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Few know the real usefulness of the Windows key. A practical tip that makes life easier



windows key

What is the purpose of the Windows key?

windows key

Windows Key – Source: spm

The vast majority of PC keyboards, regardless of their range, incorporate the Windows key, since it allows additional functions to be carried out in the Microsoft operating system, which is the most widely used among users. This key has a window icon: it is located on the left side of the keyboard, at the bottom, between Ctrl and Alt, or between the function key and the Alt key. Usually, we click on it to launch the Start menu. Now many people ignore it but you can use it for various purposes.

What are the different functions of the Windows key?


Computer keyboard – Source: spm

The Windows (Win) key, available on any laptop or PC keyboard, is not only used to launch the Start menu. In combination with other keys, it can simplify the use of your computer, make your work easier, and save you a lot of time.

Here is the list of combinations to know:

  • WIN – Opens the Start menu (in Windows 8.1, the key opens the previous window).
  • WIN + A: Open Action Center (in Windows 10).
  • WIN + B – Select the first icon in the notification area (then you can switch between icons using the arrow keys).
  • WIN + CTRL + B – Switch to a program that displays a new message in the notification area.
  • WIN + D: Show and hide the desktop.
  • WIN + E – Opens Windows Explorer (in Windows 10, this shortcut opens Quick Launch by default).
  • WIN + F – Opens the Search for files and folders section.
  • WIN + CTRL + F – Opens the Find Computers section.
  • WIN + G – Brings all devices being processed to the foreground (Windows 7 only) and in Windows 10, opens the Game bar.
  • WIN + K – Opens a new Start menu (Connections in Windows 8 and 8.1).
  • WIN + L: You can switch accounts (switch users) or lock the workstation.
  • WIN + M: minimize all windows (place them on the bar).
  • WIN + O: This combination locks the orientation of the device.
  • WIN + P – Change the display mode and switch operating modes to an external monitor / projector (only in Windows 7 and newer versions).
  • WIN + R – opens the dialog box, the Run section, from where you can search for and then open the desired document or program.
  • WIN + U: Open the utility manager (accessibility settings).
  • WIN + W: Open Widgets, Windows Ink Workspace (notes, screenshots).
  • WIN + X – Opens the Windows Mobile App Center (Windows Vista and 7 laptops only).
  • WIN + Y: Open Yahoo! Messenger (if installed).
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Health / Home

How to clean your phone speaker



Cleaning the speaker with a brush

To prolong the life of your smartphone, it is important to take care of it on a daily basis. In addition to important settings and handy gestures to conserve your battery, it’s important to clean certain components that tend to get dirty easily. This is the case, for example, with the speaker grill, which can be easily damaged and must be cleaned carefully and carefully.

How to easily clean the phone speaker?

There are several ways to clean your phone speaker. These are simple and affordable solutions that you can apply in just a few minutes. Of course, this step is crucial to preserve the sound quality and the proper functioning of your device.

  • Clean the speaker with a soft brush.

Cleaning the speaker with a brush

Cleaning the speaker with a brush. source: spm

The first technique is to use a soft brush to clean the speakerphone. Before you begin, inspect the grill with a flashlight to pinpoint any areas affected by dust and dirt. Next, Scrub the affected area with the soft-bristled brush in light, left-to-right motions. Avoid inserting the bristles into the grid so as not to introduce dirt into the interior of the appliance. Then take a soft cloth to clean your phone and complete the operation.

  • Use masking tape to remove dirt from the speaker

Scotch tape

Scotch tape. source: spm

The other trick to effectively clean the speakerphone is to use masking tape. This is an adhesive strip used by painters to protect areas that are not meant to be touched by paint. Like plain duct tape, this can be used to remove dirt from your phone’s speaker. Just wrap it around your finger and place the sticky part on the speaker. With this simple gesture, dirt will easily adhere to the strip and thoroughly clean the small enclosure. Feel free to change the tape as it gets dirty.

  • Clean the speaker with a cotton swab.

Cotton swab to clean the phone speaker

Cotton swab to clean the phone speaker. source: spm

Finally, there is a practical and simple solution to remove dirt from the holes of the speakers. This requires the use of a simple cotton swab. To get started, gently rub the clogged area operating circular movements in the holes of the speakers. It is also possible to exert light pressure on the grid. This will allow the cotton ball to reach into the hole and collect any dust that has collected there. Once the cotton swab changes color, change it and repeat the operation until the embedded dirt is completely removed.

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Mistakes to avoid when cleaning your phone’s speaker

Various tricks are offered daily to clean your phone speaker and other essential components of your device. However, be careful with certain tips that may prove ineffective or cause irreversible internal damage. First of all, it is not recommended to clean the speaker with cleaning liquids. Alcohol-based products, for example, can reduce the water resistance of your phone. These can also cause a short circuit in the operation of certain components. Also avoid inserting sharp objects such as paper clips, needles, pins, or toothpicks. These can severely damage your device. Several councils also recommend the use of air canisters. In fact, this can be tempting to remove dust, but it can also be dangerous for the phone. Dirt can penetrate deep and cause significant damage.

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Health / Home

Why is it important not to throw the cooking water from the potatoes down the sink?




When we cook potatoes, we all have an instinct to pour the cooking water down the sink. That’s wrong. You cannot imagine how precious this liquid is: it is an inexhaustible source of vitamins and minerals that will do your plants a lot of good. But not only. This recyclable water is also ideal for cleaning various household items, and even your toilet.

Since potatoes release a lot of healthy micronutrients into the water, it would be much better to conserve this liquid to recycle it in many ways. Find out why you should get in the habit of saving this water.

Potato cooking water: an effective descaler

cook potatoes

Cooking potatoes – Source: spm

The water in which the potatoes were boiled is packed with micronutrients: potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, fiber, starch, and vitamins (A, B, E, and K). It would be a waste of time to get rid of it, when you can largely use it for a multitude of interesting uses. Thus, recovering this cooking water, you can make stock cubes, for example: season it with herbs and aromatics, cool it and pour this liquid into ice cube trays to freeze it. This will be very useful for your next culinary preparations. This water is also known for its purifying properties. It is therefore an ally of choice for house maintenance, starting with cleaning the toilets.

After cooking the potatoes for a meal, do not pour the cooking water down the kitchen sink. Wait for it to cool down and pour it into another container. You can then use it to remove limescale and dirt deposits in the toilet. The method is very simple: pour the liquid directly into the toilet bowl and leave it to act for 15 minutes without flushing. Then clean with a special brush and rinse. Voila – your toilets are now sparkling clean!

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Same principle, this cooking water can be used as a descaler for a sink or for bathroom taps. Enough to make all toilets shine!

Other uses of potato cooking water

cook the potatoes

Cooking the potatoes – Source: spm

Therefore, the cooking water from potatoes can be recycled in a number of ways.

Here are a few:

  • It is ideal for disinfecting the kettle. Just pour it into the utensil and bring it to a boil. Then rinse the kettle several times. Scale and lime deposits can be removed much more easily.
  • This liquid is a precious ally to clean and shine cutlery. And that’s because of the ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the potatoes. Are your silver cutlery and jewelry dull and grayish? To restore them to their former glory, the trick is very easy: just soak a clean cloth in this cooking water and gently rub the cutlery. The acid will immediately dissolve all dirt residues and restore the lost shine.
  • Are your tiles greasy and stained? Change your chemical products for potato water, it is also very suitable for this type of cleaning. So pour the still hot liquid into your regular bucket and use the mop to scrub the floor. Leave on for ten minutes before rinsing. Guaranteed result!
  • You may be surprised, but this concentrated micronutrient water can also nourish your hair. You can even use it as a conditioner to make your hair shine and strengthen the hair fiber. Once cool, pour it into a bottle or spray bottle. Wash your hair as usual, then spray the liquid onto your scalp, before rinsing. This treatment should be applied twice a week for best results.
  • Finally, being rich in minerals, the cooking water for potatoes represents an essential source of nutrition for plants. Thus, you can use it to water the plants in the garden, the orchard or in pots installed on your balconies and terraces. As a bonus, thanks to the starch content in this water, it will prevent the development of unwanted weeds in the garden. Therefore, it is a 100% natural method that does not harm the environment.
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Important : To use the cooking water on your plants, be sure not to add salt and to cool it well before application.

read also Why shouldn’t you pour water over a pan after cooking?

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Health / Home

5 Wood Ash Fireplace Uses for Home and Garden



burning wood in a fireplace

Do not throw the wood ashes from your fireplace, discover these cheap tips that will allow you to take advantage of them inside and outside your home, especially in your garden.

5 Wood Ash Fireplace Uses for Home and Garden

very few people know the unsuspected powers of wood ashesand know how to use them wisely, which is why most get rid of them as quickly as possible. If you just see a bunch of dust, other people are recycling it in more ways than one.. Here are different ways to recycle your fireplace ash.

burning wood in a fireplace

Wood burning in a fireplace. source: spm

  • Scrub and degrease dishes with wood ash.

your dishes are encrusted with grease stains or burnt food ? Don’t worry, because as long as you have a fireplace at home, your problem will be solved! In fact, collected wood ashes can degrease and clean your ceramic hob, pans, pots, dishes, etc. All you need to do is create a paste by mixing a few handfuls of ashes with a little water, spread the paste over dirty dishes, and scrub with a sponge until all residue is removed. Then all you have to do is rinse well. You will surely be surprised by the result obtained.

  • Silver jewelry shine with wood ashes

nothing is worth the beauty of a silver jewel. Unfortunately, due to frequent use, it eventually gets boring over time. If you have antique heirloom silver jewelry, you’ve probably tried cleaning products that claim provide the perfect solution. However, you have probably realized that they are expensive, but mostly ineffective. Strange as it may seem, fireplace ashes can bring your jewelry back to life. Just lightly dampen a clean cloth with ashes, then rub your jewelry or silver utensils and you’re done.

wood ashes

Wood ashes. source: spm

  • Use wood ashes to absorb and neutralize bad odors in the house

Did you know that wood ashes are an excellent solution for absorb bad odors in the house ? To do this, simply fill a cup or bowl with it and place it in the back of your fridge, next to your cat’s litter box, or in a small smelly room. Just like baking soda or coffee grounds, the ashes neutralize unpleasant odors and your home will regain its freshness.

  • Remove dirt stains from windows with wood ashes

There is no need to spend your money buying window cleaners full of chemicals. It may be hard to believe, but the wood ash from your fireplace can remove dirt stains quickly and effectivelyas much as gummy residue left by stickers and labels. All you need is a damp cloth or newspaper. Just dip it in the ashes and scrub the windows, working in a circular motion until all stubborn stains are gone. Then wipe with a soft, dry cloth to complete cleaning of the glass surface.

Wash the windows

Wash the windows. source: spm

  • Use wood ashes to activate the composting process

Since wood ash is a substance of plant origin, it is full ofnutritional elements essentials that the soil needs to ensure optimal plant growth. In fact, fireplace ash is made up of about 10-25% calcium, 1-4% magnesium, 3-9% potassium, 14% silica and 1-2% phosphorus, it all depends on the type of wood burned. To do this, simply add a handful of ash to your outdoor compost pile and stir it around a bit for better distribution. You should also know that you should use the ashes of untreated wood; those of mineral coal are very toxic.

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Now that you know some household and garden uses for wood ash, all you have to do is collect it from the fireplace hearth and store it for later use as needed. It is natural, ecological and above all it allows you to save money.

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