Waterless Car Washes: Top 10 Benefits of Using Them

Are you thinking of using waterless car washes to clean and shine your vehicle? If you don’t want to spend hours washing and waxing your vehicle, waterless cleaning products that contain wax can be a lifesaver. If you’re skeptical about using waterless wash because you think it may not be as effective as doing everything the traditional way, explore the following top 10 benefits of using an all-in-one product.

1. Save 20 to 50 gallons of water per vehicle

When you use a waterless wash like Quic Shine 99 or IBIZ, you do not have to use even one drop of water to wash your car. Not only do waterless car cleaning products conserve water, they also save you money on your water bill.

2. Wipe your vehicle’s surface without harm

Waterless car wash formulas typically contain a mix of special lubricants and cleaning agents that lift and surround dirt particles. This allows you to wipe the surface of your vehicle clean without scratching it.

3. Leave a protective finish on your car in three simple steps

With waterless car cleaning products, you can clean your car and leave a protective finish in three simple steps: spray, wipe, and buff. All you have to do is spray on the formula, allow it soak for a couple of minutes, wipe it off, and then buff it. How’s that for easy?

4. Remove more than just dirt

Waterless car washes remove more than just dirt. You can also use them to remove bugs, tree sap, scuff marks, and road tar to leave your car looking spick-and-span.

5. Save time

When you use a waterless product to wash and wax your car, it will save you a ton of time. The entire process of washing and waxing your car with a waterless formula generally takes around 30 minutes. On the other hand, if you wash and wax your car the traditional way, it could take hours of your precious time.

6. Protects the environment

Washing your car in your driveway with a hose is about the most environmentally unfriendly thing you could do. The water that runs off of your car when you wash it with water contains chemicals from harsh car cleaning detergents, in addition to gas, oil, and residue from exhaust fumes. All of that goes straight into storm drains and eventually into our lakes, rivers, and oceans. You can dramatically reduce your ecological footprint by using waterless car washes.

7. Save approximately $300 per car, per year

You can save money by washing your car at home and even more so if you use a waterless car cleaning product. When you consider how much you’d save by not purchasing a bucketful of car care products and not using water, it adds up.

8. Create long-lasting shine and protection

Waterless wash and wax products create long-lasting shine. In fact, the best products create a protective finish that beads water for up to three months and protect your car from catalytic converter emissions, tar, bugs, road grime, salt, and bird droppings.

9. Use it for other household items

All-in-one wash and wax products also have plenty of household uses. Some brands can be used to clean everything from shower stalls to ceiling fans in your home. Just avoid using waterless car cleaners on textured surfaces, leather, and vinyl.

10. Easy to apply

Compared to traditional car wax, waterless car washes are far easier to apply to your car because they come in liquid form and in a spray can.

How to Care For Your Pool Cue

Now that you’ve purchased your very own pool cue, and hopefully followed some of the advice from earlier articles before doing so, you’re going to want to take care of your investment. A good cue is relatively durable and forgiving, but all cues require care and a little bit of maintenance. We’re going to be talking about wood pool cues here, graphite and fiberglass sticks are virtually bulletproof and require somewhat less care.

CASES. You are going to need a case in order to carry your new cue to the pool hall. I would think that would be obvious but yet I constantly see people coming in carrying their new cue in their hand. Come on now, you just spent your money and took the time picking out a pool cue that you love, but you can’t spring for some sort of case? Basic cases are vinyl or soft-sided material. These will protect your cue against minor drops and dings, but not much else. I highly recommend hard cases just because they offer so much protection. Some cases are tested by driving a car over them without damaging the cue inside! Your pool cue can take a lot of damage in your car, in your house, and even at your billiard hall so protect it as best as you can.

While we’re on the subject of transporting your cue – never leave your pool cue in your car, especially in the trunk! Wood is highly susceptible to temperature changes and to humidity, so avoid storing your billiard stick in your vehicle at all cost. The wood will expand and contract which could lead to warping, loose joints, and cracked points.

THE TIP. The tip of your pool cue (the part that hits the ball) is the most important part of the stick. You can shoot pool with a tree branch or a broom handle – or the most warped stick in the house, if the tip is solid and properly shaped you can play with it! No joking! Screw- on tips are a serious no-no, so don’t even go there. “Real” tips are glued on and come in a variety of hardness. Soft tips hold chalk better and are better for applying “English” but they wear out and mushroom quickly. Extremely hard tips last forever but need constant re-chalking. Some say they make for a more accurate shot as well. A medium hardness tip should be fine for most players. The tip must be able to hold chalk, so periodic scuffing is necessary. The roundness of the tip should be maintained with a shaper. Most players compare the roundness to that of a nickel, though some prefer the tightness of a “dime curve”. Shaping and scuffing too often will cause your tip to disappear quickly, so only shape and scuff when necessary. The sides of the tip should be even with the ferrule, not mushroomed out. Get yourself a scuffer/shaper and take care of that tip!

THE SHAFT. When you first purchased your pool cue the shaft was nice and smooth, and slid through your bridge hand ever-so-easily. That didn’t last long, did it? The sweat, oils, and dirt from your hand will gum up on your shaft very quickly, making it sticky and not so smooth. How do you prevent this, and how do you clean it up? First, you cannot do much to prevent this from happening aside from washing your hands often and keeping them clean and dry. Some people use powder, like baby powder, on their bridge hand and on the cue. A tiny amount of powder that has been thoroughly rubbed in to your hand is okay – it makes your skin softer, but powder should never be used as a lubricant. Wash your hands! Powder will cause your pool cue shaft to gum up more quickly, and powder ruins the felt on the pool table. Nothing looks worse or plays worse than clean green felt with white baby powder all over it because some idiot thought that they had to dump powder all over themselves in order to shoot better! It just ain’t so – so don’t do it. It is bad for your cue and bad for the table. Have some respect, huh?

Wiping the shaft of your pool cue down with a soft cloth in the course of play will limit the amount of crud that builds up on it. Not eating or drinking with your bridge hand is a good habit to get in to as well. Using a very light leather burnishing pad occasionally is a good idea. In time however, the pores in the wood of the shaft will become completely crammed full of dirt and oils and it will need a thorough cleaning. I’m going to tell you how I do it, just remember that if you screw up you could ruin your cue. Forever. The first step is to completely wipe down the shaft (not he ferrule) with a soft cloth and some rubbing alcohol. You don’t want to soak the wood with it, use just enough to clean the wood. Continue wiping with alcohol until you don’t see dirt on the cloth. The alcohol removes the dirt and oil from the wood and opens the pores of the wood. Now you want to just let it sit and dry for several hours. Now it’s time for wax! That’s right, I said wax. You need to use 100% carnauba wax for this. Car wax is fine, as long as it is 100% carnauba wax.

Just like waxing a car, apply a coat of wax with a soft cloth or applicator and let it dry to a haze. You cannot let it dry too long, just let it sit awhile and have some patience. Once the wax has dried thoroughly you’ll want to wipe it off – and immediately start working the shaft with a leather burnishing pad (or a plain piece of thick leather if you don’t have a burnisher – which you should have anyway). Wrap the leather around the shaft and stoke it up and down as fast as you can (yes, it sounds dirty). The more you rub and the faster you rub the hotter the wax will become, which allows it to work into the pores of the wood. When you are finished you will have a beautiful, smooth shaft once again – but you’re not finished just yet! You are going to need to run through all of the steps again, except for the alcohol part. Apply more wax, let it dry, rub the heck out of it, repeat until you have at least 3-4 layers of wax thoroughly worked into the wood. Now take care of the tip and go shoot some pool!

THE BUTT. The butt of your pool cue shouldn’t need much maintenance at all. Keep it clean and wipe it down with a soft cloth during and after play. Don’t hit things with it and don’t drop (or throw) it on the floor. The joints will loosen up, the wood will crack, and parts will separate if you do. Then you’ll have to buy a whole new cue.

“Dings” in the Shaft. Nothing is more annoying than working your pool cue through your bridge and feeling little “dings” in the wood. As hard as we try to take care of our pool cues these little dents always seem to show up – as if by magic. Here is a method I learned that will remove small imperfections from your pool stick’s shaft. First, you need to wipe the shaft down with rubbing alcohol just like in the paragraph on cleaning the shaft. This will open the pores of the wood. Next, find a spot where you can place the shaft where it will not roll, and where it won’t get bumped. Lay the shaft (horizontally) down with the dings that you want to remove facing up. Now, soak a very small piece of tissue with water and roll it into a ball (think miniature spitball) and place the tissue ball directly on the indented spot on the shaft. It is important that the tissue ball not be larger than the actual indent on the shaft. Let that set until it dries completely – what happens is that the wood in that one tiny area absorbs the water from the tissue and swells, bringing that spot level with the surrounding wood. In a perfect world the “ding” will have disappeared, but what usually happens is that the “ding” becomes a small “bump” – which is fine because bumps can be worked out with a burnishing pad fairly easily. Once you have all of your “dings” up to level or slightly above level it is time to wax the shaft. Follow the instructions above for the proper method to do this. Of course another way to remove dings and dents from your pool cue would be to take it to a professional, but where’s the fun in that?

NEVER USE ABRASIVES. Ever. Period. That means no sandpaper, no scouring pads, no wet/dry paper, nothing. If it was designed to remove wood than keep it far away from your pool cue! You never want to remove a layer of wood just to make it smooth – you want to clean the existing wood to maintain the shape, balance, and feel of the cue.

Your pool cue represents an investment on your part, so keeping it clean and in good condition will make it last a lifetime – now that’s a lot of pool playing!

Choose a Good Auto Repair Shop to Keep Your Car Working Properly

Have you ever been out driving on the road without a care in the world and suddenly your car starts to make a funny noise? While you turn down the radio so you can hear the sound clearly, do you start to think about all of the things that could be wrong with your vehicle? Maybe you start thinking about the last time you took your vehicle in for repairs. No matter what you start to think about during that time, one thing you can’t ignore is the fact that your car needs to go to an auto repair facility.

Instead of taking any chances on the problem getting worse, you need to contact your local auto repair shop and find out when is a good time for you to bring your vehicle in for service. The longer you drive around ignoring the issue, the larger your repair bill will be. If you don’t have a good auto repair facility that you can take your car in too, it is time for you to start looking for one.

Any auto shop that you decide to take your vehicle to needs to be run and managed by state certified mechanics. You do have the option of choosing to have your vehicle serviced at the dealership or at an independent shop. You may want to check around and get some recommendations on where you should go so you don’t end up wasting a ton of time. Some places are pretty fast when it comes to repairing your vehicle and others may be a bit slower. Some places require that you leave your car with them and others will fix it while you wait.

Keep in mind that all auto repair shops aren’t the same. While many of their workers may hold the same credentials, the rate charge for service can differ greatly. Don’t be so quick to go with a facility that charges rock bottom prices, because you may not be happy with the end result. You need to make sure that any parts they are using on your vehicle are new unless you have specified otherwise.

Pay attention to how you are treated when you visit different auto repair facilities. No matter what type of vehicle you have or what type of work needs to be done on your car, you should be treated as if you are the best customer in the world. That means that any questions or concerns you have should be addressed promptly. You should be treated as if your time and patronage are very valuable. If there are going to be any delays or unexpected issues concerning your vehicle’s repairs you should be notified as soon as possible. A good shop is one that communicates with its customers every step of the way and charges them fair and competitive prices. The work they perform should be exceptional quality and they may even offer warranties with their work. The bottom line is you should end up a happy and satisfied customer after having your car worked on.

Is Arthritis Contagious?

There are many causes of arthritis, and several different forms the condition can take. Some of these can be caused by another organism, but not from person to person contact. Arthritis is not contagious, per se. However, the same insect or bacteria can cause it in more than one person.

The most common form is osteoarthritis, caused by injuries and/or general wear and tear on the joint. A tendency towards it may run in families. If one or both of your parents have/had the problem, you are at risk for developing it. Knowing this can help you make decisions that will improve your joint health and decrease the severity of the potential problems.

Other forms of this condition may be a little more difficult to predict or prevent. There are a few things you can do, but you have to know about them in order to protect yourself and your family from them. Here are a few examples of what can cause the problem and possible solutions.

Auto-immune disorders: Rheumatoid arthritis is a general name applied to nearly two hundred different diseases, classified as an auto-immune disorder. That means your immune system doesn’t recognize some other part of your body and attacks it. In this instance, it is attacking your joints. It usually starts in the smaller ones such as those of your hands and feet, but it can attack the larger ones.

This disease can be debilitating, and progress to gradually worse symptoms, so early diagnosis is your best plan. You will probably need prescription medications to mitigate the damage. If you wish to use herbal preparations, you will have to coordinate these with your doctor, as some can affect the immune system and could interact.

Food: What you eat does more than just provide fuel for your body. It can also present some serious problems. One of them is gout, sometimes called gouty arthritis. The cause is a buildup of uric acid, which develops into crystals. These get deposited into your joints when they get too heavy for the blood to pump it around. The right big toe is usually the first area affected, and it is extremely painful.

Watching how much and what type of protein you ingest is your best defense. Purine, a substance found in all proteins breaks down to uric acid. Under normal conditions, your kidneys filter this out, but if there is too much and/or the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, it builds up.

Lyme Disease: Ticks can carry a bacteria which gets passed on to whatever it bites. This bacteria causes an inflammatory condition that can lead to debilitating arthritis if it isn’t caught early enough. Not all doctors believe this is a real disease, so you may need a second opinion if testing is not done. Your medical history, places you’ve been that may have allowed ticks access and blood tests will help with a diagnosis. It is important to catch it early.

The only way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid ticks. That may be easier said than done, but a good insect repellent, hats and protective clothing may help in this effort. If you do get bitten by a tick, watch for a round, red rash that has a bull’s eye center. That’s the first sign that you may have the disease.

Viral Arthritis: This is one type of arthritis that has a potential good outcome. Most people who develop it get over it in time. Several different viruses can be a culprit here, including mumps and rubella. This usually only needs supportive treatment such as pain relief and will disappear entirely for most patients.

Arthritis is a painful condition, but there are things that can be done. Work with your doctor until you find the best treatment program. Make sure the doctor knows any medications or supplements you are taking and if you have any other medical conditions. This will help prevent side effects and interactions.