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Cleaner tackles sports-related stains

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Ready2Go:</span> The handheld, battery-operated lawn spreader is designed for small spaces.
Ready2Go: The handheld, battery-operated lawn spreader is designed for small spaces.
Handout / Akron Beacon Journal

Akron Beacon Journal

Espro Sports Cleaner is designed to clean uniforms and other clothing of the stains and odors associated with outdoor sports.

The laundry pretreatment is formulated to remove stubborn stains such as grass, red clay, dirt, blood, field paint and sweat stains. It was originally intended for sports gear but can also be used as a general-purpose stain remover.

The cleaner is available at Walmart Supercenters, according to the company’s website. It can also be ordered at http://espro-direct.com. A pack of two 32-ounce spray bottles costs $22.95 online. Shipping is free.


The Ready2Go Spreader is a small spreader designed for small spaces.

The lightweight, hand-held device is battery-powered to create a steady, even spray of granular fertilizer or weed killer. It’s ideal for smaller lawns and places where a walk-behind spreader is difficult to use, such as tight spots, slopes and rough terrain.

The spreader comes loaded with one of five lawn-care products: Preen Lawn Weed Control, GreenView Weed & Feed with Preen, GreenView Crabgrass Control Plus Lawn Food with Preen, GreenView Lawn Food or Vigoro Weed & Feed. Each spreader is calibrated specifically for the product it contains and can be refilled with that product.

The spreaders are expected to be available nationwide in the spring. Suggested retail prices range from $24.99 to $29.99.


Q: My strings of miniature Christmas lights often burn out partially. Why is that? I don’t hook more strings together than what’s recommended.

A: That aggravating problem is rooted in the way miniature incandescent lights are wired.

Unlike old-fashioned C7 and C9 bulbs, miniature bulbs are low voltage. Household current is too much for individual bulbs, so groups of bulbs are wired together in a series that collectively can handle the higher voltage. The electrical current has to pass through all the bulbs in the series to complete its circuit.

Usually a series contains 50 bulbs. A 100-light string has two series; a 150-light string has three series.

If one bulb in a series is defective, loose or missing, the circuit is broken and the series won’t light. The sockets in miniature light strings often aren’t very sturdy, so bulbs can loosen easily, especially outdoors.

In some light strings a burned-out bulb can also cause the series to fail, but better-quality bulbs usually have an extra wire called a shunt that serves as a backup. The shunt is designed to keep electricity flowing through the bulb even if the filament has burned out, so the circuit can be completed.

However, the shunt doesn’t always work right. It has a covering that’s supposed to burn off when the filament fails, but that doesn’t always happen. That’s where a repair device like the LightKeeper Pro comes in handy. It sends a surge of electricity through the circuit that can break down the coating and activate the shunt.

Replace burned-out bulbs even if the string keeps working. Otherwise the other bulbs have to handle the extra voltage, which can cause them to burn out faster.

Lights can also go out if a fuse burns out, but that will darken the whole string.

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