it with aluminum foil and the vinegar-water solution. It works! Dry your chrome bathroom fixtures with a microfiber rag and then polish with a special chrome polish from your local auto store. Auto buffs use it to buff a metallic shine onto their expensive wheels.  You can also use wheel cleaning clay, which will buff out most scratches.

While chrome is the most popular bathroom fixture finish, oil-rubbed bronze fixtures have a special elegance.  These fixtures are more corrosion resistant than iron and brass, but they require upkeep or the patina will turn green and the finish will corrode. Use soap and water to wipe away toothpaste, hair gel and other products on a daily basis. Remove stubborn grime with a mixture of 1-tablespoon salt to 3 quarts of warm water, and then rinse clean. Once a month, clean your bronze fixtures with 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white vinegar and enough white flour to make a gloppy paste. Coat the paste over the fixtures; let it dry for an hour, and then rinse with warm water and dry with a microfiber cloth.  You should also wax your oil-rubbed bronze fixtures once every 3 or 4 months. Use liquid car wax. Ordinary cleaning solutions like glass cleaner will cause your bronze fixtures to corrode and turn green, so stick to soap, water, and salt.

Brushed and satin nickel fixtures are sophisticated, but they gunk up with hard-water deposits. Most bath and tub cleaners are acid or ammonia based and will ruin your fixtures. Soap and water will do the trick. For tough water deposits, use a soft cleaner like Bon-Ami or Barkeeper’s Friend, but no steel wool, please. Please avoid products that say they remove rust or tarnish, as they usually contain acids that remove the protective finish. When it gets bad, try 50/50 white vinegar and water with a soft cloth. Remove and soak the shower head. WD-40 will restore the finish on nickel fixtures; it too is available at the auto parts store.  Some people swear by Stainless Steel Magic, which you may already use on your stainless kitchen appliances. Protect the finish with car wax. Stainless Steel Magic will also clean your stainless steel bathroom fixtures, but don’t wax them.

Be aware that some antique-looking fixtures have a “living finish” that is designed to develop a patina with age. Vinegar will remove that finish. And many fixture manufacturers warn you against using Scrubbing Bubbles on fixtures; it is meant for tile. Forego the use of plastic scrubby sponges; they can damage your fixtures beyond salvation. Brass and copper fixtures can be treated the same way; most metal cleaners will wear down plated finishes.

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August 22nd is Angel Day…So Shine Like One!

 

Photo credit: Google

Photo credit: Google

 

August 22nd is Be An Angel Day. It was first celebrated in 1993, but the idea behind it is timeless: do something nice for someone else, and recognize the nice people in your life. And while good deeds will light up your life, angel lamps add a dash of cherubic sweetness to a dark corner.

You can find a dozen celestial variations on Angel Lamps at KamensFineThings.com, for around $40 apiece plus shipping. For a little girl’s bedroom a Renaissance angel glows in bas-relief when lighted, $25 from Freewebs.com/BeckysGifts or Ferrisville.com. Or choose a resin pair of cherubs in a pink lamp with fringed shade, from Collectible-Glass.com for $25. EBay and Etsy, of course, have tons of retro angel lamps from a nicer era.

Now, if your tastes are less sweet, angels do come in all guises, including the very sleek Artemide Cosmic Angel Suspension light, created by super-minimalist designer Ross Lovegrove. Or flank your sofa with a pair of Angel Wing lamps in antique white or gold leaf by Regina Andrew Design, at around $700. Class will cost you, but it isn’t easy to make angels chic.

Sadly, the entire Angel’s Touch Collection of plastic “Tiffany-Style” lamps is anything but angelic. It was recalled in July 2013 due to shock and fire hazards. They were sold exclusively by Cracker Barrel, so it shouldn’t be hard to know if you have one.

Where angels really shine is on the road, with aftermarket Halo Headlights and Angel Eyes for your vehicle. Projector, LED, Euro, and Dual Halo Projector headlights increase nighttime visibility but mostly they make your vehicle look stunningly exotic. Halo Headlights start around $100 and blaze at more than $500, uninstalled. Car enthusiasts love to argue about the best ways to pimp their rides, so you’ll have to do some research on what will work with you. The simplest and cheapest way to go (and glow) is with LED angel Eye Headlight Accents, for around $10.

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Lighting Up Fashion With Style

Veronique Cote Sculpture dress

Veronique Cote Sculpture dress

 

Artist Véronique  Côté used hundreds of LED lights and a wire frame to create “Donkey Skin,” a sculptured dress that reflects her interest in fairytales. While this is art and is not meant to be worn daily, fashion and lighting do mix it up, particularly for evening wear.

UK-based CuteCircuit, a fashion tech company, has launched two lines of ready-to-wear dresses and tops embedded with LED lights. Some, like the “K-dress.” allow you to control the color and pattern of your lights. Enlightened by Janet Hansen offers faux fur coats, scarves, and other types of clothing for both men and women that are festooned with color-changing lights. They also create clothing by special order and spectacular costumes for stars such as Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Bow Wow.

Illuminated clothing is priced beyond reach for most of us, but you can go clubbing in a fiber optics LumiTop from LumiGram for 189 euros. Or, if you have some sewing skills and plenty of patience, you can embed flexible, neon-colored LED lighting in just about any garment. You can also create your own glowing wire clothes, similar to those worn by the band Daft Punk, using electroluminescent wire, also known as EL wire. Both are available through eBay. Send us pics of your brightest fashion ideas!

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How Lighting Affects Your Mood…

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Have you noticed when the sun is shining bright outside you feel happy? Do you notice a change in your mood when it’s gloomy outside? Well that is because lighting can affect your mood. Lighting can make you feel relaxed, agitated, happy or sad at any given time. Research show that when its dark your serotonin levels are at the lowest point, but once the light shines it increases your serotonin levels. Which help to shift your mood…  It’s the same as when you are feeling stressed you go into a room light a candle and just sit and relax.

This is also true for places you visit like a restaurant, which has dim lighting and candlelight to create a romantic atmosphere. Or a spa that has set a tone that is serene and relaxed. Even nightclubs have special lighting that put you in the mood to dance the night away. Lighting can even make your marriage proposal or wedding an unforgettable event! So the next time you feel down head outside and let the light shine….

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