Archive for the ‘Dishwashers’ Category

DIY Network to feature our kitchen showroom on remodel show

December 30, 2010

Appliance specialist Joe Warner suggested this LG gas range for Carrie and Robert, who enjoy cooking and baking.

The DIY Network filmed again yesterday at our Warners’ Stellian Edina showroom, this time for “I Hate My Kitchen.”

Each episode, homeowners receive smart design help to maximize their budget to make their dream kitchens a reality.

>>See photos of the filming

It was fun to watch the crews document the shopping experience of our customers, homeowners Carrie and Robert.

Carrie and Robert are doing a “gut job” of the kitchen in their South Minneapolis home. (Carrie joked that she didn’t let Robert buy a snow blower last winter because she was so set on saving for their kitchen remodel!)

First, we learn about Carrie and Robert:

  • They enjoy cooking (lots of soups!) and baking, and are ready to move from electric to gas cooking.
  • While still a good size for a South Minneapolis kitchen (the home was built in the 1920s), they still want to maximize their space.
  • The current dishwasher is too noisy and doesn’t really offer them much versatility.
  • Carrie and Robert plan on spending a good deal of time in this current house.
  • The appliances will need to complement custom cabinetry, new floors and counter tops.

Based on what he found out from Carrie and Robert, our appliance specialist (and my brother!) Joe Warner suggested the following:

LG 5-burner gas range in stainless steel (LRG3093ST)

Carrie and Robert currently has an LG ceramic top electric range. They like the brand, but want the power and responsiveness of gas cooking. The four main burners offer a range of temperatures, for a low simmer at 5,000 BTUs to a power boil at 17,000 BTUs — and the burners can all be rearranged. So, Carrie can simmer two soups on the back burners while using higher heat on the front-most burners. Also, the fifth burner offers a place to heat oblong pans or place a skillet for breakfast items. The heavy-duty grates offer a continuous surface to easily move pots and pans around.

The oven, with a gorgeous blue finish, is a big, 5.4 cu. ft. capacity, which can accommodate pretty much anything Carrie and Robert will throw at it.

Basically, I’m super jealous.

LG fully integrated steam dishwasher (LDF7932ST)

At 50 decibels, it doesn’t get much quieter than this LG dishwasher. It’s so quiet, in fact, that LED lights tell you when it’s operating and when it’s not. Adjustable racks will accommodate nearly any size pot or pan Carrie and Robert throw at it, and there are even wineglass holders (which Carrie noted will get plenty of use).

Steam bursts through hardened on messes for pots and pans, yet is gentle enough to use with those wineglasses.

Perhaps best of all, the fully integrated finish tucks away the control panel on top of the door and the stainless interior means Carrie and Robert can enjoy the looks for a long time.

How gorgeous is that? Robert and Carrie like this model because:

  • An automatic ice maker means Robert can retire that title from his own name :)
  • The freezer on the bottom configuration and wide, two-door refrigerator allows for plenty of eye-level fresh storage within easy reach
  • The shallow, counter top-depth maximizes the space in their 10′-12′ kitchen

I’m so excited for Carrie and Robert to get delivery on the appliances they picked out. I’ll post pictures afterward in a couple weeks, but unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the episode airs in September for the big reveal of their custom kitchen remodel.

Dishwasher troubleshooting: Dishwashing detergent left in dispenser

December 7, 2010

My new baby (and yes, those are blue laminate countertops)

I got a new Asko dishwasher a couple of weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it: the way all my pots and pans fit, the stemware holders for my house’s wine habit, the knife holder for my vegetable habit.

Nothing comes out with a speck of food, and we no longer have to yell at each other over a tsunami of washing sounds. My life has improved two-fold. No more dishwasher problems.

Well, there was one. The Cascade Action Packs we had just bought on sale were getting stuck in the dispenser.

After reading the Use & Care manual (gold star for me), I noted that Asko recommends using powder detergent, and only about a tablespoon of it depending on the hardness of your water.

When I switched back to powder, everything was fine. But it’s not always as easy as switching dishwasher detergent.

If you still have caked detergent after running your dishwasher, try these dishwasher troubleshooting tips, adapted from Whirlpool Corp.

Was the dispenser cup wet when you added detergent?

If dispenser cup is wet, the detergent can clump. This also means that if there’s still detergent left in the cup, don’t think, “Oh, well now I don’t have to refill it!” Clean it out and start over.

Is the cycle incomplete?

If the previous cycle did not complete, the detergent can become caked in the dispenser cup if it is left sitting in the dishwasher. But this probably isn’t the cause for those with chronic detergent-caking issues. Again, clean the detergent from the cup and start over again.

Is the detergent old?

Older detergent exposed to air will clump and not dissolve well, which will cause the dispenser door to stick to the detergent. Buy new detergent, and this time, keep it in a tightly closed container (i.e. not the box with an open flap) in a cool dry place (i.e. not under your sink right next to the wall where your dishwasher runs hot!).

Is the water temperature too low?

For best washing and drying results, water should be 120oF (49o C) as it enters the dishwasher, so check your water heater setting. I also try to remember to run the kitchen sink tip until hot water comes out to help this.

Were items blocking the dispenser that kept it from opening?

Items blocking the detergent dispenser will keep it from opening. Make sure water action can reach the dispenser.

Other good (if not obvious) detergent guidelines

  • Use automatic dishwashing detergent only.
  • Add detergents just before starting the cycle.
    • I’m guilty of this. I’ll fill the detergent cup when I’m done with the night’s dishes so I only have to press the button before bed a few hours later. Don’t be like me.
  • The amount of detergent to use depends on the hardness of your water and the type of detergent.
    • If you use too little, dishes won’t be clean.
    • If you use too much in soft water, glassware will etch.
  • Your manufacturer’s suggested amount is based on standard powdered detergent, so follow instructions on the package when using liquid or concentrated powdered detergent.
  • Water hardness can change over a period of time. You can find out your water’s hardness for about $15 by calling Water Doctors.

Cyber Monday appliance deals on kitchen packages, refrigerators, washers and more

November 29, 2010

Note: this post refers to the 2010 sale prices. see my posts tagged Cyber Monday for current postings about Cyber Monday deals.

Click for more deals

Click for more deals

I don’t usually get this sales-y, but we’re offering our best Cyber Monday 2010 appliance discounts ever this year.

Seriously, Warners’ Stellian has great deals on refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers, stoves and ranges and microwaves, as well as kitchen packages.

Click for more deals

Click for more deals

Our Cyber Monday Sale is two days only (while quantities last), with some deals ending today.

And remember, we deliver for free to the Twin Cities metro on orders $499 and up and ship for free nationwide on appliance orders $1,999 and over.

Black Friday washers, dryers and other appliance deals

November 25, 2010

Note: this post refers to the 2010 sale prices. see my posts tagged Black Friday for current postings about Black Friday deals.


The Big Event, Warners’ Stellian Appliance’s 2010 Black Friday, starts tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. and runs through Monday.

As always, we offer free delivery and appliance recycling in the Twin Cities metro on purchases $499 and up. But we also now ship for free nationwide on orders $1999 and up. Plus, pay no interest if you pay in full within 12 months.

Here’s a preview:

LG 4.5 cu. ft front-load steam washer, only $499 (save $1000, usually $1499)

Frigidaire stainless steel gas range $399

GE 18 cu. ft. stainless steel refrigerator $499 (normally $899)

KitchenAid dishwasher $499 (on sale from $799)

LG 20 cu. ft. French-door refrigerator $899 white/black, $1099 stainless (usually $1199 & $1449)

LG steam washer and dryer pair, $1199 (reg. price $1999)

Dishwasher troubleshooting: Dishwasher won’t drain

October 6, 2010

Dishwasher not draining right meow? Perhaps you have a cat in there.

A number of things could be causing standing water in your dishwasher.

First of all, make sure that the door is completely closed.

Press the “cancel” button (sometimes twice, depending on model) to manually drain water left behind because the dishwasher cycle was interrupted (i.e. kids/roommates). The dishwasher will turn off after a couple minutes.

Other tricks:

1. If you have a disposer, run it, because your drain system could be blocked.

2. If you have an air gap, it could be clogged. Consult your particular brand for instructions on how to clear that, but mostly it’s just taking off the chrome cap, unscrewing the plastic cap and cleaning out whatever’s ailing it. (Here’s a video by GE that’s kind of fun.)

3. Make sure you’ve got drain hose in right dishwasher area codes. The drain hose should be looped to touch the underside of the counter and connect to the sink drain or disposer. The hose should not exceed a foot in length. Also, check for any kinks.

4. If you’re still under water, call a plumber (or go cheap like me). Your sink drain could be clogged, which prevents your dishwasher from pumping out water.

Dishwasher film: Is the culprit environmentally friendly cleaning products?

September 27, 2010

I blogged about white film on dishes from dishwashers about a month ago, and the post has gotten an unusual amount of hits.

And then I read in the New York Times that dishwasher users complain new no-phosphate dishwashing detergents are causing dishwasher film.

Which is funny, because we’ve often suggested environmentally friendly cleaning products, such as Seventh Generation dishwashing detergent, to customers because we’ve foundits lack of phosphates actually prevents cloudiness and etching.

(For what it’s worth — maybe not much — Consumer Reports found that seven phosphate-free detergents worked pretty well.)

My suggestions?

1. Stop pre-rinsing your dishes

Residual proteins from leftover foods activate the detergent’s cleaning enzymes. So if you’ve cleaned all or most of the food off your dishes, the detergent can’t activate and stays in its crystal format, scratching your dishes on a microscopic level.

2. Use rinse aid

3. Stop using so much detergent and run a vinegar cycle

4. Before starting your dishwasher, run the tap water until it’s hot

Not only does this save energy, but older dishwashers don’t run as long as new dishwashers — better designed for less-harsh detergents – – and so every minute counts. Don’t waste it with lukewarm water that’s being heated up.

HOW TO: Troubleshoot (almost) any dishwasher problems

September 20, 2010

So easy, a baby could fix it! (I know, cheap excuse to indulge my "photos of babies playing in appliances" habit.)

I won’t necessarily admit that I hate my dishwasher lately, but I will project some anxieties onto blog readers via a dishwasher troubleshooting roundup (!!!).

Whether your dishwasher leaves you with cloudy dishes, wet dishes or still-dirty dishes, my top 4 blogs about dishwasher problems should contain your remedy.

Top 4 dishwasher troubleshooting blog posts

1. Dishes not drying

2. Dishes not clean

3. Dishwasher leaving white film on glasses

4. Food residue left on dishes

Unfortunately, you can’t troubleshoot small and noisy, so watch for an upcoming Things I Want, dishwasher edition.

Dishwasher troubleshooting: food residue left on dishes

September 15, 2010

I’d like to think that this blog is changing the world, one frequently asked appliance question at a time. But rarely is that suspicion validated.

That’s why I love this story. The other week, our Twitter friend @SamBroberg told me he was having problems with food residue on his dishes.

Now, this isn’t like when your casserole dish still has cheese stuck to the bottom. This is more like specks of indiscernibles  on your water glasses.

Pretty much, “How in the WORLD did this get here?”

Calm down and I’ll tell you.

Older, American-brand dishwashers cleaned by filling with water, washing, emptying the dirty water and refilling with new water, etc. etc.

So between fills, the dirty water circulates and over time, food particles clog the spray arms.

Years later, the spray arms — now clogged — spit out the old junk during the final rinse. And voila: clean, yet speckled, dishes.

To remedy this, simply clean out the spray arm nozzles with an old toothbrush. @SamBroberg said it worked for him. (Frankly, I need to take my own advice during my kitchen clean sweep tonight.)

Now some models of American dishwashers incorporate filtration systems (like European models always did) that keeps food particles from recirculating back into the water.

Check out the 5-stage filtration on GE dishwashers and the triple filtration system on some Frigidaire dishwashers.

Also, the filter decreases water turbidity (translation: the water stays cleaner), making these models much more water efficient.

Dishwasher troubleshooting: Dishwasher leaving white film on glasses

August 16, 2010

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It's all your fault. Seriously.

I’ve been noticing many more glasses coming out of the dishwasher with a white residue on them.

I blame this trend on my roommates’ overzealous dish-rinsing habits rather than my overzealous wine glass-using habits, of course.

But, what does rinsing my plate have to do with my wine glass, Julie?

Everything, Loyal Appliance Blog Reader.

Many of today’s dishwasher detergents contain phosphates, which need food residue to break down. So, if there’s no food residue or grease, the phosphates don’t break down. Instead, they somehow end up on your glassware (disclosure: I’m no chemist, if you haven’t noticed yet.)

As if you need another reason to stop pre-rinsing/washing your dishes.

So, washing my dishes actually causes them to become dirty?

That’s what we call irony, LABR. You’re catching on.

If you find yourself with a rack of filmy glassware, save the labor — and the water (rinsing dishes often uses more water than a dishwasher cycle) — and run a warm vinegar rinse.

Put 2 cups white vinegar in a glass or dishwasher-safe measuring cup on the bottom rack. Then run the dishwasher through a complete washing cycle using an air-dry or an energy-saving dry option. Do not use detergent. The vinegar will mix with the wash water.

Running a vinegar cycle every few months is a good idea, per se.

Authors who wrote this blog post also wrote: “Dishwasher troubleshooting: Dishes not drying?”

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The bad habit that can waste 20 gallons of water

May 17, 2010

You might not wash your dishes before you wash your dishes, but even rinsing is completely unnecessary.

Energy Star, a joint program by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, cautions people to scrape, not rinse. Pre-rinsing dishes can waste up to 20 gallons of water.

Energy Star dishwashers and today’s detergents are designed to do the cleaning so you don’t have to pre-rinse.

And if your dirty dishes are going to sit overnight, use your dishwasher’s rinse feature. It uses a fraction of the water needed to hand rinse.

Speaking of a using a fraction of the water, a dishwasher built before 1994 wastes about 8 gallons of water per cycle compared to owning a new Energy Star-qualified model. So if you replace one of these old dishwashers with an Energy Star dishwasher, you’re saving enough water each week to wash two loads of laundry in an Energy Star qualified clothes washer.

So be lazy: scrape, don’t rinse!


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