Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

HOW TO: remove burnt popcorn smell from your microwave

May 12, 2010

Burnt popcorn smell lingers in microwaves so badly, an office I worked in banned it from the break room. It’s notorious, but completely removable.

If your microwave harbors its own dirty Pop Secrets, try this cleaning tip we got from Frigidaire (hat tip to Sarah from our Customer Service Department):

Microwave Odor Removal

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • grated lemon peel
  • several whole cloves

Combine together in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and boil for several minutes in the microwave on full power. Allow hot mixture to sit in the microwave until cool. Wipe interior with a soft cloth.

Though this tip wasn’t specifically written for burnt popcorn, I can’t think of much else that smells up a microwave. Help me out in the comments below!

Should you put aluminum foil in the oven?

May 6, 2010

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Don't shoot yourself in the foot trying to keep a clean oven.

Warners’ Stellian‘s expert service guy, Gene, passed on a cautionary tale to me yesterday after he ordered a new, $90 oven floor for a customer.

A well-meaning woman lined the bottom of her oven with aluminum foil, to catch all the food that bakes into the oven.

Instead of having to scrape it all off, she could just pull out the aluminum foil and voila, no more mess.

Except she ended up with a bigger mess when the aluminum foil melted onto the oven.

For years, people had lined their ovens with tin foil to speed clean up. But these days, we don’t use tin foil. We use aluminum foil. And aluminum has a much lower heat tolerance, apparently.

And aluminum foil-maker Reynolds warns against it.

From the Reynolds FAQ webpage:

To avoid possible heat damage to your oven, we do not recommend using aluminum foil to line the bottom of your oven. Rather, we recommend that you place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil on the oven rack beneath the pie or casserole you are baking. The foil should be only a few inches larger than the baking pan to allow for proper heat circulation. The foil will catch any drips before they reach the oven bottom.

There you go. Smart play on Reynolds part, right? Because you know people will end up getting rid of the sheet of foil and using a new one next time…

Before Brangelina, there was Stellian

April 19, 2010

Subtitled: Eat your heart out, Tomkat.

“What’s a Stellian?” people often ask me. (This is the natural progression from, “Wait, you’re like a WARNER Warner?”)

It’s a good question, seeing as it’s a made up word. It’s not even a real name. I looked up “Stellian” on WhitePages.com one time when I decided I would like to marry someone who could provide a humorous surname hyphenation — he doesn’t exist. (Update: upon redoing this search, I discovered a 68-year-old man by the name of Stellian in Kansas. Wonder if he’s on Facebook…)

And it’s not a fast horse, nor a foreign word — that I know of. Stellian is what’s called a portmanteau.

You might be familiar with portmanteaus from some Stellian imitators, whom I’ll show below:

Back in the early ’50s, Steve and Lillian Farkas combined their first names to create Stellian Appliance on Snelling and Larpenteur, where my grandpa Jim Warner would begin working a few years later. Jim Warner bought Stellian in 1971, after years of faithful service, and added his family’s name to the already-established local store (Back then it would’ve been, “What’s a Warner?”).

We still own that location and since have added six more in the time that media covering celebrity supercouples have caught wind of Steve and Lillian’s genius.

Warners’ Stellian: spurring imitation for more than 50 years.

Steam washer: Hotter, Better, Faster, Stronger

January 6, 2010

If you’re concerned with cleanliness, especially if you suffer from allergies and/or asthma, a steam washer is a no-brainer.

Why? Gaseous water molecules (aka steam) penetrate the tightly woven fibers of clothing more effectively than water droplet molecules — which are much larger —  and lift out stubborn stains and odors and eliminate most allergens, leaving you with brighter whites and more vibrant colors than a standard wash cycle.

Steam also takes less time to do a better job, because it reaches higher temperatures more quickly. An internal steam chamber superheats incoming water into vapor and introduces it in the middle of a wash cycle for about 20 minutes.

WM2501HWA, on sale for $999 thru 1/24

I talked about steam dryers’ ability to refresh clothes, but some models — like LG’s TrueSteam — has a steam refresh cycle in the washer to reduce wrinkles and odor without actually washing the clothes.

The LG steam washer is also the first washer certified “asthma and allergy friendly” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, because its Allergiene Cycle is proven to remove 95% of household dust mites and domestic animal dander.

Of course it’d be lovely to have an entire set of steam laundry, but depending on your needs (sanitizing nonwashable items vs. eliminating allergens from clothing and linens) you could choose one and still get superior performance. Just some modern convenience to consider…

Stocking stuffer ideas: vacuum bags, anyone?

December 10, 2009

Many businesses put together gift ideas for the holidays. So, I thought, why shouldn’t Warners’ Stellian?

Who doesn’t want a fridge or an electric range under the tree? Yet, believe it or not,we don’t make it onto many wish lists.

Not one to be left out, I shifted gears to our lower-ticket items — “gifty things” as a co-worker called them — and began brainstorming the holiday promotion to end all promotions:

Won't this look pretty under your tree?

Buy Warners’ Stellian’s employee cookbook, “Cooking Traditions” (of New York Times Bestseller List fame…), get a free out-of-box trim kit!

Give your kids the gift of clean: Stuff their stockings with festive bottles of  stainless steel cleaner!

Moms dream of radiator brush attachments for their vacuums. Isn’t this the year to finally make her dream a reality?

OK, maybe not.

But people say that this year more than ever practical gifts are in vogue. What’s more practical than a water filter and high-efficiency laundry detergent, people!

At least by now I have you dreaming of grill accessories. Here’s part of the plan where I close the deal: You can get them for free!

All you have to do is buy gift cards — maybe for new homeowners to use toward the purchase of appliances to updating their kitchen or for parents that could use a new fridge with more space.

For every $100 of gift certificates you buy, we give you $10 back to use for yourself (so you can get that Dishwasher Magic that’s been on your list).

Or if your list is more of the “wine coolers and grills” sort, we sell wine coolers and grills.

If you're into that sort of thing, here's the Holland Grill Companion Gas Grill ($250) and Avanti 16 Bottle Wine Cooler ($150). I'm more of cooktop cleaner girl, myself.

Cleaning oven glass

December 9, 2009

Noticed some streaks and stains on the inner oven glass that weren’t there before?

(fig. 1)

Hold up! Step back from your Jump To Conclusions mat — it’s not a bad seal.

Several vents (highlighted in fig. 1) open directly into the inner door to vent the hot air away from the glass. And because of their proximity to the stove top and its mess, people often spray cleaner near the vents that sneaks inside the door and drips down, causing streaks and stains.

What to do?

Our smart and helpful customer service rep Amy cautions you against pulling the door apart yourself.

Officially, if it bothers you enough, pay a service company to clean it — otherwise you’ll void the warranty, she said. Unfortunately, this aesthetic nuisance falls outside of warranty coverage because the customer did it herself.

Anatomy of an oven door

But if your range is older than 10 years — and in some cases, five years — warranty is no longer a concern.

So, unofficially, you can check out this HOW TOs on espares.com and find more on fixya.com — at your own risk.

Don’t get all “Red Green” inspired and duct tape the vents, like one customer informed Amy he’d being doing. That hot air needs to go somewhere.

A better way to prevent stains between the glass is to not spray near the vents. Better yet, spray cleaners directly onto the rag, rather than the range.

Will Black Friday kill Thanksgiving?

November 25, 2009

Nothing says bah humbug like "cheap"-driven mobs.

How did all of this Black Friday craziness begin? More importantly, where does it end? Is it going to push Thanksgiving right out the door?

Black Friday, a term coined by the media to describe the phenomenon big box retailers created to get consumers to give up a night of sleep — and in more and more cases, a holiday with the family — to stand in line for a “deal” the day after Thanksgiving.

Did the consumers ask for this, or did big box retailers create it? Consumers fear losing out on a discount they feel they really need — and that’s being played upon. Really, these prices could be available during normal hours, instead of forcing employees into work at 2 a.m. and encouraging dangerous frenzy.

We used to love the fact we weren’t open on Sunday, but that eventually gave way to the reality of competition. I wonder if small family business and independent retailers will feel the open-early, hysterical Black Friday push in fear of losing a bunch of business.

And then what? First 5 a.m., then comes 4 in the morning and then why not 3? How about we just kill Thanksgiving all together?

Warners’ Stellian discussed being open early on Friday but decided the culture of our company and our employees mean more than a few extra bucks.

Consumers can push back — and they are — according to a nationwide survey by the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance that suggested independent businesses may be faring better than chains during the recession.

I loved that the American Independent Business Alliance (we’re a member of local chapter MetroIBA) just took the words out of my mouth: YOUR READERS DON’T CARE IF SHOPPERS LINE UP AT WALMART EITHER!”

“As people are doing their holiday shopping, we hope they’ll look critically at the corporate advertising onslaught and the claim that big business provides better deals,” said (Jennifer Rockne, co-founder of AMIBA). “When we consider the value of quality products, saving time, and the quality of our experience, we’ll often find our hometown businesses ultimately provide the best deal.” [emphasis added]

Hat tip to WCCO’s Jason DeRusha on Black Friday ads/store openings.

Friday Caption Contest

November 13, 2009

The Appliancist blog outdid itself by using this beauty to feature a Daewoo refrigerator with black mirror doors.

I have so many ideas, New Yorker-style, for this full-of-potential blank canvas. But you all are so much more clever…

daewoo-refrigerator-frs-t20fam

appliancist.com

Please add your caption in the comments. If responses are good enough, I might have to supply a prize.

Viking’s new Designer Series offers more modern, accessible kitchen

November 5, 2009

Viking is one of those Cadillac-type brands in the appliance world: pro performance and classic good looks at a premium price point — until now.

The iconic commercial range manufacturer totally overhauled its former designer line to unveil something wholly different — sleek, modern and much more accessible.

vsvsvd

Viking Designer is a completely new look for Viking.

Meet the new Viking Designer Series:

DDSC305SS_30_Dual-Fuel-Range

30-inch freestanding dual fuel range (DDSC305)

DDFF136_36_freestanding-french-door-refrig

36-inch freestanding French-door refrigerator (DFF136)

DDOE301T_TouchControl-Double-Oven

Touch Control Double Oven (DDOE301T)

DMOR200_30  Conventional Microwave Hood

30-inch Over The Range Microwave Hood (DMOR200)

d2_slp

4-piece Designer Series Smart Luxury Packages start at $8,400

Not only does the new line depart from anything previously offered by Viking, but the Designer Series’ price point competes with mass premium brands — kitchen package will start at $8,400 and the dual fuel range will cost $3,999 — while the new line retains the luxury and performance we expect from Viking.

Because of its price, Viking was previously a brand generally reserved for the upper crust and the, ahem, more veteran consumer. But this line opens up Viking to a whole new generation with hipper, more laid-back styling to match.

Designer Series products come in standard sizing, so upgrades from existing kitchens don’t require messing with the countertops and cabinets. I think the stainless steel finish is clean and chic combined with the linear handle, but many models have additional color finish or custom overlay panels available, too.

d2_built-in

Also included in the line are wine cellars, warming drawers, beverage centers and trash compactors.

Warners’ Stellian should be getting Designer Series into our showrooms any day now, so it will be interesting to see the distinction from Viking Professional — and the styling of premium brands in general — in person.

Wish you were here?

September 29, 2009

Just as this recent cold snap hit, we got a great  e-mail from Mary and Mike Whitescarver about the trip to the French Riviera they won from LG/Warners’ Stellian:

We arrived back from our wonderful trip on Saturday! We had a absolutely wonderful time, the hotel was first class the whole way, the area was beautiful and we were able to see much of the region with the rental car that we had. We are so appreciative of the entire experience it was beyond anything we could have ever imagined. Here are a few pictures of us in the region. Thank you all again!

Mary and Mike overlooking the St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat Harbor

Mary and Mike overlooking the St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat Harbor

Mike dipping his feet in the Mediterranean Sea.

Mike dipping his feet in the Mediterranean Sea.

Sitting at the Harbor in St. Tropez.

Sitting at the Harbor in St. Tropez.

Sunrise in St. Jean while having breakfast at the hotel.

Sunrise in St. Jean while having breakfast at the hotel.

Of course, I was wearing a turtleneck, sweater and fleece cardigan as I received these. So yes, I was definitely wishing to be in the French Riviera.

On the bright side, we will be giving away a trip to anywhere in the continental U.S.  in conjunction with next month’s Customer Appreciation Sale. Sign up for the Warners’ Stellian E-Club to receive our e-mail alerts so you’ll know when to enter. Plus, when you join, you’ll be entered to win a $50 Warners’ Stellian gift card.


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