(At the risk of sounding pretentious) My beloved theory of chase and flight posits a privileged class of people whose behaviors and tastes subordinate others “chase,” thus motivating the former to run — fast.
What does this have to do with appliances? Think of commercial-grade appliances and then look at the stainless steel kitchen package we sell for $1499 (through Sept. 5!).
Same goes for energy efficiency.
ENERGY STAR was created by The Man in 1992 to encourage the purchase and manufacture of energy-efficient home products through a voluntary program labeling the most-efficient products.
It’s good news that products have become more energy efficient. But when many or most of the products in a category qualify for the Energy Star, it makes it harder, not easier, for consumers to identify the truly exceptional products.
The 2011 efficiency clique calls out the best in four categories, including clothes washers and refrigerators.
Here’s a sampling of the best washers and refrigerators:
Not only is it sexy, this LG washer kills allergens, can maintain cleaning performance without heating the water and has a 15-minute wash option for us procrastinators. And it’s also on sale through Labor Day.
This Frigidaire steam washer offers a little more capacity, NSF certified cleaning power and power saver cycle that apparently reduces energy use by 60%.
This Frigidaire washer is the big sister to the previous (more capacity) plus an allergen cycle.
This Electrolux steam washer also is NSF certified plus it fit the most clothes in one cycle and it has the fastest wash and dry time (if you have the dryer: 15 and 14 minutes, respectively).
And refrigerators: there were only two and there’s practically the same, save for depth. One will stick out from your cabinets, the other will sit back in line with them and set you back an additional $400.
My personal favorite laundry feature, though, is steam. You can get the cleaning power in you washer (plus some more capacity) and the refreshing capabilities in your dryer for a few hundred more, starting with this Frigidaire steam washer and steam dryer.
There’s really no harm in using vinegar in your dishwasher, but I suggest only using it in lieu of rinse aid between trips to the store. Rinse aid should be called drying aid, and modern dishwashers need it to properly dry dishes.
2. Microwave cleaner – Heat a microwave-safe cup of vinegar in your microwave and let it boil, so the steam can loosen up all the stuck-on splatters for a minute or so. Wipe down the interior immediately, while it’s still moist inside — no scrubbing necessary!
3. Clothes washer cleaner – Just like your dishwasher, your washing machine benefits from a regular vinegar cleaning. Run a cup through an empty cycle using the hottest setting.
4. All-purpose surface cleaner – Equal parts vinegar and water work well for cleaning windows or glass. Also try the solution for an all-natural way to clean the inside of a refrigerator. I hear you can use it to clean stainless steel as well, though, I recommend using a stainless steel cleaner for a shiny, polished finish.
5. Coffee maker cleaner – This tip, learned from my mom, is among my favorites. I try to run a full coffee pot of vinegar through my coffee maker (remove any coffee or filter, obviously) every few months. It’s satisfying to watch all the grime flake off into the pot, and you’ll be amazed how much faster your coffee brews without all the sediment slowing it down!
6. Stove top and oven cleaner – I’ve already blogged about using a paste of vinegar and baking soda for oven cleaning, but that same paste can be applied to your stove top to scrub out those stubborn brownish discolorations and food splatters.
Have you ever tried cleaning with vinegar? What other household cleaning remedies have you tried?
The buzz in laundry appliance circles (trust me, they exist) these days for washers is all front load, front load, front load.
Or is it?
The Whirlpool appliance crew came in last week to show our sales staff its new line and argued that many of today’s customers want top load laundry again. But these customers aren’t replacing a top-loading washer with a top-loading washer; They’re replacing front-loading washers with top-loading washers.
True, some of the earliest front-loading washing machines came fraught with mold issues and vibration and noise problems. Those early kinks have pretty much, ahem, come out in the wash. But apparently, not everyone’s convinced.
I’m a huge front loader snob, but I have to admit that the features are pretty darn similar and who wouldn’t rather reach down than bend down. I think they’re definitely a good machine for the customer who wants quality but not another front loading washing machine.