Posts Tagged ‘laundry’

Clean clothes in under half an hour

August 2, 2012

Do you really want to be “that mom”?

It’s an hour till game time and you’re searching for your kid’s jersey only to find it in a ball, covered in dirt.

Sound familiar?

.

Before you give into being “that mom” with the dirty-shirt kid, you should know that someone created a get out of jail free card for this situation.

The Electrolux Perfect Steam washer and dryer boast the fastest wash & dry time, totaling 29 minutes.

That’s faster than the first half of your kid’s game (and faster than even my boyfriend can get ready!). The Electrolux steam washer washes in just 15 minutes, and the Electrolux steam dryer gets your clothes dry in just 14 minutes.

Plus, the Electrolux laundry will actually get it clean. All the grass and dirt stains and sports drinks spills will be gone without a second thought from you (trust me, I can vouch for this first hand).

Those of us without kids who just happen to be as messy as a child can also appreciate the last-minute, life-saving abilities of the Fast Wash/Fast Dry cycle. When I have dinner reservations or an event, I don’t have to limit my options to what’s currently clean (which is generally very little at my house).

And if it’s simply wrinkled, the steam dryer can refresh it in 15 minutes — eliminating odors too! How handy is that?

Front load washer capacity means you can take a load off – literally

July 22, 2011

If you’re deciding between a top load or front load washing machine, consider capacity and the value of your own time.

What used to take me four loads in my 15 (or so) year old top load washer now only takes me about two loads in my front load Electrolux washer.

The capacity — and lack of agitator — in a front load washing machine really makes that much of a difference.

Plus, a standard clothes washer can’t handle a king- or queen-sized comforter like my front loading washer can.

Just a thought I had today when I realized how little I think of having to do the laundry these days since I replaced my top load washing machine. Because I have to do the laundry much less.

Now, what to do with all this free time? :)

Don’t add soap to your washer because there’s enough in your clothes

December 27, 2010

When my new front-load washer arrives this week, my high-efficiency detergents won’t see any action for at least another week. Why?

I’m going to wash all my clothes using the soap they already contain.

That’s right. Clothes washed in top-load washers (like mine) generally contain enough soap residue in their fibers that will suds and finally rinse properly once washed in front-loader washers.

To wash, top-load washers completely fill their tub with water and push clothes around in the soapy water by the agitator (that tall thing with paddles in the middle). This would be like washing your hands by filling a sink with soapy water and swishing your hands around in it. Plus, older, top loading washers simply don’t rinse as well and your clothes end up accumulating a decent amount of soap residue.

Don’t believe me? Examine your dark clothes. Do they look gray or faded? That’s soap.

Disgusting, huh? Now imagine how irritating all that soap is to your skin, too.

(Front-loading washers use far less water, only enough to get the clothes wet, which means they use less soap as well. Make sure you don’t use too much soap or your washer could “oversuds,” producing too much soap bubbles, which might not completely rinse out of your clothes, as a front loader washer is, again, designed to use minimal water. Saying that, they’ll also rinse your clothes much better than a top load washing machine.)

So, I’m going to wash out all the soap left over in my clothes from my old washer using nothing but tumble action and water from a front loader washer.

 

 

Replace your working appliances and deduct it from your taxes!

May 26, 2010

Have you ever had a refrigerator konk out on you in the middle of the summer, leaving you without one for days?

If you have, you know what a pain it is to be without something as essential as a refrigerator. And you know what a relief it is when you have a working refrigerator again.

But can you imagine trying to raise a healthy family without a refrigerator at all? Or without a stove?

Can you imagine barely scraping together the time and money to wash your childrens’ clothes at the laundromat so they don’t have to face the other school children in a soiled shirt?

If you replace your working appliances over the next five days, these are the kinds of people you will help.

Beginning tomorrow, when you buy a new refrigerator, stove, washer or dryer from Warners’ Stellian, we’ll help you donate the clean, working appliances you are replacing to Hope For The City.

If Hope For the City accepts your appliance donation (see criteria below), you’ll receive a tax-deductible donation form for up to $200 (see graphic to the left). If it’s not accepted, Warners’ Stellian will still recycle your appliance free of charge.

Hope For the City is a Minnesota-based nonprofit that collects surplus goods from businesses and distributes them to its partner nonprofits, who in turn give the goods to people in need. (Note: Hope For The City does NOT fulfill requests for individuals, so working through a Hope For The City partner is the best way to get help for someone.)

The 85 partner organizations pretty much touch every type. They serve children and adults in need of food, shelter and medical care. They provide hot meals for hungry children and adults, education for the underprivileged, job skills for the unemployed, support for senior citizens, medical care for the sick, and educational and social programs for youth.

Basically, these people really need your donation. It’s not a matter of replacing for these worthy recipients — It’s a matter of having.

In the past year alone, Warners’ Stellian and its customers have donated over 500 appliances to Hope For The City. Aside from this promotion, we send a set of appliances over to the nonprofit weekly.

>>See complete details

Money-saving laundry tips

March 18, 2010

This is among posts I pre-wrote to be published in my absence while I’m on vacation. I will respond to all comments when I return. Thank you!

By now thousands in Minnesota have begun using the new clothes washers they bought as part of the state’s Trade-In & Save program.

But that $200 check isn’t the only sign of money savings hitting your mail box.

Just wait until you see your utility bill. New Energy Star washers save an average $135 in water and energy costs.

Don’t stop there, though. These guidelines will help you save energy, water and money:

DON’T use too much detergent
You’re only helping Proctor & Gamble when you pour in those heaping cups of laundry soap. The owners’ manual provides instructions on the proper amount of soap to use. Using too much soap also can shorten the life your clothing, which could get expensive.

DO keep venting dry and clear.
We recommend cleaning your dryer vent a few times a year (see Dryer not drying? Check the vent). Otherwise, it could get blocked up, causing your dryer to take longer to do its job. And remember to clean your lint filter after every use.

DO switch to cold-water washes
About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes in an average washer is for heating the water. Need I say more? If you have tough, oily stains, even switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half. Otherwise, you’d be surprised how well cold water cycles clean these days.

DON’T over-dry your clothes
Instead, use a moisture sensor (if you have one) to automatically stop the dryer once it’s finished. Note: Dry towels and heavier cottons separate from lighter weight clothes to ensure proper drying when using a sensor. If you don’t have a moisture sensor, use the cool-down cycle to finish drying clothes using the residual heat.

DO put full loads in the washer and dryer.
Full loads of laundry mean fewer loads of laundry, which mean less energy, water and money used, too. If you must wash a small load, remember to set the water-level to match.

What are your tips for saving money on laundry?

What’s you’ll see at the Warners Stellian Warehouse Sale

March 12, 2010

So, we have some pretty sweet deals on hand for this weekend’s Extreme Warehouse Sale.

While quantities last, we have three pairs of laundry that have been priced to move:


(gas dryer extra on first and third pictured pair)

And those looking for a new refrigerator have the chance to get a LG French-door refrigerator at rock-bottom prices.

But, quantities are limited, so deals can only last as long as your fellow customers allow them to.

We’re getting A LOT of calls from people with specific model numbers in mind, wanting to know what products would be included in our sale.

He was very understanding when I explained to him that we have more than 2,000 products on display for this sale.

And truly don’t know what’s down there until we see it all Saturday morning!

But with more than 2,000 products, we generally have something for everyone, or at least for the majority of the nearly 2,400 groups of customers that came out for our last warehouse sale.

Other big discounts include an Energy Star Maytag dishwasher in stainless steel for $349 and a stainless steel Fridgidaire self-clean gas range for $499, while quantities last (both pictured below).

A selection of brands that “never go on sale” will be available (again, while quantities last), including Sub-Zero, Wolf, Viking, Liebherr and Electrolux. Customers can save up to 80% on professional-style built-in models. Jenn-Air wall ovens, for example, will start at $599 and you can save $1,000 off Electrolux French-door ice & water refrigerators.

We’ll have some of my personal favorite, steam laundry, at the sale for $1499 for a washer/dryer pair.

Maybe your kitchen and laundry room is all set, but you’ve got your eye on a grill or wine refrigerator. We’ll have those, along with Miele vacuums starting at $329.

Make sure to study my tips on HOW TO: Shop the Warners’ Stellian Warehouse Sale like a pro.

Steam dryer: Not just hot air

December 31, 2009

Iron-a-aphobia? Don't worry, there's help.

Tell me if this has happened to you: You work all day, come home for a quick wardrobe change for a night out (especially on a day like New Year’s Eve) only to find your dress or dress shirt more crinkled than an Ore-Ida — and you don’t have time (or refuse) to iron!

What now? Hang it on the door and turn on a hot shower? I think we’ve all tried that.

Electrolux EIMD551RR, though I prefer to use its middle name, "Lifesaver."

Now I just toss it in my Electrolux steam dryer for a refresh and throw it on 15 minutes later. This one has rescued me so many times.

In steam refresh cycles, a small amount of water is sprayed into the dryer drum after several minutes of tumbling with heat. The dryer will continue to tumble at regular heat for the duration of the cycle to reduce wrinkles, static and odors in fabrics. Of course, some fabrics release wrinkles easier than others, but I like prepping heavily wrinkled clothes with a steam cycle so they’re easier to iron.

But steam dryers aren’t just for procrastinators/wrinkled-clothes wearers.

LG DLEX2501V

The LG TrueSteam Dryer (among others) has a SteamSanitary™ cycle, which is NSF certified to eliminate 99.3% of 3 common infectious bacteria. Think of all those decorative pillows, comforters and children’s toys and stuffed animals that can’t be washed, but need to be sanitized for allergy-sufferers and to ward off cold/flu this season.

Whirlpool WED9500TW

While not cheap, steam models aren’t too much of upgrade from a comparable model, money-wise. The LG steam electric dryer  in white is on sale for $999 until Monday, Jan. 4, and the Whirlpool steam electric dryer pictured to the right is on sale for $799 while quantities last.

Next week, I’ll be in hot water…talking about steam washers. OK, no more bad idioms until the New Year, I promise :) .

Photo credit (wrinkled shirt): http://www.flickr.com/photos/foshie/ / CC BY 2.0

Why do front-load washers take so long?

December 23, 2009

Many customers seem confused when we explain that front-load washing machines need an hour minimum for a normal wash cycle.

Luckily, for times when I can't wait an hour and a half for a clean outfit (sports uniforms, anyone?), I have the 18-minute wash, 18-minute dry feature from Electrolux (though my laundry room looks nothing like this). In a word: lifesaver.

But front-load laundry machines profess great water and energy savings. How does a longer cycle reconcile with such efficiency?

First, front-load washers don’t fill deeply with water, only to dump it all out a short while later. Rather, they pump in a minimal amount of water (some models use sensors to determine the size of the load).

Water continuously filters in and out throughout the cycle, meaning the water stays clean the entire time. Top-load washers fill with water until the clothes float, and then the clothes just sit in that water for the entire cycle.

Also, heating the water often takes longer in a front-loader. A sanitation wash cycle takes about two hours. But you can be assured the hotter temperature eliminates all the cold and flu germs and dust mites congregating in your clothing and linens.

The good news is laundry still takes the same amount of time because dry times have been cut in half. We used to wait for the hour-long drying cycle to finish long after the washer was done. But now, because front-load washers extract so much water during the spin cycle, the average dryer cycle lasts only about 30 minutes.

Or for me, the skinny jeans (which I refuse to put in the dryer because they may get a bit too skinny) I hang on a drying rack easily dry by morning.

A visit to the Idea Farm

November 20, 2009

This Tuesday I had the pleasure of touring architect/builder/remodeler Peter Vujovich‘s Idea Farm in Afton.

A view of the Idea Farm's kitchen

Peter built the Idea Farm — his home — to combine sophisticated architecture with global responsibility. He achieved the highest rating from green building standard and certification program MN Greenstar, but explained to me that he wanted to achieve that Gold Star rating in ways more accessible than just buying solar panels and a gray water recirculating system.

Can you believe that his energy bill is only $300 — for the entire YEAR? And I wish you could see the grounds, because although Peter and his wife, Jill, only finished the house some months ago, the landscape and the age of the trees — which were simply “moved” to accommodate the construction — would indicate that this house has been around forever.

I was absolutely blown away by the simple and smart design of the Idea Farm, but you have to see it to understand. So here’s a video clip from the “Blueprint for Green” interview with Peter and Jill.

(BTW, on an appliance geek note: I was so excited to see that Peter had a Liebherr BioFresh refrigerator, because it’s the perfect pick for him. Not only is it the leanest, greenest fridge, BioFresh stretches the life of his homegrown produce weeks past what a normal fridge could.

This is especially helpful to him because when a certain crop is ready to pick, there’s just a massive influx. So, he is able to stretch that harvest unfrozen over about four weeks.)

Other highlights: petting the horses, hearing Peter recount his moments earlier 5-mile bike race against a horse — seriously,  eating his homemade pickles, my co-worker taking home a pumpkin for Thanksgiving pie, finding out that Peter generally showers outdoors (probably through December, he guesses) or inside (with his plants, which sit on shelves in the shower), the laundry basket that slides through a hole in the wall from his bedroom to his laundry room. The last item, I’m seriously obsessed with — so smart.

Dryer not drying? Check the vent

September 24, 2009

If your clothes still are damp after a dryer cycle or you’re increasing the drying time, you probably need to check your dryer for clogs or damage that slow moist air from leaving the dryer.

Run your dryer and go outside to check the air coming out of your exhaust hood.  If you feel less air movement than a blow dryer on its highest setting, the dryer’s exhaust hood or interior vent could be clogged.

First, clean dried lint from your exhaust hood and make sure to clear any blockages such as leaves or overgrown plants. (Or squirrels…)

If your air movement still seems subpar, clean the lint from the entire length of the system. You should do this about every two years to keep your dryer running its best and to prevent risk of fires.

(See “How to Clean A Dryer Vent” video on YouTube.) If this seems involved, consider replacing your venting — it’s relatively inexpensive.

Also, replace any venting that’s been kinked or crushed (see example below) with rigid or flexible heavy metal venting at least 4 inches in diameter. NEVER use plastic or metal foil venting.

dryervent

whirlpool.com

To prevent clogs in the first place, clean your dryer’s lint filter after each use and keep your exhaust vent unobstructed.
Info source: ServiceMatters.com

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