If you’re planning to spend time outside (with or without your pup) during the warmer months, you run the risk of a dreaded tick bite. Be prepared for tick season by making sure you have a tick removal tool in your arsenal. With over 4,200 reviews and an average of 4.6 out of five stars on Amazon, the HomeSake tick removal tool is a safe way to quickly remove the pesky pests.

Hopefully, you’ll never find ticks in your house, but they can attach to your clothing and pets, as well as enter through crevices in the home’s exterior.  Ticks carry deadly diseases that can infect you and your pets, so you’ll want to eradicate them. Here’s how you can protect your property and yourself from ticks.

In case you do encounter a tick, this highly effective gadget will be able to remove the entire critter from you or your pet. You’ll want to keep one in your car, camper first aid kit and backpack, so you’ll always be ready just in case.

What is a tick removal tool?

Tick Removal Tool Cat

A tick removal tool is better than tweezers, because you can gently loosen the tick and pull its entire body out of the host. The HomeSake tick removal tool, which comes in a pack of three in different sizes, is a plastic hand tool that envelopes the tick on two sides, giving you more control to remove the nasty little foe.

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How to Use the Tick Removal Tool

Get the tick between the crevices on the tool. Gently wiggle or twist the tool a little bit to loosen the tick’s grip, then pull it straight out. Vets and doctors suggest putting the tick in a resealable plastic bag, in case further study is needed.

After the tick is removed, disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Wash your hands and tools, and apply antibiotic ointment to the bite site.

Once bitten, bacterial infections may occur if a tick head is left under the skin. Seek medical attention to avoid problems. Lyme disease is serious, and signs and symptoms could show up from three to 30 days after the bite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Best Amazon User Reviews

“I am new to Maryland and ticks! I was able to easily remove multiple ticks off of my two boys in various body locations with ease. Tweezers can hurt as you pull on the tick. The twisting feature allows for the tick to be removed in one piece,” shares verified buyer, Amazon Customer,

Amie, a five-star reviewer, writes, “It works great. I remove a lot of ticks from my dogs and these are the best type. Easy to use and painless for the dog. Completely removes the tick, no parts left behind, the tick comes off alive”.

“Buy this!! I have five pets—three dogs and two cats. Recently moved to the country and oh has tick season started!” shares verified purchaser, Allimarie9. “I’ve used these tools multiple times and each time it has been very easy to remove the ticks. Pull the tick straight out and it will come up complete. Highly recommend this product!!”

Where to Buy the Tick Removal Tool

Tick Removal Tool

Of course, the hope is that you nor your pet will come in contact with a tick this spring, summer or fall. However, if you do, you’ll be happy you have this three-pack of tick removal tools, which is available on Amazon for less than $5. Don’t be sorry, be prepared.

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When you’re on a worksite, there are a lot of different color codes to understand. These codes are put in place so anyone working on the site will understand different utilities and what is placed where. This color system—established as the American National Standard for Safety Colors by the American Standards Institute (ANSI)—was originally mandated by the American Public Works Association (APWA) as a way to temporarily mark their facilities.

From different colors of the rainbow to even the use of pink and white, each color communicates the location of important utilities underground. So what exactly does it mean when you see the color red?

What Does Red Paint on the Road Mean?

According to the APWA, if you see red paint on the road, that signifies a spot where electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables could be located.

This would mean that if any work is going to be done within that area, a specialist may need to be called. Those power and cable lines may be important for the electricity throughout your neighborhood and should be approached with caution.

Red paint may not be the only way to signify an electrical power line, cables and more. Some areas may be marked with other signs like small red flags. These temporary red flags may be useful if an area is experiencing any kind of construction or engineering project.

Either way, if an area is marked with red, that means the utility nearby is likely connected to the electrical power in some sense and should be treated carefully. This type of marking is typically facilitated by a contract laborer or a facility owner, so before starting any type of project, be sure these areas are properly marked around your home so you don’t dig and damage an important facility that will cost you a lot in repairs.

What Are Other Paint Colors for Marking Utilities?

Located and marked Utility lines below ground surface

While red is an important color to look out for when it comes to any kind of construction or engineering project, the other colors in the APWA system should also be considered, so you are aware of the different utilities underground.

The APWA color system is as follows:

  • Red: electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables
  • Orange: telecommunication, alarm or signal lines, cables or conduit
  • Yellow: natural gas, oil, steam, petroleum or other flammable materials
  • Green: sewers and drain lines
  • Blue: potable water
  • Purple: reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines
  • Pink: temporary survey markings, unknown/unidentified facilities
  • White: proposed excavation limits or routes

Again, these colors may be painted to warn of particular important utility areas, or small flags may be perched to signify the facilities below.

However, markers on trees are a bit different. Marked trees with paint actually signify property lines or even alert others of environmental concerns.

Now that you know about these, keep an eye out for colors and symbols on different work sites, farms or homes. Boots on a fence can symbolize multiple things, like honoring a rancher or horse that recently passed, while a green porch light shows appreciation and support for U.S. veterans.

Time-saving technology is great when it works, but with each new technological innovation come more opportunities for things to go wrong. Lawn mowers of both the push and riding variety have advanced a lot in recent years, and one of the latest changes is the move towards battery-powered robotic lawn mowers.

Designed to save time and effort when mowing the lawn by eliminating the need for a human at the controls, robotic mowers work surprisingly well most of the time. But occasionally something goes wrong that requires immediate attention. That’s what happened recently with some automatic mowers made by STIHL, prompting the manufacturer to recall a handful of products in its lineup on March 16, 2023.

What STIHL Product Was Recalled?

Stihl Imow Electric Lawn Mower Dh Fhm Courtesy Stihl

According to the STIHL website, the recall is for roughly 2,700 electric docking stations which accompany the company’s iMOW line of robotic lawn mowers.

Why Was the STIHL Docking Station Recalled?

According to STIHL, it discovered that the circuit boards in the defective docking stations can short out in the presence of moisture, leading to overheating and possible fires. To date, STIHL has received eight reports of overheating, which include two reports of fires caused by the docking stations. So far, no one has reported injury.

How Do I Know If I Have a Recalled Docking Station?

All affected docking stations bear the STIHL name, and the accompanying mowers (which haven’t been recalled) have the name iMOW embossed on the top. The units in question were sold by authorized STIHL dealers between January 2017 and July 2022.

The model numbers of the robotic mowers with recalled docking stations are:

  • RMI 422
  • RMI 522
  • RMI 632

The mowers have serial numbers ranging from 437478902 to 443268968, and the defective docking stations have serial numbers from 437475057 to 443268971.

What Should I Do If I Have a Recalled Docking Station?

STIHL recommends owners of affected mowers stop using them immediately. Contact STIHL directly at 800-233-4729 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET for a free repair of your docking station, or get in touch with an authorized STIHL service provider.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for more than a decade. While EV sales have greatly increased over the past eight years, they account for less than two percent of all vehicles on U.S. roads.

Because they remain a curiosity, highly publicized EV battery fires and battery recalls make EVs appear more dangerous than a gas-powered car. Here’s what you need to know.

Is an Electric Vehicle Fire More Common Than a Gas-Powered Car Fire?

No, according to Kelley Blue Book, a trusted and reliable industry source. Gas-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles use a 12-volt lead acid battery to start the car. The electrolyte, a mixture of sulfuric acid and distilled water, that creates electricity in a lead acid battery rarely ignites under normal driving conditions.

However, in an ICE vehicle:

  • Sparks from a faulty electrical system or an accident can quickly ignite gasoline.
  • Extremely combustible fluids (engine oil or transmission, power steering and brake fluid) are why an ICE vehicle could burst into flames.
  • A backfiring or poorly running engine can overheat a catalytic converter to temperatures reaching 1,400 degrees. Though the catalytic converter won’t catch fire, at this temperature it can easily ignite anything nearby, including other parts of the car or leaking fluids from an inadequately maintained engine.

Many EVs also have a 12-volt lead acid battery to operate lights and the radio, but it’s the high-voltage lithium-ion battery that can catch fire. Lithium-ion batteries contain easily flammable organic solvents and gases, plus oxygen-rich electrolyte.

How Common Are Electric Vehicle Battery Fires?

Current available data show EV battery fires are rare in fully plug-in vehicles.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFAP) and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics report, on average, 170,000 vehicles a year catch fire in the U.S., without differentiating between ICE and EVs.

Vehicles that catch fire fit into these categories:

  • Forty-five percent from mechanical malfunctions or neglect;
  • Twenty-three percent from electrical wire or cable insulation failures;
  • Five percent due to collisions or vehicles overturning;
  • Twenty-seven percent from carelessness or unintentional action.

Safety note: This is a good reason to keep a fire extinguisher in your vehicle.

Using data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and government recall information, AutoinsuranceEZ indicated fires by vehicle type:

  • Hybrids reflected the most at 3,475 fires per 100,000 vehicles. This is most likely because hybrids utilize two powertrains.
  • ICE vehicles caught fire substantially less often, at 1,530 incidents per 100,000 vehicles.
  • EV fires were significantly lower than the others, with 25 fires per 100,000 vehicles. So of the approximately two million EVs on U.S. roads, less than two out of a 1,000 will catch fire.

Per AutoinsuranceEZ, ICE vehicles are more than 60 times more likely to catch fire than an EV, while hybrids are more than 130 times more likely to catch fire than an EV.

What Starts an EV Battery Fire?

According to an NTSB report, lithium-ion EV battery fires happened after a crash. High-voltage battery packs can be punctured on impact, or wiring and cables can short circuit. A spark from a short circuit can ignite the battery’s flammable organic solvents, setting individual cells ablaze, which overheat and ignite other cells.

Thermal runaway is another major cause. According to UL Research Institutes, thermal runaway is “a phenomenon in which the lithium-ion cell enters an uncontrollable, self-heating state.” If the heat can’t disappate normally, it can lead to a fire.

Lots of things can trigger thermal runaway, from poor battery design and ventilation to charging the battery before it cools down. This phenomenon affects all lithium-ion batteries, including those in your smartphone and electric toothbrush.

Is It Harder to Extinguish an EV Fire?

Yes. The safety risks to first responders dealing with an EV battery fire are significant.

Once the organic solvents and flammable gases ignite, they feed on the electrolyte, causing a self-sustaining, difficult-to-extinguish fire. An internet myth that water cannot extinguish an EV battery fire is false; it can.

According to Chief Palmer Buck of The Woodlands Township in Austin, TX., his department can extinguish a gasoline-fueled car fire with 500 gallons of water they carry on their trucks. However, it can take 3,000 gallons or more to extinguish an EV battery fire. Firefighters also need special training to extinguish EV fires, combining water with firefighting foams that quickly cool down the battery.

High voltage is another danger in EV fires. To reduce the risks to first responders, all major EV manufacturers have teamed with the NFAP to create Emergency Response Guides that include steps to safely disable the high voltage system.

How To Reduce the Chance of an EV Battery Fire

Daily monitoring of the battery’s condition and powering down if the high volt battery warning light comes on can help prevent a fire and extend battery life. Use the numerous built-in interactive visual tools that provide detailed graphic data of the charging system’s health, including:

  • Energy usage details;
  • High voltage power flow;
  • Charging status;
  • Efficiency history;
  • Estimate driving range based on temperature, driving practices, electrical load and road conditions.

Third-party apps monitor your vehicle’s battery management system and deliver a monthly health report.

Other steps to take include:

Are EV Batteries Safe?

Yes. Although EV battery technology is in its infancy, several substantial advancements have already been made to EV lithium-ion batteries.

The addition of more sensitive sensors, better construction methods and more stable solid electrolytes are making EV batteries less prone to overheating and thermal runaway.

Soon, expect to see solid-state batteries and flammable materials replaced by lighter, safer materials made from carbon fiber and possibly even crab shells.

True cinder blocks are vestiges of an era when coal burning was inefficient and waste cinders were plentiful.

In 1913, a Pittsburgh brick mason named Francis Straub perfected a method of combining those cinders with cement to form building blocks that were lighter and offered better insulation than blocks made from concrete.

Straub’s patented cinder blocks were so porous you could drive a nail through them, and he used this to search for cases of patent infringement in competitor’s products. He would visit a construction site and try to pound a nail through one of the blocks. If he could, he sued for royalties.

Cinder blocks haven’t been mass-produced with coal ash for many years. Most of the ones you find today combine concrete with volcanic pumice. They aren’t as strong as concrete blocks, but they’re easier to handle and perfect for garden and yard fences that aren’t too high.

They aren’t as readily available as concrete blocks, though. So if you’re planning to build a block fence, you may opt for slightly less expensive concrete blocks instead. Expect to pay $9 to $12 per square foot, so a six-foot fence should cost $54 to $72 per linear foot.

Cinder Block Fence Cost Factors

Many factors go into the cost of a cinder block fence, just like any other type of fence. They include:

  • Mapping property lines: If you build around the perimeter of your land, know where the property lines are to avoid encroaching on your neighbor. The cost to hire a surveyor can be between $300 and $700.
  • Permits: Some communities require a building permit to erect a fence, costing from $75 to $200.
  • Demolition of existing fence: Plan on spending $1 to $2 per linear foot for demolition if you don’t DIY.

Other costs specific to building a cinder block fence include:

  • Type of blocks: Cinder blocks are hollow, typically measuring 8-in. by 8-in. by 16-in., costing $2.50 to $3 per block. Comparable concrete blocks are a little less expensive, $2 to $2.50 each. You can also go with split-faced blocks to add character, running $2.50 to $3.50 each.
  • Footing: Standard concrete footing rises to ground level. Something more decorative, like a raised footing with a stone veneer, costs more.
  • Terrain: Building a cinder block fence on rough terrain is more difficult and takes more time than on flat ground.
  • Labor: This usually runs $30 to $50 per hour depending on location. Labor costs more in large metropolitan areas, especially on the coasts.

What’s the Difference Between Concrete Blocks and Cinder Blocks?

Both are made with Portland cement, with the difference in the type of aggregate. Concrete block aggregate is typically a mixture of sand and gravel. In cinder blocks, these materials are combined with a lightweight material like cinder or volcanic pumice. That leads to the following differences between products:

  • Cinder blocks are slightly more expensive.
  • Cinder blocks don’t have as much structural strength as concrete, and some building codes prohibit them for structural use. If you’re building a wall more than seven feet high, it’s safer to use concrete blocks.
  • Cinder blocks are easier to carry and place, a benefit for the workers building the wall.

You can combine cinder and concrete blocks in the same structure, taking advantage of the qualities of both types.

Which Is Cheaper: Poured Concrete Wall or Block Wall?

A structural cinder block wall for a building foundation generally costs 20 percent more than a poured concrete wall. If it’s properly reinforced, it can also be a lot stronger.

Proper reinforcement includes steel rebar that extends through the hollow cores of the blocks from the footing to the top. The cores should be completely filled with concrete that includes pea-sized aggregate.

When you’re building a small garden fence, you don’t generally need this level of stability. So the cost difference between pouring a wall and constructing a block wall isn’t as great, and could even be roughly the same.

DIY vs. Hiring Pros

Building a cinder block fence can be a DIY-friendly project. If you simply want a two- or three-foot fence around your garden and you have basic masonry skills, there’s no need to hire a pro.

However, if you’re planning a long or high fence on uneven terrain, consider professional installation. A pro has the equipment for proper grading, the knowledge and experience to tell which drainage methods to use, and the skill to properly reinforce the wall to make it last.

One summer day, my neighbors showed me their calla lilies in full bloom. I had never seen such a large patch. I found out they never dug them up in fall. They didn’t know they should. Yet somehow those calla lilies survived winters in the ground in our cold climate, when they shouldn’t.

I guess my neighbors found a perfect spot, a microclimate within our USDA Plant Hardiness Zone.

What is a Calla Lily?

Calla lilies feature the botanical name Zantedeschia aethiopica. Although their common name is lily, they aren’t related to other types of lilies. Instead, they’re related to jack in the pulpit wildflowers and peace lilies, which also aren’t true lilies.

The flower parts are called a spathe and a spadix. The spathe is the often colorful outer petal, actually a modified leaf structure. The spadix is the upright spike in the center of the spathe. Calla lilies grow wild in the wettest parts of southern Africa.

Types of Calla Lilies

Most available for purchase are hybrids or selected varieties. Flower colors range from white to yellow pink and purple, with several types of variegated leaves, including striped and spotted.

Varieties to consider include:

  • Sun Club with bright yellow flowers and lightly spotted foliage;
  • Odessa with dark purple flowers;
  • African Gold with white flowers and green foliage with gold stripes.

If you can’t decide which color to grow, try several, like those in Tequila Sunrise Calla Lily Mix.

Calla lilies will grow anywhere from one to three-feet wide in the ground. They can form sizable clumps, spreading two to three feet or wider.

Where To Plant Calla Lilies

Calla lilies are hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 through 10. They grow best in moist soil and may go dormant if allowed to dry out.

In warmer climates, Christy Wilhelmi, author of Gardening for Geeks, recommends planting calla lilies on the north side of a house or building where the ground doesn’t dry out as quickly. In other climates, grow calla lilies in full sun to part shade, in the ground or in containers.

Can you grow calla lilies indoors?

Yes! Calla lilies are often sold as indoor plants in bloom, especially around Easter.

If you decide to grow a calla lily indoors, remember it is toxic to dogs and cats, so keep it out of their reach. As with many houseplants, calla lilies grow more slowly in the fall and winter, then pick up again in the spring.

When To Plant Calla Lilies

Because calla lilies don’t tolerate frost, most gardeners plant them once the ground warms in the spring. To give calla lilies a head start, pot them up indoors six to eight weeks before your projected frost-free date, then transplant them into the garden or outdoor containers.

How To Plant Calla Lilies

Calla lilies are easy to plant. The rhizomes, the root structures, are most often sold in early spring.

  • Choose big, healthy looking rhizomes.
  • Plant one- to two-inches deep in the garden or a container with a potting mix that retains some moisture. Calla lilies don’t mind moisture, which makes them good to plant near ponds or in a rain garden. The “eyes” on the rhizomes, where new growth will emerge, should face up.
  • Mulch to keep them from drying out.

How To Care for Calla Lilies


If you’re growing your calla lilies in containers, fertilize while they’re actively growing and flowering. Use a fertilizer blended for flowering plants with less nitrogen and follow instructions on the label. Calla lilies grown in the ground may not need fertilizing unless the soil requires additional nutrients.


Cut back spent blooms to keep your calla lily from forming seeds. This will force the plant to send energy to its roots to grow a bigger rhizome. You can also cut blooms for indoor flower arrangements.


In Zones 8 through 10, calla lilies can be left in the ground year-round. In colder zones, calla lilies will go dormant in the fall.

Before the first frost, cut back your lilies two to three inches above the soil line, then carefully dig up the rhizomes. You should find more rhizomes than you started with. Brush off any soil and let the rhizomes dry off for a week or longer in a warm location with good air circulation. Then store your rhizomes in a cool, dry place, ideally where it’s around 50 degrees.

Check them occasionally for signs of rot. If you find rotting rhizomes, toss them out and start with new, fresh ones in the spring.

My family and I are renting a new home. When we moved in, it seemed safe to assume the paint on the walls would be in mint condition.

It wasn’t. We found bare (or barely-there) spots and splotchy areas all over the house, as if the painters sort of slapped it on in a hurry and moved on to the next property. Plus, everything is just a basic off-white color. Pretty drab.

If it were totally up to us, we would probably repaint immediately. Unfortunately, it isn’t so simple. Our lease agreement specifies we can’t make changes to the property without an OK from our landlords. Unless they approve, we could be stuck with a substandard paint job for the duration of our time in this home.

How To Make Sure It’s OK to Paint

Chances are, if you’re a tenant in any type of rental unit, your lease agreement says something similar. “Many [rental contracts] do not allow [tenants] to make any alterations to the property without prior written permission,” says Stacy Brown, director of technical training for Real Property Management, an organization with franchises across North America.

With this is mind, if you want to paint your apartment or rental home, take a look at your lease first. If the language even suggests that changes are a no-go, talk to your landlord. If they approve the painting project, great. Just be sure to get it writing.

“If you don’t have it in writing, [the conversation] didn’t happen,” Brown says.

You can also save yourself some hassle by addressing the paint issue prior to signing a lease, Brown says. This will let you know up front if the landlord is agreeable to the idea. It will also keep you from getting stuck in a home with a color palette that doesn’t work for you.

And who knows? The landlord may even agree to bring in pros to repaint the place before you move in, especially if you point out specific areas that need a refresh.

Best Color Choices for Apartment or Rental Home Painting

If your landlord says yes to your request to paint, does that mean you can go crazy with color? Not necessarily, says Ariana Lovato, owner of Honeycomb Home Design in Arroyo Grande, Calif. “I would avoid harsh colors,” she says.

Instead, go for neutral tones like Accessible Beige from Sherman-Williams or Behr’s 2023 color of the year, Blank Canvas. If your goal is more about improving the quality of the paint job than adding color and/or style, both work.

If you prefer something that pops a little more, that’s OK. However, Brown urges tenants to avoid super dark colors like plum purple or Pepto pink. That’s because, no matter how much you love statement colors, it takes a lot of work to cover them up later.

Who Pays To Paint a Rental?

Black man painting wall of home

What about the bill? Does merely asking about painting leave you on the hook for paint, supplies and labor? That depends, says Brown. “Most landlords will assume that the renter wants them to pay for it,” she says.

However, it should be the landlord’s responsibility, especially if the tenant’s desire for fresh paint is about condition rather than aesthetics. However, if the landlord says no, Brown says a tenant may persuade them by offering to at least contribute to the cost.

What Can Happen if You Paint Without Permission?

If you’re adamant about painting without a green light from your landlord, expect consequences, says Brown. These may include:

  • Losing part or all of your security deposit.
  • Receiving a bill for the cost of repainting, especially if you took the walls from soft and muted to bright and gaudy.
  • An unfavorable reference from your landlord, making it harder for you to rent elsewhere in the future.
  • Legal action. Your landlord take you to small claims court to recover costs associated with your unauthorized paint job.

How To Fix a Bad Paint Job in Your Apartment or Rental Home

But what if all you want to do is repair drips, scuffs or other flaws in an existing paint job? You should still discuss it with your landlord, Brown says. For one thing, if you try to paint over it yourself with what you think is the right paint, you might not like the results. It can be a real challenge to match existing color.

Touch-up paint never looks good,” Brown says.

Also, if you let your landlord know there’s an issue, they may be willing to bring in professional painters to fix things.

What if your landlord doesn’t care to address the bad paint job? Take photos and document any repairs you decide to take on. This way, you’ll have evidence your work improved the property’s condition — evidence that will come in handy if the landlord tries to penalize you.

Apartment or Rental Home Wall Painting Alternatives

“Renters can do things that are not permanent that will make it feel more like home to them,” says Brown. Hanging colorful and/or stylish curtains, especially full-length ones, is one straightforward option..

You can also:

Another option? Removable wallpapers, aka peel-and-stick wallpapers. “[This] is the best way to transform a space … and they are so easy to use and remove,” Lovato says.

Livette’s Wallpaper is Lovato’s favorite; it’s also available at places like Lowe’s, Amazon, Wayfair and Target. Just be aware you must install these products properly and carefully to avoid damaging to the wall. If you don’t, you may end up forfeiting your security deposit anyway.

My boyfriend doesn’t call me “little warm cookie” for no reason–your girl sleeps hot. I’m talking night sweats, perpetually-overheated skin and bare feet hanging off the side of the bed kind of toasty. 

In the past, I’ve overcompensated by blasting the air conditioning at night, which leaves my partner shivering. In a valiant attempt to make both of us sleep better, I decided to try out a cooling comforter. I set my sights on the Rest Evercool Comforter, which is not only cooling but also moisture-wicking. The specifications intrigued me off the bat, but does the product live up to the hype? Let’s dive into what I really think about this piece of innovative bedding. 

What is the Rest Evercool Cooling Comforter?

The Rest Evercool Cooling Comforter is a blanket meant to help users cool down quickly during the night. It may look like a regular comforter from afar, but it’s constructed with specially-designed fabric that feels cool to the touch. 

This comforter is available in three colors: Aqua Blue, Cool Gray, and Snow Ivory. For reference, I went with Aqua Blue. You also have three different size options to choose from: Twin/Twin XL, Full/Queen and King/California King. Although my partner and I sleep on a king-sized mattress, I opted for the Full/Queen blanket since I planned to be the only one using it. 

This cooling comforter isn’t akin to your average duvet. Instead, expect a silky, thin-ish blanket with reversible sides. Although the Rest Evercool Cooling Comforter isn’t thick like you may expect, it isn’t too light. The brand designed this comforter to have a little extra weight (but not as much as a weighted blanket) to make the user as snug as possible. 

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Rest Evercool Cooling Comforter Features

Wondering how this blanket manages to cool users down? The secret lies within the specially-made Evercool fabric. Evercool fabric has “high thermal conductivity,” which is a fancy way to describe how heat passes through the material. Essentially, the fabric doesn’t draw warmth from your body as much as traditional blankets and comforters do.

And Rest didn’t just take into account the outer fabric; they also carefully chose what would go inside the comforter. Instead of using synthetic fiber filler, Rest uses Sorona filling—a plant-based, non-toxic substitute. If you’re someone who bases purchasing decisions on a product’s eco-friendliness, the Rest Evercool Comforter may have just won a few points in your metaphorical book. 

How We Tested It

Cooling Comforter On Couch

To test this comforter properly, I used it for an entire month before detailing out my thoughts. Luckily, customers essentially have the same amount of time to figure out how they feel–Rest offers a 30-night trial and free returns on their cooling comforter.

As I mentioned before, I’m a hot sleeper who frequently sweats at night. Although this is usually considered an unfortunate trait, when you’re testing the effectiveness of a cooling comforter it comes in handy! Rather than sweating profusely next to an overly warm boyfriend and large dog, I slept comfortably without tossing, turning, frantically fanning my bedding or bothering either of them. Flinging my ultra-toasty feet on top of the comforter in the wee hours of the morning brought my temperature down even further. 

I woke up well-rested with dry pajamas, and quite pleased with my new cooling comforter. In fact, my large dog Kobe (who sleeps with us in bed) loves it too. He seeks it out and lays his entire body on top of it if he gets to bed before me. Consider this cooling comforter Family Handyman (and Kobe!) approved.


  • Material feels cool to the touch
  • Absorbs sweat and moisture
  • Comes in three colors
  • Has sustainable filling
  • Doesn’t wrinkle
  • Multiple sizes available 
  • Reversible
  • Machine washable
  • Hypoallergenic 


  • Pricey 
  • May slide around in the night


What is the most cooling comforter material?

According to a SGS lab test report, Evercool is the most cooling comforter material followed by Lyocell. However, other materials like silk, bamboo and cotton are also excellent options. 

What are the benefits of a cooling comforter?

The main benefit of a cooling comforter is exactly what you might think—it cools the user. If you tend to sleep hot or sweat frequently in the night, a cooling comforter can help you stay cool (and asleep). 

What Other Reviewers Had to Say

You already heard how much I’m loving my cooling comforter, so check out what other customers are saying:

“I don’t understand it, but it’s awesome,” customer Donna H. explained. “I stay warm, yet the duvet is cool. If I put my arm or leg outside the covers to rest on top, I get an immediate cooling sensation—it’s great for those “hot” moments. The technology is pretty amazing. I’d recommend it if you sleep hot.”

“I got this blanket to try to help with the sweats from my chemotherapy treatment,” reviewer Mandy C. explains. “It is even better than I had hoped. I love it and it has helped me so much.”

“It is sooooo soft and actually does feel cool,” Nicole H. explained. “I haven’t noticed as many hot flashes, and it’s so nice to be wrapped up in this lovely super soft ‘blanket’ while staying cool. Will definitely recommend and consider getting the sheets in future also.”

Final Verdict

If it wasn’t already apparent, I genuinely like the Rest Evercool Cooling Comforter. In fact, I’m still using it every single night to cut down on night sweats. If you sleep hot and don’t mind paying extra cash for a better quality blanket, you’ll likely love this option from Rest.

Where to Buy the Rest Evercool Cooling Comforter

Cooling Comforter

Stop sweating and start sleeping with the Rest Evercool Cooling Comforter. Pick up yours today on the Rest website, or Amazon for under $250 (price varies depending on the selected size). 

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Lemon And Baking Soda Car Headlight Cleaning Hack Cianna Garrison For Family Handyman Front of Car

You may wash and detail your car regularly, but one component on a vehicle can be a bit harder to clean—headlights. No matter the age of your car, headlights can be challenging to keep clean. Older ones may tend to yellow or get a thick film of dirt and grime. But even newer headlights can get caked in mud, dust or dirt. Worse, if your car’s headlights get scratched or chipped from rocks or other elements, keeping them clean becomes even more difficult.

Of course, several options on the market exist to restore and polish auto lights or just give your headlights a clean, including professional headlight cleaning services or a foggy car headlights restoration kit. But before you spend too much money, there’s an easy cleaning hack that might save you some cash—cleaning headlights with lemon and baking soda.

How to Clean Headlights with Lemon and Baking Soda

@christinanomura Saw a hack and had to test it out. It worked! 👍🏽 Cleaned both lights within 5 minutes #headlights #headlightscleaning #headlightsrestoration #headlightshack #carhacks #quickhacks ♬ Time After Time – Paratone

TikTok creator Christina Nomura (@christinanomura) shared an easy way to clean headlights—using two everyday pantry items. But how do you clean headlights with lemon and baking soda? It’s as simple as it sounds.

  1. Cut a lemon in half.
  2. Bring baking soda and the lemon half outside where your car is parked. (I recommend doing this outdoors rather than parked inside a garage because it’s a bit messy.)
  3. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the lemon half. Don’t be surprised if you hear a bubbling reaction from the baking soda on the lemon.
  4. Use your lemon half coated with baking soda to scrub your headlight in a circular motion gently.
  5. Once you’ve scrubbed your whole headlight, rinse the solution off with water and dry your headlight with a gentle towel.
  6. Repeat on your other headlight, adding more baking soda (and the other lemon half) if needed.
  7. Enjoy cleaner headlights!

Does This Hack Work?

Lemon And Baking Soda Car Headlight Cleaning Hack Cianna Garrison For Family Handyman Test

I tried the cleaning headlights with lemon and baking soda hack on my 2017 Toyota Corolla. My headlights weren’t too caked in mud or other debris, but there was a noticeable layer of dirt. It had recently rained in my area, so some of this dirt may have been due to the rainfall. But I’ll be the first to admit my car is dirtier than I think. I don’t do small maintenance cleans regularly, and I certainly don’t target my headlights unless I’m washing the entire car. Furthermore, I’ve always been uncertain of how often I should wash my car in the winter, even though I’m not in an area that gets snow.

So, when I took a look at my headlights, they were worse off than I thought. I took the half lemon and baking soda and scrubbed away, and was pleasantly surprised when the baking soda didn’t seem too abrasive, as I was worried using it could scratch the plastic. All in all, I spent about five minutes per headlight. After they were sufficiently scrubbed, I washed my headlights off with a garden hose and dried them. The result was a sparkling clean plastic that looked nearly perfect.

While I don’t think that the lemon and baking soda hack would totally cure yellowed headlights or headlights that are well-caked in mud, I do think that if you had a moderate dirt layer on your headlights, this is a quick maintenance clean that is useful and effective. Still, I’m not sure how regularly using baking soda on your headlight’s plastic coating would affect the integrity of the plastic, so I would do this rarely and proceed with caution. Since the compound is a gentle abrasive, keep in mind not to scrub too violently. For those who use baking soda as a cleaning agent a lot, take note of these things you should never clean with baking soda, like glass and wooden furniture.

You can use other hacks to for dirty headlights if you don’t have baking soda and lemon. Another home solution is to try cleaning your headlights with toothpaste.

We know that Chicago is the most rat-infested city in America but when it comes to termites, it’s a different story. While Americans are bound to run into a rat or two in the major Illinois city, termites are slightly less likely to be encountered, as Chicago is the thirteenth most termite-infested American city. So where can Americans expect to deal with the pesky insects the most?

Thanks to the pest control company Orkin, we happen to have the answer to that question. The company has released its annual report of the most termite-infested cities across the country, based on the company’s treatment data in metropolitan areas. In 2023, the top 50 most termite-infested cities ranged from coast to coast.

What Are the Most Termite-Infested Cities in America?

Coming in at the top spot for the most-termite-infested city in the United States is Miami, Florida. Los Angeles, California, the top termite-infested city of 2022, follows closely behind at number 2. Tampa, Florida comes in at number 3.

So, what do these three cities have that makes them so attractive for termites? They have “the right mixture of temperature and precipitation this winter that has created an ideal condition for termites to survive this winter,”  Frank Meek, technical manager of Orkin, states.

From there, Washington D.C. and Raleigh take the following two spots to round out the top five most termite-infested American cities. These nasty critters seem to leave no stone unturned and cause an estimated $5 billion in damage every year, according to Orkin.

Here is the full list of the 50 most termite-infested cities around the country:

  1. Miami
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Tampa
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Raleigh
  6. Atlanta
  7. Norfolk
  8. San Francisco
  9. New York
  10. Orlando
  11. San Diego
  12. Richmond
  13. Chicago
  14. New Orleans
  15. West Palm Beach
  16. Philadelphia
  17. Baltimore
  18. Charlotte
  19. Dallas
  20. Greenville, SC
  21. Nashville
  22. Phoenix
  23. Houston
  24. Indianapolis
  25. Detroit
  26. Charleston, SC
  27. Myrtle Beach
  28. Charleston-Huntington, WV
  29. Cincinnati
  30. Knoxville
  31. St. Louis
  32. Pittsburgh
  33. Augusta
  34. Columbia, SC
  35. Memphis
  36. Greensboro
  37. Kansas City
  38. Jacksonville
  39. Champaign, IL
  40. Savannah
  41. San Antonio
  42. Baton Rouge
  43. Mobile, AL
  44. Greenville, NC
  45. South Bend
  46. Tulsa
  47. Austin
  48. Paducah, KY
  49. Ft. Myers
  50. Chattanooga

What Are Common Signs of a Termite Infestation?

termite damage rotten wood nest

According to Orkin, there are some tell-tale signs that you might have a termite infestation. The company suggests being on the lookout for these factors:

  • A temporary swarm of winged insects—typically 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch long—in your home or from the soil around your house.
  • Cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings).
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams or in a crawl space.
  • Discarded wings from swarmers.

Where Do Termites Come From?

Of the more than 2,000 termite species, more than 40 of them can be found in the United States. Here’s where you can find them around your home:

  • Trees and shrubs near houses
  • Stacks of firewood leaning against a home
  • Damp soil near house foundations from leaking faucets, gutters or downspouts
  • Wooden structures like porches and decks that are in contact with the ground
  • Above-ground locations that remain damp

“Termites feed primarily on wood and can compromise the strength and safety of an infested structure,” Glen Ramsey, Orkin’s director of technical services, says. That’s why it’s important to know where termites are located, and how to prevent them.

Man inspecting for termites in crawl space

How Can I Prevent Termites In My Home?

The one thing that is way better than spotting or getting rid of termites that are already in your home is knowing how to prevent them in the first place. To prevent the creatures that “never sleep,” according to Orkin, keep these tips in mind:

  • Check water drainage sites to ensure they remain clear and effective.
  • Monitor the collection of moisture by fixing pipes, gutters, downspouts, A/C units and fixtures prone to leaking.
  • Caulk around utility lines or pipes.
  • Get rid of rotting wood and debris near your home.
  • Place screens on outside vents.
  • Check wooden structures for damage.