Fun New Way To Carve A Pumpkin

IMG_6745It’s almost the scariest time of the year, which means it’s also almost time to carve a pumpkin with that perfect seasonal glow.  There are a few traditional ways to cut and carve a pumpkin, but here’s a unique new way to create some extra style on your door step this fall.

(H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N)

Here’s what you will need:
One medium to large sized pumpkin
A carving or serrated knife
An electric screwdriver
3-4 drill bits with varying sizesIMG_6701
A spoon
A black marker
A large bowl
Cleaning towels (we recommend Pureclean™ Multipurpose Cloths)
A candle or tealight and lighter

Step 1: Prepare your space. Place a few Pureclean™ Multipurpose Cloths on the surface you plan to work on so that you can contain any fallen seeds, drippings or dropped pieces of pumpkin.

Step 2: Clean Your Pumpkin. Using your cloths, clean the outside of the pumpkin to make sure you have a clean and clear surface to work on.


Step 3:  Cut off the crown. Cut a circular ring around the stem of the pumpkin, making sure that you cut through to the hollow center.   Sometimes, a serrated knife works best. Once the ring is complete, you should easily be able to remove the top of the pumpkin.   You can clean the top crown of the pumpkin off with a spoon, or by cutting off about 3/4 of an inch of the fruit’s meat and fibers.

6315E4DD-BCD7-4000-8303-8EC091B18E0CStep 4: Hollow out the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and interior pulp fibers of the pumpkin and place them in your bowl (later to be discarded).  You may want to also remove some of the interior flesh. Clearing out some of the interior wall will help to make your designs really glow once you add the lighting.

Step 5: Wash out your pumpkin. Now that the pumpkin is cleaned out, you can run the pumpkin under water to get any loose seeds or pulp strains out of the pumpkin.  Simply wipe off the outside of the pumpkin with your cloth when complete, as you will need a dry outside surface for the next step.

C87AE310-A9E6-4E47-8212-C688F20C980EStep 6: Choose your design.  Using a black marker, draw dots where you would like the pumpkin to show light.  Use those markers as a guideline to drill holes into the pumpkin. Be sure to drill all the way through to the hollow portion of the pumpkin so that light can shine through.  Get creative and choose different patterns and alternate different drill bit sizes for smaller or larger illumination holes.

Step 7: Final clean up. Drilling holes in the pumpkin can create a little bit of a mess.  Once you are finished, wash off your pumpkin again and dry it off completely.  You can also use your Pureclean™ Multipurpose Cloths to clean your drill bits.  When you are all done, wrap up the pumpkin IMG_6736debris in your cloths, and shake them out into a garbage bag. You can then toss all your Pureclean™ Multipurpose Cloths in the wash, as they are machine washer safe and reusable.

Step 8: Enjoy! Place your pumpkin outside, add a small candle or tealight inside of the pumpkin, light and replace the crown back on top of your masterpiece.  You can now enjoy your new stylish outdoor decor for Halloween.


*Pureclean™ Multipurpose Cloths are the first multipurpose cleaning cloths with the bulk and softness of terry towels, yet with the hygienic level cleaning efficiency of enhanced microfiber. They can be found at most major retailers.
Corn Hole, DIY

How to Build Your Own Corn Hole Boards


With summertime in full swing, there’s nothing like playing a game of corn hole  with friends in the back yard.  Buying a complete regulation corn hole set will run you about $175-$225. But, if you have a little time, you can make your own set and create your own unique design between $65.00-$80.00.


Materials you will need:
(4) – 2’ x 4’ x 8’ Wood boards (exterior treated is preferred)
(2) – ¾” x 2’ x 4’ Plywood (exterior treated is preferred)
(8) – 2 ½” Wood ScrewsIMG_5410
(24) – 1 5/8” Wood Screws
(4) – 3/8” x 4” Carriage Bolts
(4) – 3/8” Washers
(4) – 3/8” Wingnuts
(2)- Hardware Handles (optional but recommended for easy carrying)
Stain or Paint for design
Polycrylic (optional)
Paint bushes
Precision-Fiber® Cloths (12 count or more)
Sandpaper – 220 grit preferred
You can make your own bean bags, or you can purchase a set of 8 for $10-$15

Tools Needed:
Electric Drill, Miter Saw, Jig Saw, ½” Bit, 3/8” Bit, Hammer, Tape Measure

Step 1. Cutting the 2’ x 4’ x 8’ boardsIMG_5419

Cut each board with the following cuts:

  1. 48”
  2. 21”
  3. The last cut will need a little more measuring expertise. Measure out 13” on the top of the board, and 11” on the bottom of the board. Draw a line from the 13” mark to the 11” mark.  This will make a 30 degree cut across the board.
corn hole board
Make Cuts on Red Lines

You will end up with (4) 48” boards, (4) 21” boards, (8) 13” boards.  The remaining wood is not needed (gray).

Step 2:  Mark and start to drill the holes for legs

On each of the 48” and 13” boards, measure 4” in from the cut edge.  Then measure in 1 ¾” from the uncut side to find the drill point. Use your 3/8” drill bit to drill a hole at the cross point of the two measurements on the 48″ boards (you can drill the 13″ boards now or wait until step 3).

Step 3: Round off the legsIMG_5424

The easiest way to do this is to find something circular (like a roll of tape or your paint can) and center it on the 13” board around the drill hole you just made in step 2.  Trace a semi-circle.  Use this tracing to round off the legs with a jigsaw so that the legs can fold up once your corn hole board is complete.  Use sand paper to smooth off the edges.

If you haven’t already, when complete, use your 3/8” drill bit to drill a hole where you measured off the cross point in step 2 above.

Step 4: Put together your frame work

IMG_5438You will need (2) 48” boards and (2) 21” boards to make your frame. Lay out your frame so that the matching sized boards are opposite each other forming a box.  Make sure your leg holes drilled in Step 2 are lined up on the same side.  Pre-drill 2 holes on each corner and then screw together the box using (2) 2 ½” wood screws per corner.

corn hole holeStep 5:  Cut the top

Measure 12” in and 9” from the short end of the 2’ x 4’ plywood.  This is your center point for the hole you will need to drill.  Draw a 6” circle around the hole.  To cut the hole, it is easiest to drill a hole inside of the circle you drew and then cut out the hole using a jigsaw.


Step 6: Attach the top

Using (12) 1 5/8” wood screws,  attach the top to the base frame.  It will be easiest if you pre-drill the holes.

Step 7: Attach the legs and handles

Using the carriage bolts, washers and wingnuts, attach the legs to the inside of the boards.  You may need to use a hammer to bang in the carriage bolts into place. Attach the carrying handles to the side of each board.

Step 8: Paint or stain your boards

Sand your boards a little to clear debris and rough edges.

It is now time to choose a unique design.  You can paint or stain your boards to customize them.  We started with staining our board to give a unique and rustic look.  We used exterior deck stain and applied it on with a Precision-Fiber® Cloth.  Precision-Fiber®Cloths  make it easy to apply stain because they are absorbent, smooth and will not lint. They make it particularly easy to apply the stain to the wood, and stain inside of the grooves between the boards.

After the deck stain dries (give it a full 48 hours), you can add additional designs (paint, decals, etc). We created a patriotic design to make our boards stand out.


Optional: We recommend to coat your board with a Polycrylic protective finish. It will give your boards a clear topcoat that will protect them from damage due to scuffing, abrasion, chipping, water, and some household chemicals.

Step 9:  Set up and Play!

Here are the official rules of cornhole:

  1. Set up the boards 27’ apart facing each other.
  2. Line Up!  In a 4 player game, line up directly across from your partner. In a 2 person game, after throwing, you will walk directly across to the other board.
  3. You will take turns throwing with your opponent. Your feet may not go past the front of the board when you throw (if it does, your throw is considered a foul and does not count).  If a bag bounces on the ground and to the board, it should be removed.
  4. Once all 8 bags are thrown, add up your points per scoring below. The team with the most points throws first the next round.
  5. Scoring: If a bag lands on the board, it is worth 1 point. If the bag goes in the hole (corn hole), it is worth 3 points. Your points and your opponent’s points will cancel out each round of 8 throws (Example: If you scored 6 points and your opponent scored 4 points, you will only be awarded 2 points).
  6. A game is won when a team reaches 21 points, with a lead of 2 points or more.

Using the Best Rags = Fastest Cleanup

Precision-Fiber ClothWhy is it important to have the right cleaning supplies for the job, what are some disadvantages to being ill-prepared?
It’s important to have the proper cleaning tools for any job and to be prepared for many reasons. Accidents and spills happen, and it’s imperative to clean up any mess as quickly as possible to protect affected surfaces from damage or staining. It can also be very costly to repair or replace a surface that has been damaged from spilled paints, stains, or chemical cleaners. If you’re professional, that could be the difference between making a profit on your work or dipping into your margins.
What types of products do you think a painter has to have with them to ensure a quick cleanup and reduce callbacks?
Painter’s should always have a good supply of thick, consistent and absorbent wiping cloths or rags on hand at all times. A good wiping cloth, like our Precision-Fiber® Cloth Rags, will help you to clean up messes quickly and easily. Rags can help quickly wipe up spatter, spills and drips with ease, and when addressed immediately you lessen the chances that you’ll need to use a paint thinner or similar cleaner to help get rid of the mistake. Other good tools and supplies to keep on the job site would be things like sponges, commercial cleaners or paint thinners, or even just a little water.
How do different types of textiles handle different cleanup situations a painter finds themselves in?www
There are many different grades of wiping cloths and rags. Each come with their pros and cons for each job.
Traditional recycled rags are a good all-purpose cleaning rag and can be used for many dirty applications. The problem is they are made from recycled clothing and you never really know what you’re going to get when you open the box. Seams, cuffs, stains… even bodily fluids. Usually they are the cheapest option, but not the most professional.
New rags offer more consistent quality, color and performance. Within new rags you’ll have washed and unwashed options and made-to-spec wiping cloths. For professional painter’s, we highly recommend prewashed grades for their absorbency and low-lint performance. Typically, painter’s will stick with the all-white t-shirt knits, and the premium performance of Desert Storm tan knits. Made-to-spec options have come into existence over the past 15 years or so and are manufactured to be a rag. These are typically designed to be ideal for either general cleaning purposes, or specifically for tasks like staining.
You’ll also see painters using terry towels and white shop towels (painter’s towels) for really dirty or really tough jobs due to their strength and versatility. Typically, these are used in surface prep or cleaning prior to the job, and sometimes after a job is complete for a general wipe down of their work area. Terry towels and painter’s shop towels are not typically good for use when cleaning up paint or stain while working as they will lint and are bulkier than a typical knit rag.
A game-changing new entry into the paint and cleaning rags category is Intex’s proprietary Precision-Fiber® Cloth, or PFC® for short. PFC® is a versatile powerhouse wiping cloth that is suitable for all painting, staining and cleaning needs. It’s made in the USA from 100% brand new material. Every piece is identical to the next, and each performs superior to traditional textile wiping cloths and rags. Each piece is super strong and cut to exacting spec, and they are even reusable if rinsed or washed out.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Maintaining hardwood floors can be a daunting task, but the results can make any room shine with spotless gleam.

You’ll need a dry mop or vacuum, wet mop, some cloths (we recommend non-abrasive Pureclean ™ Multipurpose Cloths, a sponge, or terry towels), hardwood cleaner (optional depending on your type of floor finish), and a bucket.

Most people, when doing general maintenance on their floors, will clean around large furniture pieces or area rugs. However, for the best results, first clear the surface area of any movable furniture or personal items.  If you have a dry mop or vacuum, it is preferable to use these items to lift any debris, dirt or pet hair from the surface of the wood.  The purpose of removing the debris is to eliminate any particles that may be able to scratch the surface of the wood.   We recommend dusting, vacuuming, or dry mopping your floor weekly, but you can do so more/less often depending on the traffic of the area.  To get a deeper clean and make your floor shine, you will need to also incorporate a wet mop application.

Intex DIY - Mopping a hardwood floorDepending on what type of floor finish you have will determine how to prepare your wet cleaning solution. If you have a surface-sealed floor, or if your floors have polyurethane on them, you can simply wet a mop with some water and common dish detergent. The good news is that these types of floors are stain and water resistant.  However, if the floor finish is seal-treated or oil-treated, this type of floor finish needs a liquid or paste wax.

PRO TIP: Avoid using water if you have lacquered or shellacked hardwood. These types of floor finishes are not as resistant to water as surface-sealed finishes. Water on lacquered or shellacked hardwoods can actually buckle and stain the wood if it sits on it too long.  Instead, use a wood cleaner (liquid or paste wax) designated specifically for these types of floors.

BONUS TIP: Here’s a trick if you don’t know which kind of floor you have; simply rub your finger across the floor.  If you leave a residue behind, the floor is not sealed (you must use a wood cleaner liquid or paste).  If you do not leave a residue behind, then the floor is sealed, and it is safe to use plain soap and water.

Once you pour your cleaning solution into a bucket, dip in your mop, saturate it fully, and wring out the excess solution.  The mop should not be dripping wet, but damp.

PRO TIP: If you spill any solution while wringing out your mop, clean it up immediately, as standing water or detergent solution on a floor could damage the wood.

When you start to mop, keep in mind that it is important to mop with the grain of the wood to get the best results.  As you mop, once the liquid gets dirty, empty the contents of the bucket, mix a new cleaning solution, and continue to mop. If you do not have a mop available, you can also soak either a Pureclean ™ Multipurpose Cloth, a sponge, or a terry towel into your cleaning solution, and clean the floor with them.

Pureclean Multipurpose ClothsAfter applying soap or a detergent mixture to your floors, you are going to want to make sure all of the product put onto the floor is lifted off. Any residue left on the floor will leave a foggy appeal.  This next step is where you turn that dull floor into a floor with gloss and shine.  To do so, use a soft absorbent cloth; we recommend Pureclean ™ Multipurpose Cloths or terry towels to buff the floor.  Pureclean ™ Multipurpose Cloths are our top recommended cloth for this final step due to their soft bulk feel of a terry towel with the cleaning power of a microfiber cloth. To pick up soap and detergent residue, you will need to dry and lift in a circular motion.  The circular motion is essential to restore the shine to the floor. Once you have buffed the floor, it is time to sit back, relax and enjoy the shine.



Draining and Cleaning Your Hot Tub

Soaking in your hot tub after a long day is not only enjoyable, but it’s a great way to wind down.  But when not maintained properly, hot tubs can become dirty, slimy and full of bateria.  So, let’s talk about the proper way to drain and clean your hot tub so that you can relax in it worry free.

What you will need:

Cleaning towels, Intex, Terry Towels, Hot Tub
Cleaning grade terry towels are perfect for cleaning hot tubs
  1. Line flush
  2. Hose (or hoses)
  3. Terry towels (lots of them)
  4. Hot tub cleaner or a basic bathroom cleaner
  5. A small cup, bucket or pitcher
  6. Optional: New filters
  7. Optional: Sump pump

PRO TIP: It could take 4-6 hours to drain, clean and refill your tub, so start early in the day to give yourself plenty of time to complete your task.

It’s recommended that you clean your hot tub every 3-4 months or more depending on usage.  Due to their high temperature, hot tubs can be a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and other grime that settles in the water.

Draining and cleaning your tub is important, but often users forget to flush out all the bacteria settling in the interior lines when it is drained. Because of that, it is highly recommended to perform a line flush before draining your tub. Line flush can be purchased at any pool store and is simple to use.  Before draining, add the line flush to the water, and let it circulate for a minimum of 20 minutes, up to a few hours depending on the directions.  That’s it!

The next step is crucial: TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE HOT TUB.  Forgetting to turn off the power could result in the tub motor turning on while no water is in your tub, which could ruin the system.  To make sure the power is off, you can even turn off the circuit breaker feeding electric to your spa.

Now it is time to drain the tub. Follow the instructions with your hot tub, which typically includes using the drainage valve or the optional use of a sump pump.

The drainage valve is tricky to open if you have never used one before.

Releasing Hot Tub Drain Valve
Releasing the Hot Tub Drain Valve

A. Locate the valve.

B. Remove the top cover. You may need to unscrew the valve cap.

C. Attach a garden hose to the valve and run the other end of the hose to a safe place for the water to drain.

D. Pull the garden hose at the valve connection spot until the valve extends outward. You may hear a pop when the valve opens.  You should also hear the water starting to run out of the hose.

The water will continue to drain. It will take 1-3 hours to drain on its own.  You can speed up that process by using a sump pump or by adding additional hoses.

Clean versus Dirty Filter Cartridge
Clean versus Dirty Filter Cartridge

While the water is draining, you can remove the hot tub’s filter and filter cartridge to clean it.  It is highly recommended to replace these filters when draining the hot tub, but if you don’t, you can just rinse them out thoroughly.  Use the sprayer jet of a hose to remove dirt and other residue.  You can simply water rinse them with a hose, or you can additionally use a filter cleaner, following the directions on the label.

PRO TIP: Wear some old clothes that you don’t mind getting wet or possibly stained from chemicals. You are going to have to get in the tub to dry it and clean it. 

Terry Towels, Intex, Cotton Towels
Wringing Out Water with Terry Towels

Once the hot tub is drained, there will be a little bit of water left inside of the wells. For this next step, you will need a small cup or pitcher and some terry towels. Simply absorb the extra water at the bottom of the tub wells with your terry towels, wringing them out into your cup or pitcher, and then removing that water. Repeat until all water from inside the tub is gone.

Grab your hot tub cleaner (or you can use a common bathroom cleaner) and some terry towels, and start to clean the inside of the tub.  We recommend starting at the top of your tub, moving to the floor.  Once you clean it, we recommend rinsing it with water and wiping it down again with a terry towel.

PRO TIP: It is important to not leave any spray in the tub.  Left over spray could cause water to foam after you refill it and affect the balance of your chemical levels.

Now that your hot tub is drained and clean, you can remove any draining hoses, push in the connector valve and replace the valve cover.  Reinstall the filters and start to refill your hot tub.  It is important to start to refill your tub by running the water through your filter and water lines first, then you can let the water start to fill the base of the hot tub.  The refilling process can take up to 3 hours depending on the size of your hot tub and the pressure of your water.  While you are waiting for it to fill, you can clean the cover and exterior of your tub.

Terry Towels, Clean, Intex, Absorbent
Use Terry Towels to Your Clean Hot Tub Cover

Once the hot tub is filled to its recommended fill line, turn off the water, and turn the electric back on to the hot tub.

You can now add chemicals to the recommended levels:

  1. Adjust pH to levels between 7.4 and 7.6
  2. Adjust Total Alkalinity to 80ppm
  3. Adjust Calcium Hardness to 100ppm

Once that is completed, you can run the tub and shock it.  Adjust the temperature, replace the cover and allow the tub to run a full 24 hours before checking the balance of the chemicals again. Once the water becomes balanced, you can relax again in your spa.

Happy Tubbing!

Intex DIY