Cleaning · FAQ · Uncategorized

Should you put aluminum foil in the oven?

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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

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 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

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?

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.
customer service · FAQ · Uncategorized

Cleaning oven glass

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 and find more on — 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?

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.