Garbage disposals are a nice addition to sinks. No longer do you have to worry about the sink becoming clogged and you don’t have to remove food from the sink with your hands. However, garbage disposals are commonly abused and tend to start smelling badly because they are treated like garbage cans. Follow the tips below to keep your disposal lasting and smelling fresh.
Stuck Items: Always make sure nothing is in the disposal that shouldn’t be prior to turning it on. Look into the disposal to see if there are any stuck items. If there is, avoid using your hands to remove the item. Instead, try using a pair of tongs or another similar item to get the item out. To prevent items from falling in, try keeping anything small enough to fall into the garbage disposal out of the sink until it is time to clean them.
Keep the blades sharp: Pop water and lemon juice in an ice tray and leave them to freeze. Once frozen, drop the fruity ice cubes in and switch your disposal on. This will keep your blades sharp and give your disposal a refreshing scent. You can also just use plain ice cubes to keep the blades sharp.
Avoid mold: Our technicians strongly recommend using bleach for the dishwasher and washer to avoid black mold from growing. The same goes to garbage disposals and sinks. Occasionally use bleach to clean the sink and allow extra to go into the garbage disposal.
Typically, when an oven malfunctions, it isn’t an emergency to have it repaired. There is still a microwave to use, food from the pantry, or the opportunity to eat out. However, when it is a holiday such as Thanksgiving a malfunctioning oven presents a huge problem and then people typically must spend more for emergency service. Keep your oven in good shape and avoid costly repairs by following the tips below.
Clean up spills: To keep your oven and stove top working well, it is recommended to clean up spills as soon as possible. Next time your stove top burner quits working, check to see if a previous spill is the reason. If you have coil burners or gas burners clean the drip bowls with a grease dissolving cleaner and use a toothbrush to gently scrub the igniter. If you have a glass top also use a grease dissolving cleaner to clean spills. If there is a spill in your oven, clean it immediately once the oven has cooled. A couple times a year, put your oven through the self-cleaning cycle and thoroughly clean the oven after it has completed self-cleaning. Do not frequently use the self-cleaning cycle because this can also damage your oven.
Check parts: You can prevent future problems by checking all parts once a month and clean them if necessary. Check the bake element, broil element, coil tops, glass top, igniters, gas line, vents, and filters. Also check your gasket to make sure it stays clean. Food spills can harden the gasket, preventing it from sealing properly. To clean them, just use soap and water.
Avoid repairs during the holidays: To avoid having your oven or stove top malfunction before or during a special occasion replace any parts that start malfunctioning immediately. It is also highly recommended to have a technician come out and check your oven (or any appliance) prior to a special occasion. If any part has gone out or is likely to, they can fix it in a timely manner, reducing the likelihood of your appliance malfunctioning when you need it the most.
We all know how inconvenient hand washing dishes can be especially if you are used to using a dishwasher. Whether it is a demanding career, a big family, or just a busy lifestyle a functioning dishwasher is definitely a labor-saving appliance. By giving your dishwasher maintenance checks regularly and following the additional tips below, your dishwasher is likely to last longer, your dishes should be cleaner, and you save time and money in the long run.
Deodorize and sanitize: When you expect the dishwasher to clean your dishes well, you want to smell a fresh scent when the cycle is complete, not a foul odor. From frequent use, black mold builds up in the motor assembly and pump assembly. Therefore, it is very important to deodorize and sanitize your dishwasher at least every three months. To do this, pour a cup of bleach into the bottom of the dishwasher and run it through a normal cycle without any dishes. Your dishes are sure to be clean and your dishwasher will smell fresh week after week.
Clean the filter: If your dishes are no longer coming out clean, check the filter. Food can build up and prevent water from coming through to clean the dishes. You may have to refer to your owner’s manual but typically you remove the bottom rack, remove the filter, remove any food from the filter, clean the filter with water, and then put everything back in place. To prevent clogging the filter remember to always discard food and rinse the dishes prior to loading them into the dishwasher.
Clean the door gasket: A dishwasher’s door gasket (seal) prevents any water from leaking. A defective or damaged door gasket can cause serious and expensive water damage to your floor if not caught early or regularly taken care of.
Clean the spray arms: Another component of the dishwasher that should be cleaned regularly are the spray arms. These can become clogged from regular use so must be gently scrubbed with water occasionally to ensure water can freely flow to clean the dishes properly.
Listen for unusual sounds: Any unusual sounds coming from the dishwasher is typically a sign that either a part has gone bad or may be about to. If you hear an unusual sound coming from the dishwasher discontinue using the appliance and call an appliance repair company to have it looked at to prevent any further problems. This is especially important if debris such as broken glass has fallen in the dishwasher because serious damage to other dishwasher components can result.
Use the right soap: It is very important to only use detergent made specifically for dishwashers. Never use dish liquid soap that is supposed to be used in the sink for cleaning dishes. It can be damaging to your dishwasher and the soap suds will come out of the dishwasher into your kitchen. If you use liquid soap or someone else does, stop the dishwasher immediately. Remove your dishes and try to remove as much soap or suds as possible with a towel. Wash out soap dispenser thoroughly.
A washer is an efficient way to clean clothes. When they malfunction, it typically is an emergency to have it fixed. Without a washer, you must go to a laundry mat, which can expensive and unreliable. To avoid such an emergency, follow the tips below.
Hoses: Washing machine hoses can develop cracks, weak spots, and leaks. It is recommended to inspect your washing machine hoses annually for any deformities. If any are found, replace the hose. At the least, they should be replaced at least every five years to avoid significant leaks.
Avoid overloading your washer: It may be tempting to cram as many clothes or items into the washer as possible to save time, money, and energy but don’t fall for this common mistake. First, your clothes are unable to get as clean as they would with more space in the washer. Second, overloading can cause significant damage to motors, belts and other parts. To avoid overloading do not fill your washer more than 3/4 of the drum. Also load similar items (towels with towels, socks with undergarments, jeans with other heavy items, etc.). This will prevent your washing machine becoming off balanced.
Carefully close the washer door: Be mindful and close the washer door carefully. Continually slamming the door closed or letting it drop down will likely brake some parts associated with the door such as the handle, latch, or switch. These parts can be expensive too if you need them replaced so try avoiding this repair. Carefully lower the lid if it is a top load washer and gently close/open the door if it is a front load washer.
Keep washer door open: If you don’t have another load of laundry to put in the washer, leave the washer door open. Keeping the door open will allow for more air flow and will prevent mold. Removing damp clothes immediately will also prevent mold.
Clean your washer: Yes, you should also clean your washer. Wipe down all surfaces with a quality cleaner or bleach. Newer models should be ran through a cycle with bleach once a month. If you have a front load washer this is also a good time to check the door seal for any deformities to avoid leaks.
It’s always an inconvenience when any home appliance malfunctions. In terms of dryers, it is much easier, reliable, and quicker to throw a load of wet clothes into the dryer than to hang them out to dry. This is especially true if you must do load after load of laundry. Plus, when using a dryer, clothes tend to come out softer and smelling fresher compared to clothes that have been air drying. So, to keep the convenience of your dryer, follow the tips below. One of the tips below is very important to do regularly to avoid a fire hazard.
Clean the lint filter: After each load of clothes, remove all lint collected on the lint filter to maximize efficiency. In addition, each month use a vacuum to remove extra lint from the filter and where the filter is placed in the dryer. You may also use compressed air if a vacuum is not strong enough to remove lint or small enough to reach small places where lint may be stuck.
Remove lint from dryer exhaust: It is recommended to remove the lint from the dryer exhaust every year. This is important because lint build up is a fire hazard. Fortunately cleaning out the dryer exhaust is simple to do. Simply loosen the clamp and remove the exhaust tubing from the back of the dryer. Remove any lint with your hands that has built up inside the exhaust and where it attaches to the dryer. Use a vacuum to remove any extra lint. Reattach exhaust and tighten clamp. It is also worth considering hiring a company for dryer exhaust vent cleaning. We strongly recommend Power Vac LLC located in Portland, Oregon.
Carefully close the dryer door: It is very common for a door latch or switch to break because of frequent abuse. To avoid putting money towards replacing parts, that can be very expensive even when they are plastic, treat your appliances with care. Gently open and close the door.
Clean your dryer: You should also occasionally clean your dryer by wiping down all surfaces with a quality cleaner.
Prevent Your Food From Spoiling
The refrigerator is one of the most important and hardworking appliances in a household. It must constantly work to keep a constant temperature or in other words keep your food fresh. When any other appliance such as a washer, dryer, oven, or dishwasher malfunctions, it can be an inconvenience. However, when the refrigerator malfunctions it must be taken care of immediately or you may lose all your food. To minimize the chances of your refrigerator breaking down, follow the tips below.
Clean the rubber gasket: Maintaining your refrigerator’s gasket is a vital key to keeping your refrigerator working longer. The vinyl strip forms a seal between the cabinet and the doors and this seal keeps the refrigerator cooling properly. If door gaskets become damaged, room-temperature air can enter the refrigerator resulting in excess moisture, frost issues, and your refrigerator works harder to maintain the set temperature. When the fridge is running longer, your electricity bill is likely to increase as well.
Regularly checking and properly cleaning the gaskets can prevent them from becoming damaged, saving you a costly or complicated repair. When checking your gaskets look for any residue or food buildup, tears, or loosening of the gaskets. If there is food or debris build up just use some soap and water and scrub it off. Use a towel to dry. Some people even use a vinyl conditioner or a thin film of petroleum jelly which supposedly helps create a better seal. Just don’t use detergents because these alone can damage the gasket. If you notice any loosening or tearing, replace the gaskets to avoid any further issues or repairs.
Clean the refrigerator coils: Another vital key to keeping your refrigerator working efficiently and long lasting is by cleaning the refrigerator coils. Dirt, dust, and pet hair can accumulate on the coils restricting airflow, making the refrigerator work harder to keep cool. If the airflow through the condenser coils are restricted there is a risk of overheating and failure of the compressor or other parts of the refrigerator’s sealed system. Repairs on a refrigerator’s sealed system can be very expensive and some people choose to replace their refrigerator instead of repair them. Our technicians commonly clean the coils for clients to avoid such expensive repairs in the future. People can also easily clean the coils themselves.
It is suggested to clean the coils once or twice a year. If there are pets in the home it is suggested to clean them even more often. To clean the coils, use a can of compressed air and a handheld vacuum. Some people recommend using a coil cleaning brush specifically designed for cleaning refrigerator coils, however our technicians do not recommend using those because it is easy to damage the coils. If you choose to use the coil brush, carefully scrub the coils and then suck up any loose particles with the vacuum. The coils are fragile so must be cleaned softly. The location of the refrigerator coils can vary but typically they are behind the kick plate (near the floor in the front of the refrigerator) or at the rear of the fridge.
Clean fridge well: Deep clean your fridge on a regular basis. Turn off or unplug your refrigerator when deep cleaning and take out all drawers and shelves. Wipe down all surfaces in fridge and freezer with bleach then put all drawers and shelves back in place.
Check the hinge components: This is not often discussed but it is a smart idea to occasionally check the hinges of your refrigerator to make sure they are still in good shape and are properly lubricated. In most homes, the refrigerator doors are opened quite frequently therefore wear and tear of hinges is expected. There have even been cases where doors have fallen completely off because of damaged hinges. Check both the top and bottom hinges for any damage and to ensure they are still adequately lubricated. If a hinge needs more lubrication, remember to use a food-grade lubricant.
Listen for unusual sounds: One of the greatest indicators of a part malfunctioning is an unusual sound. Listen for any unusual sounds such as rattling, squeaking, squealing, or buzzing coming from the refrigerator. If you hear any of these sounds, take care of it immediately before the actual cooling system quits working.
Keep the doors closed: Making sure the refrigerator and freezer doors are closed is common sense but is commonly forgotten. It is very important to ensure the refrigerator doors are closed completely because if they are left open, the compressor will run constantly to keep the fridge cold, more energy will be used, moisture will accumulate on the evaporator coils, frost will build up, and it will put wear and tear on the compressor. If the compressor goes out, it can be an expensive repair.
If the power goes out, keeping the doors closed is even more important if you want to prevent the food from spoiling. By keeping the doors closed as much as possible, it helps maintain a cold temperature inside the refrigerator. Every time a door opens, warm air enters the fridge. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours with no power and a freezer will maintain its temperature for about 48 hours if the freezer is full of food and about 24 hours if freezer is only half full.
If you are considering purchasing a new washer and/or dryer and have been doing some research on brands, look no further. Speed Queen Home Laundry only designs and manufactures washers and dryers, so you could say they are experts in what they do. And at AAA Appliance Service Inc. we truly believe their washers and dryers are the best in the industry. If you have heard of them and are thinking to rather go with LG, Samsung, or others, you are making a mistake. I will explain why that is the case in another post but for now read this post. If you have not heard of them, be prepared to be impressed.
You should get a Speed Queen washer and/or dryer for the following reasons:
- Speed Queen washers and dryers are durable and long lasting
- They have a product life of 25 years or 10,400 loads
- They could save you money over the long-term
- They have the best in industry warranty
- They are built only with commercial quality
- They have been made in the US for more than 100 years
- They are “Built Better to Last Longer” (Speed Queen)
Are you interested yet? Consider the fact that other manufacturers only expect their washers and dryers to last between 10-13 years when they are used properly and are maintained regularly and Speed Queen’s appliance typically last 25 years. Some owners of Speed Queen appliances even report their machines are 25, 30, and even 40+ years old. The durability and long lasting qualities of Speed Queen washers and dryers are also visible in the appliance repair industry. It is uncommon to receive a call from someone who needs their Speed Queen appliance repaired. It is much more common to hear about Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore washers and dryers needing repairs. When comparing such product lives and differences in reliability, the better choice is quite clear.
While some other manufacturers build their washers and dryers with plastic parts or thin steel, Speed Queen builds their washers and dryers only with commercial grade steel, porcelain tubs, and metal gears and casings for reliability, durability, and a much longer performance. Typically, our technicians recommend top load washing machines over front load washing machines, and recommend mechanical washers or dryers over electronic control. However, with how Speed Queen builds their appliances, all models including the front load and electronic control models are approved by our technicians.
Speed Queen’s front load washers use Dynamic Balancing Technology that eliminated vibration, results in less moisture in the clothes, quickens the cycles and dry times, and is substantially less noisy than other manufacturers front load washers. Their control panels are also manufactured and tested to last 25 years and are built to be resistant to moisture, temperature, vibration, and power surges. Plus, the washers and dryers that have control panels come with a five-year warranty versus competitors’ typical warranty of one year. So, whatever your personal needs or desires are for a washer or dryer, Speed Queen has you covered.
The cost of new washers and dryers across the industry are quite comparable as well. Some top load washers start around $300 but front load washers quickly jump up to $700 and fancier models of both top load and front load washer can be even more expensive. Speed Queen appliances range between $779 and $2799. And even though some Speed Queen models might be on the pricier side, you get what you pay for: A great quality and long lasting machine. You can even keep a peace of mind knowing that your Speed Queen appliances are backed up by a 3 or 5 year warranty, so you won’t have to stress about future repairs.
Here at AAA Appliance Service, Speed Queen is the only brand of washers and dryers we sell brand new and it is the brand we personally pick for our own homes, friends, and family members. We sell other brands that are used and refurbished but we choose to be a dealer for Speed Queen for reasons described above. If you are considering purchasing a Speed Queen, please keep in mind that we sell every Speed Queen washer and dryer model including front loader washers, top load washers, stack sets, mechanical control washers and dryers, electronic control washers and dryers, and electric and gas dryers. Typically we are able to deliver or have a washer and/or dryer available on the same day they are purchased.
For pricing and availability please call our office. For more information on Speed Queen washers and dryers please visit their website http://www.speedqueen.com/