1. Take advantage of different power levels. Most people only cook using 100% of the microwave’s power and just nuke everything. But you can effectively use your microwave to soften and melt gently, too. To quickly soften butter, cook 1 stick for 1 minute on 10% power level.
1. A small amount of condensation on the fridge or freezer is normal, especially during humid weather and summer vacation, if you see more condensation than normal, check the seal (or gasket) for any obstructions and clear them. If there aren’t any, try moistening the gasket with Vaseline by rubbing a thin layer on the seal where it meets the cabinet of the fridge. This should create a stronger, air-tight seal.
2. Brands might create the perfect space for gallon-jug storage on your refrigerator door, but consider how quickly you will use highly perishable foods (like milk) before storing them here. Why? Consider the temperature fluctuations of this region of the refrigerator. Accordingly, produce like broccoli, asparagus and apples benefit from colder temperatures located near the rear, while corn and berries — for example — benefit from the warmest spot in the refrigerator, so choose those for the front. (Alternatively, fresh herbs like basil thrive in slightly warmer-than-fridge temperatures, so I keep mine in the door!)
3. Use your crisper. Those clear drawers in your fridge aren’t just for convenience. Many models allow you adjust the humidity of your crisper drawers to suit their contents. Consult your use & care manual for specifics on your model, but in general, separate your fruits from vegetables and set humidity to high for green, leafy vegetables and low for fruits and vegetables with skins. Meats should be colder – often just above freezing – so keep them in your deli drawer, which is usually designed to stay colder.
1. Keep your burner caps and drip pans clean. Maintaining a tidy cook surface isn’t just about impressing company. Dirty surfaces don’t reflect heat as well as polished surfaces, thus wasting energy and potentially your time. We sell range top cleaner made specifically for cooking surfaces that will help you keep your range or cooktop looking -- and cooking -- well.
2. Match pots and pans to the size of your burners
Unless you’re using an induction cooktop or range, you’re heating a lot of air while you try to heat your food. For instance, induction cooking – which only heats the cooking vessel and not the air -- is 20% more efficient than electric and 70% more efficient than gas. To lessen energy loss, choose the appropriate-sized pot or pan for the size of burner you’re cooking on (i.e. don’t put a 1-qt saucepan on a ginormous “power burner”).
3. Cover your pots while boiling water
When you think about it, it makes no sense to boil water in an uncovered pot. Using a cover helps water boil faster while creating pressure and preventing evaporation. Saving lots of time and energy.
When you invite friends and family over, you usually spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen. To keep your oven working properly when you need it most, avoid running the self-cleaning cycle too close to a big party or holiday. It can cause aggravation, as well as cost you time and money. Plan ahead by running your oven’s self-cleaning cycle one week before a big dinner. Ovens have a tendency to fail during or right after a self-cleaning cycle, leaving you, your dishes and your family out of luck. When problems arise, let appliance expert’s, like Maytag Metro Service, help you and your family through your biggest meals.
Front-loading clothes washers are designed to use High Efficiency detergent. Using regular detergent creates too much suds, which will affect the machine’s washing and rinsing performance. Over time, it can lead to odors and mechanical problems.
Clothes washers use about the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the load, so run full loads whenever possible.
Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, washing in cold water will generally do a good job of cleaning. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half. Using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more.
Where and when possible, air-drying clothes instead of using a dryer not only saves energy, but also helps them last longer.
This super hot cycle, available on some models, increases energy use significantly. Only use it when absolutely necessary.
If your clothes washer has spin options, choose a high spin speed or the extended spin option to reduce the amount of remaining moisture in your clothes after washing. This decreases the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes.
Front-loading washers use airtight seals to prevent water from leaking while the machine is in use. When the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine and lead to mold. Leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow moisture to evaporate. Make sure children do not climb into the machine while the door is open.
Some manufacturers recommend rinsing the washer each month by running a normal cycle with 1 cup of bleach to help reduce the risk of mold or mildew buildup. Consult the product owner’s manual before attempting.
Did you ever wonder why your lettuce turns brown, or your carrots go limp and why your tomatoes taste like cardboard?
Your refrigerator should be set between 34-40 F (1-4 C). Disease-carrying bacteria thrives above 40 and below 40 will cause vegetables to freeze.
Most refrigerators have special compartments or “crisper drawers” to store fruits and vegetables, often with humidity controls. An open setting lets out moist air - which is good for vegetables that like it drier like onions, garlic, and winter squash. A closed setting keeps moist air in, which is good for vegetables that like high humidity such as leafy greens, cucumbers, root vegetables, celery, and peppers.
If you have more than one crisper try to group vegetables by their temperature and humidity needs. Crisper drawers are most effective when they’re at least two-thirds full.
Don’t wash your vegetables before refrigerating - wash before eating.
Remove tops from beets, carrots, parsnips, and radishes before storing.
Keep ethylene-emitting and odour-emitting foods bagged. Some foods that emit ethylene include: apples, avocados, bananas, pears, peaches, plums, cantaloupes, honey dew melons, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Foods that absorb ethylene include: leafy greens, beans, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, peas, peppers, and potatoes.
Apples produce odours absorbed by cabbage, carrots and onions
Pears produce odours absorbed by cabbage, celery, carrots, onions, and potatoes.
Onions and scallions produce odours absorbed by apples, celery, corn, grapes, leafy greens, mushrooms, pears and rhubarb.
Some vegetables lose moisture quickly and should be stored in plastic bags, containers, or wrap or paper bags. Perforated plastic or paper bags are best. Vegetables that should be bagged include: beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce, leafy greens, radishes, scallions and turnips.
Cleaning all your kitchen appliances is required every now and again. Here are a few tips you might find useful.
To deodorize your microwave combine the juice of one lemon and a cup of water in a microwavable bowl. Place it in the middle of the microwave and heat to boiling for about one minute. Turn off the oven and let the bowl stay for a while.
To clean your microwave add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a cup of warm water and use the mixture for a once a week cleaning.
To clean and refresh your dishwasher scatter 3 or 4 tablespoons of the orange-drink powder (Tang) around the inside of the empty dishwasher and run the wash and rinse cycles.
To clean your glass coffeepot, make a past of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and massage into the stains until gone. Rinse and dry.
To clean a drip coffee maker, give the coffee maker a thorough cleaning by pouring equal parts of white vinegar and water into the water reservoir and put it through the brew cycle. Then repeat the brew cycle with clean water to rinse.
If you purchase an electric range with a glass cooktop, you may have to replace your cooking pots and pans as well. For these typed of elements it is critical the bottom surface of these utensils be absolutely flat.
When using foil inside the oven to help keep it clean, keep it at least one inch from any electric element. The foil can reflect the heat back to the element causing overheating and premature failure. It is not recommended to use foil in the oven by most manufacturers.
Self-clean your oven frequently to ensure grease doesn’t build up to the point of causing a fire or smoking so badly it sets off the smoke detector when eventually cleaned.
If you notice a “hot spot” on your electric range surface or oven element, replace it before it fails.
You can clean any porcelain cooktop with a non-abrasive cleanser
Note: Don't pour the cleanser directly onto the cooktop. Instead, put some cleaner on a soft, damp rag, then wipe the surface.
NEVER use oven cleaners on continuous-clean ovens, as they will clog the pores in the coating, and, may damage the coating, or the aluminum backing if it is used.
Here are a few laundry disasters and some last hope solutions that might restore those damaged garments.
Shrunken Sweaters. It may seem hopeless, but there is a tiny glimmer of a chance that you can still wear that sweater. It’s worth a try to attempt to reshape a wet sweater to its original size. Add 2-3 tablespoonfuls of hair conditioner to a bucket of room temperature water. Put the sweater in the bucket to soak for about 5 minutes. Lay the sweater on a clean dry towel and slowly and gently try to stretch the fibers and reshape the garment before allowing it to dry on the towel.
Dingy Whites. White fabrics can become yellowed or grayed and dingy. For gray and dingy whites try the triple soak. Soak the whites first in a solution of a bucketful of water and 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. Next rinse out the whites and soak in a solution of 2 tablespoons of ammonia and a bucketful of water. Next, rinse out the whites, and soak in a bucket of warm water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Rinse thoroughly and dry. This soaking method will leave your whites bright and clean.
Wrinkled Clothes. If clothes have been neglected in the dryer for too long they are probably wrinkled. To smooth out the wrinkles, put the load back in the dryer with a damp towel (for a medium sized load) or a damp sock (for a small load).
Crayons in the Dryer. I’ve got quite a bit of experience with this one. I’ll never forget the first time I looked in the dryer to see streaks of red crayon melted around the drum. To get rid of it, start with scraping off as much of the wax as you can. I like using a credit card because it doesn’t scratch the drum, but does a good job of removing dried on wax. Depending on how tough the wax is to remove, you might need to use a blow dryer to remove the wax. Hold the dryer 6 inches away from the drum. It will heat up the wax, allowing you to wipe it away. Next, you’ll need some WD-40. Spray it on a cloth and wipe at the waxed areas until the wax is gone. For your final step, use a mild detergent like dish soap or an all-purpose cleaner and warm water to do a final wipe down of the drum.
Washed Tissues. If a tissue has been inadvertently washed, leaving shreds of tissue all over your clothing, the easiest solution is to pick out the biggest clumps you can see before putting the clothing in the dryer. The smaller clumps will get caught in the lint filter where you can remove them after the drying cycle. The more clumps you can remove before the clothing goes into the dryer, the better. Once the clothing is dry, shake out the garments to remove any loose pieces.
Refrigerators require condenser coils to be periodically cleaned to maintain the fridge’s overall efficiency. Failing to do so will negatively affect the life of certain components such as the compressor, the life span will be shortened. The condenser on older models was previously located on the back of the fridge. However, on newer models you will typically find the condenser at the base of the fridge, which you can access by removing the bottom kick plate (trim). There is also a vacuum attachment that will allow you to clean under the fridge without ever having to move it. Call us if you’d like to purchase one of those....it is part of our every day stock. However, some new models do require pulling the fridge out to access the condenser from the rear. The cleaning is subject to your home environment. For example, homes with pets will require more frequent cleaning. It is also recommended to consult the owner’s manual as to the proper procedure to clean these coils or any other components. If you are not comfortable doing such maintenance allow us to send a qualified technician out to assist you.
Many of today’s fridges have filters for their ice and water dispensers. These filters need to be replaced at the recommended intervals in order to maintain their effectiveness as they may become a health hazard if left in beyond their intended life span.
Here are some stain removal tips.
Most importantly is to treat the stain as soon as it happens.
Beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks, wine, alcoholic beverages)
1. Sponge or soak stain in cool water.
2. Pretreat with prewash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, liquid detergent or paste of powder laundry product and water.
3. Launder using sodium hypochlorite bleach, if safe for fabric, or oxygen bleach. NOTE: Older stains may respond to pretreating or soaking in a product containing enzymes, then laundering.
Soak in cold water (do not use hot water as it will set blood stains). Another suggestion is to pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and wipe off.
Pretreat or soak in warm water with a product containing enzymes. Launder.
NOTE: If stain remains, rewash using a bleach safe for fabric.
1. Pretreat or prewash in warm water with a product containing enzymes. Or, treat with a prewash stain remover.
NOTE: If stain remains, rewash using a bleach safe for fabric.
1. Pretreat with prewash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, paste of powder detergent or laundry additive and water. Or, rub with bar soap.
For a Few Spots: Treat the same as candle wax or dampen the stain and rub with bar soap. Launder using hottest water safe for fabric.For a Whole Load of Clothes:Wash with hot water using a laundry soap and 1 cup (212 g) baking soda.
NOTE: If color remains, launder using sodium hypochlorite bleach, if safe for fabric. Otherwise, pretreat or soak in product containing enzymes or an oxygen bleach using hottest water safe for fabric, then launder.
Pretreat or soak in a product containing enzymes.
NOTE: If stain persists, launder using sodium hypochlorite bleach, if safe for fabric, or oxygen bleach.
NOTE: Some inks in each of the following categories – ballpoint, felt tip, liquid – may be impossible to remove. Laundering may set some types of ink. Try pretreating using one of the following methods: Prewash Stain Remover: Pretreat using a prewash stain remover. Launder. Denatured Alcohol or Cleaning Fluid: Sponge the area around the stain with the alcohol or cleaning fluid before applying it directly on the stain. Place stain face down on clean paper towels. Apply alcohol or cleaning fluid to back of stain. Replace paper towels frequently. Rinse thoroughly. Launder. Alternate Method for Denatured Alcohol or Cleaning Fluid: Place stain over mouth of a jar or glass; hold fabric taut. Drip the alcohol or cleaning fluid through the stain so ink will drop into the container as it is being removed. Rinse thoroughly. Launder.
NOTE: Nail polish may be impossible to remove.
1. Try nail polish remover but do not use on acetate or triacetate fabrics.
2. Place stain face down on clean paper towels. Apply nail polish remover to back of stain. Replace paper towels frequently.
3. Repeat until stain disappears, if it does.
4. Rinse and launder.