How to protect your money

How to protect your money

There is always the risk of losing your assets from creditors filing claims, an unfairly adjudicated lawsuit, claims arising from damages, bankruptcy, and even divorce. However, you can avoid these threats by implementing solid asset protection strategies.

The importance of asset protection cannot be overstatedd. It can help shield the assets that you’ve worked long and hard to accumulate. It is a proactive measure that will ensure that you get to fully enjoy what you’ve earned. Although you are not praying for these risks to befall on you, you should consider and invest in asset protection long before the threats come knocking at your door.

Common Ways to Protect Your Assets

There are several ways to shield your assets . Below we discuss five most common asset protection strategies.

1. Use an appropriate business entity or structure

Regardless of the size of business you’re operating, make sure that you shield your personal assets in case of claims through establishing the appropriate business structure. A cardinal rule in doing business: never mix business and personal assets. They must be kept separate. To achieve this, you need to establish the right business structure , such as a Corporation, LLC, or partnership. Operating a business under sole proprietorship exposes your personal assets to claims. A sole proprietorship does not shield your personal assets. In the case of liabilities arising from your business operations, it can easily spill into your personal assets. Choosing the right business entity requires a tax professional or an accountant to review and evaluate your business dealings getting familiar with the most common business structures, such as an LLC will help you protect your assets..

2. Invest in insurance

Insurance is vital in protecting your assets. Unfortunately, there are still some business owners that don’t consider insurance as a priority. There are many types of insurance that offer protection to different assets, such as automobile insurance, property insurance, etc. Professionals working in high-liability occupations, such as medical professionals, lawyers, and real estate professionals, also need insurance to protect their assets in case of claims. However, it’s not enough that you take out insurance, you have to regularly check its coverage to see how much of your assets are insured.

3. Ensure proper asset titling

A property can be seized through titling . Make sure to check your assets’ titles are in order; that includes your home, office space, and other properties. Proper titling ensures that they are shielded in case of an attempt to question your ownership. Check individual state laws regarding titling to know the appropriate plan for your properties. Take note that some states have titling exemptions which you might need to consider.

4. Transferring ownership

Sometimes it’s best to get rid of assets that are being threatened instead of holding onto them. A good way to skirt creditors is to transfer ownership of your assets into a trust that is accessible by an appointed party. It’s a good way of safekeeping assets. You might want to consider opening an offshore trust account to further isolate your assets while maintaining full control of them. Another way of releasing ownership is by ‘donating’ or ‘gifting’ the asset to a family member or trusted individual. However, this might entail costs and taxes. Consulting a lawyer to help you choose the best way to release or transfer ownership of your assets.

5. Start a retirement plan

We work hard to accumulate assets for us to enjoy later in life or for our loved ones to enjoy. Protected by federal and state laws, a retirement plan can guarantee that you’ll enjoy these funds the way you intend to. With a retirement plan, you make accounts and move the assets or money you don’t need into the retirement plan. Take note that when you move your funds into these retirement accounts, you will not have access to it until you’re of age. Again, it’s essential to seek the counsel of a lawyer to explore applicable laws in your state.

Final Thoughts

Asset protection is protecting yourself. As such, it should be prioritized and not delayed. Having solid asset protection can make you feel more secure and comfortable. Regularly review your situation to see potential weaknesses and errors. Plug all possible vulnerabilities and avoid making yourself the target of litigations, creditor claims, and frauds. Getting the advice of a professional asset protection specialist can help you through this process.

How to protect your money

Are you unsure as to how to protect your (or your parents’) money from Medicaid?

The elderly may find themselves facing financial ruin in their later years. Fortunately, there’s Medicaid, but in most cases, they have to spend down almost all their savings — money they may have spent their entire working lives amassing. Fortunately, if you’re careful and work far in advance, there are ways to legally “hide” your savings from Medicaid.

The key number to remember is 60 months. You need to set aside money 5 years before you need Medicaid or you’re out of luck, possibly facing penalties and program disqualification. With that caveat in mind, which legal and financial strategies can help? While this is a complex topic, I have summarized some of the strategies we suggest below.

Asset-protection trusts

These trusts are designed to provide asset protection so the assets no longer belong to you and are beyond the reach of Medicaid. You can transfer your home into a trust and still live in the home. You can also add income-producing assets and still receive the income but not the principal.

Qualified income trusts

QITs are irrevocable trusts designed to hold an applicant’s excess income. Some states allow the spend down to meet Medicaid limits but others don’t, so QITs come in handy. A trustee will be appointed to manage the disbursement of funds for allowable expenses.

Pooled income trusts

These also are irrevocable accounts used to hold excess income, but they are for disabled individuals. The surplus income is pooled together and managed by a nonprofit that acts as a trustee and disburses the funds. Unused funds remain with the trust for charitable purposes.

Medicaid-compliant annuities and promissory notes

A properly worded and structured annuity or promissory note creates cash flow from your assets that can be used to pay the nursing home during a shortened penalty period of 30 months. The monthly income, together with your Social Security benefits and pension, are used to pay the nursing home for your care. It can be a good “last minute” solution.

Spousal transfers and spousal refusal

Transfers between spouses are permitted and, unlike many other strategies, are not subject to the look-back period. One basic Medicaid-planning strategy is to transfer assets to the well spouse who still lives in their home, referred to as the community spouse. New York and Florida permit spousal refusal — the healthy spouse refuses to provide support for the spouse who needs care, allowing the ill spouse to be immediately eligible for Medicaid.

This is just an introduction to a very complex topic, and rules can vary from one state to another. You need specialized professionals who are familiar with your state’s Medicaid programs. These individuals can work within the laws to produce as favorable an outcome as possible for you. Legally sheltering certain assets and using them to avoid paying the high cost of a nursing home is crucial. But you need to start now and not wait until the situation becomes critical.

Do you want to hire an attorney to help you?

Click HERE to contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Durng this consultation, we can discuss how we can help you protect your money from Medicaid.

Do you want to learn more?

Do you want to hear more about this topic? Click HERE to register for one of our free webinars to learn more about protecting your money from Medicaid.

It’s a great tool to protect assets in a divorce, but what if you don’t have it?

— — intro:Prenuptial agreements can be a great tool for protecting assets for married couples who ultimately end up divorcing. But what happens when you don’t have a prenup? Or if you wanted one but your spouse refused to sign and you decided it wasn’t worth the aggravation? Can you still protect your assets? The answer, as is so often the case in law, is that it depends. Certain assets can absolutely be protected. Others not so much. Here is the list of ways you can protect (at least some of) your money and assets without a prenup.

quicklist:title: Keep your own funds separate.text: The word “commingling” is often synonymous with “lottery winnings” to one spouse; and “gambling losses” to the other. If you have an account that has funds in it that you either 1) owned prior to the marriage; or 2) received during the marriage as inheritance or a non-marital gift; and then mixed in your earnings from your pay, or joint funds from another bank account – then poof! The entire account becomes marital. Why? Because the courts consider money to be “fungible” meaning that once that marital dollar goes in, you can’t tell which dollar is coming back out. So Rule #1 – Keep your separate funds separate!

quicklist:title: Keep your own real estate separate.text: Many people own a home prior to getting married. Oftentimes, especially if that home becomes the home for the married couple, the homeowner decides to throw the other person’s name onto the deed. What harm could that be? Right? I mean what happens if the owner died – wouldn’t you want your spouse to have it? The answer is that once the non-owning spouse’s name is on that deed, even if it is removed again down the road, the result is that the court will presume that you have given half the value to that spouse as a gift. And yes, you can sit on the stand and testify that it was only done for “estate planning” purposes, but most times that kind of testimony just comes off as self-serving and falls flat. So, you can always create a will or trust that leaves your property to your spouse. Rule #2 – do not put your spouse’s name on the deed unless you are prepared to hand over half the value of it in a divorce.

quicklist:title: Use non-marital funds to maintain non-marital property.text: Here’s where the waters get murkier. It is easy enough to decide to keep your own property in your own name. The rub comes when it comes to maintaining that property. This is where the couple is using their paychecks to pay the mortgage on that property, or to make renovations or improvements to that property. Now the court is going to be faced with trying to carve out which part of the value of the property might be marital and which part of the value has remained non-marital – a tedious and tortuous task. To keep it all clean, just use your funds from your premarital or inherited account to maintain your non-marital property, too.

quicklist:title: Keep bank statements for retirement accounts issued at the date of marriage.text: Unlike other accounts that are commingled, if you have retirement account assets at the date of marriage, and at the time of divorce, you can produce a statement that shows what you had in that account, then the court may let you carve off that amount and divide the rest. The challenge is finding those statements sometimes. Make sure you keep statements that show if the custodian changes.

quicklist:title: Get a valuation of your business around the date of the marriage.text: Also unlike bank accounts that are commingled, the court has the ability to potentially carve off the appreciated value of a non-marital business. So for example, if your business was worth $1 million on the date of your marriage and worth $2 million on the date of your divorce, your spouse would be entitled to the one half of the difference or $500,000. (Or you could have just had the spouse sign a prenuptial agreement that waived any and all appreciation — but assuming you didn’t, this is the next best option).

While a prenuptial agreement is the ideal way for specifying how assets are to be divided should there be a dissolution of marriage, all is not lost if there isn’t one. By following these five steps, you can still protect some, if not all, of your premarital or non-marital assets.

The financial effects of divorce can also have an impact on your credit. So both during and after your divorce, it’s important to keep an eye on your credit reports and credit scores to watch for inaccuracies or any other problems that need your attention. You’re entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies through AnnualCreditReport.com.

Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

How to protect your money

With online banking and shopping offering greater convenience, more and more people are using the Internet to conduct financial transactions and make purchases. However, cybercriminals are capitalising on opportunities to steal consumers’ passwords, identities and money.

Internet security tips — to help you protect your money and credit cards online

Here are some useful tips — from Kaspersky Lab’s team of security experts — to help you protect your money and data when you’re online:

  • Don’t assume links are genuine
    When you need to visit an online bank, a retailer or a payment website, you should manually type in the URL — instead of clicking on a link. Do not visit websites by clicking on:
    • Links in emails
    • Messages on social network sites
    • Messages in chat rooms
    • Banner ads that are on suspicious websites
    • Links sent to you by people you do not know
  • Beware of fake communications
    Most financial organisations will never send emails asking customers to:
    • Send personal data in an email
    • Visit their site for authorisation
    • Enter personal data in pop-up windows
  • Check the URL
    When you’re visiting a web page that needs you to enter confidential data, carefully check that the address of the page that’s shown on the browser corresponds with the page that you were intending to access. If the URL is made up of a random selection of letters and numbers — or it looks suspicious — do not input any information.

    Use encryption
    Make sure that you use an encrypted connection, whenever you need to input any confidential data. If a connection is secure, the URL will start with the letters ‘https’ — in addition, the address bar or the browser’s status bar will display a small icon of a lock. When you click on the lock icon, look closely at the information about the SSL authentication certificate that has been issued to the site (you’ll be able to note when the certificate was issued, who issued it and for what period the certificate was issued).

    Use your own computer — and your own Internet connection
    Try to avoid using public computers — in Internet cafes, airports, clubs, hotels, libraries or other locations — when you need to access online banking services or online retailers. These public computers may have a variety of spyware programs running on them. If so, these malicious programs could record everything you type on the keyboard — including your passwords — and also intercept Internet traffic.

    Even if you use your own computer for online transactions, you need to avoid connecting to the Internet via a public Wi-Fi network. On a public Wi-Fi network, there is a risk that the traffic might be intercepted by the network’s administrator or by cybercriminals — and attacks might be launched with network worms.

    Don’t use your main credit card or debit card
    You might benefit from having a special card that you only use for online purchases. It may be possible to restrict the credit limit for your ‘online credit card’ or to hold a limited amount of money on your ‘online debit card’.

    Learn from other people’s experiences
    Before making a purchase online, try to read customer reviews about that specific retailer.

    Be wary of potentially untrustworthy sites
    It can be a good idea to avoid buying from retailers that have websites that are registered with free hosting services.

    Get additional information about the website
    If you have any doubts or suspicions about a retailer’s website, use a ‘WhoIs’ IP service in order to find out more information about the domain — including how long it has been in use and who owns it. Note the period of time for which the domain has been paid.

    Eliminate vulnerabilities — in your operating system and applications
    Always ensure that the operating system — and all applications — on your computer and other devices have the latest updates installed. This will help to eliminate operating system and application vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious software programs and attacks. Windows OS products are often targets of vulnerabilities so be sure you’re secure whether you are running the newest OS , XP, or Windows 7 – security is essential.

    Maintain your firewall
    For additional security, instead of just running a standard firewall, you may choose to run application and software-based firewalls.

  • Protect against malware and Internet security risks
    A rigorous anti-malware solution can protect you against computer viruses, worms, Trojan viruses and more. Some anti-malware products also include special technologies that provide additional layers of security when you’re using online shopping and banking websites.

Other articles and links related to online security

Protecting Your Money – Security Tips

With online banking and shopping offering greater convenience, more and more people are using the Internet to conduct financial transactions and make purchases. However, cybercriminals are capitalising on opportunities to steal consumers’ passwords, identities and money.

This post may have affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you choose to purchase through them. Here’s our Disclosure & Privacy Policy for more info.

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Last Updated 3 years ago

Getting robbed, scammed and compromised while traveling is the biggest buzzkill around.
I know. I’ve been there.

I have been robbed at gun point in Latin America, had cash stolen from my hotel room, and found my credit cards skimmed and compromised.
It left me feeling violated, vulnerable and paranoid.

Despite the few negative experiences and security breaches I’ve endured while traveling, I still love exploring new countries and cultures. I refuse to let a few bad apples keep me from my globe-trotting dreams.

Instead of holding myself back from traveling the world, I am using my past experiences as a lesson in financial safety. Here are my 11 best tips in keeping your money safe while travelling. Everything from the cash in your pocket, to the cards in your purse, plus your bank account as a whole.

How to protect your money

Money Safety – Before You Travel:

Do Your Homework

Learn the exchange rates, along with some basic costs of living in the country you’re going to. Download a currency converter app like this for your mobile so you can access it on the go.

I also look up typical costs for things like meals and taxi’s on Numbeo , so I have a good point of reference to how much something should cost. Case and point, an unmetered taxi in Bali once told me a 10 minute trip would be over $30 when I knew very well it would be around $5. Doing my homework has allowed me to avoid getting ripped of, overcharged and taken advantage of.

BYOC (Bring Your Own Cash)

Order a small amount of the countries currency to bring with you. You can do this at your local bank, or even a currency exchange booth at the mall. It’s always nice to have money on you for unseen expenses, like paying for a Visa on arrival at the airport, or hiding duty free purchases from your husband. Just aim to keep the amount small.

Bringing in a huge wad of cash is only going to raise red flags or increase your risk of theft. What if you lost your bag? What if you brought in a higher amount of cash allowed by customs? I might bring enough cash in to fund my travels for a few days, but I never travel with more than that.

(There are off the beaten path countries where this tip won’t work, like Iran, which doesn’t allow foreigners to withdraw from local ATMS. If you are going somewhere less traveled, find out if you can take out money once inside.)

Get an RFID Purse or Wallet

Before investing in an RFID purse, my card was constantly getting scanned. Thieves take scanning machines into busy public places and can skim the information off your credit cards via the ‘tap’ feature and use it to make small purchases. This happened overseas and multiple times in the US!

Now I use an RFID purse made by a company called Arden Cove that keeps my credit card info safe. I’ve used the same bag for almost 2 years and it’s still in perfect condition. My husband also uses an RFID wallet for his own cards and we haven’t had a problem since.

Beef Up Your Bank’s Security

Call or visit your bank and ask them to put a few extra security measures on your account. I personally had my branch disconnect my savings accounts from the available withdrawal options while using an ATM. That way, if I was ever forced by a thief to take out money, it doesn’t even show that I HAVE a savings account. It’s simply not accessible by ATM. I also keep a modest amount of money in my current/checking account.

Another option I applied was daily withdrawal limits on my bank account. This way, if someone got my bank card and my PIN, they wouldn’t be able to empty the account quickly or easily.

These quick and easy requests will help keep your money safe while abroad.

Trusts shield your home and property.

A trust is a legal structure that allows you to preserve income and assets that would otherwise be lost under Medicaid regulations. Trusts are among the main workhorses of Elder Law planning, and some of its most powerful tools. Here’s how they function to protect your home or any other property you hold.

How to protect your moneyLet’s say you own a house, condominium or cooperative apartment worth $500,000 in today’s market. You bought it 40 years ago for $35,000, and your loan is paid off Now you need long-term care. The problem is that while your home is an exempt asset for eligibility purposes, Medicaid may eventually require that the equity be used to reimburse the cost of your care. They’ll do that by enforcing a lien against your property when you move out permanently or die. The lien will be equal to the amount of benefits paid.

Costs for long-term care are exorbitant. That means after just a short time, the equity in your home could be exhausted by the amount of the lien Medicaid may eventually be able to enforce. In effect, you’ll be leaving your home to the government to repay Medicaid, instead of to your children or other family members.

A trust strategy eliminates the entire problem. By transferring your home to an asset protection trust, you are no longer the owner. The house legally belongs to the trust. And your property is safe from being subject to a Medicaid lien. (Of course, transfers within the look back period will still be subject to a penalty, if nursing home care is required. See Strategy No. 3.: Plan for Home Care and Nursing Home Facility Care while You Still Can)

ln many instances, parents want to leave homes to children in their Wills. Using a trust can be a better vehicle than a Will for this purpose. That’s because the trust achieves Medicaid eligibility and protects its value. Your home can eventually be transferred to your children, rather than be lost to the government. You don’t have to move because you can state in the trust that you have a legal right to live there for the rest of your life. The beneficiaries of the trust can be the same people named in your Will.

It’s important to know that implementing trust strategies for Medicaid planning is a complex process. Every client situation has individual characteristics and critical differences, which is why you need a qualified Elder Law firm to make a competent evaluation.

Once the firm’s assessment is complete, your Elder Law attorney can draft a trust that is appropriate for you. You then simply appoint a person to manage the trust, usually one of your children, or a relative or friend, who is referred to as the trustee. Professional trustees are also available for hire if there’s no one you feel completely comfortable with.

How to protect your money

Whether you have a lot of money or just a little, you will want to protect every hard-earned cent.

You may have little control over the more substantial financial problems caused by the recent pandemic, but you can protect your finances on a more personal level.

With so many potential threats, here are the main ones and how you avoid them.

How to Protect Your Money

Theft

Nobody has control over having something of value stolen, but there are ways to safeguard your valuables.

Adequate insurance is one way. Another is to hide your most valued possessions away, or at least out of sight to make them harder to find.

You can also back up any critical data in case your laptop or other devices are stolen. Set up passwords that aren’t obvious and change them regularly.

Having a location tracker on your devices is helpful. If you do your banking and other financial tasks online, change passwords as soon as you can if your device goes missing.

Identity theft

Failure to do the above can result in identity theft. There are several other ways opportunists can steal your identity and use your good credit rating to take out and use credit cards in your name.

The author of What’s the Deal With Identity Theft, Robert M. Ryerson, covers this subject in his book and in some of his articles on Medium.

Some ways to avoid this are to never give out personal details online, over the phone, or in-person unless you can be 100% sure the company is who and what it claims to be.

Any genuine person asking for these details will understand your reluctance and will be happy for you to verify their credentials if you have any doubts.

Also, avoid social media games that may seem innocent, but are designed to draw personal information out of you, such as your mother’s maiden name, your first pet, etc., many of which are often used as password prompts.

Try to be careful when sharing images online. Ensure there are no personal details that could identify your address or credit card details.

For example, your card on the table fully or partially visible in the photo, a letter with your full or part of your address showing, or if you’re standing in front of your front door and the house name or number is visible in the photograph.

Scammers can piece this information together to steal your identity, or to prise other vital details out of you, to collate enough information to steal from you.

Having the wrong life insurance

It’s a common worry about how your family may manage if something happens to you.

Making sure you have the right life insurance may sound like a morbid way to spend your time, but it can give you the peace of mind to get on with your life without the nagging worry in the back of your mind.

Some life insurance policies only cover you for a set length of time, or until you reach a certain age. Others may provide insufficient cover, so it’s worth checking the small print and switching to a more appropriate policy if you consider it necessary.

Saving for retirement

Similarly to having the right life insurance, you also need to think ahead, this time to the best-case scenario of enjoying your retirement.

To ensure you can do that, you should check what you’re currently paying towards your pension will be enough for you to live on when you finish earning.

You can assess your finances and determine whether you can afford to pay more, or if you can downgrade your retirement plans while remaining financially comfortable enough to get by and still provide some enjoyment later in life.

If you have the option to draw down some money from your pension early, you should try to resist the temptation, and if you’re offered something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Never take anything at face value and always do your research before signing anything.

Your lifestyle

We all like to enjoy life whenever we can, but you could be wasting money on things you don’t need or on people who take advantage of your generosity.

Ask yourself if you often go for a meal or to a bar which cost substantially more than other restaurants or bars.

Do you regularly treat your friends and family? There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself or others, but if you’re always the one doing the treating and are never on the receiving end, you might want to start by having one night out where you don’t.

Anyone who values you won’t resent you for it. You could also try going somewhere cheaper; you’ll probably appreciate the upmarket places more if you visit them less frequently. There are also plenty of other ways to save money if you just give it some thought.

In short, don’t let yourself be taken advantage of, and question anything that doesn’t sound right. You can protect your finances and lower the risk of falling for a scam, bad deal, or any other financial service which isn’t right for your needs.

How to protect your money

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Hey, I’m Lidiya

How to protect your money

Thanks for stopping by. I’m Lidiya, a blogger, course creator and founder of Let’s Reach Success.

I help high vibe women create an abundant, value-driven business so they can live a fearless life and provide epic value.

Trusts shield your home and property.

A trust is a legal structure that allows you to preserve income and assets that would otherwise be lost under Medicaid regulations. Trusts are among the main workhorses of Elder Law planning, and some of its most powerful tools. Here’s how they function to protect your home or any other property you hold.

How to protect your moneyLet’s say you own a house, condominium or cooperative apartment worth $500,000 in today’s market. You bought it 40 years ago for $35,000, and your loan is paid off Now you need long-term care. The problem is that while your home is an exempt asset for eligibility purposes, Medicaid may eventually require that the equity be used to reimburse the cost of your care. They’ll do that by enforcing a lien against your property when you move out permanently or die. The lien will be equal to the amount of benefits paid.

Costs for long-term care are exorbitant. That means after just a short time, the equity in your home could be exhausted by the amount of the lien Medicaid may eventually be able to enforce. In effect, you’ll be leaving your home to the government to repay Medicaid, instead of to your children or other family members.

A trust strategy eliminates the entire problem. By transferring your home to an asset protection trust, you are no longer the owner. The house legally belongs to the trust. And your property is safe from being subject to a Medicaid lien. (Of course, transfers within the look back period will still be subject to a penalty, if nursing home care is required. See Strategy No. 3.: Plan for Home Care and Nursing Home Facility Care while You Still Can)

ln many instances, parents want to leave homes to children in their Wills. Using a trust can be a better vehicle than a Will for this purpose. That’s because the trust achieves Medicaid eligibility and protects its value. Your home can eventually be transferred to your children, rather than be lost to the government. You don’t have to move because you can state in the trust that you have a legal right to live there for the rest of your life. The beneficiaries of the trust can be the same people named in your Will.

It’s important to know that implementing trust strategies for Medicaid planning is a complex process. Every client situation has individual characteristics and critical differences, which is why you need a qualified Elder Law firm to make a competent evaluation.

Once the firm’s assessment is complete, your Elder Law attorney can draft a trust that is appropriate for you. You then simply appoint a person to manage the trust, usually one of your children, or a relative or friend, who is referred to as the trustee. Professional trustees are also available for hire if there’s no one you feel completely comfortable with.

Orange chicken – easy recipe homemade orange sauce

  • Total Time 55m
  • Prep Time 5 m
  • Calories 370

Honey & Orange Glazed Chicken is a delectable non-vegetarian recipe, which you can prepare for your loved ones on special occasions like get-togethers and parties. This Continental recipe is prepared with orange juice, soy sauce, spring onions, garlic, honey and chicken breast. This appetizer recipe tastes best when served with mashed or baked potatoes. So, try this scrumptious chicken recipe and enjoy with your loved ones!

Recipe: Godrej Tyson Foods

Ingredients of Honey & Orange Glazed Chicken

  • 2 pieces chicken breasts
  • 40 gm chopped spring onions
  • 45 gm honey
  • 1 orange segments
  • 15 ml refined oil
  • 15 gm crushed garlic
  • 60 ml orange juice
  • 30 ml soy sauce

For Garnishing

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

How to make Honey & Orange Glazed Chicken

Step 1

Preheat oven at 190 degree C for making this chicken recipe. Then put a saucepan on medium flame, heat oil and add chopped onions along with garlic. Saute till it turns soft.

Step 2

Add honey, dark soy sauce, orange segments and mix until the honey is dissolved.

Step 3

Take a baking tray, place the chicken breast and pour the cooked mixture evenly.

Step 4

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. Let the meat cook to perfection.

Step 5

Garnish with parsley and serve hot with mashed potatoes or baked potatoes.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Panda Express Orange Chicken with tender chicken thighs fried crisp and tossed in a magical perfect-copycat sauce!

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

This recipe is different than the orange chicken recipe with orange marmalade that is SUPER popular online because the sauce in that recipe is based on a mixture of barbecue sauce and orange marmalade. While some of the pictures may look slightly similar, this Panda Express Orange Chicken is going to taste a lot different.

Looking for the ENTIRE Panda Express Recipe List? I have recreated the entire menu on the blog and have a Panda Express Recipe Index so you can easily access them! I have an entire section of the site dedicated to your favorite copycat recipes too!

Want some of the most popular Panda Express recipes?

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

It may seem like there are a lot of ingredients at play here and a lot of dishes to dirty, but it really does come together pretty quickly and at the end of the cooking when you have a plate of this chicken waiting to be eaten you’ll forget all about that pile of dishes left behind!

If you would like to kick up the heat a little bit and make this a spicy orange chicken, I suggest about ½ tablespoon of Sriracha mixed into the sauce. Any additional heat you can add with crushed red peppers.

If you’re looking to make your Orange Chicken healthy I have THE EXACT SAME Panda Express Orange Chicken recipe on the blog adapted for a much healthier meal. Look at Ground Orange Chicken (1 Pan!) and I even make it into a burrito (which was AMAZING) —> Orange Chicken Burrito. Most people make a version of baked orange chicken to lighten the calories, I do it instead with ground chicken which is browned really well first to give the crispy texture without the breading.

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

You all have loved this recipe so much since I posted it originally in 2015, I made a Q&A section of the most popular questions I was asked:

Orange Chicken Recipe for Crockpot/Slow Cooker?

I used to actually make this recipe in the slow cooker when Tyson made raw chicken tenders. I’d just put the tenders in the slow cooker with the sauce, cook on low for 3 hours, then add in a bit of cornstarch/water slurry and cook an additional hour. Now, I make small nuggets, bread them in panko then freeze them and cook them the same way. This recipe is coming soon on the blog.

How do you make an orange sauce?

What is in General Tso’s chicken?

How do you make sesame chicken?

What is in Orange Beef?

Orange Beef is the far less known version of Chinese Food with orange flavors. Since orange chicken is so popular most people don’t order the beef version. Simply purchase the best beef you are comfortable buying (I prefer ribeye, chuck roast works okay too) and freeze for 30 minutes. Slice VERY thinly against the grain and cook it just like you would the orange chicken.

Not only you can use this orange sauce to make orange chicken or a quick stir fry, you can even make roasted vegetables with it!

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Do you want to whip up a healthy dinner on the table on a busy weeknight? Thinking about changing up flavors so dinner won’t be boring again?

Making stir fry sauce in advance is the perfect solution.

Over the years, I found out that mastering the few key components of stir frying is much more useful than just learning a recipe. That is – to understand the process of stir frying, how to choose and prep ingredients, and how to make a great stir fry sauce.

If you get these few tools under your belt, not only can you make your favorite takeout dish in your own kitchen that tastes even better than those in Chinese restaurants, but the whole process will become less intimidating – and the results more delicious!

Moreover, understanding the key techniques will make your meal planning and prepping more flexible, because you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, instead of hunting down an ingredient just to follow through the recipe.

Even better, I will share all the secrets of how to use stir fry sauce to create quick and healthy meals, without stir-frying!

You ready? Let’s dive in!

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Today’s lesson is on how to prepare a stir fry sauce.

This is the easiest part, because all you need to do is add all the ingredients in a jar and shake to mix.

You can prepare stir fry sauce beforehand, like on the weekend, so there will be one less thing to do when you’re ready to cook in the week.

The benefit of preparing stir fry sauce in bulk is that you can use it to make several meals with totally different main ingredients. It saves you tons of time, but your everyday dinner will taste different.

Introducing homemade orange chicken sauce

Orange chicken, orange beef, orange cauliflowers… Orange is one of the most popular flavors on a Chinese restaurant menu. So, I chose to start my stir fry sauce series with it.

In China we do not have orange sauce – we call it tangerine sauce instead. Rather than using orange juice and orange zest, we use rehydrated dried aged tangerine peels to impart a distinctive zesty and citrus flavor to the dish.

If you can find dried tangerine peels in your neighborhood Asian market, definitely grab a package. They stay good forever. In fact, they get even better (and more expensive) over the years. Look for labels that have “tangerine peel”, “tangerine skin”, or “old tangerine” on the package. The color of the dried peels is not wonderful (it has a brownish color). But, it has a richer and subtle umami flavor that fresh orange zest cannot provide. It just makes the whole dish taste much better.

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

To use dried tangerine skins you need to rehydrate it first. Measure them by piling them loosely in a cup (they will expand quite a bit after soaking). Cover with hot water and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the peels turn soft, slice them into thin strips. Or, you can mince them if you like a more refined texture. Measure the sliced tangerine peel again. If you have extra rehydrated peels, store soaked peels in a fridge or let them air dry completely before storing them in a bag.

Don’t have an Asian market nearby? No problem. You can easily make them at home by air drying fresh tangerine peels. If you want to make this sauce today without it, you can use fresh orange zest instead. Your dish will still taste better than Panda Express.

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce Click to image view Chinese orange chicken recipe

How to use the sauce

Simply reheat the sauce in microwave, you can add the sauce in stir fry or on roasted vegetables and protein!

(1) Recommended Protein and how to prep for stir frying

  • Beef (flank steak or short ribs) – thinly slice (1/8 to 1/4-inch thick), or cut to strips
  • Chicken (skinless boneless breast or thigh) – Diced to 1-inch pieces, or sliced to 1/4-inch thick
  • Shrimps – peeled and deveined
  • Tofu (firm or extra firm) – Diced to 1/2 to 2/3 inch pieces

For each pound of meat or seafood, mix with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or peanut oil), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Let marinate for 5 to 10 minutes.

To create a crispy crust, restaurant-style, learn this method so you can achieve the goal without deep-frying.

For tofu, marinate with 2 tablespoons soy sauce for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and coat with a thin layer of cornstarch.

(2) Recommended vegetables and how to prep for stir frying

To make a quick dinner, my favorite way is to only use one type of vegetable. You can use two, but no more.

  • Asparagus – Chopped to 1-inch pieces
  • Baby bok choy – Tear off large leaves and halve lengthwise, halve or quarter the rest
  • Bell peppers – Sliced or chopped
  • Broccoli (fresh) – Divide to small florets; steam or blanch (see this post to learn how to blanch the broccoli quickly in the same stir fry pan)
  • Broccoli (frozen) – Microwave for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the quantity), so the broccoli is thawed and luke warm, but not heated up.
  • Brussels sprouts – Roasted (see this post for how to roast Brussels sprouts).
  • Cauliflower (fresh) – Divide to small florets; steam, blanch, or roast.
  • Cauliflowers (frozen) – Microwave for 2 to 4 minutes (for stir fry), or roast (see this post to learn how to crisp up frozen cauliflowers in the oven)
  • Carrot – Sliced into pieces or stripes (by using a julienne peeler); or cut to chunk and roast
  • Eggplant – sliced (see this post to learn how to prep eggplant so it crisps up during stir fry)
  • Green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • Onion – Sliced
  • Snow pea

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Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce Click to image view Roasted Orange Cauliflower recipe

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Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce Click to image view Orange Shrimp and Asparagus recipe

(3) More delicious recipes by using homemade orange chicken sauce

If you give this recipe a try, leave a comment below, take a picture, and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with! 🙂

Affiliate links are provided below for your convenience. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

Weight Watchers 5 Ingredient Orange Chicken

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Looking for a yummy Weight Watchers Chinese food recipe?

Try this Weight Watchers 5 ingredient orange chicken recipe.

Super easy 5 ingredient orange chicken idea for Weight Watchers diet.

Simple and quick Weight Watchers dinner, lunch or side dish.

Serve with rice or cauliflower rice for a delicious Asian meal for Weight Watchers diet.

Even those who don’t follow Weight Watchers will love this orange chicken dish.

Chicken with an easy orange chicken sauce to please any crowd.

No need for take out or delivery when you can make homemade Weight Watchers 5 ingredient orange chicken.

Get ready to make the best Weight Watchers 5 ingredient orange chicken recipe

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

❤️ Check out these other ❤️

Weight Watchers Recipes

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

How To Make Weight Watchers 5 Ingredient Orange Chicken

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Heat sesame oil in a pan.

Add chicken pieces and stir until done

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Stir in marmalade, hoisin, and balsamic vinegar.

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Optional to serve over brown rice, white rice or cauliflower rice

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Weight Watchers 5 Ingredient Orange Chicken

Ingredients

  • 300 grams Chicken Thigh Fillets diced
  • ¼ cup Sugar Free Orange Marmalade
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil

Instructions

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I would love for you to share a link to this recipe, but please Do Not copy/paste the recipe or instructions to social media or websites. You may share one photo with a link back.

Do Not Forget To Pin! So you can come back and make this tasty Weight Watchers 5 Ingredient Orange Chicken recipe!

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

It is the responsibility of the Reader to assure the products or ingredients they use in any recipes from Kimspireddiy are allergen-free, sugar free, gluten-free, egg-free and/or dairy-free, for example) Weight Watcher friendly, Keto friendly or Vegetarian friendly. Kimspireddiy assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatement about products, nutrition, points, opinions or comments on this site. Even though nutritional information is given it is the readers responsibility to calculate points, net carbs & nutritional information. KimspiredDIY holds no responsibility for calculations.

Posted on Published: March 24, 2015 Categories Condiments, sauces and DIY Kitchen helps

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Our Asian orange sauce recipe is a delicious, rich, Umami sauce. Perfect for fish and chicken dinners. This chinese orange sauce is a yummy, healthy option to bottled Orange sauces.

Store bought bottled sauces in general have way too many indecipherable ingredients and heavy sugar loads. This homemade thick orange sauce is Low-Fat, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free.

Asian cooking is relatively new in my repertoire. I’ve been studying lots of delicious looking recipes and now I’m forging new trails in my kitchen pantry. Making homemade sauces just makes sense.

They are very simple to make and can improve the health of your family.

This easy recipe for orange Sauce is a great example of that. I was motivated to make my own orange sauce after making Orange Chicken Sausage Beef meatballs.

Recipes that use this Easy Orange Sauce:

When you need an easy dinner with an asian twist. Try this sauce over one of these recipes. They are so good.

  • Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauceBaked Tilapia in Asian Orange Sauce
  • Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauceInstant Pot Orange Chicken

The sauce I used for that was Panda express (blush). Yes, I was so horrified by what was in that bottle I didn’t use it for a long, long time. But I Couldn’t bring myself to throw that sauce away either.

So I finally used the bottled Panda sauce to make those meatballs. They were really yummy; BUT:

This homemade Orange sauce is even better. Use this one instead of Panda express.

This is the orange chinese sauce I use in our very popular Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe.

Watch Kayti make this dinner in our recipe demonstration video in the sidebar. And in the bottom of the printable recipe card. SO yummy!!

It’s marvelous over white fish and chicken. Chicken breasts and chicken thighs are delicious this way.

This sauce is made with real ingredients that are good for you. The orange flavor comes from real orange juice with a hint of ginger and garlic for zing.

Sweetening with honey benefits the sauce in both flavor and texture. Use either soy sauce or Tamari. If you are gluten free be sure to use tamari.

And it’s Easy as can be. Here’s the process:

Gather your fresh, organic ingredients.

Put it all in a frying pan and boil it until it begins to reduce and thicken. Whisk constantly. This should only take about five minutes.

Next, Add in the cornstarch and water mixture and cook (while whisking) on low heat until the thickness suits your purposes.

Feel free to Adjust the seasonings to suit your palate. You can add some orange zest to intensify that chinese orange chicken vibe.

I would leave off the zest for a beef dinner. The mellower version blends better with beef and pork.

I made this sauce and poured it over my Tilapia fillets. That created the Baked Tilapia in Asian Orange Sauce recipe. That is a great dinner.

I encourage you to make your own version of this yummy asian sauce. Let us know in the comments section below what you did. I’d love to know how it turns out for you.

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Breaded chicken breasts; the orange sauce is optional.

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Recipe Summary

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

In a small bowl beat together eggs and milk. Add 2 cups flour, salt and pepper. Beat all together until smooth. In a shallow dish or plate mix together the breadcrumbs and almonds. Dip chicken in egg batter, then in breadcrumb mixture.

In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter/margarine and saute coated chicken in skillet 8 to 10 minutes. Place chicken in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish and bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

To Make Sauce: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan mix together the sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon flour. Then stir in the orange juice, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water. Mix all together and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Let boil for 3 minutes, then remove from heat.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter/margarine, the orange rind and the lemon rind to the orange sauce and stir together. Remove chicken from oven and pour orange sauce over warm chicken or put in a gravy boat for people to pour themselves. Enjoy!

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

My Favorite Homemade Orange Chicken Recipe!

I love this easy orange chicken recipe for the usual reasons: it’s super delicious, simple, and fast! Frozen breaded chicken is a nice shortcut and the flavorful, homemade sauce is easy and quick to make.

This recipe is so delicious that the whole family will love it! Just thinking about that sweet and spicy orange sauce is making my mouth water!

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Use Frozen Breaded Chicken to Save Time

The frozen breaded chicken is such a handy shortcut for this kind of recipe! I usually use Tyson Panko Breaded Chicken Breast Tenderloins because it goes on sale every once in a while at Costco and it is delicious (it’s also great for a quick chicken parmesan). But any breaded chicken should work.

To get the chicken extra crispy, try baking it on a wire grid cooling rack placed in a baking sheet. Then follow the cooking instructions on the chicken packaging for baking temperature and time.

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

How Many Oranges Will You Need?

I usually use 2 fresh oranges for this recipe. You will get enough orange zest from one orange, but probably not enough juice. So juice a second orange or use bottled fresh-squeezed orange juice to make up the difference.

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Making the Homemade Orange Chicken Sauce

The orange sauce is amazing! Full of flavor – orange, a little sweet, and with some Asian flare. The best part is you can make it from scratch in less than 10 minutes!

If you prefer more spice, you can try leaving out the cayenne pepper and adding about 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes instead.

For the ginger, use fresh ginger grated or the ginger paste that can be found in most grocery stores near the fresh herbs. Both options are great! I like the paste because there is no grating necessary and it is so incredibly easy to use.

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Orange chicken - easy recipe homemade orange sauce

Final Thoughts and Serving Tips

Hope you give this homemade orange chicken recipe a try and love it too! Note that nutrition info and cooking time will vary depending on the breaded chicken that you use.

I recommend serving this recipe over a hot bowl of rice with some green onion for added flavor. For sides, some steamed veggies or a salad would be delicious. Enjoy!

This crispy, tangy orange chicken is so much better than Panda.

This Orange Chicken is about to become one of your weeknight favorites. Our version of the Chinese-American staple is pan fried, which saves you time and energy instead of deep frying.

Can I use dark meat instead of white meat?

Totally! Remember that dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat, so we’d recommend upping the cook time by a few minutes. Make sure you’re using boneless, skinless thighs if you go the dark meat route.

Can I fry in olive oil?

We wouldn’t recommend it. When it comes to pan frying, we usually stick to high temperatures—olive oil has a low smoke point and tends to burn at get bitter at high temperatures. Stick to oils with high smoke points like canola and vegetable oil and you’ll be good to go!

Can I use all flour instead of cornstarch?

You can, but they won’t be quite as crunchy. Cornstarch is all starch, which will give you extra crunch as well as a nice golden color. All the crispiest fried foods use cornstarch, and it’s a great secret ingredient for taking your breading to the next level. It’s also great for crisping tofu like in this delicious tofu stir fry.

What can I serve this with besides rice?

This recipe would be delicious with any grain, or on top of greens. OR, if you’re trying to go the rice route but you’re trying to cut carbs, try cauliflower rice.

How to perform a testicular self exam

Julia Knox, MPH, is a full-time Data Scientist with Rotunda Solutions, and a graduate student in Narrative Medicine, within Columbia University’s Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics.

Douglas A. Nelson, MD, is a board-certified oncologist and hematologist who previously served for 13 years as a physician in the US Air Force.

Testicular cancer is cancer of the testes, which are located within the scrotum, underneath the penis. The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm, and cancer affecting these organs can result in male infertility.

Most cases of testicular cancer can be found early when the cancer is small and hasn’t spread, Early diagnosis is incredibly important so that treatment can be started as soon as possible. The first sign of testicular cancer is usually a lump on the testicle or swelling in the testicle, which can usually be detected through a self-exam. Testicular self-exams are quick and easy to do on your own. If you notice anything abnormal during this exam, you should discuss it with your doctor.

How Common Is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer is uncommon, affecting one in 250 males. The American Cancer Society estimates that 9,470 new cases of new testicular cancer will be diagnosed and 440 deaths will be caused by this type of cancer in 2021.

Testicular cancer can affect males of any age. It is the most prevalent cancer among males aged 18 to 39. The incidence of testicular cancer in those aged 15 to 54 is increasing, and most cases are found in males under 35 years old. The exact reason for this increase is not known. This type of cancer can usually be treated successfully.

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10’000 Hours / Getty Images

How Often Should You Check Your Testicles?

Most physicians recommend performing a self-check once every month. By checking regularly, males will have an easier time noticing when something has changed.

Some researchers suggest:

  • Reinforcing proper guidelines for testicular self-exams
  • Patient education about the success rate in treating early-detected testicular cancers
  • Making this examination a routine part of adolescent and adult male overall health and wellness self-care

The American Cancer Society does not have specific guidelines about the frequency of testicular self-exams. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) states that there is a lack of evidence that testicular self-exams are beneficial for reducing mortality (death).

The USPSTF recommendation asserts that the potential harms—mainly anxiety—outweigh the benefits of self-screening. There is also a high risk of false-positive results. However, considerable evidence in the literature support self-exams as helpful in detecting testicular cancer.

How to Perform a Testicular Self-Exam

A self-exam should be done during or after a shower because the heat will relax the skin of the scrotum and make it easier to perform a self-exam.

To perform a testicular self-exam, follow the steps below:

  1. Place the index and middle fingers of both hands to support the bottom of the scrotal sack. The testicle is located inside the scrotal sack, and is shaped like a bean. Perform the exam one testicle at a time.
  2. Hold your testicle between your thumbs and fingers with both hands and roll it gently between your fingers. You should not experience any discomfort during this exam.
  3. Look and feel for any hard lumps or nodules (smooth rounded masses) or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of your testicles.

You may find it helpful to perform the exam in front of a mirror. You could even incorporate visual cues into your environment, such as a reminder on your bathroom mirror, or a smartphone reminder, to ensure this becomes a regular part of your self-care regime.

What to Do If You Find a Lump

If you find a lump, see a doctor immediately. Don’t put it off. There is nothing to feel embarrassed about in seeking medical advice about a potential lump. In fact, you should be proud for taking steps to take care of your health.

You can see your primary care doctor or a urologist. A urologist is a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the urinary tract and male reproductive system. Depending on your situation, your doctor might order an ultrasound exam to see if there is a tumor in your testicles, and may order more tests if they think the lump is cancer.

When a Lump Isn’t Cancer

Most lumps are not cancerous. In a study that included 845 patients who had a lump or pain in their testicles, only 33 (4%) were ultimately diagnosed with testicular cancer. However, this is not a reason to avoid consulting with your healthcare provider if you suspect a lump. It is best to rule out the possibility of a cancerous lump rather than to assume it is harmless.

In the 845 patient cohort, the most common causes of testicular lumps were epididymal cysts (27%) and hydrocele (11%).

Other causes of testicular lumps:

  • Epididymal cysts may also be referred to as spermatoceles or spermatic cysts. The epididymis transports and stores sperm, and sometimes dead sperm can become trapped there. Epididymal cysts do not cause infertility, but they may cause your testicles to feel heavier, and you may experience swelling or locate a bump that could be mistaken for testicular cancer. Epididymal cysts are quite common, and they are usually benign.
  • Hydroceles are buildups of fluid inside a body cavity. A hydrocele between the parietal and visceral layers of the tunica vaginalis (a serous membrane covering the testes) was the second most common explanation for lumps in the study mentioned above.
  • A varicocele, which occurs when the veins in the testicle dilate, can cause enlargement and lumpiness around the testicle that may be mistaken for a cancerous lump as well.

A Word From Verywell

Testicular cancer is highly treatable if found early, and self-checks can help. Performing a self-exam on a regular basis can potentially help identify the problem early if it is present. Consider adding reminders on your smartphone to help you remember to perform self-exams.

If you notice a lump during your self-exam, schedule a visit with your doctor right away. Remember that a lump may or may not be cancerous and that a lump can be a result of other treatable causes. Even if it is cancerous, testicular cancer is usually treated successfully.

This article was co-authored by Robert Dhir, MD. Dr. Robert Dhir is a board certified Urologist, Urological Surgeon, and the Founder of HTX Urology in Houston, Texas. With over 10 years of experience, Dr. Dhir’s expertise includes minimally-invasive treatments for enlarged prostate (UroLift), kidney stone disease, surgical management of urological cancers, and men’s health (erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and infertility). His practice has been named a Center of Excellence for the UroLift procedure, and is a pioneer in non-surgical procedures for ED using his patented Wave Therapy. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and was awarded honors in pre-medical studies, urology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Dr. Dhir served as chief resident during his urological surgical residency at University of Texas at Houston / MD Anderson Cancer Center in addition to completing his internship in general surgery. Dr. Dhir was voted Top Doctor in Urology for 2018 to 2019, one of the top three Best Rated Urologists in 2019 & 2020 for Houston Texas, and Texas Monthly has named him to the 2019 & 2020 Texas Super Doctors Rising Stars list.

There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 343,727 times.

Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer, impacting one in every 5,000 men. It can occur in men at any age; however 50% of cases occur in men between the ages of 20 and 35. [1] X Trustworthy Source American Cancer Society Nonprofit devoted to promoting cancer research, education, and support Go to source Fortunately, testicular cancer also has a very high ratio of diagnosis to recovery, with a 95–99% cure rate. [2] X Research source As with most cancers, early detection is critical to successful treatment and recovery. Understanding risk factors, symptoms, and conducting routine testicular exams is an important part of early detection. You can give yourself a testicular exam once a month in the shower to detect any irregularities early. [3] X Expert Source

In this Article

  • What Is a Testicular Exam?
  • Who Needs a Testicular Exam and How Often?
  • How to Do a Testicular Exam
  • Is It Testicular Cancer?

What Is a Testicular Exam?

A testicular exam is a check of the look and feel of your testicles, to see if there may be any problems. You or your doctor can do it.

The testicles are part of a man’s sex organs. They’re in a pouch called the scrotum, located behind and below the penis. They make sperm and the male hormone testosterone.

Who Needs a Testicular Exam and How Often?

Every man should have a testicular exam. There is no recommendation that a testicular exam should be part of your annual physical exam. But your doctor may suggest that you do a self-exam on a regular basis. Some doctors recommend checking your testicles once a month. Others say it’s fine to have your doctor check once a year.

If you are having problems, or notice a lump or other changes in how your testicles feel or look, tell your doctor.

Exams can be a good way to find lumps that could be cancer or another problem.

How to Do a Testicular Exam

There’s no harm in a self-exam, and doctors say it’s good to know how your testicles look and feel so you can notice any changes.

A self-exam is quick and painless. It takes only a few simple steps:

  1. Take a warm shower or bath to allow the heat to relax the skin of your scrotum.
  2. Hold your penis out of the way.
  3. Examine one testicle at a time using both hands. Roll it between your thumb and fingers.
  4. Feel for a pea-sized lump. If you see or feel something like that, contact your doctor. It’s probably nothing to worry about, but it’s important you make note of it.
  5. Check for any changes in the size, shape, or feel of your testicles. One might be of a different shape or size than the other. That’s OK, but the shapes and sizes shouldn’t change. One might hang lower than the other. That’s normal, too.

Don’t worry if you feel a cordlike structure behind each testicle. It’s a normal part of the part of the scrotum that stores and moves sperm. It’s not a lump.

Is It Testicular Cancer?

If there is a suspicious lump, your doctor might run a painless ultrasound to get a better look for signs of cancer. They might do a blood test to see if there’s an indication of cancer. If the doctor thinks it may be cancerous, they may decide to do surgery to remove the testicle and check for cancer. If it is cancerous, they can determine what kind.

Removing one testicle shouldn’t impact your sex life or your fertility, but having testicular cancer or its treatment could impact fertility. If you think you may want to have children, talk to your doctor about preserving sperm before treatment.

Here are some facts to know about testicular cancer:

It’s rare: Your chance of getting it is about 1 in 250.

It most often affects men ages 15 to 34: It’s the most common cancer in this group.

It’s highly curable: The risk of dying from it is 1 in 5,000.

Early identification is key: It’s more likely to be treated and cured if it’s found early.

Some things increase your risk: Testicular cancer generally can’t be prevented, but some things increase risk. Your risk is higher if you’re white and non-Hispanic or have an undescended testicle or a family history of testicular cancer.

Other symptoms of testicular cancer

A lump is the most common symptom, but others include:

  • Firm testicle
  • Swelling or fluid buildup in the scrotum
  • Feeling of scrotal heaviness
  • Achiness in the lower belly, groin, or scrotum
  • Breast tenderness or growth
  • Pain or uncomfortable feelings in the testicle or scrotum
  • Back pain
  • Early puberty in boys

A lump or other symptom doesn’t mean you have cancer or any other problem.

Sources

Mayo Clinic: “Testicular exam: basics.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Testicular cancer and self-exam.”

American Cancer Society: “Testicular Cancer.” “Key Statistics for Testicular Cancer.”

National Cancer Institute: “Testicular Cancer Screening – Patient Version.”

Mayo Clinic: “Testicular Exam.”

American Cancer Society: “Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer,” “Fertility and Hormone Concerns in Boys and Men With Testicular Cancer.”

What is Testicular Self-Examination?

Testicular self-examination is when you check your testicles for any abnormalities. It is important to know what feels normal and to be able to notice any changes. Changes are not always cancer. If it is cancer and you catch it early, you have the best chance for a cure.

When To Perform Self-Exam

  • Boys can start these self-exams during their teens
  • Do a self-exam each month – it only takes a few minutes
  • Start right after a hot bath or shower, when the scrotal skin is most relaxed and the testes can be felt easily

How to Perform Self-Exam

  • Do the exam while standing
  • Look for swelling in the scrotum
  • Gently feel the scrotal sac to find a testicle
  • Check each testicle one at a time by firmly and gently rolling it between the thumb and fingers of both hands to feel the whole surface

Diagram of Male Reproductive Organs

Enlarge

  • It is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other
  • It is normal to feel a cord-like structure (called the epididymis) on the top and back of each testicle

Check with your health care provider:

  • If you find a small, hard lump (pea size)
  • If there is swelling, pain or soreness
  • If you see or feel any other changes

Explore Further

How to perform a testicular self exam

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Learn how they should feel so you can pick up on something suspicious

How to perform a testicular self exam

Finding a lump down there is one of the most terrifying things a guy can experience. But if the lump really is testicular cancer, catching it early could save your life.

Testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer, but your chances of beating it drop if it spreads before it’s diagnosed.

For example, 99 percent of men with localized testicular cancer—meaning it hasn’t spread from the testis—survive more than 5 years. But the rate drops to 74 percent once it spreads to distant organs, according to data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER).

Here’s how to be proactive about your own testicular health.

Should You Perform Regular Testicular Self Exams?

Currently, the U.S. Preventive Task Force recommends against routine testicular self exams.

A big part of that is because they believe that guys might be unnecessarily stressed out by finding things on the self exam that they think are harmful—but aren’t, says Tobias Kohler, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Urological Association and an associate professor of urology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

It’s possible that parts of your testicular anatomy—say, your spermatic cord or epididymis, the tube that connects your testicle to your vas deferens—might feel bumpy enough to freak you out, but they are perfectly normal, says Dr. Kohler.

At your next visit with your doctor, ask him or her to point them out to you so you know what they feel like.

Once you have these structures squared away, you should be able to pick up on any potentially problematic changes in your testicles, says Dr. Kohler.

That’s why many urology experts still believe it’s smart to check your balls.

In fact, Dr. Kohler and Men’s Health urology advisor Larry Lipshultz, M.D., both recommend you examine your testicles once a month. Here’s how to get started.

How Perform a Testicular Self Exam

The best place to give your testicles a once-over is in the shower.

That’s because the warmth will relax your scrotum and make it easier for you to feel any abnormalities, says Nicholas Cost, M.D., a urologist and assistant professor at the University of Colorado.

Start at the top of your left testicle. Hold it between your thumb and fingers of both hands, and gently roll it between your fingers as you move down. Repeat on the right side.

Be on the lookout for any hard lumps, smooth or rounded bumps, or unusual changes in the size, shape, and consistency of your testicle, Dr. Cost says.

You might not be able to feel a mass itself, but it could make your testicle feel very firm.

It can be scary to find something weird, but just know that not all irregularities you find on your self exam point definitively to testicular cancer, says Dr. Kohler.

For instance, if your testicles feel like what can only be described as a bag of worms, you might have varicoceles, or enlarged veins in your testicles.

You may also find innocuous bumps that are just cysts or the result of a testicular torsion, which is a painful condition where your testicle gets twisted and swells up.

Only your doctor can know for sure, though. So if you notice a bump or lump that feels different, suddenly appears, or just worries you, schedule an appointment with your urologist right away.

Additional reporting by Paige Fowler, Joelle Smith, and Erin Weaver.

Testicular Cancer: How To Do A Self-Exam

  • Posted: Monday, June 7, 2021

Your doctor might find signs of testicular cancer during a routine checkup. But another way to find it is through self-exams.

Should you check yourself?

Some experts recommend that men perform a monthly testicular self-exam. To be clear, self-exams haven’t been studied enough to know if they actually help prevent testicular cancer deaths, the American Cancer Society (ACS) reports. That’s why groups like ACS don’t weigh in for or against them.

But self-exams are one way to get to know what’s normal for your body. That can make it easier to notice any changes you’d want to ask your doctor about.

Regular self-exams may be especially important to consider if you are at increased risk for testicular cancer. This includes people who were born with an undescended testicle and people with a personal or family history of testicular cancer.

If you have questions, ask your doctor about your testicular cancer risk.

If you choose to do a testicular self-exam, follow these steps from ACS:

1. Do it during or after a warm bath or shower. The skin will be relaxed, and it will be easier to feel any changes.

2. Check each testicle one at a time. Hold the testicle between your thumbs and forefingers with both hands, and roll it gently between your fingers.

3. Look and feel for changes. Any of the following may be unusual:

•Hard lumps.
•Smooth, round masses.
•A change in the size, shape or consistency of your testicles.

What if you find something?

First, don’t jump to conclusions. The testicles contain blood vessels and tissues that are easy to mistake for abnormal growths, ACS notes. One example is the epididymis, a coiled tube on each testicle. This can feel like a small bump on the upper or middle outer side of the testicle.

It’s also normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other. Or sometimes a testicle can be enlarged due to noncancerous conditions, such as a hydrocele (a buildup of fluid around the testicle).

To find out what’s going on, it’s best to tell your doctor about anything unusual you find.

Today we’re going to examine ourselves. And by ourselves, I mean our balls. Why, you may be asking, are we examining our bits and pieces today? Well, testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young men between the ages of 20 and 34. It’s also is the number one cancer killer among men in this same age group. Who knew that the one thing two things that makes a man a man, can also be the very things that kill you?

The good news is that if detected early, testicular cancer is almost always curable. But in order to detect cancer, you need to know what to look for and also how to look for it.

Do I Need Regular Testicular Self-Exams?

Most health professionals recommend all men between the ages of 15 and 40 have regular testicular exams performed by a doctor. This is usually done once a year at your yearly physical.

If you have a history of testicular cancer in your family or if you had undescended testicles as a baby, it’s recommended that you perform monthly self-exams. Studies have shown that male children with a history of undescended testicles have about 10-40 times higher risk of developing testicular cancer. And here’s the kicker: both testes are at higher risk, not just the undescended one. If you don’t know if you had an undescended testicle, ask your parents.

The American Cancer Society doesn’t recommend that men who have no risk of testicular cancer perform regular monthly self-exams. But even if you aren’t at a high risk for testicular cancer, it doesn’t hurt to examine yourself every now and then. It’s fast, painless, and will give you peace of mind to know that everything is fine under the hood.

Today’s Task: Give Yourself a Testicular Exam

I’m sure that many of you are still trying to complete yesterday’s task and are hard at work memorizing If. So today’s task is simple, straightforward, and quick. You’re going to give yourself a testicular exam. Here’s how to do it:

It’s best to perform the exam right after a hot shower when the scrotal muscles are warm and relaxed. You know… when your balls are saggy.

1. Stand in front of a mirror and check for any swelling on the scrotum’s skin.

2. Exam each testicle with both hands by rolling the testicle gently but firmly between your thumb and fingers. Don’t worry if one testicle feels larger than the other. That’s completely normal. Fast fact: A man’s left testicle is usually larger than the right one. While you’re rolling each testicle in your hands, look for hard lumps on the surface of it.

3. Don’t confuse the epididymis for a lump. The epididymis is the spongy, tube-like structure that collects and carries your sperm to the prostate. You can feel the epididymis on the top and down the back side of each testicle. This isn’t the sort of lump you’re looking for.

4. If you notice any sort of hard lump on your testicle, don’t freak out yet. Just contact your doctor immediately. Complete and accurate diagnosis can only be performed by a trained medical physician.

Other things to look for

In addition to lumps on the surface of your testes, be on the look out for these signs of other problems:

  • Sudden acute pain during the self-examination could mean you have an infection in the epididymis or it could mean the spermatic chord is twisted up and blocking blood flow to your testicles. If you feel pain during the exam, go see the doctor.
  • You feel a soft collection of thin tubes above or behind your testicles. It’s often described as feeling like a “bag of worms.” This may indicate a varicocele.

Did you know April is Testicular Cancer Awareness month? In honor, we thought we’d go over what testicular cancer is, the symptoms and how to do a self-exam.

At many of our school cancer education outreaches , we are sometimes approached privately by young men who are concerned with some aspect of their genitalia. Something doesn’t seem right but they are not really sure what is normal.

So, along with providing information about healthy breasts and performing breast self-exams, we also provide health information about testicular self-exams, including hands-on instruction using testicular models.

What is Testicular Cancer?

While relatively rare, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15-35. Self-exams can really pay off because testicular cancer, when detected early, has a nearly 99% survival rate.

This type of cancer occurs in the testicles, which are located inside the scrotum. The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm.

How to perform a testicular self examPHOTO CREDIT: Male_anatomy.png: alt.sex FAQderivative work: Tsaitgaist (talk) – *[[:File:Male_anatomy.png|Male_anatomy.png], CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

How Does A Testicular Self-Examination Help?

Simple self-exam techniques can help you learn how your testicles normally look and feel so that you can become aware of any changes that happen over time. Generally speaking, the more you know about what’s normal for your body, the more likely you are to get ahead of many health issues, not just cancer. Testicular exams just take about 5 mins of your time, once a month, and can help to identify this cancer at its earliest stage.

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

A lump or swelling on the testicle is usually the first symptom. It’s important to note that you may not have pain with this lump or swelling, but it may still be cancer.

Other symptoms include:

  • a feeling of weight in the scrotum
  • Pain or a dull ache in the testicle, scrotum or groin
  • Tenderness or changes in the male breast tissue

How To Do A Testicular Exam

The shower is the best place to perform a self-exam, since the steam relaxes your scrotum and makes it easier to feel around.

But, before you shower (or just after!) take a moment to stand in front of a mirror (best way) or just look down and check for any swelling on the scrotal skin. Here’s some tips:

  • Check one testicle at a time
  • Hold your testicle between your thumbs and fingers of both hands and roll it gently between your fingers to feel inside.
  • Most men’s testicles are about the same size, though it’s common for one to be slightly bigger than the other. It’s also common for one testicle to hang lower than the other.
  • The testicles should feel smooth, without any lumps or bumps, and firm but not hard. You may feel a soft, coiled tube at the back of each testicle, which is called the epididymis, and it is perfectly normal.
  • Normal testicles also contain blood vessels and supporting tissues. Some men may confuse these with abnormal lumps at first. If you have any concerns, ask your doctor.
  • You should not feel any pain when performing the self-exam. Be aware of any dull soreness or heaviness. The testicles should be smooth and firm to the touch.
  • MOST IMPORTANT STEP: If you notice hard lumps, smooth or rounded bumps, changes in shape, size, or consistency, contact a qualified medical professional as soon as possible. A urologist is the best type of doctor to make an accurate diagnosis, but if you feel more comfortable with your primary care provider, start with them. And if you don’t feel comfortable at all, give us a call and we will help you through this. (link to our contact/email)
  • It can be scary to find a lump in your testes! In fact, many men who find one wait several months before seeking medical assistance. This is a bad idea. Testicular cancer will not go away on its own. Remember, know health care providers—males and females—are very familiar with male reproductive anatomy and issues that come up. You don’t have to be embarrassed or scared or think that you are the only person who has this. Chances are, your health care provider deals with this on a daily basis.

For more information, including a video and simple instructions on performing testicle exams, check out these these short videos:


How to start a family trust

How to start a family trust

How to start a family trust


What is a Family Trust?
A family trust is a trust established specifically for the benefit of members of a particular family. The purpose of creating a family trust is to protect and manage family assets for current and / or future generations.

Trust Property

In order to appreciate the many benefits that family trusts can provide, it is important to note that the trustees become the legal owners of the trust property once it is settled onto the trust by the settlor(s) for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

7 Reasons To Set Up A Family Trust

There are many reasons to set up a family trust, including:

1. Creditor Protection

Property transferred to the trust is no longer owned by the settlor (or the beneficiaries) and therefore should not be subject to claims from future creditors, provided certain conditions are met at the time of settlement. With creditor protection in place, the settlor may decide to undertake a higher risk occupation or venture with no risk over the trust assets.

2. Protecting Against Relationship Property Claims

Under certain circumstances, if you gift assets to your children during your lifetime, these assets may become available to their partners under relationship property laws should their relationship end. By placing these assets in a trust instead of directly in the name of your children, your children can continue to receive the benefit of those assets without the assets forming part of their personal property and therefore not subject to claims from partners.

Furthermore, if you are married or in a de facto or civil union relationship, it is likely that part of your assets will be relationship property. Should you separate from your partner, the relationship property must be divided between the two of you. By transferring family property to a family trust, the assets become assets of the trust rather than your personal property and may therefore be protected from relationship property claims, subject to applicable relationship laws.

3. Protecting Family with Illness or Special Needs

A family trust may be used to provide for children or other family members who require medical care or have special needs, or who are unable to manage their own affairs through either age or infirmity. Provisions can be made in the trust to protect against other family members who may intend to assume control of the family assets for themselves, following the death of the settlor.

4. Protecting Against Spendthrift Beneficiaries

Trusts can provide for long-term protection of family assets where you have concerns about how certain family members manage their own financial affairs. The income or capital needs of family members can be provided for through the trust as their needs arise rather than handing over your assets to your children who may dispose of them in a reckless manner thus leaving them in poor financial standing in the long term.

5. Flexibility to React to Change in Law

Modern trust deeds usually include provisions which allow variation of the trusts in order to deal with changes in law.

6. Succession Planning for the Family Business

For more details on this area please see our previous post Succession Planning for Family Businesses.

7. Estate Planning

As mentioned above, subject to applicable bankruptcy and family law provisions, assets settled on a trust no longer form part of the settlor’s estate upon his or her death.

Planning Your Trust

When developing your wealth planning objectives, you must first decide whether a trust is suitable vehicle to meet your objectives. Careful consideration should then be given to how the trust is established and how it will be managed going forward. Failure to apply the appropriate diligence to the specifics of the trust and to obtain jurisdiction-specific professional advice may result in the purpose of the trust being defeated.

Trust Funds 101

If you’ve heard of trust funds but don’t know what they are or how they work, you’re not alone. Many people know just one key fact about trust funds: they’re set up by the wealthy as a way to protect passing on significant sums of money to family, friends, or entities (charities, for example) after they pass away.

However, only part of the conventional wisdom is true. Trust funds are designed to allow a person’s money to continue to be used in specific ways after they pass away, and to avoid their estate going through probate court (a time-consuming and expensive legal process). But trusts aren’t only useful for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, the middle-class can use trust funds as well, where setting one up isn’t out of financial reach.

How To Set Up A Trust Fund If You’re Not Rich

Key Takeaways

  • Trust funds are designed to allow a person’s money to continue to be useful well after they pass away. You can place cash, stock, real estate, or other valuable assets in your trust.
  • A traditional irrevocable trust will likely cost a minimum of a few thousand dollars and could cost much more.

The Mechanics of Trust Funds

To understand how a trust fund operates, let’s look at an example. You’ve worked hard all of your life and have built up a comfortable savings cushion. You know that sometime in the future you’re going to pass away, and you want your hard-earned savings to go to the people you love or the charities or causes that you believe in.

Now, what about loved ones who are not as financially savvy as you? You could be concerned about leaving them a lump-sum gift because they might use it irresponsibly.

Furthermore, you may even like to see your money carry over for generations to come. If this is how you feel, then you should set up a living irrevocable trust fund. This type of trust can be set up to begin dispersing funds when certain conditions are met. There is no stipulation that you cannot be alive when that happens.

You can place cash, stock, real estate, or other valuable assets in your trust. You meet with an attorney and decide on the beneficiaries and set stipulations. Maybe you say that the beneficiaries receive a monthly payment, can only use the funds for education expenses, expenses due to an injury or disability, or the purchase of a home. It’s your money, so you get to decide.

Eligibility for Need-Based Financial Aid

Although the trust is irrevocable, the money is not the property of the person receiving it.   Because of this, a child applying for financial aid would not have to claim these funds as assets. As a result, there will be no impact on eligibility for need-based financial aid. The trustor can also establish trusts for future generations of children, making the trust a lasting legacy for an indefinite number of generations.

Because it’s irrevocable, you don’t have the option of later dissolving the trust fund. Once you place assets in the trust, they are no longer yours. They are under the care of a trustee. A trustee is a bank, attorney, or other entity set up for this purpose.  

Since the assets are no longer yours, you don’t have to pay income tax on any money made from the assets. Also, with proper planning, the assets can be exempt from estate and gift taxes.

These tax exemptions are a primary reason that some people set up an irrevocable trust. If you, the trustor (the person establishing the trust) is in a higher income tax bracket, setting up the irrevocable trust allows you to remove these assets from your net worth and move into a lower tax bracket.

Trust Fund Drawback: Fees

There are some downsides to setting up a trust. The biggest downside is attorney fees. Think of a trust as a human in the eyes of tax law. This new person has to pay taxes and the mechanics of the trust have to be written with an extraordinary amount of detail. To make it as tax-efficient as possible, it has to be crafted by somebody who has a lot of specialized legal and financial knowledge.

Trust attorneys are expensive. A traditional irrevocable trust will likely cost a minimum of a few thousand dollars and could cost much more.

Other Options

If you don’t want to set up a trust fund, there are other options, but none of these leave you, the trustor, with as much control over your assets as a trust.

Wills

Writing a will costs much less money, but your property is subject to more taxes and the terms can easily be contested in a process called probate. Additionally, you won’t have as much control over how your assets are used. If the will is contested, attorney fees could eat up a large portion of the money that you wanted to see used in a way that would benefit others.

UGMA/UTMA Custodial Accounts

Similar to a 529 college-savings plan, these types of accounts are designed to place money in custodial accounts that allow a person to use the funds for education-related expenses. You could use an account like this to gift a certain amount up to the maximum gift tax or fund maximum to reduce your tax liability while setting aside funds that can only be used for education-related expenses.    

The disadvantages to UGMA/UTMA Custodial Accounts and 529 plans is that the beneficiary may be attending college, but using these funds for other expenses outside of your control. Furthermore, the amount of money in the minor’s custodial account is considered an asset, and that may make them ineligible to receive need-based financial aid.

The Bottom Line

For those who don’t have a high net-worth but wish to leave money to children or grandchildren and control how that money is used, a trust may be right for you; it’s not just available to high-net-worth individuals, and it offers a way for trustors to protect their assets long after they pass on.

How to Make a Family Trust

Creating a family trust is an effective way of managing family assets. There are two common types of family trusts: revocable and irrevocable living trusts. When someone sets up a revocable living trust, they transfer assets into the trust for the purpose of benefiting those to whom the assets ultimately pass, called the beneficiaries. After the creator of a revocable living trust passes away, the assets may remain in the trust for a period of time, such as until the beneficiaries reach adulthood or some other age as designated in the trust agreement, or the assets may be distributed directly to the beneficiaries. The creator can retain complete control over the assets of the trust while they are alive and can revoke the trust or amend its terms and conditions at any time.

How to start a family trust

Assets placed in an irrevocable living trust, on the other hand, may not be removed. Further, the terms and conditions of the trust are difficult to modify after its creation. Families may consider an irrevocable living trust for an adult child with mental or physical disabilities, for example. However, families should know ahead of time that once an irrevocable living trust is funded, it is typically permanent.

Here are the important steps to follow to create either kind of family trust.

1. Decide what kind of trust you want.

For most families, a revocable living trust suits their particular needs. It is much less common to create an irrevocable living trust.

2. Decide which assets to put into the trust.

Many people choose to place all their assets in the family trust. This approach is fine for most people, however, it is not the best choice for all families and all situations. Consider, for example, a couple on their second marriage. They may wish to each have a revocable living trust funded with assets they possessed prior to the marriage and that have been identified as premarital assets in a prenuptial agreement. They may wish to have a second revocable living trust funded with their joint assets.

3. Identify the trustee and beneficiaries.

The trustee is the person in charge of managing the assets in the trust. If you are setting up a revocable living trust, you may name yourself as the trustee. This allows you to manage the assets, including making decisions about selling them, while you are still alive. You also need to name a successor trustee to take over managing the assets after your passing.

Next, consider the individuals or organizations that you would like to inherit your assets when you pass away. If you are setting up an irrevocable living trust to provide funds for the care of your disabled child after you are gone, identify that child as the beneficiary. If you are planning for the transition of assets to your adult children when you are no longer around, identify them as the beneficiaries.

4. Define the parameters.

Perhaps you wish to have your daughter inherit twice as much as your son, or perhaps you want one child to have the beach house and the other to have the family home. Maybe you want to place restrictions on the trust, such as that the money isn’t distributed until the beneficiary reaches the age of 50. Whatever conditions you wish to impose, decide these now.

5. Select a name for your trust.

Most people set up their family trust using the family name, such as the Funk Family Trust. This makes transferring assets easier.

6. Create the trust document.

You may wish to consult with an estate planning attorney or an online service provider when you create your trust agreement. In either event, you should know that merely intending to place your assets into a trust is not considered legally sufficient. The paperwork must be drawn up, signed, and witnessed consistent with the laws of the state in which you create the trust.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

Learn about the nature of a trust, and the basics of how one is set up.

by Edward A. Haman, Esq.
updated July 21, 2021 · 4 min read

A living trust can be a vital part of your estate planning process, and they’re easy to set up.

How to start a family trust

What a Trust Is

A trust is a way of holding and managing property, whereby the person setting up the trust (called the grantor, settlor, or trustor) transfers property to a trustee, who manages the property for the benefit of others (called beneficiaries).

A trust is used as part of a comprehensive estate plan, along with other documents such as a will, power of attorney, and healthcare power of attorney.

To better understand trusts, it helps to know a few basic terms:

  • Living trust. A trust that is set up while the grantor is alive (also known as an inter vivos trust).
  • Testamentary trust. A trust that is set up by the grantor’s last will and testament.
  • Revocable trust. A living trust that the grantor may change or cancel at any time.
  • Irrevocable trust. A living trust that the grantor may not change or cancel.
  • Trust agreement. The legal document that sets up a trust. It is sometimes called a Declaration of Trust; however, the title on the document may simply read “The Jones Family Trust,” or something similar. It sets forth the names of the grantor, the trustee, and the beneficiaries. It also states how the trustee should distribute the income from trust assets while the grantor is alive, and how the assets or income should be distributed to the beneficiaries after the grantor’s death.

Why to Set Up a Trust

A trust is set up to achieve certain benefits that cannot be achieved with a will. These can include:

  • Avoiding probate
  • Avoiding or delaying taxes
  • Protecting your assets from creditors of both you and your beneficiaries
  • Maintaining privacy regarding your assets
  • Exercising greater control over your assets than might be achieved with an ordinary will
  • Allowing you to qualify for certain benefits, such as Medicaid for long-term care
  • Providing financial support for a person with a disability, while allowing the person to receive government disability benefits

If you are looking to achieve one or more of these goals, you should consider setting up a trust.

Do You Need a Will or a Living Trust?

A will and a living trust do not serve exactly the same function. Depending upon your situation, you may only need a will. But if you decide that you need a living trust, you will also need a will. It’s important to know which choice is better for you.

How to Set Up a Trust

Setting up a trust is a two-step process:

1. Creating the Trust Agreement

The grantor creates a trust agreement, which is a legal document that designates the grantor, the trustee, and the beneficiaries, and outlines how the trust assets are to be managed and distributed. Part of this step is deciding who you want to name as beneficiaries, how you want the trust income and assets distributed to them, and who you want to name as trustee (or trustees).

2. Funding the Trust

The second step, called funding the trust, is for the grantor to transfer assets to the trust. A trust agreement is worthless unless the trust is funded. How this is done depends upon the nature of the property:

  • Real estate. To transfer real estate, the grantor executes a deed that transfers the title to the property to the trust.
  • Personal property with a title document. Some assets, such motor vehicles, boats, RVs, airplanes, and mobile homes (also known as modular or manufactured homes) have some type of title document, which can be transferred to the trust. This can also be done with stocks and bonds.
  • Other personal property. All other property without a title document can be transferred by simply writing a description of the property on a piece of paper (such as “all of my household goods,” or “my coin collection”), and making a note that it is being transferred to the trust.

How Long Does It Takes to Set Up a Trust?

In general, it is possible to set up a functioning trust in a few days to a couple of weeks. If a lawyer creates your trust, the time will vary depending upon how quickly you can get an appointment, how quickly you can get the required information submitted, and how long it takes the lawyer to create the trust agreement and take any action needed to fund the trust. If you create your own trust, the time will also vary according to how quickly you can become educated about trusts.

How Much It Costs to Set Up a Trust?

If a lawyer sets up your trust, it will likely cost from $1,000 to $7,000, depending upon the complexity of your financial situation. For example, some situations might require a revocable trust for some assets, and an irrevocable trust for other assets. A comprehensive estate plan (which may include a will, power of attorney, living will, healthcare power of attorney, and changing how some assets are owned) will cost more than a single trust document.

While you can make a trust by yourself—using self-help books or online guides—often, creating a trust document is confusing and complex. Having the right support, either through an online service or attorney review of your trust, can give you the confidence you need to know you’re setting it up correctly.

A family trust is an essential tool of estate planning. One of the most common reasons for starting a family trust is to spare your family from having to go through probate to inherit your estate. Probate can be a long, drawn-out, expensive, and even contentious process. Another common reason for creating a family trust is to reduce your family’s tax burden when inheriting your assets. The two most common types of family trust are revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. A revocable trust is a family trust whose terms can be changed and can even be dissolved at the discretion of the creator, or “Settlor,” of the trust. However, an irrevocable trust is a trust whose terms are irreversible and can never be dissolved once the trust is created. These are the main differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts. Now we shall discuss how to start a family trust.

Decide Who Your Trustee and Beneficiaries Will Be

It is within your rights to nominate yourself as the trustee of your trust. As the trustee is tasked with managing a trust, you may not feel comfortable handing over the management of your assets to a third party while you are still alive. If so, you will have to nominate a successor trustee who will manage the estate if you become incapacitated or pass away.

You will also need to decide who your beneficiaries will be. Your beneficiaries need not be family members. You are free to nominate whoever you like to be your beneficiary. You should also consider what will happen if any of your beneficiaries passes away. For instance, if you select your children as beneficiaries and one of them dies, their share can be distributed to their surviving siblings.

Decide How Your Trust Will Be Funded

Funding your trust means that you transfer the ownership of some or all of your assets to your trust. You will have to do an inventory of all your assets. This will give you a picture of what you are worth and what you can leave behind. Until you have transferred ownership of your assets to your trust, your trust will be unfunded, and your family will have to go through probate.

Draft Your Trust Document

The first thing you have to do is define what the terms of your trust will be. The terms will state what assets you are distributing, how they should be distributed, who your trustee and beneficiaries are, and any other important terms for you. You may choose to place restrictions on the distribution of assets. For instance, if you are leaving something to a minor, you can restrict their access or management of their portion of the estate until they are old enough to manage their share themselves. You have to think through various scenarios to ensure that there are a few problems as possible when it comes time to distribute your assets.

The trust document must be signed and witnessed before it can come into effect. Otherwise, it will not be legally binding.

Get more information and start your family trust today!

Jacob Maslow

The senior editor of Legal Scoops, Jacob Maslow, has founded several online newspapers including Daily Forex Report and Conservative Free Press

Outgoing leaders must clear a path — with candor and communication — for the next leader.

I have written much about the advice I give family business owners as they seek to transition their business to the next generation. Often, the focus is on the process surrounding the business founder’s decision on picking their next successor and the response of their family to these choices.

But transitions aren’t successful the moment the leader concludes, closes their laptop and hits the beach. What comes after ultimately decides the fate of the business. The new leader — be it a family member or an outsider — may have been given the blessing of their predecessor, but to truly lead, they must first earn the trust of the team. Legacy employees — many of whom may have known the new family leader since he or she was a child — are often reluctant to have blind faith and trust in them. The same goes for newer staff members who may have little to no connection to the new leader. Trust is earned, not given.

But how does a new leader earn the trust of their employees? A study at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management called “The Trust Project” identified three characteristics needed to gain trust: competence, honesty and benevolence. In short, your team wants to know you have the skills, integrity and empathy to do the job, make decisions that are best for the company and support your team.

In my experience as a family business consultant, making assumptions a “known” individual will be implicitly trusted is erroneous. Being a known quantity, in fact, can work against a new leader. When the team has been around this person for several years, they have seen their setbacks, failures and warts. While it may be hard to trust an outsider, an insider can’t be complacent. They must be intentional in demonstrating their abilities and leadership presence, proving to the team that despite their failings, they are the right person for the job.

Laying the groundwork for trust, however, starts long before the transition. So, let’s rewind a bit.

Before a new leader can earn trust on their own, the right environment must be set by the current leader before his or her departure. Naming a successor is only the first step. Paving the way for them to succeed is the most important job of the outgoing leader. The process should start early — months at least, but years in a perfect world (especially in the case of a family member being groomed for leadership). Of course, gaining trust will mostly be the responsibility of that new leader, but paving the path for them to succeed is essential, and boils down to four major concepts:

Communication

Once a leader has chosen a successor, openly communicating these intentions to the team is key. Don’t underestimate the anxiety created in a company when there are numerous closed-door meetings, or when the owner is around less frequently but no one in a leadership role is being transparent as to what decisions about the future are being made. If employees think you are hiding something (and they can sense it, trust me), they will become suspicious of the new leader. After all, if you trust this person to take over the business, what’s to hide? You must find the “right” time to tell the team. Too early, and some might jump ship. Too late, and it will seem like you’re pulling the bait and switch. The situation for each business is different, but make sure you make the announcement with enough time for the team to get accustomed to the change before it happens.

Empowerment

Prior to the transition, it is imperative that the incoming leader be given leadership responsibilities. This will give them a chance to demonstrate their worth, and a buffer zone to allow for learning and development. Additionally, it will allow the team to get used to the new leader making decisions, rather than an abrupt change.

Respect

The team ostensibly trusts you, the current leader, and will look to you for acceptance of the new leader. Treating the incoming leader with respect will go a long way to ensure the team will respect and trust them as well. Lead by example.

Honesty

The chances that the incoming leader is already perfectly set up to succeed are slim to none. As the predecessor, you must give them honest feedback so they can learn and grow and be prepared when the time comes. Many of my clients have a difficult time with this since the new leader is often their child. But without this respectful but “tough love,” you are essentially setting up your child for failure, something no parent, and no business leader wants to do.

Leaders aren’t made, they are grown. As the outgoing leader of a company, you must do everything in your power to foster that growth and clear a path for success.

Outgoing leaders must clear a path — with candor and communication — for the next leader.

I have written much about the advice I give family business owners as they seek to transition their business to the next generation. Often, the focus is on the process surrounding the business founder’s decision on picking their next successor and the response of their family to these choices.

But transitions aren’t successful the moment the leader concludes, closes their laptop and hits the beach. What comes after ultimately decides the fate of the business. The new leader — be it a family member or an outsider — may have been given the blessing of their predecessor, but to truly lead, they must first earn the trust of the team. Legacy employees — many of whom may have known the new family leader since he or she was a child — are often reluctant to have blind faith and trust in them. The same goes for newer staff members who may have little to no connection to the new leader. Trust is earned, not given.

But how does a new leader earn the trust of their employees? A study at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management called “The Trust Project” identified three characteristics needed to gain trust: competence, honesty and benevolence. In short, your team wants to know you have the skills, integrity and empathy to do the job, make decisions that are best for the company and support your team.

In my experience as a family business consultant, making assumptions a “known” individual will be implicitly trusted is erroneous. Being a known quantity, in fact, can work against a new leader. When the team has been around this person for several years, they have seen their setbacks, failures and warts. While it may be hard to trust an outsider, an insider can’t be complacent. They must be intentional in demonstrating their abilities and leadership presence, proving to the team that despite their failings, they are the right person for the job.

Laying the groundwork for trust, however, starts long before the transition. So, let’s rewind a bit.

Before a new leader can earn trust on their own, the right environment must be set by the current leader before his or her departure. Naming a successor is only the first step. Paving the way for them to succeed is the most important job of the outgoing leader. The process should start early — months at least, but years in a perfect world (especially in the case of a family member being groomed for leadership). Of course, gaining trust will mostly be the responsibility of that new leader, but paving the path for them to succeed is essential, and boils down to four major concepts:

Communication

Once a leader has chosen a successor, openly communicating these intentions to the team is key. Don’t underestimate the anxiety created in a company when there are numerous closed-door meetings, or when the owner is around less frequently but no one in a leadership role is being transparent as to what decisions about the future are being made. If employees think you are hiding something (and they can sense it, trust me), they will become suspicious of the new leader. After all, if you trust this person to take over the business, what’s to hide? You must find the “right” time to tell the team. Too early, and some might jump ship. Too late, and it will seem like you’re pulling the bait and switch. The situation for each business is different, but make sure you make the announcement with enough time for the team to get accustomed to the change before it happens.

Empowerment

Prior to the transition, it is imperative that the incoming leader be given leadership responsibilities. This will give them a chance to demonstrate their worth, and a buffer zone to allow for learning and development. Additionally, it will allow the team to get used to the new leader making decisions, rather than an abrupt change.

Respect

The team ostensibly trusts you, the current leader, and will look to you for acceptance of the new leader. Treating the incoming leader with respect will go a long way to ensure the team will respect and trust them as well. Lead by example.

Honesty

The chances that the incoming leader is already perfectly set up to succeed are slim to none. As the predecessor, you must give them honest feedback so they can learn and grow and be prepared when the time comes. Many of my clients have a difficult time with this since the new leader is often their child. But without this respectful but “tough love,” you are essentially setting up your child for failure, something no parent, and no business leader wants to do.

Leaders aren’t made, they are grown. As the outgoing leader of a company, you must do everything in your power to foster that growth and clear a path for success.

Date: Jan 09 2018

How to start a family trust

What is a Private Family Trust Company?

A private family trust company (PFTC) is a state-chartered entity designed to provide fiduciary services to members of a family. PFTC is distinct from a “family office” in that it can serve as a fiduciary under state law.

Private family trust companies can take on many responsibilities commonly performed by the family office, including investment and financial management, accounting, and recordkeeping. They can also operate separately from the family office, while still relying on it for administrative and back office support through a service contract.

Private Family Trust Company Advantages

Every family has its own reasons for establishing a PFTC, but some of the primary advantages include:

  1. A permanent trustee that can adapt to changing family dynamics over time, as opposed to an individual trustee, which oftentimes presents succession concerns.
  2. Consistency and continuity of a trustee that is knowledgeable about the family. Since the PFTC serves as trustee and the board of directors includes several trusted advisors with, ideally, differing ages/tenures, it preserves an advantageous “institutional memory.”
  3. Enhanced flexibility and control over decision making. Families can choose board members, draft policies and procedures, structure the organization to suit their needs, obtain voting power for important decisions, and arrange the distribution process to their liking.
  4. The ability to contribute to the investment and asset management process through participation on the investment committee of the PFTC. In addition, families can be more involved in the drafting of the investment and asset management policies and procedures. This level of involvement is unlike that of a traditional trustee.
  5. Acting through directors/officers and errors/omissions insurance provides increased liability protection for decision makers. In addition, in regulated states, it is more difficult to pierce the corporate veil.
  6. Better decision-making with respect to closely held and family owned assets by involving multiple trusted advisors, including lawyers, accountants, investment managers, and others who are intimately familiar with family assets.
  7. Greater control over trustee fees and costs through ownership, involvement, and decision making in the PFTC.
  8. Enhanced privacy. The family has more control over the PFTC and the disbursement of information. A large institution is not involved in the day-to-day administration, and there are fewer people privy to family issues and concerns. In addition, some states have laws that reflect this privacy concern. South Dakota, for example, has a total seal forever upon filing of all trust documents.
  9. Ability to integrate the next generation in administration of the family enterprise through involvement in board meetings, committees, and decision making. This level of involvement is unlike that of a traditional trustee situation where family involvement can be somewhat limited.

Families that utilize a family office structure are well-equipped to transition to a PFTC structure. The families can choose their long-time trusted advisors to run the private family trust company, all while concurrently integrating the next generation into the family’s wealth planning and management.

How to write a critical essay

In college you are often asked to write a critical essay about a work of literature or a social or political issue. Before you write, you will need to compose a thesis statement that clearly and specifically declares your position. The rest of the essay will provide critical analysis and evidence to support and prove the thesis.

Prewrite

Before writing the essay, you should brainstorm on the topic to get ideas for the content. Methods of brainstorming include free writing, cluster maps and lists. The value of brainstorming lies in having a judgment-free space to put down everything that comes to mind in relation to the essay’s prompt. If you don’t yet have a thesis statement, this process can help you formulate your thesis, and if you already have a focus, brainstorming can give you ideas for the reasons and analysis you will provide.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement of your critical essay poses your main argument and provides readers with a snapshot of the rest of the essay. According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, it also “tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.” Therefore, your thesis statement should connect to a larger issue and communicate the significance of its point. For example, you can write: “If we stop using factory farming to produce food then we can save money in health care costs and save lives in the future.”

Critical Analysis

A key element of a critical essay is critical thinking: analysis, reflection and explanation of the issue. John Carroll University states that a critical essay involves “evaluating information, theories or situations” and “analyzing information, posing questions and challenging information.” Since the thesis is driving the essay, the analysis should directly support the essay’s single main idea. Forms of analysis include explaining how things happen, why they happen, who they affect and why they matter.

Examples

The analysis in your essay should be fortified with evidence. Specific examples from the real world allow the reader to see how something has or has not worked in the past and help explain the paper’s concepts and arguments. Evidence can be quotations and passages from a text, statistics, charts or anecdotes. After you provide a specific example, explain how it relates to the main idea of the paragraph as well as the overall thesis statement of the essay.

  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center: Thesis Statements
  • John Carroll University : What Is a Critical Essay?

Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.

A critical essay aims to give writers a chance to improve their critical writing abilities. Moreover, the paper written should trigger the reader’s mind provocative reason, and ultimately get to know how to write a critical analysis essay. In addition, a writer for a critical essay is advised to base their reasoning within a specified theme that could be from a book or film, or even a broader scale. Critical writing needs a strong capability to consider what the creative author or film director aimed to express to their original audience and give a logical explanation that new audiences can understand.

What is the Meaning of Critical Essay?

A critical essay comprises an evaluation of a matter from an observer’s perspective and carefully analyzing the situation and providing a critique that will give substantial information based on the aspect or subject in question. In your essay, you can choose to be either positive or negative in the essay being written. A critical essay is an essential academic instrument that enables the students to develop both their subjective and in-depth investigation of a provided topic.

Critical writing has several goals which include;

  • Giving an independent perception of the initial writer or a director’s work
  • Giving all-round scrutiny of the reliability of the original author’s work
  • Giving a complete valuation of the creative author’s work and ability to preserve and offer care to their chief argument or perception.
  • Giving the audience an insight into the fortes and faults of an article or a journal entry
  • Providing critique to an original writer’s work

7 Main Steps to Write a Critical Essay

It may seem as a complicated form of writing when it comes to writing a critical essay but be rest assured it is easy. Below is the step by step guidelines to writing a well-structured critical essay that is captivating to the target audience.

  1. Have a deep understanding of what is required of you: find clarification in instances that you might feel uncertain.
  2. With the source material available, develop a reliable understanding of it: the source material can be from a book or a film among other forms of media. With the excerpt provided, try working with it as your source material and it is advisable to read or review the source material several times.
  3. Write down notes as you assess the source material: this helps craft a top-notch critical paper by taking notes of the main ides or concepts originating from the original creator’s work.
  4. Bring to light the primary challenges or patterns that are under critique: after careful review of the text or film, identifying prevailing new challenges will help provide a critique to areas of concern
  5. Realize solutions to all problems identified: offering solutions to all problems identified are essential, and a summary of this could be used as your thesis statement.
  6. Come up with a well-structured outline that will help develop the critical essay and have a logical flow of ideas, the more information used within the plan, the direct the description of the writing process.
  7. Write your essay using the rough draft you created for your specified topic of discussion.

How to write a critical essay

Hill Street Studios / Getty Images

How to write a critical essay

  • B.A., American Studies, Yale University

A critical essay is a form of academic writing that analyzes, interprets, and/or evaluates a text. In a critical essay, an author makes a claim about how particular ideas or themes are conveyed in a text, then supports that claim with evidence from primary and/or secondary sources.

In casual conversation, we often associate the word “critical” with a negative perspective. However, in the context of a critical essay, the word “critical” simply means discerning and analytical. Critical essays analyze and evaluate the meaning and significance of a text, rather than making a judgment about its content or quality.

What Makes an Essay “Critical”?

Imagine you’ve just watched the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” If you were chatting with friends in the movie theater lobby, you might say something like, “Charlie was so lucky to find a Golden Ticket. That ticket changed his life.” A friend might reply, “Yeah, but Willy Wonka shouldn’t have let those raucous kids into his chocolate factory in the first place. They caused a big mess.”

These comments make for an enjoyable conversation, but they do not belong in a critical essay. Why? Because they respond to (and pass judgment on) the raw content of the movie, rather than analyzing its themes or how the director conveyed those themes.

On the other hand, a critical essay about “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” might take the following topic as its thesis: “In ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,’ director Mel Stuart intertwines money and morality through his depiction of children: the angelic appearance of Charlie Bucket, a good-hearted boy of modest means, is sharply contrasted against the physically grotesque portrayal of the wealthy, and thus immoral, children.”

This thesis includes a claim about the themes of the film, what the director seems to be saying about those themes, and what techniques the director employs in order to communicate his message. In addition, this thesis is both supportable and disputable using evidence from the film itself, which means it’s a strong central argument for a critical essay.

Characteristics of a Critical Essay

Critical essays are written across many academic disciplines and can have wide-ranging textual subjects: films, novels, poetry, video games, visual art, and more. However, despite their diverse subject matter, all critical essays share the following characteristics.

  1. Central claim. All critical essays contain a central claim about the text. This argument is typically expressed at the beginning of the essay in a thesis statement, then supported with evidence in each body paragraph. Some critical essays bolster their argument even further by including potential counterarguments, then using evidence to dispute them.
  2. Evidence. The central claim of a critical essay must be supported by evidence. In many critical essays, most of the evidence comes in the form of textual support: particular details from the text (dialogue, descriptions, word choice, structure, imagery, et cetera) that bolster the argument. Critical essays may also include evidence from secondary sources, often scholarly works that support or strengthen the main argument.
  3. Conclusion. After making a claim and supporting it with evidence, critical essays offer a succinct conclusion. The conclusion summarizes the trajectory of the essay’s argument and emphasizes the essays’ most important insights.

Tips for Writing a Critical Essay

Writing a critical essay requires rigorous analysis and a meticulous argument-building process. If you’re struggling with a critical essay assignment, these tips will help you get started.

In this guide you will find:

  • What is a Critical Essay
  • Step by Step Guide to Writing a Critical Paper
  • Various Types of Critical Essays
  • Critical Essay Structure

What is a Critical Essay

Critical Essay Definition: A critical essay is a piece of writing intended to analyze, interpret or evaluate a specific text or other media forms.

More specifically, this type of critical paper is normally viewed by academic audiences and typically supports an argument made by the writer.

The goal of a critical essay is to enable writers to hone their critical writing skills. Additionally, the paper should present readers with a thought-provoking explanation or the writer’s interpretation of the medium being critiqued. Furthermore, anyone authoring a critical analysis could be asked to position their thoughts around a specific theme in a book or film on a much broader spectrum. Specifically, writing critically requires the keen ability to weigh what the original author or director might have been attempting to say to their original audience and to explain that in a manner that the new audience can understand.

There are many goals for critical writing, including:

  • Offering an objective view of the original writer or painter or director’s work
  • Offering a complete analysis of the consistency of the original author’s work
  • Offering a thorough assessment of the original author’s work and capability to maintain and support their primary argument or concept
  • Presenting the strengths and weaknesses of an article or journal entry
  • Criticizing the work of the original writer or artist

Step by Step Guide to Writing a Critical Paper

Writing a critical essay might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be so. First and foremost, make certain that you understand the requirements and what is expected of you. Often times, students set themselves up for failure by starting their assignment without clearly understanding the assignment details.

Step One: Know what is expected: If you are uncertain of the details of the assignment, ask for clarification.

Step Two: Develop a strong understanding of the source material. The source material will come in the form of a book, a film, a piece or art of some other media. You will be asked to create a critical paper that analyzes all or part of the source material. Students are cautioned to take care and consider everything from the source material that might enhance their essay. If you are asked to critique a book or film, it is good practice to read (or view) the source material more than once.

Step Three: Write down as many notes as possible when assessing the source material. Taking great notes is the key to success for any critical paper. When reviewing your chosen medium, remember to take note of the key ideas or concepts that the original creator included in their work.

Step Four: Uncover the primary challenges or patterns in the work being critiqued. Once you’ve reviewed the text or film, or whatever other media you were reviewing, next you will need to identify any key challenges, patterns or problems that might exist. As you note these aspects, other issues or key concepts will begin to emerge. You should be prepared to identify these.

Step Five: Uncover solutions to the problems identified. Next, you will need to offer solutions for the problems or patterns that were identified previously. By now, you should be on your way to creating your thesis statement.

What are the various types of critical essays

There are several different types of critical analysis that a student authoring a critical review paper might be asked to write. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Sociological Criticism
  • Reader-response Criticism
  • Gender Criticism
  • Mythological Criticism
  • Biographical Criticism
  • New Historicism
  • Psychoanalytical Criticism
  • Formalist Criticism

Critical Essay Structure

Every essay, regardless of topic or nature, follows a standard structure which includes the introduction (or thesis statement), the body paragraphs, and the conclusion (or closing statement.) In order for the essay to be considered ‘whole’ each of these parts must be included. That being said, prior to tackling each of these sections, you must first draft an outline suitable for a critical paper. For all papers of this nature, the outline is important because it presents writers with the opportunity to begin to build a roadmap for their essay. If you would like to get some further assistance with your essay, consider using one of the academic services:

Different ways of writing essays

Studying in college most students forget about their leisure time. The reason of it: an insane amount of workload. Entering college a person learns how to think and express his own ideas on a new level, higher than in school. One of the hardest tasks is writing an essay. A person can spend hours trying to combine proper words and arguments together, but as a result receive a bad mark. After several attempts of composing a good piece of writing a student can find himself shouting ‘I need someone to write my essay for me!’. Well, miracles happen and you can find this person online. The service of essay writing is thriving, and what is most important it’s you who to choose the author. According to experience and education, different price ranges exist. Even you don’t have lots of money to pay the Nobel Prize winner for your essay, there are plenty of skilled specialists ready to do the job. He is called essay writer, and his task is to make a perfect paper for you according to the task.

You can decide what way is more suitable: spending nights over writing an argumentative essay yourself or spending a small amount of money and get the job done. These services are quite convenient for people who don’t have time. Situation of every student is different, most of them working, some have kids or parents to look after, some just forget about homework. The easiest way is to go online to find best essay writing service. Let’s see how they are working.

How essay writing service is working

You tried, you failed, you lost hope. You went online to consult the Internet. After typing ‘write essay for me’ don’t be surprised by amount of websites appearing on the screen of your computer. This service is extremely popular, as there are plenty of students not wiling or not able to perform the job themselves. If you will to pay for essay, numerous websites offer such a possibility. You need to do a research to choose most suitable for you. Essay writers have different education and experience, and hiring someone who is not an expert in the topic would lead to negative outcome. You don’t want your work to be done poorly, because it’s you who would be receiving a mark for it. A person whose job is to write essays for money should have proper knowledge in demanded sphere. Sometimes essays can be easy, but some topics require research and specific education. When searching for college essay writing service online, check that a person has a college degree at least. There are thousands of gifted kids but they don’t earn money this way. In major situations it’s highly unlikely that a scholar is able to write an essay. Anyway, after getting paper read, check and read again what has been sent to you to avoid any complications with the teacher. If you don’t like the work, be sure to leave negative review if possible or ask to make changes.

Is it worth the money?

Sometimes student can ask himself a question: can someone actually write my essay for small amount of money? The answer is yes! Writers are skilled in many topics, have huge experience in creating strong essays and performing job faster than you expect. Cheap essay writing service is not actually a bad website. Sphere of writing is competitive and everyone can find something for his budget.

Whether you specialize in literature or just writing an essay for a class, knowing how to write a critical essay will give you an advantage throughout your studies at a university and in your professional career. Writing critical essays allows you to develop critical thinking skills, including attentive reading, technical analysis, academic writing skills, searching for reference books and editing. Mastering these skills will help you conduct a scientific conversation and allow you to communicate and think more productively.

What is a Critical Essay?

A critical essay is an analysis of any piece of text. It can be a book, a movie, an article or even a painting. The main point of this type of an essay is to interpret text or position it in a wider context. For instance, if you write a critical analysis of a book, you may analyze the tone of its text and find out how it influences the overall meaning of the book. If you analyze a movie, you might concentrate on a symbol that you see over and over again. Nevertheless, you have to include an argumentative thesis about the text and have a lot of evidence sources, obviously textual, to support your statements.

How to write a Critical Essay? Step by Step Guide

  • Find out the topic as early as possible to plan your research.
  • Find the information you need in a wide variety of sources, including journal articles, books, encyclopedias, news. Gather more information than you plan to actually refer to when writing a paper, but do not collect too much, it can distract you from the main thing, and you will eventually include it in your essay simply because you found it. Do not use Wikipedia and do not copy other people’s comments; no matter from which website you take them, plagiarism will be discovered.
  • Look through your sources to separate interesting information from irrelevant material. Interesting research can be found in books, literary guides, in published critical articles on your particular topic. And vice versa, do not investigate things that do not relate to your topic, what I mean is, do not engage in the study of witches, if the topic of your paper is monarchy.
  • Carefully reread the relevant materials and evaluate them critically. Highlight, underline or otherwise mark the necessary information in your personal articles and books. Use colored stickers to draw your attention to important details in library books. Make a brief summary of each source after reading it. Pay attention to important details and highlight the main point of view for further use.
  • Formulate the theses by reviewing your notes and research. You can write a more general thesis or ask an important question that your paper will answer.
  • Write a preliminary introduction, knowing that you can edit or even rewrite it later.
  • Develop an approximate plan based on your notes and studies.

Identify two or three main sections of the body of your essay. These sections should consist of your most important arguments. Use your notes and research to fill these sections with details. You can copy and paste the most important details or arguments into your plan.

  • Identify the relationships between sections of your essay and briefly describe them on the margins of your plan.
  • Use this connection to write an approximate conclusion.
  • Set your paper aside for a few days before rereading the draft.
  • Leave enough time to make a thorough review of all material that will clarify any illogical reasonings or arguments.
  • Complete your essay by carefully checking the final version of the printed version. Use your imagination and make the introduction interesting for readers. Write a clear thesis statement and use up-to-date sources, with a lot of useful information.

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How writing an argumentative essay can help you get into college

Worked hard to make your final grades impressive? Well, the news is they might not be enough to win you a place in a college. Admission committee attentively studies the papers of all applicants and devote special time for reading essays. This is the key that can help you open the college door and win the heart of the office. Writing a essay might be a complicated task, especially if you’re not good in written works like compositions. What should be included in this paper?

First, the arguments that prove you would be a brilliant addition to the college life. The whole point of essay is to convince the committee in your uniqueness and skills. Writing an argumentative essay yourself will require plenty of time. You can’t just sit in front of your laptop and make a good point in a couple of hours. You need to analyze, to provide facts, quotations, share your ideas and views, show your achievements and awards (if any) and just help them to get to know you better.

Second, it’s the length and format of your essay. It’s not the contents that always matter, but the way you express your thought too. Too much information, repetitive sentences, absence of logic and links between passages might lead to a fail. Committee won’t be interested in a poorly written paper, meaning it wouldn’t be interested in you as well.

How to find the balance in everything? There are two ways.

  • You can search the Internet for tips and recommendations and compose the paper yourself.
  • You can pay to write essay. A professional writer will perform the task for you.

Essay writing help: pros

We are going to discuss all advantages and disadvantages that services for writing essays offer. Honestly, there are more positive features and moments in that.

What are the pros?

Time you save. There’s no need to search the Web and devote your efforts. You’ll get the result and won’t spend sleepless nights in front of PC.
Professional approach. The workers of essay writing help will do everything flawlessly. The proper format, the correct spelling and grammar, arguments that might never come to your head, quotations and examples.
Price. Most services are doing the perfect job for a relatively low amount of money. You don’t have to worry about empty pockets, the cost is usually symbolic.
Quality. An essay composed by a skilled writer with experience and degree would be way better than a piece of writing made by person who does it for the first time.

If you want to have a winning essay filled with argument, an essay to impress the committee and help you to be admitted then don’t hesitate to text a professional “help me write an essay”.

Is this service expensive?

We’ve already mentioned the pricing for the service. It’s not necessarily high. Usually the cost depends on the skills of the writer. If you want to have your essay made by an educated and experienced person be ready to pay more. If you need your paper urgently, the cost might be increased too.

Have you ever been so utterly disappointed in a movie as to write a lengthy review about all the horrible aspects you despise? If so, you have already tried your hand at being a critic, and you will have an easier time when faced with a critical essay at school. However, not all critical essays have to be as negative as every “Transformers. The Last Knight” review.

Are All Critical Essays Negative?

The word “critical” possesses several meanings. The most commonly used is related to expressing negative opinions on something. Online trolls are always critical about everything. On the other hand, “critical” can also relate to the opinions of professional critics on movies, music or literature. If you read a critical review in a “Rolling Stone” magazine, you can expect it to be expertly written and insightful.

When you are assigned to write a critical essay in high school or college, your professor has another meaning of this word in mind. In such cases, “critical” means a careful judgment and analysis of both good and bad parts of the art piece. Therefore, you don’t have to be all positive or negative towards the book or article you have to discuss. Instead, you get a chance to try on a mantle of a professional critic and provide a thoughtful and informative piece of writing for people who have not had the pleasure to read the book you are discussing.

Three Types Of Critical Essays

There are three strategies for you to choose from when writing a critical essay. Depending on the approach, your paper will require different research and analysis. So you should decide on the type of critical paper you wish to write before you start. Your instructor may specify the preferred type within the assignment, so pay close attention to the task you are given.

Evaluative Critical Essay

This type is the easiest to understand, though professors rarely require students to write it. In an evaluative critical essay, you should explain whether you like the book and provide the reasons for your reaction. Of course, it is not enough to say you hate the novel because it’s stupid. Instead, you have to provide your literary standards and compare them to the book you are discussing.

Look for formal literary methods and devices that you find unappealing and provide copious examples from the text to support your arguments. You can also compare the novel to other works that you consider more educational or entertaining. Another good idea is to analyze political, historical or religious aspects of the work and their influence on the author. Treat an evaluative critical essay as an argumentative piece, not a reaction paper. Address possible objections to your points and provide evidence, this way your paper will be convincing.

Descriptive Critical Essay

This type of paper resembles a rhetorical analysis essay when you have to analyze what makes the book tick, what makes it such an outstanding example of its genre. You can select one or two literary devices or methods the author uses and discuss their role in the book. You can always find numerous examples of any literary means you choose between the covers of the book. The only challenge you are going to face is putting the obvious findings into an exciting light, so get ready to let your imagination run wild.

Interpretive Critical Essay

If you want to answer the question “What does this work mean?”, you are trying to interpret the book. Instead of merely rephrasing the work, analyze it. First, you need to choose your strategy; it can be based on psychoanalysis, economic theories, historical impact, etc. Use this approach to dissect the work and provide copious examples for your every argument. After completing your interpretive essay, the reader should have a good idea of what the author wanted to say with his or her work.

How to write a critical essay

6 Steps To Write A Successful Critical Essay

As ever, we’ll break the writing process into easily manageable steps for you to follow. As you see, writing is just a single stage, while pre-writing is where you will need to do most of the work.

Choosing The Right Primary Source

Not every instructor is willing to let students choose the book or poem to analyze. However, if you are among the few lucky bastards, choose wisely. Pick a work you like and know well, the one you’ve read at least a couple of times and can probably quote your favorite parts. Make your life easier by selecting the right book, and your critical essay will be done in no time.

Reading And Note-Taking

The easiest way to work on a book is by highlighting or underlining the parts you find interesting or entertaining. However, this is not enough. While reading the work, always ask yourself:

  • How does this chapter make me feel?
  • Which questions arise when I read this book?
  • Which methods and devices does the author use to make me feel this way?
  • Why can’t I stop laughing or crying when I read this dialog?

The more questions you ask yourself, the easier it will be for you to create an outline and analyze the book. And to keep your notes in order, use a blank sheet of paper to write down the numbers of pages with interesting literary methods.

Crafting A Thesis

The content of your thesis will depend on which type of critical essay you are going to write. Consult our comprehensive guide to write your thesis statement. In short, your thesis should answer the central question: “So what?”. Besides just stating the obvious, address the how or the why. Explain to the readers how you came to this conclusion or why they should care about your opinion.

Researching Secondary Sources

If you can’t come up with any ideas for the critical essay, consult professional critics. Read literary discussions or evaluations of the text you have to analyze. These will help you form your own opinion. Research the author’s biography, the historical period of his or her life, political or religious factors that might have influenced the text.

Plotting An Outline

It is tempting to delve into writing after days of research, but in the end, you risk producing a jumbled mess of unrelated thoughts. So take the time necessary to create a rough outline. List the main points you want to make, use your notes and examples from the primary source to flesh out the body paragraphs. Their number and length will depend on the parameters of your assignment.

Writing, Editing, And Proofreading

After so many preparatory steps, writing a critical essay is easy. All you have to do is put your thoughts into words, and words — into sentences and paragraphs. Remember to cite the sources and edit the finished paper carefully. Think about what a professional critic would write after reading your essay. Every typo decreases your credibility, so proofreading is also a must.

If you need a critical essay example, check out our database, and if you need more help with this assignment, reach out to our writers and editors. They will gladly improve your paper or create one from scratch to save your time.

How to clean and maintain bathroom vanities

How to clean and maintain bathroom vanities

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The Benefits of Suspended Ceiling Tiles

You should do your best to keep all parts of your home clean at all times. However, if there’s one area that you should specifically focus on, it’s the bathroom.

The bathroom is where you maintain your hygiene, and if the centre of hygiene is not cleaned properly, your chances of getting exposed to bacteria and viruses increases significantly. Besides, a counter cluttered with too many plastic bottles and a mirror covered in stains is something that you wouldn’t want your guests to see.

To help you, we’re going to give you tips on how you maintain one important aspect of your bathroom: the vanity. So, here are five ways to keep your bathroom vanity clean and tidy.

  1. Use Liquid Soap

A common eyesore in many bathroom vanities is the bar soap. Yes, all bar soaps look good when they’re new. However, when they start getting used, the soap dish will start to collect grime, creating an unsightly scene on your sink.

To avoid this problem, make sure you use liquid hand soap. With a plastic pump bottle, you can ensure that your sink remains grime-free every time you wash your hands. You can use it as many times as you’d like and it wont leave a stinking mess behind.

If you don’t like the look of a branded bottle on your sink, you can easily buy customised plastic bottles and dispensers from a bottle supplier. This way, you can match the aesthetic of your bathroom. Just remember to clean the plastic bottles on a weekly basis to prevent the build of germs.

  1. Clean your Sink Regularly

How to clean and maintain bathroom vanities

Toothpaste, makeup and drops of soap need to be cleaned soon as they hit your counter. A wet piece of toilet paper or a paper towel should be able to wipe off these stains easily. If you leave it to dry, it will cling to the surface, making it very difficult to remove.

To make things easier for you, consider storing disinfecting wipes under your sink. Easy access to wet wipes will help you clean off those little stains before they dry up. You can also store spray cleaners so you can wipe off your mirror and counter for heavier stains.

Even if there aren’t visible stains on your sink, it’s still a good idea to give it a quick once-over every week or so. This will ensure that your sink is always sparkling clean and that bacteria isn’t building up on the surface.

  1. Brush your Teeth Facedown

There are people who have a habit of looking at the mirror while brushing their teeth. While there’s nothing wrong with admiring your pearly whites, brushing your teeth face up actually causes specks of toothpaste to fly onto the mirror. Sometimes the specks are so tiny that you won’t even notice until a few of them have dried up.

To keep your mirror clean, try to make a habit of brushing your teeth facedown. This will ensure that all the toothpaste finds it ways into the sink where it can be easily washed away. Besides, you can always check your teeth in the mirror after brushing.

  1. Use Baskets

Let’s admit it, we probably buy more bathroom items than is necessary. We buy deodorants, various cosmetic products, hand soap, exfoliators, dental floss and mouthwash. With so many things to store, our bathroom sinks tend to become very cluttered. What’s more, having too many bottles on the counter can it make extremely difficult to give your sink a decent cleaning. Sometimes it gets so messy that you don’t even know where certain items are.

If you’re having this problem, the solution is quite simple: baskets. You can simply throw all of your bathroom needs in one basket and store them on one side of the counter or under the sink. If you want, you can even use multiple baskets to organise your products by type. For example, you can put all your dental needs in one basket and your skin care products in another.

  1. Hand Towels

How to clean and maintain bathroom vanities

Towels are another part of your bathroom vanity that needs to be addressed properly. Having an accessible hand towel is extremely convenient. However, just like bar soaps, it will eventually get dirty and ruin the look of your vanity.

Be sure to have multiple hand towels ready. This way, you can easily replace it as soon as it gets filthy.

Just like your products, you can also store your hand towels in a basket. If you want to, you can have a hand towel ring so that you have easy access to the towel at all times.

The bathroom is an important part of your home. When you have guests over, you shouldn’t feel ashamed whenever they ask to use your bathroom. If you keep your vanity clean, you’ll want your guests to see how clean your bathroom is. Anyone, regardless of your budget, should be able to implement the tips we’ve discussed above.

How to clean and maintain bathroom vanities

Must read

5 Signs Your Cool Room May Need Repairs

5 Benefits of Dental Implants

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The Benefits of Suspended Ceiling Tiles

You should do your best to keep all parts of your home clean at all times. However, if there’s one area that you should specifically focus on, it’s the bathroom.

The bathroom is where you maintain your hygiene, and if the centre of hygiene is not cleaned properly, your chances of getting exposed to bacteria and viruses increases significantly. Besides, a counter cluttered with too many plastic bottles and a mirror covered in stains is something that you wouldn’t want your guests to see.

To help you, we’re going to give you tips on how you maintain one important aspect of your bathroom: the vanity. So, here are five ways to keep your bathroom vanity clean and tidy.

  1. Use Liquid Soap

A common eyesore in many bathroom vanities is the bar soap. Yes, all bar soaps look good when they’re new. However, when they start getting used, the soap dish will start to collect grime, creating an unsightly scene on your sink.

To avoid this problem, make sure you use liquid hand soap. With a plastic pump bottle, you can ensure that your sink remains grime-free every time you wash your hands. You can use it as many times as you’d like and it wont leave a stinking mess behind.

If you don’t like the look of a branded bottle on your sink, you can easily buy customised plastic bottles and dispensers from a bottle supplier. This way, you can match the aesthetic of your bathroom. Just remember to clean the plastic bottles on a weekly basis to prevent the build of germs.

  1. Clean your Sink Regularly

How to clean and maintain bathroom vanities

Toothpaste, makeup and drops of soap need to be cleaned soon as they hit your counter. A wet piece of toilet paper or a paper towel should be able to wipe off these stains easily. If you leave it to dry, it will cling to the surface, making it very difficult to remove.

To make things easier for you, consider storing disinfecting wipes under your sink. Easy access to wet wipes will help you clean off those little stains before they dry up. You can also store spray cleaners so you can wipe off your mirror and counter for heavier stains.

Even if there aren’t visible stains on your sink, it’s still a good idea to give it a quick once-over every week or so. This will ensure that your sink is always sparkling clean and that bacteria isn’t building up on the surface.

  1. Brush your Teeth Facedown

There are people who have a habit of looking at the mirror while brushing their teeth. While there’s nothing wrong with admiring your pearly whites, brushing your teeth face up actually causes specks of toothpaste to fly onto the mirror. Sometimes the specks are so tiny that you won’t even notice until a few of them have dried up.

To keep your mirror clean, try to make a habit of brushing your teeth facedown. This will ensure that all the toothpaste finds it ways into the sink where it can be easily washed away. Besides, you can always check your teeth in the mirror after brushing.

  1. Use Baskets

Let’s admit it, we probably buy more bathroom items than is necessary. We buy deodorants, various cosmetic products, hand soap, exfoliators, dental floss and mouthwash. With so many things to store, our bathroom sinks tend to become very cluttered. What’s more, having too many bottles on the counter can it make extremely difficult to give your sink a decent cleaning. Sometimes it gets so messy that you don’t even know where certain items are.

If you’re having this problem, the solution is quite simple: baskets. You can simply throw all of your bathroom needs in one basket and store them on one side of the counter or under the sink. If you want, you can even use multiple baskets to organise your products by type. For example, you can put all your dental needs in one basket and your skin care products in another.

  1. Hand Towels

How to clean and maintain bathroom vanities

Towels are another part of your bathroom vanity that needs to be addressed properly. Having an accessible hand towel is extremely convenient. However, just like bar soaps, it will eventually get dirty and ruin the look of your vanity.

Be sure to have multiple hand towels ready. This way, you can easily replace it as soon as it gets filthy.

Just like your products, you can also store your hand towels in a basket. If you want to, you can have a hand towel ring so that you have easy access to the towel at all times.

The bathroom is an important part of your home. When you have guests over, you shouldn’t feel ashamed whenever they ask to use your bathroom. If you keep your vanity clean, you’ll want your guests to see how clean your bathroom is. Anyone, regardless of your budget, should be able to implement the tips we’ve discussed above.

Get a bathroom countertop and sink that shine. Our method for cleaning bathroom sinks and countertops makes it easy to achieve a sparkling vanity.

A dirty bathroom countertop can ruin the start to your day. Luckily, there are small changes you can make to your daily and weekly cleaning routine that keep your primping space looking shiny and fresh. Check out our simple tips below to see how you can clean your bathroom countertops and sink faster, smarter, and better. This chore just got easier!

How to Clean Countertops

Daily Habits: After your morning beauty routine, take a few minutes to make sure everything goes back in its designated space—toothbrush in a cup, makeup back in the drawers, and hair tools hidden behind cabinets. A clear countertop makes it easier to wipe down the surface every day before you leave. This small but meaningful addition to your daily routine will make a big difference to the look of your bathroom.

Wipe Down: It’s easy to get pulled into the many aisles of cleaning supplies at grocery stores. With the colorful options and promising claims to clean your bathroom best, it seems like a no-brainer. But, you can save a good deal of money by making your own cleaning agent with items you already have at home. Sure, it won’t come in the same bright packaging, but it will work all the same. To make it, mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spritz it on the counter and scrub with a mildly abrasive cleanser or baking soda paste.

How to Clean a Bathroom Sink

Let your cleaning water do the work. Fill your sink with a few inches of hot water. Add your favorite bathroom cleaner or a cup or two of white vinegar. Rub the mixture around the faucet. Dip a rag into the water and wipe down the countertop. Then toss the small items that need cleaning into the water, such as your soap tray or toothpaste cup. Let everything sit at least 10 minutes, then drain the sink and rinse and dry the items. Wipe off the sink and wipe off any remaining water with a dry cloth. This mixture is non-toxic, plus the acidity of the vinegar slays germs, lime deposits, and soap scum. It also evaporates quickly, leaving everything clean and shiny.

How to Clean the Bathroom Sink Drain

The drain is the most important part of the sink. To prevent a drain clog, clean your bathroom sink drain weekly. This will remove small debris from the drain that could build up over time. Maintaining a clean drain will also prevent your bathroom from unwanted smells. Bacteria in the drain grow worse over time and could be to blame for a stinky bathroom.

January 21, 2011 By admin

Last Updated on October 11, 2019 by admin

Learn How to Clean Marble Vessel Sinks and keep them spotless! Marble vessel sinks are an elegant way to add unique flare to your bathroom, lending it a sense of sophistication and class difficult to match with many other materials and styles. However, maintaining marble fixtures can pose a challenge for anyone unfamiliar with their intricacies.

In addition to entirely new considerations, maintenance methods also very based on the type of marble, with marble being somewhat more difficult to maintain than is granite. Here is a brief overview of points to keep in mind when maintaining your marble vessel sink.

An Ivory Marble Vessel Sink sitting atop the Premiere Vessel Sink Vanity.

How to Clean Marble Vessel Sinks

Marble is a common material for marble vessel sinks, though it requires special maintenance to keep it appearing beautiful and new. This is due to marble’s softness when compared to granite and other more resilient marbles. Continue reading below to learn how to clean marble vessel sinks.

Targeting Discoloration

Discoloration is one common problem encountered when maintaining a marble sink. This is due to how particles in marble interact with chemicals commonly found in or around sinks. As such, it is necessary to take special care when choosing chemicals with which to clean the sink, using only those specifically designated for use on marble.

Marble sinks are also prone to etching, a chipping effect caused by prolonged exposure to liquids. As such, it is essential to keep the marble surfaces as dry as is possible. Use cloths or other barriers to avoid exposing the bathroom sink top to water, and ensure that the sink is dried fairly quickly after use.

Scorching

Another issue with marble is that it scorches fairly easily. In bathrooms, this often results from curling irons, hair dryers and other electric appliances being left on or pointed at the sink’s surface. Either avoid doing this entirely, or use a mat to prevent the heat from coming into direct contact with the marble. Scratches are another concern which mats can address as well.

Ivory Cream Marble Vessel Sink shown with the Walker Single Vessel Sink Vanity. $1,260.00.

Vessel Sink Preventative Maintenance

One of the best preventative maintenance tasks you can possibly perform on your marble vessel sink is sealing. Sealing fills the marble’s pores with a sealant that blocks them from being filled by other chemicals. If left unfilled, these pores absorb liquids and stain.

Since marble is a porous marble, it is particularly prone to acquiring stains and benefits immensely from being sealed. Sealing does not eliminate the need to clean spills quickly, though it does lessen the rate at which spills will be absorbed into the sink’s surface.

Your marble vessel is still a sink, of course, and requires the same maintenance that any other would need. Every few weeks, clean the sink with an appropriate cleaner. Avoid abrasive cloth that would harm the surface of your sink. Clean under, around and behind the vessel to eliminate any spills or other messes that might be hidden by the lip.

Hard Water Stains on Marble Vessel Sinks

Pay particular attention to hard water stains, as these can negatively impact the longevity of the basin. Use a vinegar and water solution to break up mineral deposits on glass, while calcium lime removers are appropriate for most marbles.

Marble vessel sinks represent an elegant, memorable and customizable style of function and beauty. With this many maintenance concerns, they are not the best fit for everyone. Yet, with the right amount of foresight and attention, your marble vessel sink can last a lifetime.

More Bathroom Cleaning Tips:

About the Author
Cheryl Khan is a designer and writer at Tradewinds Imports, an online specialty site dedicated to retailing fine bathroom furnishings. She has extensive knowledge about all the finer details that go into planning the perfect bath renovation project and is an expert in all things bathroom! Send her your bathroom Q’s on twitter @SuperInteriors!

Marble has been around for centuries as a building tool. From gorgeous cathedrals, to statues, to kitchens and showers marble has been an added bonus for architecture. Welcome back to the American Bath Remodeling blog. Today, we will be telling you all about how to clean cultured marble in your home.

You might be wondering what cultured marble and if your marble even is cultured. To learn more about what it is read our previous blog, What is Cultured Marble, and Other Questions. Marble is a foundation material to architectural marvels all around the world, so learning how to properly clean it is important.

Cultured Marble

Cultured marble is made from resins, particles of stone, and different pigments. This is usually made with 25% resin and 75% marble dust. It is more durable than regular marble due to its gel coating, where regular marble is soft and delicate. Throughout the process of creating cultured marble it gives the stone colors and patterns that all appear to be natural.

Cultured marble is often used in many bathrooms for bathtubs, shower pans, vanities, and even shower bases. While this type of marble is sturdier than regular marble it does require constant care and cleaning to keep it in tip top shape. However, it is important to use proper cleaning products to learn how to clean your cultured marble. Using incorrect products can cause staining and stripping of the shiny gel coating on your marble.

How to Clean Cultured Marble

There are multiple products and ways in which you can clean cultured marble, but regular cleaning in a must. You want to prevent any soap scum, dirt, and stains from settling into the marble. While some colors may hide these issues better than others you want to keep it looking new and fresh. When showering also be sure to prevent water stains by cleaning up around the shower base as well.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners

When cleaning your cultured marble you want to avoid any abrasive cleaners and pads. Use a soft cloth to make sure you do not harm the marble. You want to avoid products such as Ajax, a scrubbing pad, the rough side of a sponge, or steel wool. These products can scratch the surface and damage the seal on your cultured marble.

Build Up

Be sure to keep on top of soap scum and build up before it gets out of control. However, you want to be gentle when removing this from the surface of your marble to prevent scratching. One of the best ways to clean cultured marble is purchasing a solution such as Mrs. Meyers or Method Shower Cleaner, both of which contain a neutral PH balance for your cultured marble. Use a spray bottle to avoid access solution sitting on your marble. Once you have sprayed this on immediately wipe it down with a soft cloth. Once all of the solution is wiped down rinse with water and wipe again.

Hard Water Stains

Water stains can be worse in some states than others depending on the minerals in the water. Using the same solutions mentioned above spray it on your cultured marble then wipe down wipe down with a damp soft cloth. This may take some elbow grease as some water stains can be worse than others. To help prevent this it is always recommended that you dry showers and sink areas after use. If the water stains do not come up immediately repeat the process of using the solution and remember to be gentle!

Maintenance

Overtime your cultured marble will need to be waxed and refinished. Either annually or biannually you may need to have a professional wax the surface to bring back the original shine. While it is possible to do this yourself, you may want to consult a professional due to the fact that cultured marble does scratch easily. To wax the marble yourself you can use a special countertop wax but be sure to test on a hidden area. If you maintain and learn how to clean your cultured marble properly it can last a considerable amount of time without professional help.

Learning how to clean your cultured marble and the products to use is not difficult! Just be sure that you are gentle with your marble to prevent scratching and damage. If you are looking for professionals to do the right job American Bath and Remodeling can do it for you. Contact us and we can install your cultured marble!

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Have you ever reached for your favorite lipstick while you’re getting ready, only to realize it’s not there? Or maybe you’ve spent the better half of your morning searching for your hairbrush, but still come up empty. If you’ve experienced these dilemmas, you’re not alone. Organizing your bathroom counter is pivotal if you want to streamline your daily routine. No matter the size of your bathroom, beauty products, hair tools, and soaps all fight for coveted counter space. Here, we’ve compiled some of our favorite functional and inspired ways to organize your bathroom counter in an effort to make your day more efficient.

Finding a home for each of your bathroom essentials is no easy feat. Place your cosmetics and their corresponding applicators in a clear acrylic makeup organizer for quick and easy access, allowing you to breeze through your morning beauty routine. Or, if you’d prefer to place products in a drawer, find the perfect divider, which will give each of your items its own designated place. This seemingly small addition will make misplacing items a thing of the past.

A cleared bathroom counter is a neat bathroom counter. Leave the area sparkling and serene by adding a luxe cabinet to the room. Select one with both hidden and open shelves, so you can pick and choose what’s on display. And something as simple as adding a shelf to a cabinet creates more room and another surface for your smaller bathroom must-haves, while a gold wire cart proudly shows towels, bath products, and more. Here, find some of our preferred tips to help organize your bathroom counter, and in turn create a more peaceful space.

Putting everything in its own place will make your mornings smoother.

Cleaning out a messy cabinet feels good—it makes life a little more orderly (and that much more manageable). In your bathroom, whether you have a standard medicine cabinet or a vanity with drawers that flank the sink, organizing your supplies—from towels to beauty products—is well worth your time and effort. Here’s what you need to know to get the job done.

Remove everything from the cabinet.

Before you can organize anything, you need to declutter, so go ahead and empty the entire cabinet to see what you’re working with (and, most importantly, what you absolutely need to keep). Bring a small a folding table into the bathroom for this part of the process; lining up products beats tossing them on the floor.

Group like items.

“While you are removing the items from the cabinet, begin to group similar things, such as makeup, first aid, adult medication, children’s medications, and tools like tweezers and clippers,” suggests Jeffrey Phillip, a professional organizer in New York City.

Throw out anything that has expired.

The first thing to go should be out-of-date medications. But don’t flush those pills and liquids down the toilet—they could end up in the water supply. Instead, empty them into a large zippered plastic bag filled with kitty litter or dirt, and throw it out with your regular trash. Next, check expiration dates on everything else, from makeup and ointments to sunscreen. “Even though they don’t all specify an expiration date, everything has a limited shelf life,” says Phillip. Keep track of future purchases by writing the date you open them right on the item with a fine-tip Sharpie (keep it in the bathroom so it’s always handy).

Restock if necessary.

After cleaning the cabinet inside and out, start putting the items you’re keeping back inside, maintaining their respective groups. “Start with big categories such as medicine and makeup,” says Phillip. “If possible, break down those categories into smaller ones, such as everyday makeup versus makeup that is used occasionally.”

Use trays.

Small trays are very helpful in keeping cabinets organized, says Philip. “They also allow you to take out one whole grouping at a time.” A tray holding a few bottles, for example, keeps your countertop looking neat in a way that random bottles (strewn everywhere) never could. Phillip also recommends additional storage workhorses, like lazy Susans, for the bathroom. “They make it very easy to be able to access items in the cabinet without digging to the back.”

Get creative.

Searching for a creative way to group your metal tools? If you install an adhesive magnetic strip on the inside door of the medicine cabinet, it can hold small must-haves like tweezers, scissors, and nail clippers (just think of how much space you’ll be saving on the shelves).

How to clean and maintain bathroom vanities

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A solid-surface vanity top is made from a composite resin, designed to be durable and resistant to stains. The tops typically come with a seamless bowl from the same solid-surface material, which aids cleaning, but a bowl of a different material can also be attached and that will create a seam. Cleaning generally requires mild soap or even just water; a mild abrasive comes in handy for tougher stains. Wiping up spills as they occur helps keep the vanity stain-free. Solid-surface vanities can withstand mildly abrasive cleaners as well, so there’s no fear or rubbing the finish away. Consult the care portion of the manufacturer’s manual for your specific vanity top, as recommended cleaners may vary by brand or model.

Water-Based Care

Wiping the vanity clean each day with a damp sponge or cloth eliminates errant toothpaste or soap splatter that may be harder to clean if left to dry. Wipe dry after each cleaning or as water spills and splashes occur to help prevent water spots.

Mild Soap Maintenance

Mildly soapy water cleans a vanity-top surface that is subject to basic everyday use. Fill a clean sink or bucket with warm water and a squirt or two of dish soap, wiping the vanity top down with the sudsy water. Apply a squirt of soap directly onto a sponge or cloth for more difficult spots such as spilled toothpaste. A cleaner designed specifically for solid-surface countertops and vanity tops may be used in place of soapy water. In each case, wipe the vanity top again with a cloth or sponge dipped in water to rinse away the soap, then dry the surface completely.

Stubborn Spot Care

For stubborn, dried-on materials such as hardened toothpaste or dried mouthwash, a damp scrub sponge removes the debris. A mildly abrasive liquid or powder-based cleaner can be used as well. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe the area down again after using abrasives, then dry the vanity top completely.

Stain and Scratch Control

Harsh chemical substances such as drain openers may stain a solid-surface vanity top; in the same manner, the material may be deeply scratched from a razor blade or sharp object. Removing a stain or scratch requires an abrasive such as a plastic-scrub pad or a 120-grit sandpaper, followed by 200-grit sandpaper. Slight circular motions help remove the damage. A plastic or countertop polish designed for man-made surfaces helps renew the finish.

How to select the best pokémon to beat the elite four in pokémon diamond and pearl

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As usual, in Black & White you battle through eight gyms before taking on the Elite Four, with a few notable differences. We also note the significant trainer battles below.

The first gym features three leaders, each specialising in a different type of Grass, Fire or Water. You only fight one of them, depending on which Pokémon you chose as your starter. In the final gym, you fight one of two trainers depending on which version you have. However, their Pokémon are exactly the same.

When you reach the Elite Four, you can now fight them in any order you wish. The first time you only get to fight the Elite Four, then there is a diversion into some more of the game plot. Later on, you can rematch the Elite Four and take on the Champion.

Gym #1, Striaton City

Cilan
(Oshawott as starter)
Trio Badge
Grass type Pokémon

Chili
(Snivy as starter)
Trio Badge
Fire type Pokémon

Cress
(Tepig as starter)
Trio Badge
Water type Pokémon

Gym #2, Nacrene City

Lenora
Basic Badge
Normal type Pokémon

Gym #3, Castelia City

Burgh
Beetle Badge
Bug type Pokémon

Gym #4, Nimbasa City

Elesa
Bolt Badge
Electric type Pokémon

Gym #5, Driftveil City

Clay
Quake Badge
Ground type Pokémon

Gym #6, Mistralton City

Skyla
Jet Badge
Flying type Pokémon

Gym #7, Icirrus City

Brycen
Icicle Badge
Ice type Pokémon

Gym #8, Opelucid City

Drayden
(Pokemon Black)
Legend Badge
Dragon type Pokémon

Iris
(Pokemon White)
Legend Badge
Dragon type Pokémon

The Elite Four in Unova are positioned within the Pokйmon League to the north of Unova. This league is slightly different to normal due to it allowing you to take on the Elite Four in whatever order you wish.

Specialty: Ghost-type

Puzzle:
The first member of the Elite Four you may face if going clockwise is Shauntal. You will be picked up and carried by ghostly forces up to her platform.She focuses on Ghost-types so having a Dark-type or a Pokйmon with Ghost-type moves would be logical.

Specialty: Dark-type

Puzzle:
The next member of the Elite Four you may face if going clockwise is Grimsley. You will be carried up via conveyorbelt to his platform. He focuses on Dark-types so having Fighting-type or Bug-type moves would be logical.

Specialty: Psychic-type

Puzzle:
The next member of the Elite Four you may face if going clockwise is Caitlin, formerly of the Sinnoh Battle Castle. You will be carried up via telepathy to her platform. She focuses on Psychic-types so having Dark-type or Bug-type moves would be logical.

Specialty: Fighting-type

Puzzle:
The final member of the Elite Four you may face if going clockwise is Marshal. You will be carried up by a platform on a conveyor belt to the top of the tower. He focuses on Fighting-types so having Flying-type or Psychic-type moves would be logical.

after you have obtained the National Pokйdex, you will once more be able to battle against the Elite Four and, as with past games, their power has been increased and numerous new, or should we say old, Pokйmon have been added to their rosters

Specialty: Ghost-type

Puzzle:
The first member of the Elite Four you may face if going clockwise is Shauntal. You will be picked up and carried by ghostly forces up to her platform.She focuses on Ghost-types so having a Dark-type or a Pokйmon with Ghost-type moves would be logical.

Specialty: Dark-type

Puzzle:
The next member of the Elite Four you may face if going clockwise is Grimsley. You will be carried up via conveyorbelt to his platform. He focuses on Dark-types so having Fighting-type or Bug-type moves would be logical.

Specialty: Psychic-type

Puzzle:
The next member of the Elite Four you may face if going clockwise is Caitlin. You will be carried up via telepathy to her platform. She focuses on Psychic-types so having Dark-type or Bug-type moves would be logical.

Specialty: Fighting-type

Puzzle:
The final member of the Elite Four you may face if going clockwise is Marshal. You will be carried up by a platform on a conveyor belt to the top of the tower. He focuses on Fighting-types so having Flying-type or Psychic-type moves would be logical.

Specialty: No Speciality

Puzzle:
Unlike last time when your battle got interrupted by N and his schemes, the Elite Four now have a champion and that champion is Alder, the trainer who has helped you in your quest against Team Plasma. His team is rather eclectic

The Elite Four, as we all know, is the final challenge every Pokémon trainer has to face at the end of a game. But after six generations, we’ve seen a ton of Elite Four trainers and champions—and some of these are definitely better than others.

Here’s TheJWittz ‘s picks for the best Elite Four trainers, a list which includes:

  • Siebold, Pokémon X & Y (“There are no weak Pokemon in a Pokemon battle. There are only weak trainers.”)
  • Malva, Pokémon X & Y (She’s a member of Team Flare!)
  • Agatha, Pokémon Red & Blue (She hints at an interesting story with Professor Oak. Also, ghosts.)
  • Caitlin, Pokémon Black & White (She’s scary and powerful.)
  • Alder, champion of Pokémon Black & White (He’s not all about having the most powerful ‘mon, which makes him a curious champion.)
  • Red, Pokémon Gold & Silver (He’s a boss that lies beyond the Elite Four itself, carrying some of the best Pokemon from Red & Blue. And technically, he’s the person we play as in the previous games, which makes him fascinating.)
  • Lance, Pokémon Red & Blue (DRAGONS. Also, he’s a cheater.)
  • Steven, Champion of Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire (He gives you a bunch of cool shit.)
  • Blue, Champion of Pokémon Red & Blue (The first time you have to face a fifth trainer is a twist (what do you mean someone already beat me to the Elite Four?!) and since he’s basically Gary, the game plays up the whole rivalry thing).
  • Cynthia, Champion of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl (She has a great, balanced team, she’s powerful, and she’s a great researcher).

A spot-on list if I ever saw one, though my number 1 would be a toss-up between Lance, Red, Blue and Siebold. You should definitely watch the video if you want a more detailed rationale behind all these picks, too.

What about you, what are some of your favorite Elite Four members?

The Elite Four in Hoenn are positioned within the Pokйmon League to the north of EverGrande City, only accessible after you have all eight badges. This league reverts to the classic method of you battling them in order, but after the completion of the Delta Episode, the Elite Four can be rematched at a higher level.

Sidney is the first member of the Elite Four and is one of the few Dark-type focused bosses in the entire history of the franchise. He will use Pokйmon such as Shiftry in his battles

The second member is Phoebe. While you wouldn’t expect it from her, she focuses in Ghost-type Pokйmon and, in an upgrade from the originals, uses a Dusknoir in her battles.

The third member is Glacia. Glacia focuses upon Ice-type Pokйmon and has a team that fully monopolises on the weather, Hail. She has somewhat of a repeated team in the first match

The final member is Drake. Drake focuses upon Dragon-type Pokйmon and has a team that has a wide variety of moves.

Having encountered Steven Stone numerous times across the Hoenn region, it turns out that he is the champion of the Hoenn region. When you battle him, he will use his Mega Stickpin to Mega Evolve his Metagross.

After you have completed the Delta Episode, you’ll be able to challenge the Elite Four again and again. This time, they have more Pokйmon, from all regions, and each have a Mega Evolution that they use at the end of battle.

Sidney is the first member of the Elite Four and is one of the few Dark-type focused bosses in the entire history of the franchise. He will use Pokйmon such as Shiftry in his battles

The second member is Phoebe. While you wouldn’t expect it from her, she focuses in Ghost-type Pokйmon and, in an upgrade from the originals, uses a Dusknoir in her battles.

The third member is Glacia. Glacia focuses upon Ice-type Pokйmon and has a team that fully monopolises on the weather, Hail. She has somewhat of a repeated team in the first match

The final member is Drake. Drake focuses upon Dragon-type Pokйmon and has a team that has a wide variety of moves.

Having encountered Steven Stone numerous times across the Hoenn region, it turns out that he is the champion of the Hoenn region. When you battle him, he will use his Mega Stickpin to Mega Evolve his Metagross.

Like the gym leaders, the elite four have had a rework to include new Pokйmon within the Sinnoh Dex

Pre-National Dex

The first Elite Member is a bug type trainer. Focusing on Bug Type Moves supplemented by some moves to attack the likely targets

The second Elite Member is a Ground Type Pokйmon enthusiast. With Ground Type Moves mixed in with some other types to topple some of its weaknesses

The third Elite Member is a Fire Type Pokйmon enthusiast. With Fire Type Moves mixed in with some other types to topple some of its weaknesses

The final Elite Member is a Psychic Type Pokйmon enthusiast. With Psychic Type Moves mixed in with some other types to topple some of its weaknesses

The champion, Cynthia, who helped you with Team Galaxy at an earlier time, has a variety of types on her team and will require upmost strategy

While not a gym leader battle nor an elite four battle. When you get to the Battle Frontier, you get to battle both Flint & Volkner with your rival. This is a strong battle as their Pokйmon are of high level

Post-National Dex

The first Elite Member is a bug type trainer. Focusing on Bug Type Moves supplemented by some moves to attack the likely targets

The second Elite Member is a Ground Type Pokйmon enthusiast. With Ground Type Moves mixed in with some other types to topple some of its weaknesses

The third Elite Member is a Fire Type Pokйmon enthusiast. With Fire Type Moves mixed in with some other types to topple some of its weaknesses

The final Elite Member is a Psychic Type Pokйmon enthusiast. With Psychic Type Moves mixed in with some other types to topple some of its weaknesses

The champion, Cynthia, who helped you with Team Galaxy at an earlier time, has a variety of types on her team and will require upmost strategy

The first gym leader, Roark, of Oreburgh City is a Rock Type Trainer. His Pokйmon are all Rock Type and use Rock Type attacks. Defeat him and you get the Coal Badge and TM76. You can also use Rock Smash outside of battle

The second gym leader, Gardenia of Eterna City focuses on the Grass Type Pokйmon and attacks. In this gym you have to find the 4 girls hidden around the gym and battle them before Gardenia shows herself. For defeating her you get TM80 and the Forest Badge. You can also use Cut outside of battle

The third gym leader is Maylene of Veilstone City. Focusing on Fighting Types, you have to do a puzzle that clears the path to Maylene, battling other trainers on the way. For defeating her, you get the Cobal Badge. You can also now use Fly outside of battle

The fourth gym leader is Crasher Wake of Pastoria City. Crasher Wake and his trainers focus on Water types and as such so does the puzzle. Requiring you to alter the water levels of the gym so you can get to Crasher Wake, you have to fight all the trainers on your way there. He gives you the Fen Badge. You can also use Fog Clear outside of battle

The fifth Gym Leader is Fantina in Hearthome City. First having to find her by the Contest Hall, Fantina is a Ghost Pokйmon Trainer. Her Gym is on various levels, once you take the lift up you have to pick a room. 2 out of the 3 rooms contain trainers. The other allows you to go up. After 4 of these, you find Fantina. She gives you the Relic Badge. You can also use Surf outside of battle

The sixth Gym leader, Byron requires you to traverse the many levels of the gym using platforms to go up a level or around, battling trainers along the way. The Canalave City Gym is a Steel Type Gym. Byron gives you the Mine Badge for defeating him. You can also use Strength outside of battle

The penultimate Gym Leader is Candice of Snowpoint City. This gym is full of Ice Types and as such the Puzzle requires you to make your way to Candice by sliding down the ice taking Snowballs out of your way so that you are able to get through in a Straight Line to Candice. She gives you the Glaceon Badge. You can also use Rock Climb outside of battle

The final Gym Leader is Volkner. Being an electric trainer, his gym requires you to create a path to him by pressing buttons on gears that rotate the bridges secured on them so that you can get to the end. He gives you the Beacon Badge. You can also use Waterfall outside of battle.

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How to divorce a missing spouse in the usa

By Beverly Bird

Although it’s possible to divorce a missing spouse, technology and the Internet might make it possible to avoid resorting to this procedure. Generally, courts will not give you the go-ahead to divorce without your spouse’s participation until you’ve exhausted every effort to locate him. In the process, you might get lucky and track him down. This is usually preferable, because in many states, limitations exist to such divorces.

Motion for Alternate Service

Laws in every state require that you notify your spouse that you’re divorcing him. He has the right to contest the action and to defend his interests. This is “service” of your divorce petition, and normally, you could arrange to have someone hand-deliver your papers to him, such as the county sheriff or a private process server. If you don’t know where he is, this option isn’t available to you. You must therefore ask the court to approve an alternate means of service instead. In most states, this involves posting a legal notice in the newspaper. However, you can’t just go to your local newspaper and take out a legal ad to let your spouse know what you’re doing. You need permission from the court first. In most states, you accomplish this by filing a special motion, explaining that you can’t find your spouse and asking to use an alternate means of service.

The court won’t grant your motion unless you can prove you conducted a diligent search for your spouse. If you have access to the Internet, check the Social Security Death Index first. Make sure he’s still alive, so you’re not going through a lot of effort for nothing. Check social networking websites as well. He might be keeping in touch with friends through such sites. Several websites exist that will search public records for you, looking for some trace of your spouse, for a nominal fee. They’ll give you a list of his last known addresses. Unless your spouse doesn’t want to be found, one of these methods might very well turn up some trace of him, then you’ll know where to serve him with your divorce papers. Otherwise, print out the results of your searches and attach them to your motion, showing what you’ve done to find him. Some courts might require you to go further and contact old friends, relatives or employers to ascertain if they know where he is.

Notification by Newspaper

If the court approves your motion for alternate service, the judge will issue an order stating that you have the right to serve your spouse by publication. You can take this order to the newspaper and arrange to run your legal notice. The order should contain specific directions regarding how many times you have to publish your notice, but it’s usually about once a week for several weeks. The staff at most newspapers have considerable experience with these sorts of legal advertisements, and they can assist you.

Divorce by Default

After your divorce notice has run the required number of times, the newspaper will give you an affidavit or statement, confirming this. Take your notice back to the courthouse and file it with the clerk. After you’ve done this, most states require that you wait a statutory period of time, during which your spouse can respond to the notice and file an answer to your divorce petition with the court. When this time period expires, and if your spouse does nothing, you can ask the court to grant your divorce by default. This usually involves a brief hearing before a judge so he can confirm the details of your case. He’ll grant you a divorce, but depending on the laws in your state, he may not be able to do much more than that. If you have children, he’ll grant you custody, because he can’t give custody to an absent parent. However, many jurisdictions prevent judges from awarding child support or dividing marital property if your spouse hasn’t participated in the divorce.

  • Jeffrey B. Peltz: I Want a Divorce, But I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is
  • MyFamilyLaw.com: How Do I File For Divorce if My Spouse is Missing?
  • YourFamily.com: Tips For Finding Missing People
  • Law Firm Newswire: Orange County Divorce Proceedings Can Go On Even With a Missing Spouse
  • DivorceInfo: When You Can’t Find Your Spouse

Beverly Bird has been writing professionally since 1983. She is the author of several novels including the bestselling “Comes the Rain” and “With Every Breath.” Bird also has extensive experience as a paralegal, primarily in the areas of divorce and family law, bankruptcy and estate law. She covers many legal topics in her articles.

A divorce usually starts with the filing of a divorce complaint or petition for divorce. Once the complaint is filed by one spouse, the other spouse must be notified of the action. That notification is called “service of process,” or simply “service.”

Each state has its own rules regarding service, and most offer a number of options for serving the complaint. For example, service may be done in person by having a process server hand the other spouse a copy of the divorce complaint. You can also serve a complaint by certified mail or regular mail. Problems arise when one spouse cannot be located, which usually only happens when the parties have been separated for a long time and don’t have financial ties to each other or children together that require them to stay in touch.

In situations where a spouse is missing, state court rules usually provide an alternative service method after the spouse petitioning for divorce has exhausted all reasonable attempts to find the other spouse.

Step #1: Try to find the missing spouse

Before a judge will allow you to use alternative methods of notification, you must exhaust your options for finding the missing spouse — a process known legally as “due diligence” or “diligent effort.” Reasonable steps include:

  • Contacting the spouse’s relatives, friends, former employers and former landlords
  • Searching on Internet social networks
  • Checking with government organizations like the post office, voter registration and department of motor vehicles
  • Trying to contact them via last known email addresses and phone numbers

You can hire a lawyer or private investigator to complete the due diligence process for you, you don’t have to do it personally.

Step #2: Ask the court to allow service by publication

After you’ve completed step #1, present your findings to the court and ask for permission to serve your spouse by publication. You may be required to present a sworn statement, called an affidavit, showing the steps you’ve taken to locate your missing spouse. A divorce cannot move forward unless there is a satisfactory showing that all possible steps have been taken to find the spouse. If the judge approves your due diligence, he will issue an order for publication.

Step #3: Publish a service notice in local publications

Each state has slightly different rules for service by publication, and newspaper staff will usually help you write the notice based on the information in your divorce documents and judge’s order.

Some states require you to publish a notice once a week for a certain amount of time in the county where you’ve filed for divorce. Other states require you to choose a newspaper that covers the area where your spouse last lived. There may also be a set time — 30 days, for example — in which you must publish the notice after you receive your order for publication from the court.

You may be required to post an additional notice at the courthouse.

Divorce notice via Facebook?

There was a recent case in New York where a judge allowed a woman to serve her elusive husband on Facebook. The woman had tried other means to notify him of service, to no avail. She did not know her husband’s address but she was aware that he used Facebook to communicate. So, in an unprecedented move, the judge allowed the woman to use Facebook to serve him the notice and move the case forward.

Step #4: Wait, then move forward with divorce by default

Let the judge know as soon as you’ve published the notice by filing an affidavit with the court. Publications will usually give you an affidavit confirming that your notice was published the required number of times.

There is usually a minimum number of days you’re required to wait after publishing the notice before you can move forward with a divorce. The waiting period, 30 days in some states, is intended to allow the missing spouse time to see the notice and respond or contact the court.

After the necessary waiting period, you can ask the court for a divorce by default. Note that courts usually cannot decide on financial issues such as property division, alimony or child support without the cooperation of both spouses.

Takeaways

For the party who wants to move forward with a divorce in the face of a missing spouse, it is well advised to understand your specific state’s rules governing service of process and discuss your options with an experienced divorce lawyer.

It’s also in your best interest to work hard to locate the missing spouse by checking with friends and relatives, contacting former landlords, places of employment and any mutual friends or acquaintances who may be aware of where the party is living. With the Internet and social media, it’s a lot easier than it once was to locate someone even if they have moved out of the state or even out of the country. And, as was demonstrated in the recent New York case, judges might be starting to recognize the benefits of using technology in tracking down a missing party. Missing spouse divorce

A divorce usually starts with the filing of a divorce complaint or petition for divorce. Once the complaint is filed by one spouse, the other spouse must be notified of the action. That notification is called “service of process,” or simply “service.”

Each state has its own rules regarding service, and most offer a number of options for serving the complaint. For example, service may be done in person by having a process server hand the other spouse a copy of the divorce complaint. You can also serve a complaint by certified mail or regular mail. Problems arise when one spouse cannot be located, which usually only happens when the parties have been separated for a long time and don’t have financial ties to each other or children together that require them to stay in touch.

In situations where a spouse is missing, state court rules usually provide an alternative service method after the spouse petitioning for divorce has exhausted all reasonable attempts to find the other spouse.

Step #1: Try to find the missing spouse

Before a judge will allow you to use alternative methods of notification, you must exhaust your options for finding the missing spouse — a process known legally as “due diligence” or “diligent effort.” Reasonable steps include:

  • Contacting the spouse’s relatives, friends, former employers and former landlords
  • Searching on Internet social networks
  • Checking with government organizations like the post office, voter registration and department of motor vehicles
  • Trying to contact them via last known email addresses and phone numbers

You can hire a lawyer or private investigator to complete the due diligence process for you, you don’t have to do it personally.

Step #2: Ask the court to allow service by publication

After you’ve completed step #1, present your findings to the court and ask for permission to serve your spouse by publication. You may be required to present a sworn statement, called an affidavit, showing the steps you’ve taken to locate your missing spouse. A divorce cannot move forward unless there is a satisfactory showing that all possible steps have been taken to find the spouse. If the judge approves your due diligence, he will issue an order for publication.

Step #3: Publish a service notice in local publications

Each state has slightly different rules for service by publication, and newspaper staff will usually help you write the notice based on the information in your divorce documents and judge’s order.

Some states require you to publish a notice once a week for a certain amount of time in the county where you’ve filed for divorce. Other states require you to choose a newspaper that covers the area where your spouse last lived. There may also be a set time — 30 days, for example — in which you must publish the notice after you receive your order for publication from the court.

You may be required to post an additional notice at the courthouse.

Divorce notice via Facebook?

There was a recent case in New York where a judge allowed a woman to serve her elusive husband on Facebook. The woman had tried other means to notify him of service, to no avail. She did not know her husband’s address but she was aware that he used Facebook to communicate. So, in an unprecedented move, the judge allowed the woman to use Facebook to serve him the notice and move the case forward.

Step #4: Wait, then move forward with divorce by default

Let the judge know as soon as you’ve published the notice by filing an affidavit with the court. Publications will usually give you an affidavit confirming that your notice was published the required number of times.

There is usually a minimum number of days you’re required to wait after publishing the notice before you can move forward with a divorce. The waiting period, 30 days in some states, is intended to allow the missing spouse time to see the notice and respond or contact the court.

After the necessary waiting period, you can ask the court for a divorce by default. Note that courts usually cannot decide on financial issues such as property division, alimony or child support without the cooperation of both spouses.

Takeaways

For the party who wants to move forward with a divorce in the face of a missing spouse, it is well advised to understand your specific state’s rules governing service of process and discuss your options with an experienced divorce lawyer.

It’s also in your best interest to work hard to locate the missing spouse by checking with friends and relatives, contacting former landlords, places of employment and any mutual friends or acquaintances who may be aware of where the party is living. With the Internet and social media, it’s a lot easier than it once was to locate someone even if they have moved out of the state or even out of the country. And, as was demonstrated in the recent New York case, judges might be starting to recognize the benefits of using technology in tracking down a missing party. Missing spouse divorce

How to divorce a missing spouse in the usa

Not being able to locate your spouse is emotionally taxing on multiple levels, and only gets worse if you are in the beginning or middle of the divorce process. Your spouse might be missing for a variety of personal or professional reasons, but you are eager to move on with your life so the “why” might not really matter. The good news is that you can still continue the divorce process and make strides toward a new future even though you cannot locate your spouse. The following guide will help you understand what goes into the process and how you can get a jump start on the next stage of your life.

Initiating a Virginia Divorce When You Cannot Locate Your Spouse

There are several steps you need to take when pursuing a divorce without both members of the marriage readily available for in-person interactions. None of them stop you from being able to move forward with the process, however, so long as you check each box on the list.

How to divorce a missing spouse in the usa

1. File for Divorce

Even though you cannot find your spouse, you can still file for divorce. Here are a few of the facts about this process:

  • You must file a complaint with the circuit court in the county where you and your spouse last lived together.
  • The court or your attorney will advise you on the filing fee.
  • Once your spouse has been missing for six months (if you don’t have kids) or one year (if you do have kids), you have automatically fulfilled Virginia’s mandatory waiting period.

Your complaint should detail your grounds for divorce and relay that you have been separated for the required period and cannot locate your spouse. Your complaint will also include details about your marriage, such as whether you have children, the property and real estate you share, and the date you were married.

2. Reach Out to Your Social Network

If you are going through the emotional trauma of divorce and cannot locate your spouse, you might not want to share your pain with your extended friends and family. Unfortunately, you need to call upon family members, friends, and your extended social network to see if those connections can help locate him or her. You need to show the court that you have done your due diligence to find your spouse, which means you need to exhaust every option no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.

  • Start with your spouse’s last known address.
  • Reach out to your in-laws.
  • You should also consider contacting your spouse’s last known employer, who might have a forwarding address from a final paycheck

You can get a divorce without your spouse, but it’s much easier if you can serve him or her with a copy of your complaint. There is a chance that someone in your network has information or has had contact with your spouse, and he or she might reappear once they know you have filed the appropriate paperwork.

3. Use Online Tools

The internet provides a wide range of tools to help find missing people. You can begin a thorough search with these:

  • Perform a Google Search and also consider trying other search engines.
  • Check your spouse’s social media accounts.
  • Check phone listings for numbers in the last city or area where your spouse lived without you.
  • Search public records, including voter registration records, criminal databases and court records — especially if your spouse might be serving time in prison.
  • Check the Social Security Death Index to make sure your spouse is not on it.
  • Search military records if your spouse is active duty or returned to active duty. Service separation papers might also provide information.
  • Check Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records based on the last known or suspected residence.

If you have exhausted all of these options on your own, it might be time to call in a professional.

4. Consider a Private Investigator

If you come up empty when reaching out to friends and family and checking the internet, or if you simply don’t have the time to track down your spouse, hiring a private investigator might be a great option. Experienced investigators rely on tools of the trade and know how to find people — especially those who do not want to be found.

How to divorce a missing spouse in the usa

Hiring an investigator might sound expensive, but rates are often reasonable for these types of cases and are often more affordable than what you would have spent trying to find your spouse on your own. When in doubt, ask your divorce attorney. He likely has one or more reliable and effective investigators in his professional network.

5. Service by Publication

If you’ve exhausted all options for finding your spouse and did not have success, your next step is to request that a court approve divorce by publication. Here are a few of the facts about this process:

  • In a traditional divorce, you must serve divorce papers to your spouse and he or she has a specified time to respond or contest your complaint.
  • The same is true in a divorce by publication, but personal service does not work when you cannot locate him or her.
  • Instead, the Clerk of Court orders a local newspaper to print a legal notice of divorce proceedings referred to as service by publication.
  • The publication must run for four consecutive weeks.
  • If your spouse has not responded after four weeks, your divorce continues as if he or she waived their right to any further actions, the same as an uncontested divorce.

You should note that under Virginia Law, your spouse can petition the court to rehear the divorce case within one year of service or two years from the date the final divorce decree was entered.

6. Motion for Default Judgment

If your spouse does not respond to service by publication in the time allotted, your next step is to file a motion for default judgement. In legal terms, your spouse defaulted and your motion is the action you need to take for the judge to rule in your favor and grant your divorce. As a result, most parties who file for divorce by publication receive what they ask for in their initial divorce petition. The court cannot divide marital property or make decisions about child custody, alimony, or child support when your spouse has not participated in the process, after all.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer

Regardless of why your spouse is missing, the absence does not have to stop you from moving on with your life. You do not have to sit around to wait and wonder when or if you can get a divorce. Contact divorce expert Michael Ephraim today for legal advice when you cannot locate your spouse and seek a divorce by publication.

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Your spouse may not accept that you want a divorce. In fact, you may not even be able to locate your spouse in order to serve him or her with papers. If this is the case, you do not have to stay married for life. Instead, you need to know how to handle this issue when you want to get divorced in New York.

Try to Find Your Spouse

The court expects you to at least try to locate your spouse. You can do so by hiring a private investigator, or you can simply search on your own. You need to make an obvious effort to find your spouse, and once you provide evidence of this to the court, you will likely be granted divorce by publication. This means you need to publish your intent to divorce in a local paper for at least three weeks. This way, your spouse has a chance to find out about the impending divorce if he or she is still around and reads the paper. Once you have published the notice for three weeks, you may be granted your divorce.

Get a No Signature Divorce

If you have an address you believe your spouse lives at, you can have the divorce papers served there. He or she will have 20 days to reply to the papers. You cannot force him or her to respond by then, but you do have to ensure he or she knows about the divorce. When you hire a process server to drop off the papers, you know your spouse at least received them. Then it is up to him or her to respond in time. If this does not happen, you can show the court proof from the process server that the papers were given to your spouse, and the divorce might still proceed.

Have Your Spouse Agree to the Divorce

If you end up finding your spouse, or it turns out he or she was just ignoring you, it is possible for him or her to simply acknowledge the divorce papers. As long as your spouse signs and returns the papers that are served, there need be no further action on his or her part. The signed papers indicate your spouse knows about the divorce and is agreeing to it, resulting in an uncontested divorce. This way, you do not even have to see your husband or wife in person, which may be best if it turns out he or she has been hiding from you.

This is general legal information. To learn how the law applies to your situation, try to find more legal help.

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Posted on 04/14/2021at8:16 pm

What do I do if I get served with divorce papers?

When you receive the divorce papers, your spouse is asking for a divorce. You need to respond to the divorce petition. You will be called the “Respodent” in the case. You can also file a “counterclaim” along with your answer. A counterclaim is your request for a divorce, on whatever grounds you feel are appropriate. You can make your own requests for relief in your counterclaim.

In the paperwork you receive, the summons will tell you how many protected days you have (usually 20) to respond to the petition with an “answer.” This is the time you have to decide what you want to do, perhaps talk to a lawyer, and file paperwork with the court. This is your protected “answer period.” You can file an Answer at any time. If you do not file any Answer, the court still must wait for that protected period to run out before taking any decisions in your case.

Once the answer period runs out, though, the court can act even if you have not filed any response or answer or motion or request. If you do not file an answer or response the court may not even notify you about when a hearing is scheduled, especially if the court does not have your correct address. Once you have been served, and your protected answer period has run out, then the court is free to move forward with or without you.

If the court has not acted in your case, though, you can still submit an answer any time before your first hearing. You take a risk if you don’t file an answer in the protected answer period, because the court might act without telling you. But if the court hasn’t already taken some decision based on your failure to file an answer, then you can file a late answer. The judge may tell you that you can fill out an answer at the hearing if you haven’t submitted one already.

If you want to be sure that you are notified about all proceedings in the case you have to file an Answer. You should file your answer by the end of the protected answer period. If you don’t file an Answer, you might not be notified of future hearings. And if you don’t know about the hearing, you probably won’t be present to give your side of the case.

How do I file an answer if I’m served with divorce papers?

You can find an answer form on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals website here. You should fill out the forms for the Respondent. You can also get an Answer form in the circuit clerk’s office.

The answer states whether you agree to the divorce. The answer also lets you state what you want in the divorce. Along with your answer you should file a Financial Statement. If you and your spouse have children, you should also file your proposed Parenting Plan. All of these documents are available through the Legal Aid website, through the Supreme Court website, and from the clerk’s office where the divorce was filed. There are instructions available for many of these forms.

What will happen in the divorce if I don’t answer the divorce petition?

First of all, you might never be notified of the court hearing. If you have been served, but don’t answer, the court might think you don’t want to participate in the case. Don’t take that chance. File an answer just to guarantee that you are notified of the hearing.

But if you do know about the hearing and attend, the judge probably will give you a paper that you can sign as an answer. You might have about 30 seconds to do this at the hearing. You answer the divorce petition to let the court know your position in the divorce case. You answer the divorce petition to tell the judge what you want in the divorce. You could lose a lot of your rights by not writing an answer ahead of time when you’ve had time to think about it.

If you don’t file an answer, your spouse cannot get a divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences (a no-fault divorce). To grant a divorce on that basis, both spouses must state in writing that you agree to the ground of irreconcilable differences. Both the husband and wife must sign notarized documents for this purpose. These documents must be put on file in the circuit clerk’s office. Those documents must state that irreconcilable differences exist.

However, your spouse may still be able to get a divorce if they can prove a fault ground for divorce. If you don’t answer the divorce petition and you don’t go to a hearing, it’s still possible that the judge can grant the divorce.

If that happens, the judge also can make other decisions in the divorce. If there was personal service on you, the court can address any issue your spouse wants to present. If there was more limited service of process, the court still may be able to address some issues.

In short, if you don’t file an answer you’re taking a big chance. You may not know when or whether the court is holding hearings in your case. You may never be given the chance to tell your side of the case. The court may issue orders against you that you could have defeated if you had been present. You won’t be able to get those orders changed later, if you didn’t file an answer and didn’t protect your right to be notified of hearings. Finally, at the least, you may cause the divorce to take a lot more time than you want if you do not answer and go to a hearing.

What happens after my spouse is served with the divorce petition?

Your spouse will get a notice with the divorce. The notice is called a “summons.” The summons tells him or her to file an answer to the divorce.

Your spouse will have a protected answer period, to give them time to decide how they want to respond. The period is 20 days if you obtain “personal service” on them. Otherwise the protected period will be 30 days. During that protected period you and the Court must wait for your spouse.

After that protected period is over you and the Court can move ahead with your case even if your spouse has not filed any response. Once the protected period is expired you don’t need to wait for your spouse to do something. You can ask the court to schedule a hearing and keep your case moving, even if your spouse does nothing.

Your spouse can file an Answer at any time, even if it’s after the protected answer period. The risk in filing a late answer is that the Court may have already acted without knowing what your spouse wanted. That’s your spouse’s problem, not your problem.

How Do I Get a Divorce When I Can’t Find My Spouse?

How to divorce a missing spouse in the usaIf you are married but don’t know where your spouse is we can still help you get divorced.

New York law requires that we serve your spouse the divorce documents so that he or she will have an opportunity to respond.

Although, obviously if you can’t find your spouse then serving them the documents is not possible.

In New York, if you can’t find your spouse to serve them the divorce paperwork, you need to do a Publication Divorce. A Publication Divorce is the only way to divorce a missing spouse.

So don’t worry – even if you can’t locate your spouse – we can still help!

We’ve helped many clients obtain divorces without their spouses’ signatures. The only requirement for a unilateral divorce is that you must not know where your spouse is located.

If you don’t know where they are and we can’t find them, then we can help you get a divorce without your spouse’s signature. They don’t even need to be served for that matter. The publication of the notice in the newspaper acts to put them on notice. Pretty cool, huh? More about this later…

What is a Publication Divorce Anyway?

In short, a New York Publication Divorce is when the Court allows us to publish a legal notice in the newspaper to put your spouse on notice of the fact that you’ve filed for divorce.

This is known as a “legal fiction” or “constructive notice” because the chances that your spouse will read that specific newspapers is one in a billion.

Even though this seems ridiculous to you and me both, this is the law. We have to work with the law in order to get you divorced.

Trying to get a divorce when one’s spouse has gone missing certainly complicates the situation. As the saying goes, “it takes two to tango.” Therefore, for a general dissolution of marriage in Florida, you usually need both parties.

Florida law, however, provides a remedy for a person who desires a divorce, but cannot find his or her spouse. The most common issue with a missing spouse is the petitioner no longer knows where the respondent lives.

In these situations, Florida courts allow for parties to dissolve their marriage by filing a petition for divorce by publication, also known as constructive service.

Attorney for Divorce by Publication in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you or someone you know wants to get a divorce, but they cannot find their spouse, call Bacchus Law Firm. Our office can aid you in the process of dissolving your marriage even if the other spouse is missing.

We have represented clients for years in many types of family law matters, from negotiating prenuptial agreements to child custody time-sharing agreements, and divorce cases.

Our office is conveniently located at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale, just minutes from Broward County Central Courthouse and we have taken cases in Miami, West Palm Beach, LaBelle, and East Naples, Florida.

Contact our office at (954) 500-5555 for a free no-obligations consultation.

Overview of Divorce When Spouse is Missing in Broward County

  • What steps does a person need to take in order to divorce a missing spouse?
  • Which kinds of alimony can be awarded?
  • Where can I find more informaiton about divorce when spouse is missing in Fort Lauderdale?

How to Divorce a Missing Spouse

In order for a court to grant a dissolution of marriage by publication, the court has to find that the petitioner tried very hard to search for the missing spouse.

When filing for divorce, the petitioner will have to file a Notice of Action for Dissolution of Marriage; an Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry; and information concerning how you performed a diligent search, and a list of the internet resources for conducting that search, if any.

Examples of a “Diligent Search and Inquiry”

The Florida courts have provided a few examples of what may qualify as a diligent search and inquiry sufficient to be granted a dissolution of marriage with a missing spouse. The following list is not exclusive. There are other actions sufficient to constitute a diligent search. A diligent search may include the following:

  • searching the phone directories of the cities and towns of the respondent’s possible residences;
  • asking the U.S. Postmaster in cities of respondent’s previously known residences for forwarding addresses under the FOIA act;
  • searching the public records of the tax collector and assessor;
  • inquiring of persons in the neighborhoods where the respondent formerly lived;
  • asking utility companies, including water, sewer, cable, TV, and electric, in areas of likely residence;
  • searching the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle records;
  • contacting the respondent’s last known employer –asking about any addresses to which W-2 forms were mailed or where any pension or profit sharing plans were mailed;
  • inquiring of regulatory agencies, including licensing agencies;
  • gathering the names and addresses of the respondent’s relatives and contacts with those relatives and ask them all for any information that may lead to finding the respondent;
  • inquiring with law enforcement agencies at the respondent’s last known residential area;
  • inquiring at hospitals in the respondent’s last known living area;
  • using private investigation agencies or similar ‘skip tracing’ services;
  • searching the Internet using search sites;
  • writing letters to the Armed Forces of the U.S. asking whether or not they have any information on the respondent.

The petitioner should follow all leads that he or she is able to obtain and list all efforts and actions taken to locate the respondent in the affidavit.

Additional Resources

Self-Service Form – Visit the Clerk of the Courts of the 17 th Circuit for more information about filing for divorce as a pro se litigant.

Florida Department of Corrections – Visit the Florida Department of Corrections for more information on locating prisoners in the Florida prison system to inquire after whether the spouse has been detained by Florida law enforcement.

Fla. Stat. § 61.052 – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for more information about the Florida dissolution of marriage statute. Find information on the statutory requirements for dissolving a marriage under Florida jurisdiction.

Find a Lawyer for Divorce by Publication in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know is missing their spouse and now wants a divorce, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm. Our lawyers are zealous advocates and will fight for the rights of those who have been affected by spousal disappearance.

We have years of experience representing clients in multiple family law matters, including child custody, time-sharing agreements, and other child support matters. We take cases throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in counties like Collier County, Broward County, Hendry County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County, FL.

Call (954) 500-5555 now for more information.

This Article Was Last Updated Thursday, June 1, 2017.

How to restore wooden furniture

How to restore wooden furniture

There are many ways to remove an old finish, some of them more difficult than others. Shellac and lacquer finishes are the easiest to remove, requiring only alcohol or lacquer thinner and a little muscle. The tougher finishes, paint and varnish, are more common; these are usually removed with paint and varnish remover. Oil, wax, and penetrating sealer finishes are less common; they are also removed with paint and varnish remover. In this article, we’ll discuss how to remove the old finish from your wooden furniture as well as some short-cut techniques.

Shellac and Lacquer: Finish Removal Made Easy

Before you use paint and varnish remover on a piece of furniture, take a minute to test the finish with denatured alcohol and lacquer thinner. Older furniture often has a shellac or lacquer finish, but it’s hard to know what the finish is just by looking. Shellac and lacquer are clear finishes, like varnish, but they’re much easier to remove. The time you spend to test the finish could save you hours of work.

Test the finish first with denatured alcohol. If the finish liquefies, it’s shellac; if it gets soft but doesn’t dissolve, it’s a mixture of shellac and lacquer. Test the surface again with lacquer thinner; if it liquefies, it’s lacquer. Shellac can be removed with denatured alcohol, lacquer with lacquer thinner, and a shellac-lacquer combination with a 50-50 mixture of denatured alcohol and lacquer thinner. Stripping with chemical compounds is not necessary to remove these finishes.

Apply the appropriate solvent to a section of the piece of furniture, using an old or throwaway brush. Let the alcohol or thinner work for 5 to 10 seconds, and then wipe it off with a rough cloth or with steel wool. If the finish comes off easily, you can remove the entire finish with the alcohol or thinner; paint and varnish remover isn’t necessary. Work quickly — alcohol and lacquer thinner evaporate fast. Clean small sections at a time, and change cloths frequently to keep the old finish from being reapplied to the furniture.

When the finish is off, go over the entire piece with a scraper to remove any remaining traces of finish. A furniture scraper is best, or use steel wool dipped in thinner. Always scrape with the wood grain, and be careful not to dig into the wood. If necessary, sand the wood smooth. No neutralizing is necessary. After sanding, the piece of furniture is ready to be sealed, bleached, stained, or finished.

The one drawback to lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol is that they work only on lacquer and shellac. If the old finish is varnish or paint, or if there’s a stain under the shellac or lacquer, you’ll have to move on to the more demanding techniques of paint and varnish removers.

Learn how to choose a paint and varnish remover for your project in the next section.

Choosing a Paint and Varnish Remover

Most home centers, hardware and paint stores, drugstores, variety stores, and even grocery stores carry a variety of paint and varnish removers. All soften old finishes so that they can be scraped, washed, steel-wooled, or sanded off. There are differences among removers, however, in chemical content, removal techniques, and price.

Inexpensive paint and varnish removers soften old finishes, but they’re not necessarily the bargain they appear to be. First of all, these removers may contain a waxy substance: paraffin. Paraffin gives the wood an oily look and feel and prevents the new finish from adhering properly. It must be removed with turpentine or mineral spirits before the new finish can be applied. Not only is this another step in the stripping process, but the additional money spent on turpentine or mineral spirits can be considerable. In the long run, you may end up spending as much as you would for the more expensive paint and varnish removers.

Inexpensive removers may also be flammable and highly toxic; check the labels carefully. This makes good ventilation — preferably outdoors — a must. And you must take care to keep the area free of open flame. No smoking while you work, and stay away from appliances with pilot lights.

The more expensive paint and varnish removers probably don’t contain paraffin, but they might very well contain a special wax that helps prolong the chemical evaporation process. This wax, like paraffin, must be removed after the furniture is stripped, regardless of the no-cleanup claims. A turpentine or mineral spirit rubbing or a light sanding with No. 0000 steel wool or very-fine-grit sandpaper will remove the wax.

Some paint and varnish removers don’t have wax; while you have to take extra precautions against evaporation, this extra cleaning step is eliminated. The more expensive paint removers probably contain methylene chloride, which decreases the flammability of the other chemicals in the remover. They are probably also nontoxic, although good ventilation is always desirable.

The most expensive removers are usually labeled “water-rinsing,” “wash-away,” or “water cleanup.” After application, the finish is washed off with water instead of being scraped or sanded off. The claims are true if you follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter. The chemicals in these removers contain special emulsifiers that mix with the rinse water, resulting in a squeaky-clean finish.

The problem with these wash-away removers is that water is the natural enemy of wood and certain glues. The water used to remove the chemicals must be removed from the wood as soon as possible to avoid raising the wood grain or dissolving the glue. This water problem is especially pronounced with veneer finishes and inlays. To be safe, never use wash-away remover on veneers or inlays.

Most removers are available in liquid or semi-paste forms. The semi-paste removers contain a starch or stiffener. They’re designed for vertical surfaces where staying power is important, such as the legs of a chair. These semi-paste removers are susceptible to the same problems (wax, flammability, toxicity) as the others. You can, however, buy a nonflammable, non-toxic, non-wax semi-paste.

These thick removers can be used on flat surfaces as well as vertical, if desired.

For many jobs, the more expensive wash-away removers may be worth the price in time and work saved. The non-flammability of a remover is also a big consideration, and any remover that is toxic may not be worth the price you pay for it, small or large. The semi-paste removers are the easiest to work with when starting out, although you may want to experiment with a liquid remover as well. All in all, no one remover is necessarily better than another. The key to finding a remover you’re comfortable with is experimentation. Try different types of removers, perhaps on the same piece of furniture, until you find one you like.

There are refinishing kits on the market that contain all the materials you need. These kits have paint and varnish remover, steel wool, stain, and top finishes. For the most part, these products are excellent. You should check them out before starting any refinishing job.

Once you decide what you will use to remove the old finish, you are ready to get to work. Learn proper finish removal techniques in the next section.

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How to restore wooden furniture

There are several ways to restore furniture. Before beginning a project, it is important to evaluate the piece in question in terms of age, value, materials and how you wish to use it. The answers to these questions will point to the best techniques for your furniture and situation. In general, techniques to restore furniture range from less to more intensive in how they permanently alter the furniture.

The first step in restoring furniture is to determine the value and significance of a particular piece. The techniques used to restore a 25 year old mass-produced wooden bureau will be different from what you will do with a one-of-a-kind piece that is more than 200 years old. When working with antique wooden furniture, it is important to remember that less is often more. Interventions such as painting, sloppy glue jobs, alteration or refinishing can significantly devalue an antique.

The simplest treatments to restore structurally sound wooden antiques are to apply a good quality paste wax, and to clean, repair or replace hardware. A good quality paste wax, found at your local hardware store, can work wonders on a damaged wood finish. Over the years, the knobs and pulls may become corroded, damaged or mismatched. Removing them for cleaning or using period appropriate replacements will help.

When antique wooden furniture needs structural repair, evaluation by an expert may be necessary. Keep in mind, however, that the cost of expert restoration is expensive and in terms of sheer monetary value, only worthwhile for very old furniture. Although most people think of refinishing first, this is not always the best option for retaining the character and value of an antique.

If you choose to restore furniture yourself, perform a thorough check of all joints and supports. In order to preserve the value of antiques you should try to use materials similar to those used on the furniture originally. For example, if you need to re-glue something, do not use super-glue. Instead, seek out an adhesive specifically designed for antiques, or the glue that was commonly used on furniture when your piece was made.

To restore other furniture, more drastic techniques may be useful. If the primary goal is to render a piece usable, or to change its look, then structural repair plus painting is likely the way to go. Another technique to restore furniture is alteration. For example, you might want to lower a bed frame or table by cutting off the legs. Re-upholstering and replacing the foam padding can be an excellent way to restore an old chair or sofa and give it a completely new look.

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Discussion Comments

With antique furniture restoration, you should learn as much as possible before hand about the piece of furniture you are working on. You want to know what makes it valuable and what things you can do to enhance the value, and what things to avoid doing so you don’t end up with a piece of worthless furniture.

Contrary to what many people think, sanding a piece of furniture is not always a good thing. mobilian33 October 29, 2014

@Feryll – With all do respect to your girlfriend, I think it is tacky to paint good wooden furniture. I know there are plenty of people who agree with you that painted furniture is pretty and just as good and maybe even better than the original wood, but I am not one of those people. If you are going to restore wood furniture the last thing you want to do is hide the wood because it is the wood that makes the furniture special. Feryll October 28, 2014

My girlfriend restores furniture, and what I have learned from her is that paint can cover up a lot of different types of damage quickly, and in a way so that the furniture looks good when it is completed. I know the article mentions that painting a really expensive old piece of furniture can ruin it as a collector’s piece, but most of the old furniture my girlfriend works with is not expensive.

She restores the furniture because she likes the pieces and she likes bringing them back to life, so they can be used again and appreciated. She is always looking for different little secrets and tips to help her with her hobby.

A lot of what she does know about furniture and restoring and finishing furniture she learned by taking classes and taking part in one-day workshops.

If you’re looking to restore old wooden furniture and allow the patina of the timber to shine out again, you’ll need these step-by-step instructions from DIY expert Helaine Clare

How to restore wooden furniture

Looking for practical advice on how to restore wood furniture? You’ve come to the right place. Neglected old wooden furniture often suffers from a build-up of dirt and grime, with the diminished colour and lustre resulting in a dull appearance. With this in mind, owners of antique furniture are often left wondering how to restore old wood furniture (often much treasured pieces) to their former glory.

Thankfully, restoring wood furniture is quite easily done and we’ve created this easy to follow guide so that when you come to restore furniture, you’ll know what to do for ultimate success. What’s more, with restoration furniture seemingly always at the forefront of home trends – in both period and contemporary properties – and therefore, more costly to purchase, now you can save on something beautiful by simply creating your own.

  • See our guide on caring for, cleaning andpolishing woodfurniture if you’ve more modern pieces around the home.
More from Period Living

Period Living is the UK’s best-selling period homes magazine. Get inspiration, ideas and advice straight to your door every month with a subscription.

The mahogany writing desk in this project below had ugly watermarks that marred the top that also needed attention. While it’s easy to restore old wooden furniture on a DIY basis, we’d always recommend ensuring you use the correct products. Our guide below talks you through furniture renovation and cleaning done professionally.

Once you’re done, see all our cleaning buys, how-tos and hacks to help keep the rest of your home sparkling. Looking for more expert advice on antique furniture restoration perhaps, and all things period properties – both interior and exterior? Head over to our Period Living hub page.

Everything you will need to restore old wooden furniture:

  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Paintbrushes
  • Proprietary chemical stripper and stripping tool
  • Wax and polish remover and fine steel wool (0000 gauge)
  • Fine glasspaper and sanding block
  • Wood dye
  • Wood restorer/ finishing oil
  • Wax polish
  • Tack cloth and lint-free cloth

How to restore old wooden furniture: step-by-step instructions

1. Prepare for stripping back

Stripping furniture is messy, but key to wood restoration, so work outside if possible. If working indoors, protect the floors and any furniture nearby and ensure good ventilation. To avoid damaging the finish on the body of the table, cover it in a plastic sheet so that only the top is exposed. Apply stripper liberally with an old brush.

2. Allow layers to dissolve

For a good result when refinishing wood, leave the stripper on for between five and 30 minutes until the finish – a mix of old varnish and polish – has dissolved. The length of time will depend on the composition and thickness of the coating. If the stripper hasn’t removed all the layers just re-spread the paste and it will continue to work.

Refinishing wood furniture may seem like an art but is easily done.

3. Neutralise the chemical stripper

Neutralise the wood with a pad of steel wool soaked in white spirit or proprietary wax and polish remover, following the grain of the wood. Before using any chemical always read the label carefully as different strippers require different neutralisers. Failure to neutralise stripper can allow it to reactivate and your wood restoration may not go to plan.

4. Clean off the rest of the table:

The next step to refinish furniture is to wipe away residues with cotton rags and leave for 24 hours. Meanwhile clean away dirt and old polish elsewhere by applying wax remover to a steel wool pad or coarse cloth and working in small areas at a time. Leave for a few minutes to soften the wax and wipe away with a clean cloth before it solidifies.

5. Return to the tabletop

24 hours after stripping the tabletop, use a sanding block and very fine glasspaper to smooth over the wood fibres raised during the stripping process – work with the grain. Shake and vacuum the protective sheet to get rid of dust that could spoil the finished piece. Finally wipe the top with a tack cloth.

6. Tackle areas of bleached wood

When you restore furniture, you’ll notice that every piece is different to tackle. Here for instance, for many years the table was sited beneath a window and the sun has bleached part of the wood, so applying a mahogany wood dye will make the top a uniform colour. Apply generously with a brush and allow stain to penetrate; wipe away excess with a cloth. Ensure an even finish by working in a good light.

Restoration furniture is a the perfect way to introduce something timeless to both period and modern properties.

7. Improve the sheen and finish when refinishing wood

Once dry, apply a coat of finishing oil using a brush or lint-free cloth. Allow oil to penetrate for 10 minutes and wipe away the surplus before it goes sticky. Wait for at least five hours and gently rub with 0000 gauge steel wool before applying a further coat; repeat again – the more coats the greater the durability and sheen.

8. The final spruce up with wood restorer

Finally, sparingly apply a thin coat of good furniture wax over the whole table. Leave for an hour at least and polish with a lint-free cloth. To avoid warping caused by drying out of the wood, position furniture away from radiators and fires. Sunlight will bleach the wood, so ensure it’s not placed beneath a window

Home remedies for restoring old wooden furniture

There are a couple more tricks you can use to restore furniture at home. You can remove surface dirt and old layers of wax polish with a home-made mix of four parts white spirit to one part of linseed oil. If the finish is still looking a bit lifeless, pour some proprietary wood reviver onto a cotton cloth and buff vigorously.

One such remedy which works when refinishing wood furniture is:

  • 1 part linseed oil
  • 2 parts meths
  • 2 parts turps
  • 2 parts distilled vinegar

Finally, refinish furniture with some beeswax polish and that should bring it back to life.

If you’ve got old furniture that is looking worn, dull and dated, then give it new life with these simple steps for how to restore wood furniture. You’ll just need a couple of things that I bet you already have on hand – no chemical stripper or sanding required!

If you’re signed up for my email newsletters, you know I’ve been helping my aunt redo her bedroom. We completely remodeled her and my uncle’s master bathroom last fall. By “we”, I mean that I helped with the design and then handed it over to the contractor. My uncle’s version is probably somewhere along the lines of “Jenna spent all my money.” Either way you look at it, my aunt and uncle got a killer new bathroom that is so much more functional for them. I really need to snap some pics and show you what we did. I digress though.

The bathroom remodel snowballed into a kitchen remodel for them that should happen within the next month or so – can’t wait to show you that one when it’s done too! Somewhere along the way, my aunt got hit with the decorating bug and much to my uncle’s dismay I’m sure, we are now also redoing their master bedroom, mudroom/garage entry and she’s told me when we’re done with that, we’re moving to the living room. She’s a woman on a mission, folks.

The furniture they have in their bedroom was actually my grandparent’s bedroom furniture. And since our family’s side is a sentimental bunch, we don’t easily part well with things of that nature. Sorry, Aunt Sherry. So a non-negotiable for my uncle was that the bedroom furniture stay.

The bedroom furniture though, well it had most definitely seen better days. The finish was worn and dull and the pulls were dirty. Initially my aunt wanted to completely refinish it, but she decided she would try to clean it up first. I gave her my secrets for restoring old furniture (without sanding!) and cleaning up the hardware. She put some elbow grease to it, and boom, that 50+ year old bedroom furniture was born again.

How to restore wooden furniture

Can y’all even believe that?! And no, she didn’t paint the hardware or use a single chemical / topcoat / whatever on the wood! She took the ‘before’ photo and I took the ‘after.’ Don’t worry, I’m going to have a talk with her about photo angles. 😜

I’ve used this furniture refinishing trick a few times now and I’ve had the same results – it’s really like magic.

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to Restore Furniture

How to restore wooden furniture

Supplies Needed:

  • Vegetable Oil
  • White Vinegar
  • Soft Cloth
  • Cloth for dusting
  • Screwdriver for removing hardware

Step 1

Remove all items from the piece of furniture including the hardware. Wipe the piece clean with a damp cloth or a tack cloth to remove any dirt or dust. If you use a damp cloth, let the furniture dry completely before proceeding.

Step 2

Mix 1 part white vinegar with 1 part vegetable oil. I generally do a cup of each.

Step 3

Using a clean, soft cloth, rub the mixture onto the wooden furniture.

To be on the safe side, I suggest testing the solution in an inconspicuous spot on the furniture first, then proceed if all goes well. I’ve never had an issue with this mixture, but if you’ve got a priceless piece of sentimental antique furniture, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

As you apply the mixture to the furniture, most scratches will disappear and shine will be restored!

How to restore wooden furniture

As I said before, I’ve used this solution for refinishing wood furniture before and I’ve gotten great results. I’ve done it on both dark wood like this, but also on light wood as well and it worked perfectly on both.

Related: Need to remove paint from furniture and then restain it? Then read this post on restaining furniture.

Did you also notice how well her brass pulls cleaned up?

How to Clean Old Brass Hardware

Supplies Needed:

  • Brass Polish (Brasso is what I use) and/or Bar Keepers Friend
  • Two Cloths – one for cleaning and one for polishing
  • Gloves

Step 1

Depending on how dirty your hardware is, you may be able to get by with brass polish alone. If the hardware is really bad though, using Bar Keepers Friend will often drastically cut down on cleaning time.

To clean the hardware, simply wipe on the Brasso or create a paste with the Bar Keepers Friend and scrub until the grime is gone. I wrote a whole post solely on how to clean brass hardware using Bar Keepers Friend right here.

Use gloves because this stuff is rough on your hands!

Step 2

Once you’ve removed all the tarnish and grime from the hardware, rinse it well, then polish with a clean soft cloth.

How to restore wooden furniture

I’m so glad she was able to bring this bedroom set back to it’s former glory!

Can you share any tips on how to restore wood furniture without sanding?

Looking to save yourself more time on furniture makeovers or cleaning things up? Here’s a few of my tricks…

Velvet Finishes Paint – the no priming, no topcoat way to paint furniture! And yes, I’m serious.

Waxing Furniture Tips – the easy way to wax furniture if you prefer to go that route!

Vinyl Seat Cleaner – the best way I’ve found to clean vinyl upholstery.

How to Clean Copper – restore copper to its original beauty in a fraction of the time!

How to Remove Rust from Chrome – yes, you can salvage that chrome furniture! Try this trick before tossing it!

Want to remember this furniture tip for later? Pin the image below to quickly come back here!

How to restore wooden furniture

Get more tips on social media:

Want to know how to restore wood furniture without sanding? Well, let me help you to know all the details to do it yourself without needing to visit a professional woodworker.

Table of Contents

Imagine a dull and pale spot on the vintage wooden furniture that belonged to your grandfather. Just the thought of it is very discomforting to the heart and the mind. This wooden furniture is as much a piece of us as our thoughts and memories of those loved ones.

How to restore wooden furniture

Every wooden piece of furniture has a story to tell. But time, weather, and many external factors can cause them to wear and tear despite all love and care. Unlike other household goods, you cannot wash wooden furniture with water, soap, and other such agents. Some may suggest sanding and polishing, but that isn’t a permanent solution. But then, “how to restore furniture without sanding,” you ask? Let me answer that question for you in this write-up.

Restoring Wood Furniture: Preparation Work

Not all furniture requires extensive sanding to return to its former glory. It’s all about a little bit of tender love and care combined with some very simple household applications. But before restoration, you need to do a bit of preparatory work.

Clean away the debris and the dirt

With the increasing pollution all around, it is not surprising to see dust and dirt accumulating on the surface of household goods. Crevices, corners, intersections, and joints especially collect a lot of dust over a while.

How to restore wooden furniture

The first step of restoration is to eliminate every possible dirt and have the wooden furniture squeaky clean. Since soap and chemicals can be too tough on old wood, the best way is to use a microfiber cloth sprayed with a light solution of orange or lemon-based cleaner.

Getting rid of water stains

Remember the last time your mom scolded you for leaving behind a coaster-less wet mug on the table? The water stain not only looks ugly but is not so easy to get rid of. So why do these water stains appear?

Wood has a strong affinity for water. It absorbs moisture from under a cup that causes a blemish-like appearance on the surface. One easy and very effective way to remove stains is to dab a small amount of the regular mayonnaise on the water ring and wait for an hour before wiping it away.

How to restore wooden furniture

If the watermark is old, spray the area with a mixture of olive oil and vinegar and use a microfiber cloth to wipe it down after some time. The hydration alone will give a new life to the furniture.

Once the wooden furniture is clean and stain-free, it’s time to bring the wood back to life!

How To Restore Wood Furniture Without Sanding

The idea of restoring the wooden furniture without even needing to sand it or strip it was unthinkable years ago. But now, it is as simple as doing it in 3 easy steps. Just a few hrs of dedication and time, and the wood is as sparkling as brand new once again. Once the furniture is squeaky clean and devoid of any soil or unwanted particles, it’s ready to come back alive!

#Step 1 – Paste Wax application for color restoration

The first step is to use a generous coat of Citrecious paste wax on the furniture. Lather the surface well in a good amount of coating of the paste wax.

How to restore wooden furniture

Remember that paste wax comes in various light to dark shades, so it is important to choose one closest to the wood of your furniture. Ensure to use a fine steel mesh to spread the paste wax through all the fine line cracks and gaps.

Be generous with the paste used, as you can easily remove the excess wax later on.

Leave it on for 15 minutes to allow the wood to absorb the color from the wax coat.

#Step 2 – Oil Spraying for removing excess paste and smoothening the surfaces

Spray the entire surface with any citrus oil. Lemon Oil and Orange Oil are the best choices for this step. Be very liberal while spraying the oil, as it will help remove over 60 percent of the excess wax on the wood surface.

How to restore wooden furniture

Using a fine cloth, wipe down the entire surface at least twice. This will help remove all the excess product on the wood surface and leave behind a very shiny and fresh-looking wood.

#Step 3 – Finishing with Beeswax polishing

Generally, it is best to use a combination product of Beeswax and Orange Oil for this step.

Just like steps 1 and 2, make sure to get excellent coverage of all the nooks and crevices while applying the Beeswax and Orange Oil combination.

Wipe down well with a polishing cloth, and it’s done!

Important Note

Refinishing wood furniture without stripping or sanding is incomplete if any of the steps mentioned above are missed.

The initial paste wax helps in restoring the color. The Oil spray helps remove the excess paste wax and helps in providing rehydration and nourishment to the wood. The final step of using Beeswax gives it a smoother and glossier wood surface that looks very elegant and new.

If you want to see how quickly you can restore your old wooden furniture without sanding, you can watch it here:

Want to know how to restore wood furniture without sanding? Well, let me help you to know all the details to do it yourself without needing to visit a professional woodworker.

Table of Contents

Imagine a dull and pale spot on the vintage wooden furniture that belonged to your grandfather. Just the thought of it is very discomforting to the heart and the mind. This wooden furniture is as much a piece of us as our thoughts and memories of those loved ones.

How to restore wooden furniture

Every wooden piece of furniture has a story to tell. But time, weather, and many external factors can cause them to wear and tear despite all love and care. Unlike other household goods, you cannot wash wooden furniture with water, soap, and other such agents. Some may suggest sanding and polishing, but that isn’t a permanent solution. But then, “how to restore furniture without sanding,” you ask? Let me answer that question for you in this write-up.

Restoring Wood Furniture: Preparation Work

Not all furniture requires extensive sanding to return to its former glory. It’s all about a little bit of tender love and care combined with some very simple household applications. But before restoration, you need to do a bit of preparatory work.

Clean away the debris and the dirt

With the increasing pollution all around, it is not surprising to see dust and dirt accumulating on the surface of household goods. Crevices, corners, intersections, and joints especially collect a lot of dust over a while.

How to restore wooden furniture

The first step of restoration is to eliminate every possible dirt and have the wooden furniture squeaky clean. Since soap and chemicals can be too tough on old wood, the best way is to use a microfiber cloth sprayed with a light solution of orange or lemon-based cleaner.

Getting rid of water stains

Remember the last time your mom scolded you for leaving behind a coaster-less wet mug on the table? The water stain not only looks ugly but is not so easy to get rid of. So why do these water stains appear?

Wood has a strong affinity for water. It absorbs moisture from under a cup that causes a blemish-like appearance on the surface. One easy and very effective way to remove stains is to dab a small amount of the regular mayonnaise on the water ring and wait for an hour before wiping it away.

How to restore wooden furniture

If the watermark is old, spray the area with a mixture of olive oil and vinegar and use a microfiber cloth to wipe it down after some time. The hydration alone will give a new life to the furniture.

Once the wooden furniture is clean and stain-free, it’s time to bring the wood back to life!

How To Restore Wood Furniture Without Sanding

The idea of restoring the wooden furniture without even needing to sand it or strip it was unthinkable years ago. But now, it is as simple as doing it in 3 easy steps. Just a few hrs of dedication and time, and the wood is as sparkling as brand new once again. Once the furniture is squeaky clean and devoid of any soil or unwanted particles, it’s ready to come back alive!

#Step 1 – Paste Wax application for color restoration

The first step is to use a generous coat of Citrecious paste wax on the furniture. Lather the surface well in a good amount of coating of the paste wax.

How to restore wooden furniture

Remember that paste wax comes in various light to dark shades, so it is important to choose one closest to the wood of your furniture. Ensure to use a fine steel mesh to spread the paste wax through all the fine line cracks and gaps.

Be generous with the paste used, as you can easily remove the excess wax later on.

Leave it on for 15 minutes to allow the wood to absorb the color from the wax coat.

#Step 2 – Oil Spraying for removing excess paste and smoothening the surfaces

Spray the entire surface with any citrus oil. Lemon Oil and Orange Oil are the best choices for this step. Be very liberal while spraying the oil, as it will help remove over 60 percent of the excess wax on the wood surface.

How to restore wooden furniture

Using a fine cloth, wipe down the entire surface at least twice. This will help remove all the excess product on the wood surface and leave behind a very shiny and fresh-looking wood.

#Step 3 – Finishing with Beeswax polishing

Generally, it is best to use a combination product of Beeswax and Orange Oil for this step.

Just like steps 1 and 2, make sure to get excellent coverage of all the nooks and crevices while applying the Beeswax and Orange Oil combination.

Wipe down well with a polishing cloth, and it’s done!

Important Note

Refinishing wood furniture without stripping or sanding is incomplete if any of the steps mentioned above are missed.

The initial paste wax helps in restoring the color. The Oil spray helps remove the excess paste wax and helps in providing rehydration and nourishment to the wood. The final step of using Beeswax gives it a smoother and glossier wood surface that looks very elegant and new.

If you want to see how quickly you can restore your old wooden furniture without sanding, you can watch it here:

If you’re looking to restore old wooden furniture and allow the patina of the timber to shine out again, you’ll need these step-by-step instructions from DIY expert Helaine Clare

How to restore wooden furniture

Looking for practical advice on how to restore wood furniture? You’ve come to the right place. Neglected old wooden furniture often suffers from a build-up of dirt and grime, with the diminished colour and lustre resulting in a dull appearance. With this in mind, owners of antique furniture are often left wondering how to restore old wood furniture (often much treasured pieces) to their former glory.

Thankfully, restoring wood furniture is quite easily done and we’ve created this easy to follow guide so that when you come to restore furniture, you’ll know what to do for ultimate success. What’s more, with restoration furniture seemingly always at the forefront of home trends – in both period and contemporary properties – and therefore, more costly to purchase, now you can save on something beautiful by simply creating your own.

  • See our guide on caring for, cleaning andpolishing woodfurniture if you’ve more modern pieces around the home.
More from Period Living

Period Living is the UK’s best-selling period homes magazine. Get inspiration, ideas and advice straight to your door every month with a subscription.

The mahogany writing desk in this project below had ugly watermarks that marred the top that also needed attention. While it’s easy to restore old wooden furniture on a DIY basis, we’d always recommend ensuring you use the correct products. Our guide below talks you through furniture renovation and cleaning done professionally.

Once you’re done, see all our cleaning buys, how-tos and hacks to help keep the rest of your home sparkling. Looking for more expert advice on antique furniture restoration perhaps, and all things period properties – both interior and exterior? Head over to our Period Living hub page.

Everything you will need to restore old wooden furniture:

  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Paintbrushes
  • Proprietary chemical stripper and stripping tool
  • Wax and polish remover and fine steel wool (0000 gauge)
  • Fine glasspaper and sanding block
  • Wood dye
  • Wood restorer/ finishing oil
  • Wax polish
  • Tack cloth and lint-free cloth

How to restore old wooden furniture: step-by-step instructions

1. Prepare for stripping back

Stripping furniture is messy, but key to wood restoration, so work outside if possible. If working indoors, protect the floors and any furniture nearby and ensure good ventilation. To avoid damaging the finish on the body of the table, cover it in a plastic sheet so that only the top is exposed. Apply stripper liberally with an old brush.

2. Allow layers to dissolve

For a good result when refinishing wood, leave the stripper on for between five and 30 minutes until the finish – a mix of old varnish and polish – has dissolved. The length of time will depend on the composition and thickness of the coating. If the stripper hasn’t removed all the layers just re-spread the paste and it will continue to work.

Refinishing wood furniture may seem like an art but is easily done.

3. Neutralise the chemical stripper

Neutralise the wood with a pad of steel wool soaked in white spirit or proprietary wax and polish remover, following the grain of the wood. Before using any chemical always read the label carefully as different strippers require different neutralisers. Failure to neutralise stripper can allow it to reactivate and your wood restoration may not go to plan.

4. Clean off the rest of the table:

The next step to refinish furniture is to wipe away residues with cotton rags and leave for 24 hours. Meanwhile clean away dirt and old polish elsewhere by applying wax remover to a steel wool pad or coarse cloth and working in small areas at a time. Leave for a few minutes to soften the wax and wipe away with a clean cloth before it solidifies.

5. Return to the tabletop

24 hours after stripping the tabletop, use a sanding block and very fine glasspaper to smooth over the wood fibres raised during the stripping process – work with the grain. Shake and vacuum the protective sheet to get rid of dust that could spoil the finished piece. Finally wipe the top with a tack cloth.

6. Tackle areas of bleached wood

When you restore furniture, you’ll notice that every piece is different to tackle. Here for instance, for many years the table was sited beneath a window and the sun has bleached part of the wood, so applying a mahogany wood dye will make the top a uniform colour. Apply generously with a brush and allow stain to penetrate; wipe away excess with a cloth. Ensure an even finish by working in a good light.

Restoration furniture is a the perfect way to introduce something timeless to both period and modern properties.

7. Improve the sheen and finish when refinishing wood

Once dry, apply a coat of finishing oil using a brush or lint-free cloth. Allow oil to penetrate for 10 minutes and wipe away the surplus before it goes sticky. Wait for at least five hours and gently rub with 0000 gauge steel wool before applying a further coat; repeat again – the more coats the greater the durability and sheen.

8. The final spruce up with wood restorer

Finally, sparingly apply a thin coat of good furniture wax over the whole table. Leave for an hour at least and polish with a lint-free cloth. To avoid warping caused by drying out of the wood, position furniture away from radiators and fires. Sunlight will bleach the wood, so ensure it’s not placed beneath a window

Home remedies for restoring old wooden furniture

There are a couple more tricks you can use to restore furniture at home. You can remove surface dirt and old layers of wax polish with a home-made mix of four parts white spirit to one part of linseed oil. If the finish is still looking a bit lifeless, pour some proprietary wood reviver onto a cotton cloth and buff vigorously.

One such remedy which works when refinishing wood furniture is:

  • 1 part linseed oil
  • 2 parts meths
  • 2 parts turps
  • 2 parts distilled vinegar

Finally, refinish furniture with some beeswax polish and that should bring it back to life.

I found another fantastic piece of vintage furniture that I have decided not to paint. When I find these old wood pieces in great vintage condition, I tend to leave them with their original finish. When the wood and finish are this nice, I just don’t think paint can improve the beauty.

This little piece was in really nice vintage condition, solid, clean inside, and with all its original hardware. The finish was a bit dry and dull, though. All it needed was a good cleaning and something to bring out the beauty in the wood and restore the luster.

***This post contains affiliate links. For my complete disclosure policy, click here.***

I tried a new to me product called Fusion Beeswax Finish. I have used Fusion Mineral Paint many times (see those projects here, here, and here) and love it, and this product is just as great. It’s all natural – yay! – and made of hemp oil and beeswax. It looks and smells like hemp oil, but has the consistency of soft butter. It’s so simple to apply – love that, too! I just wiped a thin coat on with a soft, lint free rag. You can also use a brush if you prefer. I let it sit for about 30 minutes and lightly buffed. It gave the dresser a light sheen and brought out the depth of the wood grain.

How to restore wooden furniture

The original hardware has a great patina and is so sturdy.

How to restore wooden furniture

The paneled sides are a nice subtle detail. You can see the pretty sheen of the finish and how the Fusion Beeswax restores the lovely depth to the wood grain.

How to restore wooden furniture

How to restore wooden furniture

I found the painting at the Goodwill for $12. It’s one of those pieces that I was immediately drawn to. I am by no means an expert on art, and know nothing about this painting. I just thought it was really beautiful. The woman in the painting seems sort of mysterious to me. Is she looking down, or maybe her eyes are closed. Not sure.

How to restore wooden furniture

How to restore wooden furniture

So happy that my hydrangeas are blooming, and I can bring in fresh cut flowers from my garden. I found the Boyd mason jar also at the Goodwill. I have a collection of sorts, and was drawn to this one because the glass is green (rather than the usual blue I find).

How to restore wooden furniture

How to restore wooden furniture

If you have a piece of furniture that needs a little something to bring back the luster, you might want to give Fusion Beeswax Finish a try. It is also recommended for use over paint, but I haven’t tried that yet. If you have, let me know how you liked it.

How to restore wooden furniture

I think this little chest would look great as a nightstand. It’s large enough that it would be really nice between two twin beds. Even placed at the foot of a bed for extra storage and seating.

How to restore wooden furniture

Thanks for reading!

Disclosure: I have received product used in this post from Fusion Mineral Paint. As always, my opinions are 100% my own, and I only recommend products that I know and love.

How to pray in hindu temples

12 Reasons for Praying and 7 Techniques of Successful Prayer

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How to pray in hindu temples

Many of you, I’m sure, are confused about the underlying philosophy of prayer. Consequently, often your prayers are not answered. Here, I attempt to provide some insights into the success of prayers.

Why We Pray

To begin with, we must understand as to why do we pray? There are basically 12 reasons for prayer:

  1. We pray to depend on God for help in distress.
  2. We pray for asking God for enlightenment.
  3. We pray for communion with God through single-minded devotion.
  4. We pray for asking for peace from God when the mind is restless.
  5. We pray for surrendering ourselves to God completely.
  6. We pray to God for giving us the ability to comfort others.
  7. We pray for thanking God for his blessings.
  8. We pray for expecting God to decide what is best for us when we are in a dilemma.
  9. We pray for making friendship with God.
  10. We pray for melting the mind and ego in silence in God.
  11. We pray for requesting God to give strength, peace and pure intellect.
  12. We pray for asking God to purify the heart and make us abide in Him forever.

Two Parts of a Prayer

In essence, what the above 12 reasons convey to us is that a prayer has two parts: one is soliciting a favor from the Almighty and the other is surrendering ourselves to His will. While the first part is practiced by most of us on a daily basis, the second part is the real and ultimate goal because it implies dedication. Dedication means feeling the light of God within your heart. If your heart is devoid of divine light, you will not be happy, cheerful and successful in your lives.

Guard Your Selfish Desires

Remember, your success depends on the inward state of your mind. Your mind will create hindrance in your work if it is not in communion with God because He alone is the permanent abode of peace. Yes, I agree that most of us want to have riches, healthy lives, nice children and prosperous future. But if we always approached God with a begging attitude then we are treating Him as our bearer to supply the things required by us at once. This is no devotion to God but devotion to our own selfish desires.

The scriptures indicate that there are seven techniques of successful prayer:

  1. When you pray just talk to God as a little boy would to a father or mother whom he loves and with whom he feels in harmony. Tell Him everything that is on your mind and in your heart.
  2. Talk to God in simple everyday speech. He understands every language. It is not necessary to use an exaggerated formal speech. You would not talk to your father or mother that way, would you? God is your heavenly father (or mother). Why should you be formal to Him or Her? This will make your relationship with Him more natural.
  3. Tell God what you want. You might as well be factual. You want something. Tell Him about it. Tell Him you would like to have it if He thinks it is good for you. But also say and mean it that you will leave it to Him to decide and you will accept His decision as best for you. If you do this regularly it will bring to you what you ought to have, and thus fulfill your own destiny. It will be possible for God to give you things that you should ​have wonderful things. It is really unfortunate, the marvelous things we miss, things God wants to give us and cannot because we insist upon something else, something only a fraction as fine as He wants to give us.
  4. Practice praying as many times during the day as possible. For example, when you are driving your car, instead of the aimless thoughts that go through your mind, talk to God as you drive. If you have a companion in the front seat, you would talk to him or her. Would you not? Then, imagine the Lord is there and, in fact, He is, so just talk to Him about everything. If you are waiting for the subway train or bus, have a little chat with Him. Most importantly say a little prayer before you go to bed. If it is not possible, get into bed, relax and then pray. God will lull you to a wonderful carefree sleep.
  5. It is not always necessary to say words when you pray. Spend a few moments just thinking about Him. Think how good He is, how kind He is and that He is right by your side guiding and watching over you.
  6. Don’t always pray for yourself. Try helping others by your prayers. Pray for those who are in trouble or are ill. Whether they are your loved ones or your friends or neighbors, your prayer will profoundly affect them. And.
  7. Last but not the least, whatever you do, do not make all prayers into the form of begging God for something. The prayer for thanksgiving is much more powerful. Make your prayer consisting of a listing of all the fine things you possess or all the wonderful things that have happened to you. Name them over, thank God for them and make that your whole prayer. You will find that these prayers of thanksgiving grow.

Finally, please do not pray to God to run after you to satisfy your selfish desires. You are supposed to do your work as efficiently and skillfully as possible. With faith in God and using the above techniques of prayer, you will have success in every walk of life.

In our hectic daily life we lose our mental peace. And that peace is obtained through praying. Praying bestows us with the strength of faith and God’s blessings. Prayer is a sadhana that is devoid of restraints. Let us see when, where and how should we pray and whom should we pray.

1. When and where should we pray ?

Prayer is a sadhana that is devoid of restraints.

A. No restraint of place

Just like chanting, the sadhana (Spiritual practice) of prayers can be performed at any place, such as in front of a Deity, in a house, in a courtyard, office, field, school, hotel, hospital, while traveling, sitting or lying in bed, etc. In the initial stage, it is better to pray in front of a Deity to attain concentration. Later, praying can be done in other places too.

B. No restraint of time

Pray regularly, from morning till bed-time, not just during moments of sorrow but also during happy moments. (To maintain consistency in prayers, develop a habit of praying every 10 minutes. Methods such as setting an alarm on a mobile phone, requesting others to remind you, etc. can be implemented. )

C. No restraints of purity-impurity

Just like chanting, there are no restraints of purity or soyarsutak (Impurity arising out of birth-death in the family) for praying.

2. Whom should we pray ?

A. At first stage an ordinary individual should pray to his Kuladevata (Family Deity) or Deity of worship, while an individual who has a Guru should pray to his Guru.

B. At second stage, in addition to the prayers in the first stage, pray to the Deity associated with the respective task. For example, pray to the Deity of water before bathing and to Shri Annapurṇadevi before a meal. This makes us realise the importance of the respective Deity and enhances our bhav (Spiritual emotion) of gratitude unto that Deity.

C. At third stage, in addition to the prayers mentioned under first and second stage, pray unto the instruments/tools that are of assistance in the respective task. For example, the user of a mobile phone should pray to the mobile phone and a housewife should pray to the utensils, stove, etc. required for cooking. In this manner, an individual will learn to see the God Principle in all animate and inanimate objects. During the course of our sadhana, we have to move towards worship of one Deity from the worship of many Deities. Despite this, we have advised praying to various Deities and tools. The objective underlying such prayers is also explained at the respective places. When diehard faith that ‘There is no other easier path for deliverance except surrendering unto the Guru’s Holy feet’ develops for the Guru or Deity of worship, prayers mentioned under second and third stage need not be made.

3. How should we pray ?

How to pray in hindu temples

Keep the mind steady and calm during the prayer.

Join the hands in a namaskar-mudra (The palms joined and held at the level of the Anahatchakra [which lies at the centre of the chest], but a little away from the body).

Visualise that the Deity or Guru is actually present in front of you or visualise the Holy feet of the Deity or Guru.

Concentrate on the Holy feet of the Deity or Guru for a few moments.

Pray in clear words. In the initial stages, to get used to praying, pray aloud. Later, it can be done mentally.

Concentrate on the words in the prayer and their meaning.

Instead of praying as if you are reading it out, try to communicate with God / Guru in a precise manner. For example, while praying that ‘let the obstacles in my sadhana be eliminated’, recall the obstacles that are repeatedly disturbing your sadhana and convey them to the Deity / Guru in a precise manner.

Express gratitude unto the Deity / Guru for the fact that they themselves have got the prayer made through you.

Once the importance of praying is understood, a numerical increase in it is expected initially. In the initial stages, praying takes place merely as a mechanical exercise of repeating words and is devoid of bhav. In the subsequent stages, a qualitative increase in praying is expected, that is, it is expected to be made with bhav.

Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy Text, ‘Prayer – Importance and Examples’

How to pray in hindu temples

Unlike other organized religions, in Hinduism, it is not mandatory for a person to visit a temple. Since all Hindu home usually has a small shrine or ‘puja room’ for daily prayers, Hindus generally go to temples only on auspicious occasions or during religious festivals. Hindu temples also do not play a crucial role in marriages and funerals, but it is often the meeting place for religious discourses as well as ‘bhajans’ and ‘kirtans’ (devotional songs and chants).

History of Temples

In the Vedic period, there were no temples. The main object of worship was the fire that stood for God. This holy fire was lit on a platform in the open air under the sky, and oblations were offered to the fire. It is not certain when exactly the Indo-Aryans first started building temples for worship. The scheme of building temples was perhaps a concomitant of the idea of idol worship.

Locations of Temples

As the race progressed, temples became important because they served as a sacred meeting place for the community to congregate and revitalize their spiritual energies. Large temples were usually built at picturesque places, especially on river banks, on top of hills, and on the seashore. Smaller temples or open-air shrines can crop up just about anywhere – by the roadside or even under the tree.

Holy places in India are famous for its temples. Indian towns — from Amarnath to Ayodha, Brindavan to Banaras, Kanchipuram to Kanya Kumari — are all known for their wonderful temples.

Temple Architecture

The architecture of Hindu temples evolved over a period of more than 2,000 years and there is a great variety in this architecture. Hindu temples are of different shapes and sizes — rectangular, octagonal, semicircular — with different types of domes and gates. Temples in southern India have a different style than those in northern India. Although the architecture of Hindu temples is varied, they mainly have many things in common.

The 6 Parts of a Hindu Temple

1. The Dome and Steeple: The steeple of the dome is called ‘shikhara’ (summit) that represents the mythological ‘Meru’ or the highest mountain peak. The shape of the dome varies from region to region and the steeple is often in the form of the trident of Shiva.

2. The Inner Chamber: The inner chamber of the temple called ‘garbhagriha’ or ‘womb-chamber’ is where the image or idol of the deity (‘murti’) is placed. In most temples, the visitors cannot enter the garbhagriha, and only the temple priests are allowed inside.

3. The Temple Hall: Most large temples have a hall meant for the audience to sit. This is also called the ‘nata-mandira’ (hall for temple-dancing) where, in days of yore, women dancers or ‘devadasis’ used to perform dance rituals. Devotees use the hall to sit, meditate, pray, chant or watch the priests perform the rituals. The hall is usually decorated with paintings of gods and goddesses.

4. The Front Porch: This area of the temples usually has a big metallic bell that hangs from the ceiling. Devotees entering and leaving the porch ring this bell to declare their arrival and departure.

5. The Reservoir: If the temple is not in the vicinity of a natural water body, a reservoir of fresh water is built on the temple premises. The water is used for rituals as well as to keep the temple floor clean or even for a ritual bath before entering the holy abode.

6. The Walkway: Most temples have a walkway around the walls of the inner chamber for circum-ambulation by devotees around the deity as a mark of respect to the temples god or goddess.

Temple Priests

As opposed to the all-renouncing ‘swamis’, temple priests, variously known as ‘pandas’, ‘pujaris’ or ‘purohits’, are salaried workers, hired by the temple authorities to perform daily rituals. Traditionally they come from the Brahmin or priestly caste, but there are many priests who are non-Brahmins. Then there are temples that are set up various sects and cults like the Shaivas, Vaishnavas and the Tantriks.

A temple at home is the basic requirement for puja. This article gives information on correct way of arranging the Deities in Home temple to derive maximum spiritual benefit of the God Principle.

How to pray in hindu temples

1. Conical arrangement of Deities in Home temple

Arrange the Deities in a conical shape. In front of the devotee performing the puja at the tip of the cone, that is, at the centre, place Shri Ganesh. To the right of the devotee place the female Deities beginning with the family Deity followed by sub-forms of superior Deities and then other female Deities. To the left of the devotee place the male Deities in the same sequence as right side.How to pray in hindu templesA. The seven superior Deities and their sub-forms

Deity Sub forms of Deities
1. Shri Ganapati
2. Shriram
3. Maruti Panchamukhi (Five-headed) Maruti (Manifest kriya-shakti) Dasmaruti (Ichha-shakti) Veermaruti (Unmanifest kriya-shakti)
4. Shiva Vetal (Kriya-shakti)
5. Shakti Nine forms of Shri Dugadevi
6. Datta
7. Shrikrushna Balkrushna (Ichha-shakti), Balaram (Kriya-shakti)

B. Sequence of arrangement of superior Deities

Other Deities should be given preference over the superior Deities – Brahma, Vishṇu and Mahesh, which represent Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution respectively. The preference should be in accordance with their association with waves of will, action and knowledge respectively.

2. Characteristics and significance of the conical arrangement

In a conical arrangement of Deities, the tip represents the Shakti that is active by manifesting in sagun form followed by nirgun forms of Shanti (Peace) and Anand. Shri Gaṇesh, followed by the sub-forms of superior Deities and then the superior Deities themselves respectively represent the journey of an individual from the sagun to the nirgun state. Gradual widening of the cone denotes the wider coverage of nirgun.

Shri Ganesh is placed in the centre. He comprehends the human language (of sound), hence, He is the Deity who can be pleased first. Shri Ganesh is a Deity who transforms the language of sound to language of light and vice-versa. Other Deities mostly understand only the language of light. Besides, Shri Ganesh is also associated with waves of desire. That is why, He conveys the desires of the devotee to his Kuladev (Family male Deity) or Kuladevi (Family female Deity) who then rush to his help. The Kuladev or Kuladevi also plead before superior Deities for fulfilment of their devotee’s desires, as a result of which, their Principle is activated and functions for the individual’s benefit.’

3. Spiritual experience – Appropriate arrangement of Deities in the Home temple

Because of the appropriate arrangement of Deities in the Home temple, a woman that was bedridden for 10 years being able to stand on her feet : I went to one household in the village of Kharpatti (in Roha Taluka, District Raigad, Maharashtra). The arrangement of the Deities in the Home temple was not correct. Among the Deities was also a picture of his deceased father. I said to him, “Shyam, because of the inappropriate arrangement of the Deities, (spiritual) distress is perceived in your house. Place in the temple only those Deities which are essential and immerse the rest in flowing water”. Mr. Shyam immediately followed what I had told him. Thereafter, his mother who was bedridden for 10 years was able to stand taking the support of the wall.’ – Mr. Anant Kokabankar, Ghatkopar, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

4. Some practical suggestions

A. What if there are less Deities to be kept in the Home temple ?

For example, if there are sub-forms of Deities and none of the superior Deities, then in the conical arrangement should the photos of superior Deities be placed at all ?

‘There is no need to place new photos. Place the one’s you have as per the arrangement. Shri Ganesh, Kuladevi and Kuladev are sufficient, because this helps the individual awaken bhav faster than for other Deities. This rule is applicable to puja and it is associated to a large extent with the sagun form of Deities. In spiritual practice involving worship of sagun form, going from many to one, that is, going towards nonduality is more important. Our sojourn should be from Idol worship to the various sagun and nirgun Principles of the respective Deities, and from there on to God who, although completely linked with the nirgun, encompasses all these Principles.

B. What if in the Home temple there are many Deities ?

For example, if there are two or more sub-forms of a Deity, should both be retained or only one will do ?

The inclination of the individual should be towards retaining only one of the two forms. Constant awareness of the fact that we have to move from ‘many to one’ at every step and developing faith in God to match this awareness should be our goal. Only then, can a individual traverse from sagun form to the nirgun form of God.

Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy Text on ‘Temple at home and implements used in the worship of God’

How to pray in hindu temples

Hindu temple at home

Hindu temple at home: to feel a connection with God

Having a Hindu temple at home for domestic worship has always been common in Hindu society from ancient times to the present day. This sacred tradition has been passed down generation to generation through beautiful rituals performed at home by adults and children alike. Everyone in the household can feel a connection with God and express their love to the deity. One simply cannot imagine an Indian home without an altar or shrine!

To be human means to search for the ultimate meaning of life, to find out who we are and what our purpose in life is. Can a domestic shrine help us cultivate our spiritual growth? There is only one way to find out!

How to pray in hindu temples

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada worshiping Krishna-Balaram deities in Vrindavan.

The importance of having a Hindu temple at home

According to Vedic shastra (ancient Indian scripture), if you wish to invite God to appear, then you should place deities (forms of the Lord) on an altar for daily worship. God will readily accept anyone, who sincerely desires to love Him by performing rituals. Believe it or not, your daily life is already full of objects of adoration and rituals. There are from brushing your teeth to watching films on your marvelous tablet, to putting on expensive jewelry.

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So why not include a very special kind of ritual – beyond anything mundane or ordinary – and bring real meaning to your life? If you are so inclined to do some spiritual practice such as meditation or prayer, then it is essential to dedicate a corner or small space (even an entire room!) in your home. This place is meant to be where you can enjoy peace and solitude during your practice. Offering a flower to the Supreme Lord can be a beautiful experience. This way your home becomes a temple. Anyone living with you or visiting your home will receive a divine blessing.

Basic temple worship at home

Creating your own sacred space with an altar and deity can be empowering and fun.

  • First select a corner of a room or small space preferrably facing East. This space will dedicated solely to your worship. Using a table or piece of furniture that is elevated a few feet off the ground.
  • Set up your altar with an ornate cloth and other paraphernalia for worship such as candles, incense holders, vases for flowers, etc.
  • Place a statue (murti) or picture of your beloved deity in the center and your altar is complete!
  • Oh, there’s one more thing you need to add: loving intention and devotion!
  • Everyday before you begin your meditation practice or prayer, you can offer a flower (if you don’t have a flower, even a leaf will suffice), a piece of fruit or some incense or water to your deity. You can recite any mantra from your heart or sing to express your love. You will be amazed how such a simple gesture can transform your consciousness and bring more love into your life while endearing you to your deity. As your devotion deepens over time, you will naturally wish to enhance the beauty of your sacred space with more valuable adornments and offerings. This will make your deity shine with happiness.

Who will grace the altar of our Hindu home temple?

Naturally we should aspire to worship The Supreme Lord on the home altar. In doing so, try to establish a loving relationship with Him. The most authoritative ancient Hindu scriptures spoken by Lord Brahma himself, declare that Govinda (another name of Krishna) is the supreme worshipable personality of Godhead. Of course, who you place on your altar is your personal preference, but if we want special divine mercy why not aspire for the topmost deity?

Most of us have difficulty imagining how God looks like. We can acquire specific deity forms or images such as small statues or pictures to help us see our deity. He accepts different forms, so we can serve him face to face. Our goal is to form a relationship with the deity that is based on loving devotion. Performing a daily puja (ritualistic offering or greeting) at home is a beautiful way to establish this intimate relationship.

How to pray in hindu temples

Just a simple altar and our life will be more balanced and pure.

Basic Hindu worship (puja) at home

In our hindu temple at home once we have created a beautiful altar for God, we can begin to offer Him objects that He loves. The more beautiful and sweeter the objects are, the more pleasing they will be to your Ishtadev (beloved deity). The offering ceremony has some simple guidelines regarding cleanliness and sequence. But in the beginning it isn’t necessary to learn all the rules. Just imagine that the most important person in the world is visiting your home. Than think about how you should treat him. The most important thing is to do everything with sincere love and devotion. For a fancier or more opulent puja, we can start following the guidelines and offer incense, fire, water, cloth, flower, yak tail fan, peacock feather fan and specially prepared foods.

This short video on traditional Indian Hindu worship was made by Vrinda Kunja team just around the corner from our ashram, in Gopeshwar Mahadev temple. Source: bharata.hu

Transform your home into a Hindu temple

Visiting an authentic Hindu temple is an amazing experience, but sometimes we are not able to visit temples. Temples housing our preferred deities of worship may be very far away from our homes. Creating a hindu temple at home solves this problem instantly and permanently. As soon as we make our own temple and begin home worship, we begin to notice a transformation. Peace, harmony and prosperity envelop our home and our lives. Not just our connection with God becomes stronger. Our relationships with family and friends improve too, especially if others join our worship. The entire atmosphere in our home becomes noticeably purer and full of loving sentiments. If God is in the center of our attention, He radiates joy, comfort and love to everyone around Him. So, why not have a hindu temple at home?

How to pray in hindu temples

From The Editor’s Desk

(Hinduwebsite Editorial – Exploring Truth Amidst Illusions and Distortions)

Do the gods have aany say in how they may be worshipped?

On the path of devotion you only have the right to worship without desires and expectations. Jayaram V

Rights, demands and conditions belong to the ego, not the soul. Jayaram V

In any dispute or decision about the traditions and practices of Hindu temples such as who should worship in the temple, whether women should be allowed to worship or how one should perform the worship, one should always consider three criteria, the temple administration, the devotees who worship there and contribute to its maintenance, and the gods who are housed in that temple.

We cannot ignore the specific requirements, rules and restraints that should be observed in deference to the gods of the temples and the prevailing traditions and customs since it forms part of the worship and devotional service, nor can we take liberties with them according to our convenience and changing morals and social norms, since it may cause them displeasure and defeat the very purpose of worshipping them.

Where the rules are unclear or where the tradition is silent about the observances, one may take liberties, but if history points otherwise, one should honor the prevailing traditions and customs and abide by the verbal testimony of the scriptures if it is available.

Some temples may have traditionally barred the entry of women into the premises for worship or service and some may have imposed similar restrictions on non-Hindus or particular categories of people such as widows or people engaged in certain professions. In all such cases, temples authorities must exercise utmost caution in explaining their position.

No religion is perfect, since much of what we find in a religion evolves from our social, moral and cultural values and spiritual expression. As devotees, human beings are supposed to surrender their will to the will of gods and worship them according to the tradition or the established practice.

However, in recent controversies about certain temples, which discriminate against women and deny them entry, such considerations have been ignored. Who should decide what is right for the deities or who should worship them?

People who put themselves at the center of such controversies are mostly secular people who want to impose their modern ideological imperatives upon an ancient tradition. Most of them do not respect any religion or worship any deity. Yet, they want to decide how others should practice their faith in which they themselves have little faith.

A temple is an abode of gods or goddesses. Just as you have certain rights in your house regarding who should enter or live there, the gods in the temples should have their say according to the tradition or scriptures on how they should be worshipped or revered.

It is not up to the people, especially those who have no respect for them, to decide what is good for them, or treat them in whatever manner they like. It is disrespectful to gods, and it defeats the very purpose of worshipping any deity.

Inside the temples, you have to obey the will of God and pray, but you cannot insist on how the temple should conduct its affairs, unless you are vested with necessary authority because of your position or traditional right.

In the presence of a deity, you have to let go of your ego. It is not our tradition to dictate policy to them. If you do not like the deity, or his or her ways, you do not have to worship them.

We have many deities who are worshipped according to the not so pleasant left-hand methods of Tantra. Would it be fair to suggest that those temples where they are worshipped should be closed or their methods of worship should change?

Many Hindu temples, which are older than 100-200 years have been following their specific customs for a long time. They are patronized people who believe in them. Each temple is a center of faith, but does not necessarily belong to mainstream Hinduism.

When it suits them, the courts themselves argue that Hinduism is not a religion. It is also true that every temple does not necessarily practice the same type of Hinduism. Therefore, we should not ignore their peculiarities, historical value, and unique practices.

It is not proper to disrupt them because we want them to fall in line with the secular values of our generation. Each case should be considered on merits, rather than forcing them all to become modern temples of secularism and progressive values.

In imposing today’s secular values upon an ancient religion such as Hinduism, we should not ignore the risk of disrupting its identity, sanctity, and continuity. Jayaram V

If women really want to take their gender fight into the domain of Hindu temples and assert their right to worship, they may collect funds and set up new temples exclusively for women, with women serving as priests and barring entry for men if they decide so.

Further, they can build new temples with better architecture near the temples where women are not traditionally allowed and house the same deities for worship by women. No one can prevent them from doing it.

Perhaps, the secular elite probably would not like the idea of constructing new temples or strengthening the faith since they are doing their best to destroy the ancient ones and weaken the faith. However, we believe it is the right way to assert women’s power and set a new trend which can be carried forward by future generations.

How to pray in hindu temples

Image Source / Getty Images

Here are the lyrics of five Hindu prayers that are appropriate for you to use at any auspicious occasion. They include:

  • The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
  • Meditations on Shiva
  • Meditations on Ganesha
  • Meditations on Krishna
  • Mediations on Rama.

The prayers are given in Hindi, followed by English translations.

The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra – The Life-Giving Prayer

Om trayambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam
Urvaarukamiva bandhanaan mrityor muksheeya maamritaat.

Translation: We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Siva) Who is fragrant and Who nourishes well all beings; may He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage (to the creeper).

Meditation on Lord Shiva

Shaantam padmaasanastham shashadharamakutam
panchavaktram trinetram,

Shoolam vajram cha khadgam parashumabhayadam
dakshinaange vahantam;
Naagam paasham cha ghantaam damaruka
sahitam chaankusham vaamabhaage,

Naanaalankaara deeptam sphatika maninibham
paarvateesham namaami.

Translation: I prostrate myself before the five-faced Lord of Parvati, who is adorned with various ornaments, who shines like the crystal jewel, who is seated peacefully in the lotus pose, with moon-crested crown, with three eyes, wearing trident, thunderbolt, sword and axe on the right side, who holds the serpent, noose, bell, damaru and spear on the left side, and who gives protection from all fear to His devotees.

Meditation on Lord Ganesha

Gajaananam bhootaganaadisevitam
Kapittha jamboophala saara bhakshitam;
Umaasutam shoka vinaasha kaaranam
Namaami vighneshwara paada pankajam.

Translation: I worship the lotus feet of Ganesha, the son of Uma, the destroyer of all sorrows, who is served by the host of gods and elementals, and who takes the essence of the kapittha-jarnbu fruit (fruit resembling the bilwa fruit).

Meditation on Sri Krishna

Vamshee vibhooshita karaan navaneeradaabhaat
Peetaambaraadaruna bimbaphalaa dharoshthaat;
Poornendusundara mukhaad aravinda netraat
Krishnaat param kimapi tattwam aham na jaane.

Translation: I know not any other Reality than the lotus-eyed Krishna with hands adorned with flute, looking like a heavy-laden cloud in lustre, wearing a yellow silk garment, with His lower lip like a ruddy bimba fruit, and with face shining like the full moon.

Meditation on Sri Rama

Dhyaayedaajaanubaaham dhritasharadhanusham baddhapadmaasanastham,
Peetam vaaso vasaanam navakamala dala spardhinetram prasannam;
Vaamaankaaroodhaseetaa mukhakamala milal lochanam neeradaabham,
Naanaalankaara deeptam dadhatamuru jataa mandalam raamachandram.

Translation: One should meditate on Sri Ramachandra, with hands reaching the knees, holding the bow and arrows, seated in the locked-up lotus posture, wearing a yellow garb, with eyes vying with the newly-blossomed lotus petals, with a pleasant gait, who has Sita seated on His left thigh, who is blue like the clouds, who is adorned with all kinds of ornaments and having a big circle of Jata on the head.

ERROL MANGUSO

29 SEP 2017

CLASS

One of the primary places where Hindus go to worship is a temple, which is known in Hinduism as a mandir. The central activity in a mandir is puja, an elaborate religious service that participants believe spiritually connects them to Hindu’s deities.

Hindus often make numerous preparations before entering a temple, such as bathing themselves and dressing in modest clothing. Most temples discourage shorts and short skirts.

Once arriving at the temple, Hindus often stop at its entrance to pray in either a prostrate position or with their hands above their heads. Many temples also have an outdoor flagpole where worshipers can pray and clear their heads of negative thoughts. Before entering the temple, worshipers are usually required to remove their shoes as a sign of respect to Hinduism’s deities.

Explore this article

  • Entering the Temple
  • Puja
  • Puja Sacraments
  • After Puja

1 Entering the Temple

Each Hindu temple is generally dedicated to a specific god, such as Shiva or Ganesha, but they regularly have shrines set up for a variety of gods.

Upon entering a temple, worshipers often see a small bell by the door that they traditionally ring in order to announce themselves to the gods. It’s then customary for worshipers to visit each of the shrines within the temple and to offer a flower in honor of each represented god. Worshipers then customarily walk clockwise around the temple’s primary shrine and clear their heads of non-religious thoughts. Afterward, devotees place an offering (often fruit or flowers) at the shrine to honor the deity. Hindus then sit for the worship service known as puja.

2 Puja

During puja, devotees sit before the temple’s main shrine while a priest chants in Sanskrit and makes hand gestures that are intended to conjure the deity, which is often represented by an image. The priest then rings a bell and makes the deity offerings, such as food and holy ash. Religious rites, such as bathing an image of the deity in water, are also performed by the priest.

After the image of the deity is dressed in new clothes, the priest offers worshipers flowers while chanting the names of Hindu gods. The priest then waves a lamp before the image of the deity while bells ring. This symbolizes the deity sending his power through the image. The worshipers then pray in a prostrate position toward the shrine.

3 Puja Sacraments

The priest then holds the lamp in front of each worshiper, who then traditionally wave their hands across its flame three times. The devotee then softly touches their eyes in a gesture meant to draw blessings into themselves.

The priest then places a handful of ash in the right hand of each worshiper, who then transfers it to his left hand and uses the right hand to spread it across his forehead. A priest then pours each worshiper a small amount of blessed water that is meant to be sipped. Each devotee is then offered sandalwood paste and red powder, which are then applied in a small dot on the forehead with the ring finger. Sometimes, food may be offered to worshipers at the end of the puja ceremony.

4 After Puja

When the puja service is finished, Hindus often partake in a variety of related activities while at the temple. Worshipers may sing hymns to themselves or with a group, either at select times during the puja service or afterwards. Some Hindus may choose to meditate or mentally repeat a mantra while counting prayer beads, an act known as japa. It’s also common practice for Hindus to receive an individualized puja service, known as archana, which can be obtained through a modest fee and offering. Although not required, devotees may also make a general monetary donation before leaving the temple.