Totem Appliance Service Blog - Vancouver, Calgary, Fraser Valley

Author: Created: 3/21/2012 6:35 AM RssIcon
Stay tuned for appliance repair information and interesting appliance topics
By Laura on 2/18/2013 9:32 AM
Steam has been around for a long time. It used to power huge locomotives, automobiles, and we all still use it today for limited purposes. Most of us are familiar with that whistling sound that signifies our water is ready for tea. Other than that, steam has all but… lost its steam. This is changing now that different companies are discovering uses for steam in appliances. Many of us own or have used steam cleaners and discovered their impressive carpet and upholstery cleaning qualities but did you know steam cleaners can also clean countertops to get you back to a new looking finish?  Many dishwashers have started introducing steam cleaning functions. Steam can get hotter than water so it’s not surprising that people like this function from a sanitation standpoint. Many of us see steam cleaners in dentist’s offices or doctors’ offices to sanitize tools before they are used on patients. It may be overkill in our homes since an effective dishwasher should kill off bacteria at its current temperatures with...
By Laura on 2/11/2013 6:39 AM
“Continuous cleaning” ovens are coated with a texture layer that oxidizes food splatter to keep cooking debris from clinging to its surface. The amazing thing about is it cleans itself WHILE you’re cooking. The only thing you really need to worry about is spills. Clean up excessive spills with a damp cloth and it should take care of the rest. The most important thing to remember if you do have to clean anything up in it is to never scrape the surface up with anything from metal spatulas or anything abrasive as it will damage the surface.  It is a good idea to remove the racks from time to time or as needed to clean them off. The oven door can be cleaned off with glass wipes and stainless steel polish if need be. Do not use oven cleaners on continuous ovens because they can clog the textured surface that makes this oven style so effective at cleaning itself. Make sure you don’t use scouring pads, abrasive cleaners or any metal pads or scrapers as they will damage the surface of the oven....
By Laura on 2/4/2013 7:40 AM
Many of our appliances can usually go a long time without being cleaned as long as you don’t spill anything but ovens and cooktops are a different story. No matter how careful you are, when you are cooking, things can get messy so it’s just a matter of HOW messy.  There are a bunch of products that claim to work with a single swipe of their miracle product. I hate to break it to you QVC addicts but they don’t usually work. Cleaning takes some work no matter how good the product is and you need to be careful that cleaning detergents aren’t so strong that they damage what you’re cleaning. Many surfaces specifically say to only use non-abrasive cleaners and pads.  Electric burners should only be cleaned when they are cold to make sure there’s no way you can burn yourself. Most burner coils lift up then pull out. Grab a cleaning cloth and some soapy water and wipe them down. Never submerge the burners or any electrical portion of them in water but you may need to soak them down pretty well to get up any food...
By Laura on 1/28/2013 7:55 AM
Since 1850 people have been able to enjoy the luxury of being able to throw dishes into an appliance to get clean dishes. The first models were hand operated but still didn’t require hand washing! The next major step was in the 1920s when they started hooking dishwashers up to permanent plumbing. That was when the innovation started as well. They started adding racks and soap dispensers for soaps that could perform different functions. Many times when someone is having trouble with their dishwasher not doing its job correctly, it’s actually just because they aren’t using the correct detergent. But how do you know what the correct detergent is? The purpose of detergents is to aid in cleaning dishes but there are so many types of detergents let alone number of brands carrying those different types. We can’t begin to discuss every combination of brand and type of detergent but we can shed some light on the different types of detergents and hopefully help you pick out what should work best for you. Since phosphates...
By Laura on 1/16/2013 1:12 PM
We have seen and heard so many ideas on how to clean a refrigerator that it would make your head spin. We’ve heard everything from home-made pastes and scents and cleaning agents to creating contraptions. The most effective method of cleaning a refrigerator is just doing it! You don’t need fancy three part hand-churned pastes with vanilla extract. I’m sure they smell great but unless you want a refrigerated potpourri box, just get whatever the owner’s manual suggests for cleaner types and take the time to clean out your refrigerator from time to time. As for the areas you might be missing when you’re going at it, we can shed some light on a few things that may help you be more thorough and maybe even get you some energy savings out of it. Refrigerators work by running fluids through a series of coils and contraptions that in short shed off heat. They are only as effective as they are clean. If you roll your refrigerator out far enough to see the mechanics on the back, you will likely see dust and other debris...
By Laura on 1/14/2013 6:26 AM
Cloth is amazing. We wear it. We sleep in it. We carry it. We sit on it. We use it for everything! One thing is for certain though… it gets dirty! You could just rinse stuff off but some of the dirt and oils and even smells will still be there unless you use the right cleaner. As far as laundry goes, there are two basic types of laundry detergents; liquid and powder. It got a little more confusing lately with the new front-load washers and “high-efficiency” washers. Typical top-loading washing machines take a conventional detergent and don’t work particularly well on high efficiency detergents. On the other hand, high-efficiency washers function very poorly with conventional detergents and can even junk up the washer and leave the clothes poorly cleaned. There are powder and liquid detergents available for both conventional top-load washers and high-efficiency washers. There are also some detergents that are dual-use but they might not be the best for what you need. This is very important to take note of...
By Laura on 1/9/2013 8:04 AM
Washers used to be such a simple appliance. You’d turn a dial and push a button and off it goes filling up with water, agitating, draining, filling, agitating, draining, spinning, done! Now we have all sorts of electronics that have made everything more efficient, clean clothes better, and even prolong the life of your clothes. These are all great things but everything comes with a cost. I’m not just referring to the price tag which we all know has gone up as well! I’m talking about how much everything has gotten complicated. If your washer isn’t draining properly, it may just have something clogged in the line. Or it could be the pump, or the computer could be stuck between cycles, or not allowing it to drain because it thinks it’s already empty, or the computer could be bad altogether. Complicated! If you’re handy enough, try to check the drain hose for kinks or a blockage but be extremely careful that you don’t create a flood in your home. Check the lid...
By Laura on 12/20/2012 1:07 PM
If you’re reading this, then apparently we’ve all survived the end of the world. Since we’re all still around we should probably start those New Year’s resolutions after all. I’d start off with simple stuff like filling in the schedule that you left blank past the 20th. There are a lot of things that you could do differently going into 2013. For one, you could start reading our blogs since they’re full of marvelous information! Plus, we have a fantastic Facebook page that you could “Like” and a Twitter feed that we tweet on like it’s our job... because it is.  We are an appliance repair company first and foremost but our job is to provide a quality service to our customers and in doing so, we have learned a LOT about appliances and have a great deal of information that could help you save money. We are extremely thankful for our customers and those of you who have given us repeat business and recommend us to your friends. Thank you for your business in 2012 and we promise to continue to provide the best...
By Laura on 12/20/2012 1:03 PM
As we are cartwheeling into the holiday season, make sure you aren’t putting yourself or others in danger. As we get busy, we sometimes overlook potential hazards and sometimes misusing appliances or not being conscious of the potential hazards if neglected and cause serious bodily harm. Please take a minute to read these quick tips for safety’s sake and have a wonderful holiday season! Never turn on appliances and leave them unattended. If you are taking off for several days, don’t fire up your dryer or rush cooking something and forget to turn off your oven! Double-check that every major appliance (except refrigerators) are turned off before taking off on trips. Even washers can be a potential hazard as they could potentially flood if left unattended. Turn off your main water valve! As you’re decorating, keep in mind what could cause safety hazards. Lights and decorations can be beautiful but make sure you’re not hanging anything flammable over the stove. Avoid putting any decorations over the cooking surface if possible and only put non-flammable decorations on top of the stove....
By Laura on 12/17/2012 6:26 AM
When we get into a cooking project, it’s not uncommon to lose sight of some simple things that could be potentially dangerous like leaving a burner on after we’re done using it or worse. There are a lot of things you should be sure to not overlook when it comes to safety in the kitchen. Here are a few that come to mind: While you’re cooking, make sure the handles of pots and pans are turned inwards to avoid hitting them or bumping them and knocking them off the stove. Only use potholders that are dry. If one gets wet or gets cooking oil on it, put it somewhere you won’t accidentally use it. If you grab a scorching hot item with a wet potholder, the liquid can transfer the heat right to your hand as if you weren’t even using a potholder! When moving boiling liquids, be extremely careful to avoid splashing.  This may seem straightforward but take the time to make sure your path to where you’re moving something to is clear so there’s no way you could trip or bump anything causing you to drop or splash the liquids....
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