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Saturday, January 4, 2020

How to of the Day

How to of the Day


How to Exercise

Posted: 04 Jan 2020 04:00 PM PST

Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you're not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try adding strengthening exercises 2 or 3 days per week, and consider boosting your flexibility with yoga or Pilates classes. Whenever you work out, always listen to your body's limits, and ask your doctor for advice if you have a history of any medical issues.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Creating an Exercise Routine

  1. Tailor your routine to your experience level. Start slowly if you aren't used to physical activity and want to develop an exercise routine. As you gain experience, try increasing your workouts' intensity levels gradually.[1]
    Exercise Step 55.jpg
    • For example, start off by walking for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. After 1 to 2 weeks, work your way up to 30 minutes. Try to pick up your pace, too. You might start by walking in 15 minutes, then work your way up to in 30 minutes.
    • When you do strengthening exercises, start with 2 sets of 8 repetitions (such as 8 push-ups). Then add 1 to 2 additional reps per week until you can do a set of 12 to 14.
  2. Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before working out. When you warm up, target the muscles you plan on exercising, but use less intense movements. For instance, walk for 5 to 10 minutes before jogging or doing a lower body workout.[2]
    Exercise Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • If you're swimming, go slowly at first, then pick up your pace. Before an upper body workout, walk or jog and do light jumping jacks to raise your heart rate and increase blood flow.
  3. Try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day. As a rule of thumb, you should get at least 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise daily. Examples include going for brisk walks and jogs, running, cycling, and swimming.[3]
    Exercise Step 36.jpg
    • When you're exercising at moderate intensity, your heart rate should increase and you should breathe harder. You should still be able to speak, but you should be winded enough that you can't sing.
    • Keep in mind you can break your workout times into chunks and spread them throughout the day. Being active for 5 or 10 minutes at a time is a good way to ease your way into exercise if you're not used to it.
  4. Include strength training at least 2 days per week. Also known as resistance training, strength training involves using free weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight to strengthen your muscles. If you're just starting out, try doing upper and lower body workouts 1 day a week each. In time, gradually work your way up to including 3 to 4 strength training days in your weekly routine.[4]
    Build Forearm Muscles Step 1 Version 3.jpg
    • A sample intermediate upper body workout could be 2 sets of 30-second planks and 2 sets of 12 reps each for crunches, push-ups, dumbbell biceps curls, and dumbbell shoulder presses.
    • To strengthen your legs, do 2 sets of 12 reps each for squats, glute bridges, calf raises, and lunges.
    • Generally, rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets. If building muscle power is your goal and you're doing high-intensity weight lifting, resting for 3 minutes can result in greater increases in strength.[5]
    • You can do strength training at home or use resistance machines at a local gym.
  5. Mix up your routine to keep things interesting. Varying your activities can help keep you from getting bored, which can motivate you to stay on track. Additionally, switching up your workouts will engage your entire body and help prevent injury.[6]
    Exercise Step 53.jpg
    • For instance, you could jog on Monday, do upper body strength training Tuesday, swim laps on Wednesday, do a lower body workout Thursday, take a yoga class on Friday, ride your bike Saturday, and go for a light walk on Sunday.
    • On strength training days, get your daily aerobic exercise by warming up and cooling down with brisk walks, doing jumping jacks, or jumping rope. Climbing stairs and going for a walk during your lunch break can help you squeeze in 5 or 10 more minutes of aerobic exercise throughout the day.
    • Avoid targeting the same muscle group 2 days in a row. Don't, for instance, do biceps curls and shoulder presses on back-to-back days. Muscles need time to recover, and overworking them can lead to injury.
  6. Walk for 5 to 10 minutes and stretch to cool down after workouts. Cool downs, like warm-up exercises, are a gentler forms of exercise meant to ease your body from working hard to being at rest. Cool down by walking for 5 to 10 minutes and stretching the muscles your workout targeted.[7]
    Exercise Step 59.jpg
    • Stretch individual muscles for a total of 30 to 60 seconds. For example, you might do 3 to 4 quad stretches per leg and hold each stretch for 10 seconds.[8]
    • Avoid stretching before you exercise, which poses an injury risk. Stretching after exercise, when your muscles are warm, can help them recover and improve your flexibility.

[Edit]Getting Aerobic Exercise

  1. Go for a brisk walk or jog every day. Walking and jogging are great ways to stay active, especially if you're just beginning to exercise. You could go for a 15-minute brisk walk during your lunch break, then walk or jog around your neighborhood for 15 minutes after dinner.[9]
    Exercise Step 11.jpg
    • If you're elderly or have a history of joint issues, jogging may be tough on your knees, hips, and ankles. Respect your body's limits and, if necessary, stick to walking.
  2. Jump rope for 5 to 15 minutes. More than just a fun game for kids, jumping rope is an excellent cardio workout. Grab a rope, and try jumping for 5 minutes straight. If you're not used to exercising, it's okay if you can only jump for a minute or so.[10]
    Exercise Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • If you need to stop, take a break and catch your breath. Try jumping rope for gradually longer periods of time. You could aim to add 30 seconds or a minute to your time each week until you can jump for at least 5 minutes straight.
  3. Do jumping jacks for 5 to 15 minutes. Start by standing with your legs together and arms at your side. Then jump straight up as you move your legs outward and raise your arms together above your head. Return to the starting position, then repeat.[11]
    Exercise Step 10.jpg
    • As with jumping rope, take a break if you feel too winded, and try to gradually increase the length of time you can do jumping jacks.
  4. Go for bike rides. When you're just starting off, go for easy bike rides around your neighborhood, on a local bike trail, or at a park. At first, try cycling for around in 30 minutes, then gradually increase your speed and distance.[12]
    Exercise Step 13.jpg
    • As you get used to being active, try to work your way up to in 30 minutes. Eventually, aim to cover in 15 minutes.
  5. Swim laps at your local pool or fitness center. Swimming is a great full body workout, and it can help add variety to your routine. Try swimming laps for 20 minutes, or for as long as you can without getting too winded. It's okay if you need to take a break, especially when you're just getting used to exercising.[13]
    Exercise Step 12.jpg
    • In addition to swimming laps, you could do water aerobics or just walk around in a pool. These are good options for people with joint problems or those who are significantly overweight.
  6. Try running once you're used to being active. Go for runs around your neighborhood, or look for a local indoor or outdoor track. Try to run for 15 to 30 minutes straight, but don't push yourself too hard if you're just starting to get more active.[14]
    Exercise Step 15.jpg
    • Each week, try to add another minute to your running time. Eventually, see if you can run straight, track your time, and try to cut down your time each time you run.
    • Running might be tough on your legs if you're elderly or have a history of bone or joint issues. Remember to respect your body's limits.
  7. Challenge yourself with interval training. Interval training involves alternating high-intensity and low-intensity exercises, and it's a great way to burn calories. Since it involves high-intensity activities, such as running or sprinting, it's best to include interval training in your routine if you're already used to regular exercise. For a good, basic interval session, try doing a sprint-walk routine.[15]
    Exercise Step 52.jpg
    • Warm up by walking briskly for 5 to 10 minutes, then jog for 5 to 10 minutes. After jogging, sprint for 30 to 60 seconds, then jog for 5 minutes. Alternate running for 30 to 60 seconds with 5 minutes of jogging at least 2 to 3 times, then cool down by walking for 5 to 10 minutes.

[Edit]Learning Strengthening Exercises

  1. Do push-ups to strengthen your arms and chest. Lie face down with your palms flat on the floor by your shoulders. Then, keeping your head, neck, back, and legs aligned, exhale and lift your body by extending your arms. Your hands and toes should support your body weight.[16]
    Exercise Step 17.jpg
    • Straighten your arms, but don't lock your elbows. Hold yourself up for a second, then inhale as you slowly lower yourself back down so that your nose nearly touches the ground. Repeat the steps to complete 2 sets of 12 reps.
    • To mix up your routine, set your palms at a wider distance as you perform push-ups. You could also hold yours arms close to your body as you do push-ups to shift the work from your chest to your triceps.
  2. Try to hold a plank for 30 to 45 seconds. Start by lying face-down on the floor, as if you were about to do a push-up. Raise your body and support your weight on your forearms and toes. Try to hold the pose for at least 30 seconds, lower yourself to the floor, rest for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat.[17]
    Exercise Step 21.jpg
    • Keep your head, neck, and back in a straight line as you hold the pose. Avoid looking up; keep your head in a neutral position so you face the floor.
    • If 30 seconds isn't challenging, try holding the plank for 1 minute or more.
    • Remember to keep breathing normally as you hold the plank.
  3. Work your abdominal muscles with crunches. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands across your chest or behind your head, engage your ab muscles, and exhale as you slowly raise your upper torso off of the floor.[18]
    Exercise Step 22.jpg
    • Lift your torso until your shoulder blades are off of the floor, hold for 1 to 2 seconds, then inhale as you slowly lower yourself back to the ground. Repeat the steps to complete 2 sets of 12 reps.
    • Use slow, controlled motions to avoid injury and make your muscles work harder.
    • If you place your hands behind your head, do not use them to pull up your head and neck. To avoid injury, just rest your fingertips on the back of your head, or cross your hands over your chest.
  4. Target your glutes and core muscles with bridges. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms by your sides. Inhale, then exhale as you engage your core muscles and slowly raise your hips and lower back off of the floor. Lift yourself until your shoulders and knees form a straight line, and keep your arms flat on the floor to keep your balance.[19]
    Exercise Step 24.jpg
    • Hold the lifted position for 1 to 2 seconds, then inhale as you slowly lower yourself back into starting position. Repeat the steps, and complete 2 sets of 12 bridges.
    • To increase difficulty, try holding yourself in the raised position, then raise and extend 1 leg straight. Lower the leg back to the floor, repeat on the other side, then lower yourself to the floor.
  5. Strengthen your legs by doing squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward, back straight, and your arms by your sides or crossed over your chest. Keeping your torso aligned and core muscles engaged, slowly bend your knees and lower your hips as if you were going to sit in a chair.[20]
    Exercise Step 18.jpg
    • Stick your rear end out as you lower your hips so your weight is back on your heels. Keep your knees and toes aligned, and avoid bending your knees past your toes.
    • Continue lowering yourself until your thighs are roughly parallel with the floor, then push your feet into the floor through your heels to raise yourself back to the starting position.
    • Inhale as you lower yourself, and exhale as you exert your legs and lift yourself. Repeat the steps to complete 2 sets of 12 squats.
  6. Try doing burpees for a full body workout. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, then jump and drop to a crouched position. Place your palms flat on the floor and thrust your legs back to enter the push-up position, and do one push-up.[21]
    Exercise Step 19.jpg
    • After the push-up, pull your legs back to the crouched position, and then jump straight up with your hands raised to return to the standing position. Repeat to complete 2 sets of 12 burpees.
  7. Invest in free weights or a gym membership. While you can do plenty of strengthening exercises without weights, dumbbells, barbells, and resistance machines can add intensity to your workouts. To avoid injury, start with lighter weights, and avoid trying to push your body beyond its limits.[22]
    Exercise Step 16.jpg
    • Choose weights that challenge you, but still allow you to maintain proper form. Watch yourself in the mirror, and make sure your reps are smooth, steady, and controlled. If you look out of balance or struggle to make it through a set, choose lighter weights.[23]
    • Try doing 2 sets of 12 biceps curls. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell weight in each hand by your sides. Bend your elbows, keeping them close to your side, to lift the dumbbells to your shoulders. Inhale as you lower back to the starting position, and exhale when you exert your biceps.
    • Do shoulder presses by raising the dumbbells by your shoulders with your elbows bent. Exhale as you extend your arms straight above your head, bring the dumbbells back to your shoulders, and repeat to complete 2 sets of 12.
    • Consult a trainer or experienced friend to ensure you use proper form. If you use resistance machines at the gym, have a trainer instruct you on proper use.

[Edit]Boosting Your Balance and Flexibility

  1. Stretch after you've warmed up your muscles. You should only stretch muscles that have been active and received increased blood flow. Stretching cold, inactive muscles poses an injury risk. Whenever you stretch, hold the pose steadily instead of bouncing in and out of it. Inhale as you move into a stretch, and exhale as you hold the pose.[24]
    Exercise Step 31.jpg
    • To stretch your hamstrings, sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Reach toward your toes as far as you can until you feel a stretch in the backs of your legs, then hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
    • To stretch your quads, stand and use a chair or wall for support. Bring your right foot toward your rear end, grab your toes with your right hand, and gently pull until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, then repeat on your left leg.
    • For a simple shoulder stretch, gently pull your right elbow across the front of your body towards the opposite shoulder until you feel a stretch in your right shoulder and back. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, then repeat on your other arm.
    • Stretch your calves by standing next to a wall, then place your palms flat against it at shoulder height. Keeping your arms straight and feet on the floor, extend your right leg back, and bend your left knee slightly. Press into the wall until you feel a stretch in your right calf, hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
  2. Start doing yoga. In addition to improving balance and flexibility, yoga can boost concentration and help you keep stress levels in check. You could take classes at a local gym, community center, or yoga studio, or practice at home using online or DVD guides.[25]
    Exercise Step 29.jpg
    • From yoga to tai chi, taking a group class is a great way to stick with an exercise routine. Adding a social component can make staying active more fun, and you might feel a greater need to hold yourself accountable.
  3. Try taking up Pilates. Pilates is a series of movements inspired by yoga and dance that combines aerobic, balance, and flexibility training. Like yoga, you could find a local Pilates group to practice with or take a class at a local gym or studio.[26]
    Exercise Step 28.jpg
    • While group classes might liven up your routine, you can also look for Pilates DVDs or online video guides.
  4. Stay active by dancing. From ballet to flamenco, dancing can be a rigorous form of exercise. It can improve your flexibility, offer aerobic or endurance training, and boost your coordination. Find a local group to practice with or take a class from a local gym or community center.[27]
    Exercise Step 30.jpg
    • Learning how to line dance or attending a dance-exercise class might be fun, but you could also put on your favorite tunes and dance around your house.
  5. Add tai chi to your exercise routine. Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that involves sequences of slow movements. It can help improve your balance, flexibility, and concentration, and it's a good way to manage stress. Since it's a low impact form of exercise, it's a good option if you're elderly, have a history of medical issues, or have recently suffered an injury.[28]
    Exercise Step 25.jpg
    • Look for tai chi classes at a local gym or studio, or find online video guides.

[Edit]Fitting Exercise into a Busy Schedule

  1. Find small chunks of time to get active throughout the day. You don't have to dedicate hours of your day to exercising. Find ways to fit exercise into small blocks of time when you'd otherwise be sedentary.[29]
    Exercise Step 54.jpg
    • For instance, do squats while you wait for water to boil or for your coffee to be ready.
    • Squeeze in a minute for planks when you first wake up in the morning.
    • Take 5-minute breaks every hour at work to walk around the office and stretch.
  2. Spend less time sitting. Spending most of your day sitting in a desk chair is tough on your body. Try using a standing desk, or even a standing desk in combination with a treadmill. If that's not for you, just do your best to take regular breaks to get up and walk around.[30]
    Exercise Step 33.jpg
    • You could also try sitting on an exercise ball instead of a desk chair. Since you'll need to engage your core muscles to keep yourself steady on the ball, it's a bit like a workout even though you're seated.
  3. Take the stairs instead of using elevators. When getting to your apartment or office, skip the elevator and take the stairs instead. If you can't make it up a 5-flight walk-up, just do 1 or 2 sets of stairs, and try adding a floor each week.[31]
    Exercise Step 34.jpg
    • Climbing stairs can burn up to twice as many calories as walking for the same amount of time.
  4. Walk and ride your bike instead of driving. Instead of driving to nearby locations, head out on foot or ride your bike whenever possible. For instance, turn grocery shopping into a workout by walking to the store a few times a week.[32]
    Exercise Step 35.jpg
    • If work is too far away to cycle, you could take a bus and get off a few stops early to walk the rest of the way.
    • Some buses have bike racks or allow folding bikes on board, so you could also split your commute between cycling and riding the bus.
    • When you do drive, try parking a few blocks away from your destination, or at the far end of a shopping center's parking lot.

[Edit]Exercising Safely

  1. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. It's especially important to consult a doctor if you have a history of heart, bone, muscle, joint, or other medical conditions. Ask your doctor for advice on how to safely start exercising and to recommend exercises that benefit your specific condition.[33]
    Exercise Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • If you experience pain, dizziness, inability to catch your breath, or any other concerning symptoms during exercise, you should talk to a doctor.
  2. Drink lots of water before, during, and after exercising. Try to drink about of water before you exercise, and every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. Your body will need extra water to help your muscles work and to replace the fluids lost as you sweat.[34]
    Exercise Step 60.jpg
    • Sports drinks can also help you replace salts and minerals lost in sweat. However, if you're trying to lose weight, limit your consumption of sports drinks, as they contain lots of sugar and can add extra calories to your diet.
    • It's also wise to eat a healthy source of protein or complex carbs after exercising. Examples include fruit, nuts, a peanut butter sandwich, lean meat, cheese, whole grain crackers, or a protein bar.
  3. Choose clothes that suit your activity. In general, wear clothes that won't restrict your movement or blood flow. For some forms of exercise, like biking, you might want to wear form-fitting clothes, but they still shouldn't be too tight. Looser workout clothes are better for strength training, brisk walking, and sports such as basketball or soccer.[35]
    Exercise Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • Make sure your clothes suit the weather. Wear short sleeves and light, breathable fabrics in hot temperatures, and wear layers if it's cold.
  4. Stop exercising if you experience pain. "No pain, no gain" is not the advice to follow. If you feel any soreness or sharp pain, stop the activity. Do your best to rest the affected area until the pain starts to subside.[36]
    Exercise Step 61.jpg
    • If you believe you've injured yourself, you might be able to treat it at home. Rest, apply ice for 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours, compress the injured area with athletic tape, and try to keep it raised around heart level. To manage pain, take over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen.[37]
    • Seek medical attention if you hear a pop, experience severe pain, have uncontrolled bleeding, can't move or bear weight on a joint, or if mild to moderate symptoms don't improve within 1 to 2 weeks.
  5. Wear athletic shoes that offer support and cushioning. When you're out shoe shopping, look for athletic shoes with sturdy rubber soles. Good shoes shouldn't bend in half, so hold a shoe by the toe and heel, and gently try to see if the soles resist pressure.[38]
    Exercise Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Shoes should fit comfortably; they shouldn't feel tight, and your toes should reach the shoes' tips without being constricted. Always try on both shoes of a pair when checking their fit.
    • Go with shoes that match the activity you're doing, such as running shoes or basketball shoes. Different activities put stress on your feet in different ways. For instance, running shoes provide the flexibility required for a proper running step, but lack the ankle support needed for tennis or basketball.[39]

[Edit]Sample Exercises and Routines

[Edit]Tips

  • Listening to music while you work out can be a great way to stay entertained and motivated.
  • Consistency is the most important part of an exercise routine. It'll take more than a few days to see results. Make exercise a normal habit, and focus on maintaining your healthy routine.
  • It's impossible to use targeted exercises to lose fat in a particular part of your body. For instance, doing ab and quad exercises doesn't target fat around your belly or thighs. You'll need to burn more calories than you consume in order to reduce overall body fat percentage.
  • Exercise is meant to make you healthier, not make you look like someone out of a magazine. Concentrate on developing healthy habits, and pat yourself on the back for putting forth the effort.
  • If you're a preteen or teen, your body is still developing, and some exercises could be bad for your bones and joints. If you're interested in strength training exercises, ask your doctor for tips on staying safe.

[Edit]Warnings

  • Avoid exercising the same muscle group 2 days in a row and working out when you're experiencing muscle or joint pain.
  • Ask your doctor for advice about exercising if you're not used to physical activity or have a history of any medical conditions. Consult a doctor or physical therapist if you've recently suffered an injury before resuming exercise.

[Edit]Related wikiHows

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

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  1. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/howmuchexercisedoineed.html
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/howmuchexercisedoineed.html
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19691365
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/exerciseandphysicalfitness.html
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517
  8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching
  9. https://health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/adultguide.pdf
  10. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/phy_act.htm
  11. https://medlineplus.gov/howmuchexercisedoineed.html
  12. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/phy_act.htm
  13. https://health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/adultguide.pdf
  14. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/phy_act.htm
  15. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/interval-training/art-20044588?p=1
  16. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/exercise-library/41/push-up
  17. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/exercise-library/32/front-plank
  18. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/exercise-library/52/crunch
  19. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/exercise-library/49/glute-bridge
  20. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/exercise-library/135/bodyweight-squat
  21. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/exercise-library/306/burpee
  22. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/resistance-training-health-benefits
  23. https://www.self.com/story/heres-how-to-choose-the-right-weights-when-strength-training
  24. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517
  25. https://medlineplus.gov/exerciseandphysicalfitness.html
  26. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pilates-and-yoga-health-benefits
  27. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000809.htm
  28. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/taichi/introduction.htm
  29. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/barriers.html
  30. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2013/11/04/making-exercise-a-daily-habit-10-tips/
  31. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/barriers.html
  32. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/barriers.html
  33. https://medlineplus.gov/exerciseandphysicalfitness.html
  34. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/exercise-safety
  35. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000817.htm
  36. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000859.htm
  37. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/sprains-and-strains#tab-treatment
  38. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000817.htm
  39. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/choosing-sports-shoes-and-trainers/

How to Clean Soot from Brick

Posted: 04 Jan 2020 08:00 AM PST

A fireplace can be a cozy addition to any home, but one of the inevitable byproducts is soot on the surrounding bricks. Soot can leave lasting stains on the material it comes in contact with, so it's important to clean this buildup at least once a year. To clean soot from your brick, stick with using baking soda or white vinegar for a natural solution, or use a chemical cleaner like TSP to make your bricks clean again.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Getting Your Fireplace Ready to Clean

  1. Let your fireplace cool for at least 12 hours before you start. Hot bricks should not be cleaned. After your fire, let everything cool down overnight or for at least 12 hours before you start any cleaning methods. This will protect your hands and make sure no chemicals get warmed up as you use them.[1]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 1 Version 3.jpg
    • If you use your fireplace for heat, consider cleaning it during the summer months when you won't need to use it as much.
  2. Remove the ashes and loose soot. Use a brush and dustpan to clean your fireplace out before you start scrubbing it. Throw away any ashes or large pieces of charred wood that may be in the fireplace. This will make your cleaning process much easier.[2]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 2 Version 3.jpg
    • You can set aside wood that has not been burned to use later.
  3. Lay a drop cloth or towels down to protect your floors. As you clean, you may drip water or chemicals on the floor around your fireplace. Lay down a protective covering on your floors surrounding your fireplace to make sure you don't damage your carpet or hardwood.[3]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 3 Version 3.jpg
  4. Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands. As you scrub your fireplace, you may end up getting chemicals on your hands. Put on rubber kitchen gloves to protect your skin and avoid irritation. If you are using TSP cleaner, put on safety goggles as well.[4]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 4 Version 2.jpg

[Edit]Using Baking Soda

  1. Make a paste of a 1:1 ratio of water and baking soda. Combine 4 tbsp (56 g) of baking soda with of warm water. Stir the ingredients together until they form a thick paste. If your mixture is too runny, add more baking soda.[5]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 5 Version 2.jpg
  2. Rub the mixture into the bricks with your hands. Scoop large amounts of your baking soda paste and spread it onto your fireplace. Work from the top down to create a thin layer all over the brick face. Spread extra paste on the inside of the fireplace, since that is where the soot will be the thickest. Pay special attention to the crevices and grooves in between bricks. Focus on any areas of the fireplace are particularly dirty.[6]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 6 Version 3.jpg
    • Put on rubber kitchen gloves to protect your hands, or use a clean rag to spread the paste instead.
  3. Let the paste sit for 10 minutes. The baking soda will work to break down grease and grime on your bricks. Allow the paste to sit for about 10 minutes to loosen up the soot. Do not let the paste dry or harden all the way, or it could damage your bricks.[7]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 7 Version 3.jpg
    • If your paste does get too dry, spray it with water to loosen it up again.
  4. Scrub the mixture away with an abrasive scrub brush. Use a scrub brush with hard bristles to scrub away the mixture. Dip your brush in water occasionally to wash away the baking soda residue. The mildly abrasive baking soda will work with your brush to scrub away tough soot.[8]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 8 Version 3.jpg
    • Do not brush so hard that you damage the bricks themselves.
  5. Wipe down your bricks with warm water and remove the drop cloths. Use a soft sponge dipped in warm water to completely remove any baking soda left on your bricks. Let the fireplace dry completely before you use it again. Remove any drop cloths or towels you put down to catch spills.[9]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 9 Version 3.jpg

[Edit]Cleaning with Vinegar

  1. Combine a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Combine of white vinegar with of warm water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to make sure they are mixed well. Use a clean spray bottle that has not ever had any harsh chemicals in it.[10]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • You can buy empty spray bottles at most home goods and hardware stores.
  2. Spray the inside and outside of the fireplace with the vinegar solution. Working from the top down, spray your vinegar solution all over the bricks. Pay special attention to areas that have a lot of soot, which could be right around the opening of the fireplace. Make sure you have a drop cloth down to catch any drips.[11]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 11 Version 3.jpg
    • If you have leftover vinegar solution, you can use it as a natural cleaner for bathrooms and countertops.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Vinegar is mildly acidic, so it will work to break down the soot and grime stuck onto your bricks. Let the vinegar and water sit on your bricks, but do not let it dry. Don't let it sit for longer than 10 minutes, or the acidity could start to damage your bricks.[12]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 12 Version 3.jpg
  4. Scrub the bricks from the top down with a scrub brush. Dip your scrub brush in warm water and scrub your bricks. Pay special attention to the grooves in between bricks and any areas that have a lot of soot. Scrub at the bricks until the vinegar smell is no longer there.[13]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 13 Version 3.jpg
    • You can sprinkle baking soda over your bricks to remove the vinegar faster. However, this will cause a foaming reaction on your bricks and could create a mess.
  5. Clean your bricks with warm water and remove the drop cloths. Use a soft sponge to quickly spread warm water over all your bricks. Take away any drop cloths or towels you used on the floor around your fireplace. Let your fireplace dry completely before you burn anything in it again.[14]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 14 Version 3.jpg

[Edit]Removing Soot with TSP

  1. Put on gloves to protect your hands. TSP, or trisodium phosphate, can damage your skin if you get it on you directly. Put on rubber kitchen gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching TSP with your bare hands as much as you can.[15]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 15 Version 2.jpg
    • You can find rubber gloves at most home goods stores.
  2. Mix trisodium phosphate and warm water in a bucket. Combine 8 tbsp (112 g) of TSP and of warm water. Use a plastic bucket that will not come into contact with food later. Stir the mixture until it forms a thin, watery paste.[16]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 16 Version 2.jpg
    • You can buy TSP at most hardware stores.
  3. Use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the mixture into the bricks. Scrub the paste into your bricks on the outside and inside of your fireplace using your brush. Work from the top down, and apply extra paste to areas with more soot. Scrub at the areas to remove the soot. Be careful not to damage the bricks themselves as you scrub, especially if your fireplace is old.[17]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 17 Version 3.jpg
  4. Rinse the bricks with warm water using a sponge. Use a soft sponge to apply warm water all over your bricks. Gently sponge away any TSP residue that is left on your bricks. Rinse your bucket and brushes thoroughly once you are done using them.[18]
    Clean Soot from Brick Step 18 Version 3.jpg
    • If there is still soot left on your bricks, apply more TSP paste and scrub them again.
    • When you're done, remove the dropcloths.

[Edit]Tips

  • Only burn dry, clean wood to keep your fireplace clean for longer.

[Edit]Warnings

  • Never use abrasive chemicals when you clean soot from brick. Many will leave a flammable film which could be dangerous the next time you use your fireplace.
  • Only clean the fireplace when you are certain all ashes are entirely cold. Heat can remain trapped in the ashes for several days after a fire and you could inadvertently burn yourself.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

[Edit]Using Baking Soda

  • Baking soda
  • Drop cloth or towels
  • Gloves or rag
  • Abrasive brush

[Edit]Cleaning with Vinegar

  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Abrasive brush

[Edit]Removing Soot with TSP

  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles (optional)
  • Abrasive brush
  • Sponge

[Edit]Related wikiHows

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

  1. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf
  2. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf?sfvrsn=6
  3. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf?sfvrsn=6
  4. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf?sfvrsn=6
  5. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf
  6. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf?sfvrsn=6
  7. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf
  8. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf?sfvrsn=6
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo2NFWUtFuQ&feature=youtu.be&t=415
  10. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-a-brick-fireplace-with-all-natural-cleaners-apartment-therapy-tutorials-216668#:~:targetText=Mix%20equal%20parts%20vinegar%20and,minutes%20and%20spray%20once%20more.
  11. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-a-brick-fireplace-with-all-natural-cleaners-apartment-therapy-tutorials-216668#:~:targetText=Mix%20equal%20parts%20vinegar%20and,minutes%20and%20spray%20once%20more.
  12. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-a-brick-fireplace-with-all-natural-cleaners-apartment-therapy-tutorials-216668#:~:targetText=Mix%20equal%20parts%20vinegar%20and,minutes%20and%20spray%20once%20more.
  13. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-a-brick-fireplace-with-all-natural-cleaners-apartment-therapy-tutorials-216668#:~:targetText=Mix%20equal%20parts%20vinegar%20and,minutes%20and%20spray%20once%20more.
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo2NFWUtFuQ&feature=youtu.be&t=415
  15. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf
  16. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf
  17. https://todayshomeowner.com/video/how-to-clean-soot-and-smoke-on-a-fireplace-surround/
  18. http://www.gobrick.com/docs/default-source/read-research-documents/technicalnotes/20-cleaning-brickwork.pdf

How to Spot Car Scams on Craigslist

Posted: 04 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

Craigslist scams are unfortunately pretty common, so it's important to be extra vigilant if you want to buy a car from a seller on Craigslist. You can protect yourself from scams by evaluating the ad carefully before you look any further. If the ad seems legit, evaluate the seller next. If they seem trustworthy, assess the car to see if you want to buy it. Never put down any amount of money on a car before you have seen it as this is a common way that people get scammed on Craigslist.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Identifying Fraudulent Ads

  1. Watch out for ads with a very low or unusual price. If the price is significantly lower than you'd expect it to be, this is a red flag. Check the Kelly Blue Book price to get a ballpark range for what the price ought to be. If it's considerably lower, such as 25% less or more, then the ad is likely a scam. A very specific price can also be a red flag, such as $2,347 or something along these lines.[1]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 1 Version 4.jpg
    • If the seller suggests shipping the car to you for an additional charge or including shipping in the sale price, this is likely a scam.[2]
  2. Check the listing for severe grammar issues. If the car's description is poorly written and difficult to understand, it might have been written by a scammer. Pass on any cars with descriptions that are chock full of grammatical, spelling, or other errors.[3]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 2 Version 4.jpg
    • For example, steer clear of an ad that reads something like, "new sidan for weel driv plus exxtras."
  3. Perform a reverse image search of the car photo. Copy the image's url and paste it into Google's image search, or download and save the image and then drag and drop it into the search bar after clicking on the camera button next to the search bar. Then, review the results to determine if the same photo is posted elsewhere. If you find multiple listings that use the same image, the ad is likely a scam.[4]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 3 Version 3.jpg
    • By doing a reverse image search, you may even find that the image is a stock photo and not an image of a real car for sale.
  4. Copy and paste the car description into Google to spot duplicates. Place the description in quotation marks to find duplicate listings. Some scammers will post multiple ads using the exact same language, so this is an easy way to weed out fake ads.[5]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 4 Version 4.jpg
    • Be wary if the language is very similar to other ads as well. Look at other aspects of the ad to check for red flags.
  5. Compare the price of the car in the ad with the website listing. If the seller also has a website or Facebook page, make sure that the prices listed for the car are the same on both sites. If the price listed on one of the outlets is lower, negotiate from this price instead of from the higher price.[6]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 5 Version 4.jpg
    • For example, if the car is listed for $2,500 on the seller's Facebook page and $3,000 on the Craigslist post, negotiate down from $2,500 rather than from $3,000.
  6. Email the seller if there's no location or phone number listed in the ad. The ad should clearly indicate where the car is located and provide a contact phone number for the seller. If there's no location or phone number listed, this may be a red flag. However, you can email the seller to see if they will provide a location and phone number. If they refuse to tell you where the car is located of give you a phone number, this is likely a scam.[7]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 6 Version 4.jpg
    • Another red flag is a location that doesn't make sense, such as "in the mountains of Orlando."

[Edit]Evaluating the Seller

  1. Be especially wary of sellers who tell a sad story. Sob stories are often used by scammers to rush a sale, so be wary if the seller tells you one or mentions other circumstances unrelated to the car. For example, if the seller tells you a story about being laid off and needing money quickly to pay their bills, this is a red flag. Other things to watch out for include:[8]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 7.jpg
    • Saying they're about to be deployed and need to sell the car in a hurry.
    • Claiming they have other buyers interested, so they need a decision right away.
    • Calling you repeatedly to ask if you've made a decision.
  2. Avoid sellers who claim to be handling the sale for someone else. If the seller says they're handling the sale of the car for a neighbor, elderly parent, or someone else, be cautious. This is often a red flag and it may indicate that the car was stolen. Always ask to see the title and seller's ID to ensure that the car you're looking at belongs to the person who is selling it.[9]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 8.jpg
    • A seller may also claim to have less knowledge about the vehicle under the veil of this story, which could result in not getting clear answers to your questions about the car.
  3. Research any website that the seller directs you to for payment. The safest option is to pay the seller with cash, so be cautious if they direct you to a website to make your payment. Sellers will often provide an escrow website address to increase the buyer's sense of security, but this does not mean they are not scamming you. Evaluate the site thoroughly to ensure that it is a legitimate website.[10]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 9.jpg
    • Avoid sellers that claim to be associated with eBay or eBay Motors as well. This is a common scam and they may even send you emails and links to websites that look like they're coming from eBay.[11]
  4. Avoid curbstone dealers who suggest meeting at their houses. A curbstone dealer is someone who sells a car in front of their house. The person might be a dealer with an actual car lot, but they may move a car to their house and park it out front to increase the perceived value of the car. People tend to be less critical of cars that appear to be being sold by the previous owner, especially if the person lives in a nice neighborhood.[12]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 10.jpg
    • If you do decide to look at a car at someone's house, bring a friend or family member along with you. If you don't know much about cars, bring someone along who knows about cars.
  5. Call the seller to evaluate their knowledge and professionalism. Talking on the phone with a seller is a good way to feel out their character and ask more questions about the car. Ask about the condition of the car, any issues it has, and request a test drive if you're interested.[13]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 11.jpg
    • As an added bonus, some sellers will also be willing to reduce the price further if they perceive you as a serious buyer.
  6. Meet the seller in a public place to conduct the final sale transaction. If you decide to buy a car from a Craigslist seller, it's best to make your payment with cash and in person. Request to meet with the person in a public place or at the bank to ensure that you will have witnesses if the person attempts to rob you.[14]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 12.jpg
    • Never pay the person using a wire transfer or using Western Union as this is a common scam tactic.

[Edit]Assessing the Vehicle

  1. Refuse to pay any amount of money for a car you've never seen. If you haven't seen the car, it may not exist. Stick to cars that are close enough to your location that you can go look at them. Avoid cars that are located in another state or country, or even vehicles that are a few hours away. Try to purchase only from local dealers so that you can bring the car in to them if there's a problem.[15]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 13.jpg
    • Be especially wary of sellers who say they will ship the vehicle to you.[16]
  2. Compare the number on the odometer to other age-related features. The average person puts per year on a vehicle, so a car that is 3 years old would likely have around on it. If the car has considerably fewer miles, then the seller may have tampered with the odometer. Note the appearance of the interior and the condition of the tires. If the interior or tires are well-worn, then the car's odometer may be inaccurate.[17]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 14.jpg
    • Keep in mind that elderly people and teenagers tend to drive around per year, so this could also account for lower mileage. Ask questions about the previous owner if the mileage seems low.
  3. Search for the car's history using the vehicle identification number. Scammers may provide you with a forged report that leaves important details out of the car's history. Do not accept a report that the seller provides. Instead, look up the car's history using the vehicle identification number (VIN). You can search the VIN on a website like Carfax and get a full report.[18]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 15.jpg
    • Be wary of any cars that were involved in accidents or that had ongoing issues.
  4. Request to take the car on a longer test drive if the seller rushes it. Scammers often try to avoid letting potential buyers take the car for a full test drive since this may reveal issues with the car. If the seller tries to rush the test drive, tell them you would like to drive it a little longer and in different conditions to see how well it works. If they say no or try to convince you that a longer test drive is not necessary, don't buy the car.[19]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 16.jpg
    • During the test drive, drive the car at slow and fast speeds, pay attention to how well it brakes and turns, and note any unusual sounds.
  5. Ask to get the car assessed by your mechanic before you buy it. Unless you are car savvy yourself, it can be difficult to spot issues with a car. Bring along a friend who knows a lot about cars or ask the seller to meet you at your mechanic's garage to check the car for any serious issues.[20]
    Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 17.jpg
    • For example, a mechanic will be better equipped to check the engine for major issues and tell if the seller may have tampered with the car in any way.

[Edit]References

  1. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  2. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/05/24/cbs-2-uncovers-used-car-scam-on-craigslist/
  3. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  4. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  5. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  6. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  7. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  8. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  9. https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a12216400/how-to-avoid-this-common-craigslist-car-buying-scam/
  10. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  11. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/05/24/cbs-2-uncovers-used-car-scam-on-craigslist/
  12. https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a12216400/how-to-avoid-this-common-craigslist-car-buying-scam/
  13. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  14. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  15. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  16. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/05/24/cbs-2-uncovers-used-car-scam-on-craigslist/
  17. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  18. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  19. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  20. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1