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 3/25/2013 8:43 AM
We live in the age of information.  We no longer even have to sit down at a computer to look something up. We can literally be walking down the street and push a button to tell our phones to look something up for us. Manufacturers and servicers have been keeping this in mind as technology moves forward.  The smartphone has changed everything. Even appliances are being built with smart phones in mind! At this point, if you forgot to shut your dryer off before you left your house you can connect to your dryer and shut it off from the road! But don’t worry, you can tell it to start back up as soon as you get home. Many new refrigerators are equipped with a sensor that alerts you with an audible alarm to let you know if the doors are left open. Imagine if it sent a message to your phone as well. Better yet, imagine if you could check with your phone to make sure your oven or surface elements weren’t left on. One manufacturer is even talking about making their robot vacuum cleaner accessible remotely. Clean...
By Laura on 3/18/2013 8:10 AM
We use cloth so frequently in our everyday lives that cleaning it just becomes an instinctual process. Throw like colours in the washer, add detergent, push buttons and wait for the alarm then throw everything in the dryer and start the next washer load. What most people don’t realize is that the appliance doing all that cleaning may need a cleaning from time to time itself! Clothes washers use detergents that tend to build up in hard to clean areas. Not to mention all the residue and grime that builds up while we’re doing the laundry. Take some paper towels and an all-purpose cleaner and wipe down the top and outsides of the washer. Scrub down the inside of the washer lid with a mildew cleaner or a vinegar and water solution. Be sure to thoroughly clean the seal around the door if it is a front-load washer.  Remove all fluids dispensers and scrub them down in the sink. If you appear to be getting a buildup in the tub itself, a good trick is to run the washer empty with two cups of vinegar or lemon juice...
By Laura on 3/11/2013 5:44 AM
Many manufacturers are building appliances in North American plants but it’s pretty much impossible to find any appliance that’s North American from the ground up. Viking, Dacor, Sub-Zero, and Wolf are some of the companies producing appliances in North American factories. Sub-Zero even acquired a manufacturing facility in Arizona with the intentions of increasing quality control for the products they’re selling. Whirlpool, Maytag (which is owned by Whirlpool), and GE manufacture appliances in North America as well as overseas. Some foreign-owned companies even manufacture in North America such as Bosch and Electrolux.  Interestingly enough, many manufacturers produce some appliances in North America while others may be made in another country entirely and where the parts were manufactured is even harder to track. In order to acquire the “Made in America” sticker, an appliance must have all of its “significant parts” and processing in the U.S. otherwise it might still be able to grab a “Made in the U.S.A....
By Laura on 3/4/2013 9:13 AM
There are a lot of things that we can deal with procrastinating a little on but when an awful smell is emanating from an appliance, it’s hard to ignore. Here are a few quick tips for how to get rid of smells as quickly as possible. If you accidentally burn something in the microwave, the smell can be a reminder of your mistake for a long time.  The entire house could smell like burnt hair if you really goofed and no one wants to smell that! Believe it or not, tea does wonders for microwave stench. Fill a cup halfway with water and put a single tea bag in it. Cook it on low for five minutes then let it sit in there for another 5 to 10 minutes. If the smell doesn’t go away, repeat it daily until it does. Scrubbing the inside with a water and baking soda can go a long way in eliminating odors. Ovens cook our food and for the most part the food that spills over during the cooking process gets burned off. Some of the residual leftovers can start to smell. The first step in dealing with this is cleaning out anything...
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...
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