Category Archives: Stuff that Actually Works!

Infrared Heaters

So you’ve seen the ads out there for these new, efficient infrared heaters, right?  Well, at Tri-County, we have a company that comes in and sells their units at our store about once a month during the fall and winter months.  It took around 4 visits before I was convinced that I needed one of these heaters.  I can honestly say that it is actually something worth your money 🙂 I use ours to heat the basement rec/family room during the winter, keeping it closed off from the rest of the house.  Then I’m able to turn the thermostat down upstairs and for the rest of the house, saving on my heating bill.   Our unit runs constantly (because I set the thermostat so high) and I did see a $25 increase in the electricity part of my gas/electric bill, but, I also saw a significant reduction in the natural gas part that totally made up for the additional electric.  So I guess if you have any doubts about these units, here’s my positive plug on them.  As a matter of fact, I let my brother borrow ours for a weekend and he ended up buying one, too 🙂

Carving Pumpkins… This might surprise you :-)

Over the weekend, we had a pumpkin carving party at my brothers house. We set the table up in the garage, lined up all the pumpkins and the fun began!  After Derrik got done drawing out his design, he went to the tool box and pulled out a drywall jab saw.  We looked at him and started laughing!  With a big smile on his face, Derrik went over to his pumpkin and commenced the cutting.  I couldn’t believe how well that worked!!  No more sharp, pointy knives or pumpkin carving kits for me!  A drywall jab saw is all you need!

For Cat Owners – The Litter Locker

I LOVE this product!!!  Tired of using grocery bags to scoop cat litter into?  I was!

This is a very simple to use product… You open the lid to the Litter Locker, scoop the yucky stuff from the litter box and dump into the Litter Locker… Close the lid and turn the wheel… DONE!  It locks the smell away keeping your house smelling like home and not a litter box.  Here’s a description of the product from the Litter Locker people….

“LitterLocker is the award winning innovative system that solves the problem of soiled litter disposal. LitterLocker gives cat lovers an odorless, hygienic, easy way to dispose of waste. Pet owners simply scoop and sift clumps in a regular litter box using the litter scoop included with the unit, open the lid and discard the waste in the LitterLocker container. With a quick and easy turn of the handle, the clumps – and odors – are sealed away in a 7-ply odor barrier bag. One turn away, keeps the odor away.”

I bought mine at a pet store and I buy the refills online.  They’re cheaper if you can buy them five at a time.  They last a long time, but it’s always good to have a back-up on hand.  A must have product for cat people!

Home Made Glass Cleaner :-)

My never ending quest to find the perfect glass/hard surface cleaner may have just come to an end!  This past week, I’ve been testing a cleaner that I made myself, using everyday stuff around the house 🙂  Remember that Clorox Green Works?  Well, I took the label off the bottle and made my own, therefore recycling the bottle after dumping out the cleaner that got a big “boo!” from me….

Anyway, here’s my magic potion:

1 cup of isopropyl alcohol

1 cup of tap water

Two tablespoons of white vinegar

That’s it!
I already knew the magical cleaning powers of vinegar, but wanted something that would evaporate quickly, therefore not leave streaks on glass, so I added in the alcohol.  I’ll be honest, the mixture doesn’t smell the best (smells like alcohol, not vinegar) but it works wonderfully!  I’ve been using it all over the house on laminate countertops, mirrors, glass and my stainless steel sink… It also works great on the microwave, glass stove top and of course windows 🙂  Give it a try, let me know what you think…
On a side note, since I’m not a professional and I don’t have a lab in which to test this in, I’d advise not using this product on wood or furniture…

Rain Flow Gutter Protection

Total Gutter Protection is right! I’ve had this product on my house for 4 years now and still just love it.  I’ve never had to clean my gutters since it was installed.  Come to Tri-County Lumber and check out our display.  5″ x 3′ piece of Rain Flow – $ 8.99

Knife/Tool Sharpener

A must have gadget!! Sharpens kitchen knives, pocket/hunting knives, axes, arrowheads, and garden tools.  I found out about this awesome tool after using my Dad’s to sharpen my fillet knife while cleaning fish… Now I’ve got one in the kitchen and one in  my tackle box.  Simple to use and works better than you’d expect.  You can pick this sharpener up at Tri-County for $10.99.

Olive Oil Secret :-)

Did you know that if you dab a bit of olive oil onto a soft cloth or paper towel (don’t over-do it), you can use it on your stainless steel or satin nickel finish items to remove streaks and water spots?  Try it!  Oh and also, vinegar works great on that stainless steel stuff too 😉

Pet Hair??? Not anymore!!!!!! :-)

So this is just one of those things I “had to try”.  We’ve got two cats and a Mommy that can’t stand pet hair.  I’ve got dark brown micro suede couches in the living room and a solid red bed spread… So as you can imagine, they show EVERYTHING!  So for around 5 bucks I thought I would give this critter a try.  It’s set up like this…. The bottom of the sweeper has two of the old style lint picker-uppers on it… they face each other so that the fabric goes in opposite directions.  The top of the sweeper is a handle/clear plastic bubble… To use:  Rub the sweeper from side to side back and forth.  EASY!  Then watch as that clear bubble fills up with pet hair!  I’ve had mine for some time now and my bubble is getting pretty full but it still works!  Once the bubble gets too full, you just throw it away and grab a new one.  Sweet!  I’d say that this is definitely a good recommendation 🙂

** Note:  I know that Scotch also makes a pet hair picker-upper… Although I have never tried it, a good friend told me that she uses it with great success as well 🙂  Thanks, Emily!

Bruce No-Wax Floor Cleaner

Yep… Another item I stock here at Tri-County.  Actually, I learned about this product from a customer of mine that uses it all the time.  He comes in on a regular basis to get his new bottle so one time I asked him about it and all the feedback I got was positive enough that I just had to try it myself.
I have laminate floors in the dining room and needed a cleaner that wouldn’t ruin the floor but also wouldn’t leave streaks behind.  I use this product along with my Swiffer Sweep + Vac using a dry cloth (no vacuum)  It gives the floor back its original luster and makes the wood grain really stand out.