Posts Tagged ‘Household cleaning’

HOW TO: clean a dishwasher

January 4, 2011

Dishwasher suffering from that "not-so-fresh" feeling?

Most of us think of dishwashers as cleaning our dishes, but you should routinely clean your dishwasher, as well — especially if you’ve noticed a change in its performance. (I’m a huge advocate for performing regular maintenance on your appliances, just as you would your car, to maintain the life and — therefore — get the most out of your investment.)

Dishwasher detergent and food residue might buildup over time (especially if you use too much dishwasher soap and pre-rinse your dishes, which can leave white film on dishes). Clean out the filters and scrub the spray arm nozzles with a toothbrush to loosen any food residue clogged inside.
Then, the real secret of how to clean dishwashers is hiding in plain sight of your own cupboard: white vinegar.

Fill a cup with vinegar and put it in the top rack of the dishwasher (don’t add any soap to the dishwasher dispenser) and run the dishwasher as normal. Voila!

If you don’t have any vinegar (or the smell grosses you out), my brother swears by powdered citric acid in the dishwasher soap dispenser, and I’ve also heard of people successfully cleaning the dishwasher using Tang in the detergent dispenser.

Photo courtesy eHow.com

Refrigerator cleaning tips, anyone?

November 1, 2010

Not my fridge (you really think I'd embarrass myself like that) but not too far off either. How do you clean these things?

This weekend, I broke down and cleaned the refrigerator. The condiment shelves alone took a half-hour, because of a combination of leaky bottles and cold temperatures. I used a rag and some Seventh Generation spray cleaner, but because the cold air sucks moisture from the spills, they were condensed and hardened and impossible.

There’s got to be a better way. Does anyone have good tips for a clean refrigerator to share in the comments? How often do you clean your refrigerator, or do you just religiously clean messes as they happen?

I would normally just sic ‘em with some Bar Keepers Friend or Bonami, but not around my food. See other things to avoid (lifted from a major manufacturer’s site):

Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners such as window sprays, scouring cleansers, flammable fluids, cleaning waxes, concentrated detergents, bleaches or cleansers containing petroleum products on plastic parts, interior and door liners, or gaskets. Do not use paper towels, scouring pads, or other harsh cleaning tools.

Seriously, paper towels are “harsh?” Too funny.

Warners’ Stellian’s new pet (vacuum): Dyson Animal

October 13, 2010

Dyson Animal DC25

When I read that the Dyson Animal vacuum was designed for pets, I became very excited (as part of our beefed up vacuum selection, Warners’ Stellian now sells Dyson vacuums), because

A) Pet vacuums offer legitimacy to my animals-with-appliances photo habit (see below right)

2) I know how difficult pet hair can be to remove from carpet and flooring.

(And from the vacuum itself, for that matter. However, the Dyson Animal’s cleaner head design allows scissors in to cut tangled hairs from the brush bar – genius!).

I used to clean a house where three dogs with short, thick hair lived. Cleaning the carpet required multiple vacuum passes, and hairs still stuck deep in the carpet fibers despite my best efforts. Why? Most bagged vacuums lose suction power as you use them.

But Dyson’s Root Cyclone technology always sucks with the same amount of suckiness (which is a lot). >>Read more

Plus, suction alone isn’t enough for stubborn pet hair.

To remedy this, Dyson’s engineers developed a brush bar that will dig into your carpet at speeds of up to 5,400 revolutions per minute without obstructing the airflow.

Dyson vacuum HEPA filters never need replacing, either, because they last a lifetime and were engineered to be easily cleaned at home.

Plus, there are no bags to buy and the Dyson’s bins empty from their bottom quickly and hygienically into your trash can with the pull of a trigger. Allergy and asthma sufferers will appreciate this, as well as the fact that Dyson vacuums are certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

These upright vacuum cleaners are more expensive (we sell the Dyson Animal DC25 for $549.95, but it will last seven to 12 years, and saves the average customer $267 over five years.

For that money, you could add another pet to the family. We sure did :)


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