Holiday Season Appliance Tips

During the Holiday season appliance usage is in high demand for Ranges, Ovens, and Dishwashers.

Check your oven temperature. Purchase an oven thermometer, and preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes. Then record the highest and lowest temperatures for three cycles. If you have an oven that has a low temperature of 325˚ and a high of 375˚ when the dial is set at 350˚, then your oven is working properly.

If the calibration is off by 25 degrees or more, you may have an oven control, thermostat or sensor problem, requiring replacement parts: Range-Stove-Oven-Parts

Bi-metal Oven Thermometer
Oven Thermometer

Polder 602-90 Digital Cooking Timer/Thermometer and Clock, White
Polder 3 function thermometer

•24 hour countdown timer allows you to time even slow cooking recipes
•Presettable alarm temperature allows for precise cooking
•Timer and thermometer work simultaneously or individually to accommodate various cooking needs
•43″ probe wire for full use of oven cavity
•USDA food temperature chart included

Five easy fixes for bad-tasting ice maker ice cubes

Ice Maker Cubes

If you refrigerator’s ice maker is producing ice cubes that taste bad or smell funny, here are possible causes and solutions:

Possible cause 1: Dirty water filtration system filter.

Solution: Replace it. Refrigerator water filtration system filters should be replaced at least every six months. Depending on usage, you may need to replace yours more frequently. Read your refrigerator owner’s manual for instructions specific to your model.

It’s a good idea to stock up on filters to save time and money. Enter your refrigerator’s model number here to find the manufacturer-recommended filter for your specific model.

Possible cause 2: Stale ice cubes.  

If you’re not often retrieving ice cubes, it could be that the old ice has absorbed odors from its food neighbors inside of your freezer or refrigerator. Food gases are easily transferred to water and ice. In fact, ice cubes can easily absorb odors from spoiled food inside of your refrigerator’s interior compartment.

Solution: Use ice cubes more frequently. Keep your refrigerator and freezer free of spoiled food.

Possible cause 3: Unhealthy water supply.

If your city or well-provided water is full of impurities, minerals, salt or sulfur, your water and in turn, your ice cubes, will have an unfavorable taste and odor.

Possible solutions:  Make sure you regularly replace your water filtration system’s filter.

If your refrigerator doesn’t have a built-in water filtration system or an in-line filter on the water line to your refrigerator, consider this easy-to-install refrigerator water filter kit. It will remove impurities and chemicals to improve water quality and taste.

Refrigerator water filtration kit

Hard water may also be affecting the water quality. You can test for water hardness with these water test strips.  You may need a water softening system. If you already have one in place, it may be using too much salt.  Consult your water softening system owner’s manual and adjust settings as needed.

Water quality test strips

Slight, but important tangent, since we’re on the subject of water filtration: Ever hear of reverse osmosis (a.k.a. hyperfiltration) water filtration? It’s the process that many water bottling companies use to reduce the amount of impurities and minerals in water. Today, there are such systems available on the market for residential use.  However, one should never connect a reverse osmosis filtration system to a refrigerator water supply – due to the possibility of reduced water pressure that can lead to refrigerator problems and expensive repairs.

interior of freezer

Possible cause 4: Improperly sealed or unwrapped food inside of your freezer. Fresh and old ice cubes alike will absorb food gases.

Possible solution:  Regularly clean out your refrigerator and freezer, tossing out expired foods. Double wrap and bag products with weak packaging (this will also help prevent freezer burn). Use a freezer deodorizer like this one that’s specifically designed to combat strong food odors.

Ice Cube and Freezer Deodorizer

We also use a refrigerator deodorizer in our refrigerator compartments, too.  According to the manufacturer, this refrigerator deodorizer  is 50 times more powerful than baking soda in keeping refrigerators smelling fresh. It lasts up to six months and keeps highly-perishable food like fruits and vegetables fresher longer. Check out additional freezer and refrigerator deodorizers and cleaners here.

 

Possible cause 5: Food spills or mildew growth inside of the freezer or refrigerator compartments.

Solution: Thoroughly clean the inside of the freezer and refrigerator using a solution of warm water and baking soda. The solution should be about one tablespoon of baking soda to one quart of water. Avoid using cleaning products with harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia, as they may damage your refrigerator’s interior walls. Check your refrigerator owner’s manual for specific instructions related to cleaning and mold removal.

Related info

How to speed up your ice maker & get ice faster

Three quick fixes for broken ice makers

411 on freezer burn

Something broken? RepairClinic has free troubleshooting and repair help information for refrigerators and ice makers. Please enter your model number here for model-specific repair help and troubleshooting information.

Air Conditioners – Model Number Look-up – Cleaning the Air Filter

Air Conditioner Parts

Clean the air filter.

On most models, the air filter is easily accessible by removing the front panel. Take the filter out and clean it gently with a combination of warm water and dish soap or white vinegar. Let the filter air dry completely before reinstalling it. These should be cleaned once per month during the cooling season. If you have pets, or allergies consider cleaning it more frequently.

If the filter is damaged, it should be replaced. Air Conditioner Filter Parts

Maintenance Tips for your Dryer

Maintenance Video

Vent

Your dryer vent pipe should be made of aluminum. The white vinyl duct that was common several years ago no longer meets most building codes, because if your dryer ignites it, a fire may start in your home.

Check the entire length of the vent pipe for lint build-up at least once a year–or more often if the dryer gets a lot of use.

Note… Remove the lint from the duct–don’t just push it back into the dryer or let it clog any part of the vent.

You can tackle lint build-up in the duct with our Vent Brush for Cleaning 4″ Round Dryer Vent accessory. It’s available in 10 foot and 20 foot lengths.

Interior of dryer cabinet

The lint produced by clothes tumbling in a dryer is normally trapped by the lint filter. However, some lint invariably escapes and accumulates on the inside of the dryer cabinet. At least once a year, check the inside of the cabinet, and clean it if necessary. Do this more frequently if the dryer is used heavily.

Lint filter

Check and clean the lint filter after every drying cycle. If the lint filter has any rips or tears, replace it. If the filter gets clogged by fabric softener residue or any other residue, you can easily clean it with a soft-bristle brush and a little detergent.

Area under lint filter

You can also clean the chute, duct, or area that the lint filter fits into. If necessary, use a vacuum cleaner to reach into the duct and clean out any lint.

Note… If the lint build-up is severe, it’s important to disassemble the dryer and clean out the lint more thoroughly. This is often a job for a qualified appliance repair technician, because there’s a risk of injuring yourself or damaging the machine.

Maintenance Tips for your Dishwasher

Maintenance Video

Interior cleaning & deodorizing

You don’t need to clean the interior of your dishwasher if you use it regularly. If it goes un-used for a week or more and begins to mold or smell bad, you can clean it using Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner and Deodorizer.

Exterior cleaning

Just clean the exterior of your dishwasher with a damp sponge and a little dish detergent.

Rust removal

Try RoVer Rust Remover to remove rust stains from the inside of your dishwasher.

Dish rack repairs

If the plastic coating wears off of the tines of the dish racks in your dishwasher, they may corrode and rust. We have repair kits available for those tines in Light Blue, Gray and White. These repair kits can be found in our Dishwasher Dishrack Parts section.

Filter cleaning

On many dishwashers, there’s a filter near the bottom, or under the lower spray arm that needs to be cleaned regularly. If you have this sort of filter, check your owner’s manual to find out how to remove and clean it. If it has holes in it, replace it to protect the pump and motor seals from particles that may be in the dishwasher.

Spray arm cleaning

Over time, the small holes in the spray arm(s) of your dishwasher may become clogged with bits of paper, toothpicks, glass, etc. Your dishwasher will do a better job of cleaning your dishes if you take a moment to clean out these small holes, from time to time.