Dishwasher Loading Tips – To Rinse or Not to Rinse…

Bosch Home Appliances brand ambassador, Danny Seo, has some dishwasher loading tips for Bosch dishwashers. To rinse or not to rinse, with Bosch there is no need to pre-rinse in their dishwashers. Check out the video below and we at Karl’s love the third rack in dishwashers…

To see the inside of  Bosch dishwashers up close in personal visit a Karl’s Appliance store located throughout New Jersey and servicing the entire NY City Metro area. We have many models on display including Benchmark, 800 Series, 500 Series, and more and we are always having sales.

Wall Oven Fit System Revolutionizes Re-Installations into Existing Cabinets

Whirlpool Appliances, makers of the Maytag, Kitchen Aid, and Whirlpool brands of home and kitchen appliances, has introduced a new system that is included with all their new wall ovens and microwave combination ovens dubbed the “Fit System.” The video simply explains how this system works – using four adjustable legs and two trim options the ovens may be used in multiple cutout sizes which Whirlpool dubs small, medium, or large. Watch the video to learn more and call or visit one of Karl’s appliance stores to see these ovens in person.

Nope, it’s not the dishwasher…it’s the automatic dishwashing detergent!

You may have noticed that after you run your dishes through the dishwasher they end up with a film or spots or food still stuck to them. It’s been happening to me. I put dirty dishes in and I seem to take dirty dishes out. I end up having to run them through a second time or washing them by hand. My first thought was that there was something wrong with my dishwasher. Nope, it’s not the dishwasher…it’s the automatic dishwashing detergent that I’m putting into it.
As it so happens, 16 states created laws which prohibit the sale of automatic dishwashing detergent that contain more than 0.5% phosphorus. These laws took effect on July 1, 2011 in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Since phosphates are an effective cleaning agent it was a standard ingredient in automatic dishwashing detergent. It helped with the removal of grease and food, softened water, reduced spotting and kept food from redistributing on dishes. With all the benefits it created in the dishwasher, phosphates are causing problems in the environment. Eventually phosphates end up in our local water supply – rivers, lakes, streams and reservoirs.

Here phosphates act as a fertilizer and promote plant and algae growth. Large blooms of algae form when there are excess phosphates in the water. Once their food source is depleted the blooms of algae die. As they die, bacteria feed on the dead algae and consume the water’s oxygen. This kills fish and other marine life, creates dead zones and can cause drinking water to have an odor and poor taste.

Because of these laws and the need to protect our bodies of freshwater, makers of automatic dishwashing detergent have changed their products. And they made the change across the board. It is more cost effective to change the product completely then make some with phosphates and some without. Many of these companies are now fielding questions on why these changes have been made and how to handle concerns. Concerns like why, after washing in the dishwasher, do dishes and glassware are filmy, cloudy and have spots.

The main culprit is hard water. Hard water is water that contains higher levels of calcium and other minerals. When hard water combines with detergent, it can cause dishes and glassware to become filmy, cloudy and/or have spots. The longer it continues; your dishes and glassware will become etched and damaged. Where ever you find hard water this is a common problem. Much of New Jersey has hard water, particularly in Bergen County.
Here are some tips for controlling hard water deposits

1. Fill up both dish detergent cups. More detergent may help reduce hard water effects.
2. Use a rinse aid. Modern dishwashers accommodate automatic dispensing of rinse aid.
3. Check your water temperature. Many automatic dishwashing detergent manufactures recommend a temperature of 130 degrees.
4. Consider a dishwasher with an on-board Water Softening System.

Some dishwashers include a built-in water softener that removes calcium and magnesium from the water. Some brands that make these types of dishwashers include Miele, Kitchenaid, Fisher Paykel, and Blomberg. If a dishwasher has a built-in water softener there will be a special compartment inside the dishwasher where the salt is to be added when needed. This salt compartment is separate from the detergent compartment, and generally located at the bottom of the wash cabinet (this is below the bottom basket). On most dishwashers, an automatic sensing system will notify the user when more dishwasher salt is required. If you have a dishwasher with a built-in water softener or are considering purchasing one please use the recommended water softening salt tablets because using table salt in the dishwasher’s water softening unit can damage it.

Also, as you know, not all automatic dishwashing detergents are made equal. Do your research, try different automatic dishwashing detergent products and use the one you feel works best for you. Also, try using a rinse aid or non toxic home remedies like white vinegar (for non-metal items only).

Home Remedy Tip #1: To remove film from dishes place white vinegar (2 cups) on the bottom rack of the dishwasher in a container. Load the dishwasher with the glassware and dishes that have film on them. Without any automatic dishwashing detergent run the dishwasher. Then with the detergent of your choice run the glassware and dishes through another cycle to remove any remaining white vinegar.

Home Remedy Tip #2: This one comes from my mother-in-law. She does this every time she runs the dishwasher. In one detergent compartment use your detergent of choice as normal. Fill up your second detergent compartment with Tang (keep in powder form) and leave the detergent compartment cover open. Yes, I said it…Tang. You know the orange powder the astronauts drink. If you do not have two compartments or only one cover for both compartments pour an 1/8 of a cup of Tang into the dishwasher. Load the dishwasher as normal and run them through a cycle.

Here are some other tips to help you get better results from your dishwasher:
• Scrape and rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
• Follow the loading instructions for your dishwasher.
• Run the dishwasher when no other water is being used in your home. This will help prevent low water pressure.
• Let the hot water run for several minutes in your kitchen sink. This will bring the temperature of the water up before the dishwasher even starts.
Personally, I am going to try a couple of automatic dishwashing detergent products and see which one works best for me and my family. I applaud the changes that the companies have made to automatic dishwashing detergent.
Remember we can have a healthy environment and clean dishes!

If you need a new dishwasher, please visit Karl’s Appliance at any one of our six appliance stores, Paramus 469 Rt. 17 South (in the Verizon complex), Fairfield, Madison, Sparta, Orange and Montclair or visit us at http://www.karlsappliance.com.

Cleaning Ceramic Glass Electric Ranges and Cooktops

Jenn Air Electric Cooktop

Smooth-top or glass ceramic cooking surfaces have become the standard for electric ranges and cooktops due to their clean, contemporary look and ease of cleaning. These surfaces can be commonly found on electric cooking appliances including cooktops, stoves, ranges, ovens, as well as certain gas-on-glass gas ranges and cooktops. This article will cover a few simple procedures to follow to keep your kitchen appliance looking its best. Note that these tips come directly from a number of large appliance manufacturers.

General Guidelines

To avoid damaging the ceramic glass, do not use abrasive cleaners or steel wool. Items on this list include abrasive powder cleaners, chlorine bleach, rust remover, or ammonia.

For everyday cleaning, use a clean, wet sponge or cloth and dry thoroughly to avoid streaking. Regular and periodic use of cooktop cleaner is recommended not only to remove stains and polish but also because these cleaners provide a protective coating that helps to prevent scratching, pitting, and abrasions.

A cooktop scraper is a tool specifically designed for scraping stubborn soils off the ceramic surface without damaging the surface. These tools can be picked up at any home improvement store, ordered online, or even at many grocery stores. This is a must have for owners of ceramic cooking surfaces.

With glass-ceramic materials, different soil levers require specific cleaning measures. Here is a guide to follow:

For light to medium soil simply use a damp sponge or cloth or even a wet paper towel. After wiping clean, dry thoroughly with a dry cloth or towel to avoid streaking.

For sugary spills like syrup, jellies, and candy, use a cooktop scraper while the surface is still warm. Use of oven mitts to prevent burning may be appropriate. As soon as the cooktop has cooled down, use cooktop polishing cream and a clean damp cloth or paper towel. Rub cleaner into ceramic glass surface and continue rubbing until white film disappears.

For heavier staining such as discoloration, specks, dark streaks, and heavy soil use cooktop polishing cream or a non-abrasive cleaner. Rub agent into soil with a soft damp cloth or sponge. Work into stain and continue rubbing until white film disappears.

For burned on stains use a cooktop scraper, holding as flat as possible, and scrap off as much of the stain as possible. Follow with cooktop polishing cream, work into stain, and continue to rub until white film disappears. If necessary, repeat this procedure until staining is completely removed.

For stains from metals, including aluminum and copper, wait to the cooktop has cooled. Use cooktop polishing cream following the procedure already described in this article. Metal stains may not completely disappear but over time will fade and become less noticeable.

For tiny abrasions and scrapes, use cooktop cleaner directions previously described. Like metal staining, abrasions and scraping may not disappear completely but and will become less noticeable over time. Note that scrapes and abrasions will not affect cooking performance in any way.

Induction Cooktop Stovetop and Range FAQ

Cooking with Magnetic Induction Cooking Surfaces – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As one of New Jersey’s largest retailers of large appliances, Karl’s not only exposes customers to new technology in home appliances but also receives many specific questions. This is the culmination of years of accumulating the most frequently asked questions regarding induction cookers. Also, we have included a short video of a product expert covering KitchenAid induction cooktops that we feel is helpful. After reading this FAQ and watching the educational video you will be an induction expert!

What is or how does induction cooking work?

Induction cooktops use a high frequency induction coil below a smoothtop cooking surface that creates a magnetic field. The magnetic field only heats the metal or iron surface that it is touching, in this case the cookware, by exciting the molecules in the pan to create heat.

How does induction cooking differ from traditional gas or electric cook surfaces?

With induction, there is no exposed flame or heated surface. If an element is turned on and there is no cookware present the element will not create heat. Heat is only created when a cookware 5″ or greater in diameter is placed on the element. When cookware is removed the induction coil is de-energized and will automatically shut off.

How fast can induction cooking surfaces boil water?

Induction cooktops can boil water faster than traditional gas or electric cooktops. Times to boil 1 quart of water can be is little as 90 seconds. In fact, induction cooktops are generally the fastest cooking appliances available.

How will delicate foods, like chocolate, perform on induction cooking appliances?

Magnetic induction elements offer precision control of heat from extreme high to extreme lows. The low heat setting is ideal for melting chocolate or preparing delicate sauces and dips.

Is induction cooking efficient?

Yes, induction deliveries a higher percentage of energy to the food being cooked than any other cooking method.

Installation FAQ

Can induction cooktops or ranges replace existing appliances?

Yes, if you are replacing electric appliances induction is generally an easy re-installation. Depending on the brand you are replacing, the new unit may fit right into the existing cut-out or space if you are replacing a stove or range. If replacing gas cooking appliances, additional electric connections may need to be installed.

Is an induction cooktop easy to clean?

Yes. Induction offers the precision heat control of gas cooking and the easy clean up of smoothtop electric cooking. In addition, clean up is even easier than traditional radiant electric cooktops. Since the unused portion of the surface does not get hot, most spills will not cook into the surface. Also, most induction cooktops have glass touch controls so there are no raised knobs.

What do you clean an induction cook top with?

Most spills will easily wash off with a damp cloth or sponge.

Do I need to use specific pots and pans with induction cooking appliances?

Yes and no. In order for the induction coil to create the required magnetic field there must by some iron content in the bottom of the cookware. The best way to determine if you existing cookware will function if you buy induction cooktops is with a magnet. If the magnet sticks to the bottom they will work.

BBQ Outdoor Grill Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning an Outdoor Grill

Barbecue grills simply offer cooking results that other methods can not duplicate. This is the reason that outdoor grilling has exploded in popularity. The main disadvantage for barbeque cooking is it can be messy, creating a great deal of grease splatter, smoke, and heat makes for difficult clean up. Also, most grills are left outside exposed to the elements. This article attempts to offer some simple cleaning tips to keep you BBQ looking and working its best for years to come.

There are some basic rules to cover first. Always turn the BBQ off, cutting the supply of gas, and wait for it to cool before cleaning. Aside from the obvious risk of burning, cleaning hot surfaces will reduce the cleaning effectiveness and may produce foul odors.

Never use oven cleansers, abrasive cleaners, cleaners that contain citrus products, or abrasive cleaning pads on exterior BBQ grill surfaces. These may damage the finish by scratching, staining, or otherwise discoloring. The best solution to use for cleaning barbeques is warm water and a mild detergent like liquid dishwasher soap. Also handy will be a soft brush and sponge for exterior surfaces and a stainless steel wire brush for cooking crates and other interior surfaces.

For outside surfaces:

Mix warm water with a mild soap and apply the mixture with a non-abrasive sponge or brush. Rinse with clean, cold water.

For cleaning grease catching drip pans:

Remove excess grease with a paper towel or other rag. Wash with warm soapy water and rinse.

For cleaning cooking grates, bars, briquettes:

Do not use soap on these surfaces, simply clean with a stainless steel bristle brush. If additional cleaning is required use mixture of warm water and mild soap with brush and thoroughly rinse.

Inside of BBQ grill lid:

This is perhaps the most frequently asked question. Build up of grease on the inside lid surface can appear to look like flaking paint. However, this is not paint. To keep lid clean wipe inside with a paper towel while hood is still warm to prevent grease build-up.

Cleaning stainless steel surfaces:

Do not use any abrasive materials including wire brushes on stainless steel surfaces as these can easily scratch the finish. Do wash stainless steel surfaces with a soft cloth and a solution of warm soapy water. When cleaning stainless steel, always scrub with the grain. Do not use cleaners that contain acid, xylene, or mineral spirits. Rinse extremely well following cleaning.

Cleaning Your Front Load Washer

Cleaning a Front Load Washer

Just purchased a new front load washing machine? Of course, you want to keep it as clean and fresh as your clothing you are putting in it. We recommend that you clean a front load washing machine on a monthly basis using these procedures.

Front load washers are a huge improvement over top load machines. They have better cleaning performance, are gentler on clothing, have larger capacities, and use less water and energy. However, a common complaint is that the washer develops an odor over time. This can be easily solved with regular preventive measures and cleaning.

As a preventive measure, leave the washer door slightly open following use. Also, it is a good idea to use a dry cloth to dry the rubber door gasket after each use. These simple steps may lengthen the time between cleaning intervals.

First, check your user guide or manual that was included with your machine before attempting any of the following procedures. We recommend you follow manufacturer cleaning instructions – ignoring their suggestions may void your warranty.

Cleaning the Interior Wash Tub:

Many newer front loading machines have specially designed cleaning cycles. If yours does, follow the steps described in the manual that was included with your machine, if not we recommend that you follow the following simple steps.

First, only clean an entirely empty washing machine being sure to remove any and all clothing. Never add laundry detergent for this process.

Open the washer door and pour one cup of liquid bleach into the basket. Close the door and select the normal wash cycle. If you machine has an extra rinse option select this too. Run the cycle as soon as possible after adding the bleach. Note that some manufacturers recommend not adding bleach directly into the tub but instead filling the detergent compartment instead. Check you manual for manufacturer recommendations.

Start the wash cycle and without interruption allow the cycle to fully complete. Once complete, run the cycle again with no bleach or detergent to completely rinse the tub. Repeat the rinsing cycle as needed.

Note that after this procedure your machine may have a slight bleach odor. This is normal. Also, it is recommended that you run a light color load after this cleaning procedure.

For especially foul odors in washers repeat the cleaning process with the bleach and/or also fill the bleach dispenser to the fill line. This will add a second dose of bleach to ensure odors and bacteria are stopped in their tracks.

Cleaning the Door Gasket:

Open the washer door and remove all clothing from the wash tub. Also, inspect the inside of the gasket making sure there are no small items of clothing stuck inside. If there are, remove these as well.

Wearing rubber gloves, mix a solution of ¾ cup liquid bleach to 1 gallon of water. Using a cloth damp with this solution, carefully and fully wipe down the entire gasket. Let stand for 5 minutes and rinse well with cold water.

Cleaning the Dispenser:

Detergent and fabric softener can build up in the dispenser of a front load washer. When this happens the following procedures may be followed.

Remove the dispenser using care to avoid breakage. Machines may differ on how this is done, so check owner’s manual for guidance on your particular machine. Most have some sort of tab that will need to depress to unlock the dispenser. If the dispenser is made of multiple components, disassemble again using care so as not to cause any damage.

Wash thoroughly and completely using hot water and a mild detergent. Rinse with cold water and dry.

To clean the drawer opening use a small brush, such as an old toothbrush, to remove all residue.

Reinstall clean dispenser.