DIY · Food · Freezer · HOW TO · Refrigerator

Repair your refrigerator seal with Vaseline

Gasket, seal, "rubber thing" -- whatever you call it, keep it moistened.

If you’ve noticed ice crystals on your frozen foods or condensation in your fridge, check your refrigerator seal. After some troubleshooting, you might be able to make a DIY repair without having to resort to a refrigerator gasket replacement.

First, open your refrigerator’s freezer door and slip a dollar bill against where the gasket seals to the freezer cabinet. Shut the door to hold the bill in place.

If the bill slips out, your seal isn’t tight.

Fortunately, moistening the seal with Vaseline (petroleum jelly) should do the trick and revive the strong rubber grip of your fridge’s youth AND keep your foods nice and chilly. Just apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the part of the seal that touches the refrigerator or freezer, and voila!

Cleaning · Dryer · HOW TO

Before you get dryer repair…

If you’re dryer’s not drying, troubleshoot your vent before calling for dryer service. Especially if you’re running your dryer twice to get clothes dry.

If your dryer’s vent system is clogged, moist air won’t exhaust as well and it will take longer for your clothes to dry.

Here’s how to test your vent to see if it’s clogged:

  1. Run your dryer for at least 5 minutes
  2. Find your exhaust hood on the exterior of your home. It will look like one of these


Use your hand to feel for air movement. If it’s less than a hair dryer on high speed, clean the lint from the entire length of the system and exhaust hood. (This should be done about every two years, anyway).

grilling · HOW TO

Have you hung up your grilling tools yet?

My favorite 2011 grilling momentwas doughnuts with my aunt Carla Warner for "Twin Cities Live" reporter Emily Engberg.

Right now in Minnesota, we’re experiencing quite the Indian summer — which is awesome considering 2011 cheated us on spring.

So maybe you’re still grilling.

(Select hardy Minnesotans enjoy firing up their Big Green Eggs in the winter, God bless them.)

Or maybe the beautiful weather simply makes your fall chores more enjoyable.

One of my fall chores this weekend is retiring my gas grill.

Our King of the BBQ Stu Glock helped me out last fall with proper storage tips, including NOT storing the LP tank in the garage.

>> You can see all of Stu’s winter grill storage tips here

Cleaning · HOW TO · Refrigerator

How to clean stainless appliances without a stainless steel cleaner

(Disclaimer: Just because I know how to clean stainless steel appliances, doesn’t mean I actually do it.)

If you have stainless steel refrigerator like I do (and especially if you have kids), chances are, that refrigerator looks like this:

Cleaning stainless steel appliances is not like cleaning other surfaces, because it’s easy to leave behind streaks from the actual cleaning process itself.

We sell a really good cleaner for stainless steel appliances called Citrushine. I used to use it all the time when I worked at the stores (if you think your kitchen is bad, imagine how much our appliances get touched!).

But sometimes company is coming over — which is about the only time I’ll polish my stainless steel — and you don’t have time to run to the store.

Try baby oil.
Apply with an old towel or rag in small doses so you don’t end up with a greasy refrigerator and wipe with the grain for the shiniest finish.

About Warners' Stellian · cooking · Events · HOW TO

Limited spots available for our upcoming canning class

Coming to a pantry near you. Actually, it could be your pantry, which is really nearby.

Warners’ Stellian Appliance has jumped on the homemaker-trend bandwagon by offering our very own canning class.

Partly inspired by our beautiful, functional kitchen vignettes and partly motivated by my desire to pickle, I managed to wrangle master food preserver Liz McMann of Mississippi Markets Co-op and blog Food Snobbery Is My Hobbery into teaching a small group how to can their own Dill Pickled Green Beans.

You’ll walk away with plenty of know-how for your own food preservation efforts, and most importantly, your own jar of beans. Plus, it’s only $10 — we provide everything.

Canning class: Dill Pickled Green Beans
Saturday, Sept. 24
1-2:30(ish) p.m.
Warners’ Stellian-St. Paul, 1711 N. Snelling Ave. (more location details)

Want in? RSVP to me (Julie) at jawarner at warnersstellian.com. Hurry! Spots are limited to 10.

FAQ · Freezer · HOW TO

HOW TO: defrost a freezer in 10 easy steps

I think it might be time to defrost...

Most refrigerator-freezers and many standalone freezers feature automatic defrost, but for long-term food storage, manual defrost freezers can be the best option.

So when the ice crystals lining the walls of your manual defrost freezer stacks ¼- to ½- inch, it’s time to defrost.

Don’t lose your cool. It’s easier than you think, using these 10 steps adapted from Frigidaire:

1. Unplug your freezer. This keeps you from being electrocuted.

2. Open the freezer door and keep it open throughout the process.

3. Remove food into a cooler

4. On upright freezers with a defrost drain, remove the drain plug on the inside floor
of the freezer by pulling straight out. To access external drain tube on models with a
base panel, first remove the two screws from the base panel. Locate the drain tube
near the left center under the freezer. Place a shallow pan under the drain tube. Defrost
water will drain out. Check pan occasionally so water does not overflow. A ½ inch
garden hose adapter can be used to drain the freezer directly into a floor drain. If your
model is not equipped with an adapter, one can be purchased at most hardware
stores. Replace the drain plug when defrosting and cleaning are completed. If the
drain is left open, warm air may enter freezer.

5. On chest freezers with a defrost drain, place a shallow pan or the Divider/Drain Pan
(some models) beneath the drain outlet (Figure 2). A ½ inch garden hose adapter can
be used to drain the freezer directly into a floor drain (Figure 3). If your model is not
equipped with an adapter, one can be purchased at most hardware stores. Pull out
the drain plug inside the freezer, and pull off the outside defrost drain plug (Figure 4).
Defrost water will drain out. Check pan occasionally so water does not overflow.
Replace the drain plugs when defrosting is completed.

***If you don’t have a defrost drain, line the freezer bottom with towels to catch
the frost. The frost will loosen and fall. Remove towels and/or newspapers.

6. If the frost is soft, remove it by using a plastic scraper (or if you’re a cheap & hardy Minnesotan like me, an old CD).
7. If the frost is hard, fill deep pans with hot water and place them on the freezer bottom. Close the freezer door. Frost should soften in about 15 minutes, after which you can refer to No. 6. Repeat if necessary.

8. After defrosting, wash inside surfaces and removable parts of the freezer with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda in one quart warm water. Rinse and dry. Wring excess water
out of the sponge or cloth when cleaning in the area of the controls, or any electrical parts.
Never use metallic scouring pads, brushes, abrasive cleaners, nor alkaline solutions on any surface.

9. Replace drain plug and food.

10. Close freezer door.

About Warners' Stellian · Air conditioning · FAQ · HOW TO

Window AC shortage means you better keep yours working

I’ve blogged previously about this summer’s air conditioning unit shortage, which will likely not be noticed until more retailers sell out (we still have stock; we were shipped 100% of our order.).

This weekend, my brother Joe Warner shared tips on what to know when buying a window AC, and more importantly, how to keep it working for summers to come.

>>Watch video here: How to maintain your window air conditioner

Really, maintenance becomes most relevant during a manufacturing shortage. If you don’t have a window air conditioner, you probably bought one or are buying one this week.

But what if you already have one, and it breaks down in the middle of July? You probably will be out of luck when trying to replace it. So stay cool and listen to my brother’s wisdom!

As always, professional installation and maintenance is a good investment to consider, and we offer easy (no-sweat, ha!) plans for you.