Don’t Put Foil In the Oven

Maybe your grandma used to use tinfoil to line her oven floor to aid cleanup.

But times have changed; tinfoil is no longer made of tin. The stuff you use to shield your ham is actually aluminum foil, which has a lower heat tolerance.

The high temperatures of your oven floor can actually cause the foil to melt right onto that oven surface.

And you can’t clean it off.

aluminum foil in ovenWe’ve had Warners’ Stellian  customers spend hundreds of dollars replacing the oven floor on relatively new ranges because of this well-intentioned mistake.

Instead, aluminum foil-makers suggest you line the oven rack you’re using with aluminum foil rather than lining the oven itself.

Get Your Oven Ready for the Holidays

Just like you might get an oil change before going on a road trip, you might have considered cleaning your oven before hosting a holiday party.

Here’s some advice:

Don’t.

Every holiday we get a panicked call from a well-meaning customer who ran the self-clean on her oven and afterwards, the oven didn’t unlock (in this cautionary tale, Northland Service was able to unlock the oven in the nick of time). Of course, this isn’t what’s supposed to happen; the self-clean mode should just work like a charm.

But we all know that things don’t always turn out as they should, and if it’s going to malfunction, Murphy’s Law dictates that it will be right before your in-laws show up.

How to Clean Your Oven

Instead, follow my tips on how to clean your oven manually. You don’t even need oven cleaner.

And then you can use your self-clean function AFTER the holidays.

How To Check Your Dryer for Lint Buildup

If your 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.

Is There Dryer Lint Buildup?

Follow these steps to check for dryer lint buildup.

  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

angledhood

boxedhood2
dryervent-9
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.

Ready for a new dryer? Shop here.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

If you’ve ever owned them, you know: Stainless steel appliances can carry more fingerprints than an episode of “CSI,” especially if you have kids. And the sleek, shiny finish gets pretty streaky, making you wonder how to clean stainless steel.

How To Clean Stainless Steel

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 Affresh, which we use in all of our retail locations. If you think your kitchen is bad, imagine how much our appliances get touched!

But sometimes company is coming over 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. Wipe with the grain for the shiniest finish.

Stainless Steel Finish Options

If you’re looking for a maintenance-free option, some manufacturers make smudge-proof and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finishes, such as Frigidaire, Whirlpool and Maytag. As a bonus, some of these premium finish options are even scratch-resistant.

What stainless steel cleaning tips do you have? Share them in the comments.

How To Defrost a Freezer

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 a quarter to a half-inch, it’s time to defrost.

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

Freezer Defrosting Instructions

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 half-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 beneath the drain outlet. Pull out the drain plug inside the freezer, and pull off the outside defrost drain plug. 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.

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.