Rugs can really lend that extra charm to any living space, but they also tend to attract some unwanted dust, dirt, stains as well as animal hair. Follow these home hacks shared by Avani Khandelwal, Design Head and founder of The Ambiente, to make your rug look good and intact and prolong its life.
* Rug cleaning is not just an annual affair. Frequent vacuuming, as often as twice or thrice a week, is usually recommended to keep dust and dander at bay.
* Do not underestimate the power of a regular broom. Take your rug outside, shake it up and beat it with a broom handle to knock the nasty dust out.
* With spills, the thumb rule is to clean them immediately. If the spill is left unattended for long, it will be hard to remove it in the future. The most ideal way is to spray the stained area and blot it using a paper towel or damp cloth. Lastly, rinse thoroughly with cool water and blot again until the stain is removed completely. In case of stubborn spills, pet odour or years of foot traffic, it is advisable to sprinkle dry baking soda and let it stay on for 15 minutes before vacuuming it up.
* Wet rugs often become breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Wet wool, especially, starts rotting and produces unpleasant odour. If any moisture is suspected, it is best to dry the rug in the sun or ensure proper aeration. But remember that too much sun is bad for your rug!
* Having pets around the house can be fun but also messy! When pet hair accumulates on a rug, ward them off by vigorous brushing with a stiff cloth or utility brush.
* Always be sure to store your rugs in dry and well-ventilated area. Keep it rolled and never folded for it may lead to creases, cracks and other damage. Leaving a few pouches of silica gel helps a great deal to absorb any residual moisture.
* To keep your rug as clean as possible, limit how much dirt gets into it in the first place. How do you do that, you ask? De-grit your doormats! Your entrance doormats can only stop the dirt from being tracked inside and onto your rug if they’re clean. Shake and vacuum the mat weekly. (IANS)
Instead of habitats made of metal and glass, NASA is exploring technologies that could grow structures out of fungi to become our future homes in the stars, and perhaps lead to more sustainable ways of living on Earth as well.
Creating a livable home for future astronauts means doing more than growing a roof to go over their heads. Astronauts will need to have all their basic needs met, just like on Earth, and face the additional challenges of living in a harsh environment on a distant world, the US space agency said in a statement.
Keeping that in mind, the myco-architecture project out of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California is prototyping technologies that could “grow” habitats on the Moon, Mars and beyond out of life – specifically, fungi and the unseen underground threads that make up the main part of the fungus, known as mycelia.
“Right now, traditional habitat designs for Mars are like a turtle – carrying our homes with us on our backs – a reliable plan, but with huge energy costs,” said Lynn Rothschild, the principal investigator on the early-stage project.
“Instead, we can harness mycelia (vegetative part of a fungus) to grow these habitats ourselves when we get there”. Ultimately, the project envisions a future where human explorers can bring a compact habitat built out of a lightweight material with dormant fungi that will last on long journeys to places like Mars.
Upon arrival, by unfolding that basic structure and simply adding water, the fungi will be able to grow around that framework into a fully functional human habitat – all while being safely contained within the habitat to avoid contaminating the Martian environment.
Mycelia are tiny threads that build complex structures with extreme precision, networking out into larger structures like mushrooms.
With the right conditions, they can be coaxed into making new structures – ranging from a material similar to leather to the building blocks for a Mars habitat.
That last layer of mycelia is what organically grows into a sturdy home, first activated to grow in a contained environment and then baked to kill the lifeforms – providing structural integrity and ensuring no life contaminates Mars and any microbial life that’s already there. Even if some mycelia somehow escaped, they will be genetically altered to be incapable of surviving outside the habitat, said NASA.
Mycelia could also be used for water filtration and biomining systems that can extract minerals from wastewater – another project active in Rothschild’s lab – as well as bioluminescent lighting, humidity regulation and even self-generating habitats capable of healing themselves. And with about 40% of carbon emissions on Earth coming from construction, there’s an ever-increasing need for sustainable and affordable housing here as well.
The harsh environments of the Moon and Mars will require new ways of living – growing homes instead of building them, mining minerals from sewage instead of rock. “But by turning to the elegant systems of our own natural world, we can design solutions that are green and sustainable. Whether on distant worlds or our own ever-changing Earth, fungi could be what brings us boldly into the future,” said NASA. (IANS)