Integrating a Microwave into Your New Kitchen Design

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Microwaves are considered vital in today’s busy lives, but it is hard to deny that they can take up a great deal of counter space. This can be problematic in even the most generous of kitchen layouts, but it is possible to reclaim some of this precious space by integrating your microwave into a new kitchen design.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MICROWAVE

Before you can even consider integrating your microwave, you need to choose the right model. Countertop models can be tucked into a shelf, or you could opt for a wall mounted unit. If you have limited space, you may prefer a drawer style unit that can be placed at any height. Over the range microwaves can be directly placed above your oven, sharing light and ventilation with the range below. Your choice of microwave model will have a direct impact on how it can be integrated into your kitchen design, so you will need to give it some serious thought before you make a purchase decision.

STACK YOUR COOKING APPLIANCES VERTICALLY

A floor to ceiling unit can be a fantastic, space saving way to stack your cooking appliances on top of each other. This configuration not only looks sleek and attractive, but helps to maximize space. A single unit tower allows you to have lots of serving and prep space alongside your oven or microwave.

GROUP HORIZONTALLY

A horizontal grouping can also save space and still offer great functionality. Placing a drawer microwave alongside your oven makes it easy to move food from one appliance to the other. For example, you can quickly transfer baked potatoes from your microwave to your oven to finish them off. This creates a visual aesthetic of a professional kitchen with a sleek look that complements any style of kitchen design.

CONCEAL IT IN A LARDER

Modern kitchens are harking back to the past with larder units coming back into fashion. Not only is a larder an excellent storage option for your canned goods, but it can also hide your microwave and free up counter space. If you want a minimalist feel to your kitchen, you could even store all your other small appliances in the larder. Just be sure to keep the larder doors open when your microwave is in use.

PLACE IT HIGH

This isn’t an option for people with children interested in independent cooking or those who are vertically challenged, but placing your microwave at eye level can save counter space and also add interest to a run of wall units. If you don’t like the idea of your microwave compromising the sleek aesthetics of your wall cabinets, you could always conceal it within a unit. You will need to ensure there’s sufficient ventilation and you will be restricted to use only when the door is open.

RECESS IT

If you have wall space available from a closet or garage, it could be possible to recess your microwave into the wall. This provides a convenient solution without it looking unsightly protruding out into the kitchen. Ideally, your recess would be created near your range for complete ease of use.

CONSIDER ADDITIONAL MICROWAVE FEATURES

If you are still struggling to incorporate a microwave into your kitchen, you may wish to consider a model with additional features. There are models available with grilling elements. This eliminates the need to have both a microwave and toaster oven in your kitchen. You can not only use the appliance as a standard microwave, but you can also toast, brown and crisp your food.

A microwave is an essential appliance in the modern kitchen. Fortunately, there are a myriad of choices to find the ideal model for your kitchen layout. If you’re looking for a new microwave, you can explore your options with this online collection of microwaves or speak to a home appliance expert for a more specialized service.

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At What Temperatures Should You Wash Your Laundry?

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Modern washing machines are equipped with a myriad of program settings, but many consumers remain confused about the temperatures that should be used for their clothing. In most cases the hotter the water, the greater the cleaning potential, but this may not be appropriate for all your clothing and could cause damage. So, here we will explore the temperatures you should be using for your laundry.

USING HOT WATER

Most white clothing and linens can be washed in hot water. This will remove heavy soil and germs. Unfortunately, hot water can cause shrinkage, wrinkling, and fading of colors. If you try to wash your clothing in hot water, the colors may start to look splotchy, while delicate fabrics can lose their aesthetic appeal.

USING WARM WATER

The majority of laundry can be washed using warm water. This mixture of hot and cold water provides a balance between color protection and removing soil. Some washing machines use a 50-50 ratio of hot and cold water, but newer models tend to mix 60-40. Warm water can usually be used without shrinking, wrinkling or fading.

USING COLD WATER

Cold water is preferable for delicate items or bright colors that could fade or run at a higher temperature. If your items require cold water temperatures, but are dirty or heavily soiled, you will need to have a diligent pretreatment routine. You may need to pre-soak your items or wash them for longer to ensure that they are properly cleaned.

CHOOSING THE CORRECT WASHING TEMPERATURE

Since there is the potential for laundry mishaps, by washing at the wrong temperature, it is important to choose the correct washing temperature. Fortunately, there are several ways to determine the correct temperature. The most obvious is to check the clothing tag. The tag will provide any laundry or care special instructions. Most clothing will be labeled with the maximum wash temperature, so check your tags before you do any laundry.

You should also pre-treat any stains. This will allow clothing to be cleaned even if you are washing in warm or cold water. Cold water is not the most effective way to remove stains, but pre-treatment can offer the only solution for delicate fabrics that have become stained. You may need to be patient, as some pre-treatment takes time, but it is important to try to remove any stains before washing to ensure that they are as clean as possible.

If you are unsure about the washing temperature, you may want to try soaking your clothes in cold water before washing. Soaking can vary from five or ten minutes to overnight, but the tougher the stain, the longer you will need to soak the item. Soaking can help create a thorough clean even if you can only risk using a cold water cycle on your washing machine.

CHECKING YOUR WASHING MACHINE WATER TEMPERATURE

If you are still running into laundry issues, you may find that the water temperature of your washing machine is not accurate. In this type of scenario, a candy thermometer can be a useful tool. Check the temperatures of the hot, warm and cold water coming out of the machine. Hot water is typically 10 degrees colder when it arrives at your washing machine compared to leaving your water heater. Generally, hot water is 130ºf or above, while warm water is between 100ºf and 90ºf. Cold water is between 80ºf and 60ºf. If your water temperature drops below 60ºf, your clothes are not likely to be properly cleaned. If your washing machine is not delivering the correct temperature of water, your machine may need servicing or be ready for an upgrade.

FINDING THE RIGHT WASHING MACHINE

Now that you know about the ideal washing temperatures for your laundry, you have the basic knowledge you need to choose the right washing machine. If you’re ready to find the perfect washing machine for your home, consider starting your search with this collection of washing machines or contact a home appliance expert for specialized

Survival Tips for a Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel can be an exciting prospect, but unfortunately, it is not all about choosing shiny new appliances. The reality is that you may have to live in chaos for weeks or even months as your kitchen is out of action. Fortunately, there are some survival tips to help you get through the process.

TRIAGE YOUR KITCHEN

If you like to have your front load washer and dryer side-by-side, but want easier access to your appliances, then you may As you are packing up your kitchen for the remodel, you should sort all your gear into categories. You will need to place your items in boxes marked up for storage, recycling or donation and a temporary kitchen. The boxes for storage should contain items that you will need in your new kitchen, but won’t be used until later. These should be kept in a safe place, but out of the immediate area. Your recycle or donate boxes can be disposed of at your convenience, and your temporary kitchen boxes will be needed for the next tip.

CREATE A TEMPORARY KITCHEN

Even if your kitchen is only out of action for a week, you will need somewhere to make meals, prepare drinks and pack lunches. This temporary kitchen should be out of the way of any renovations, but in a convenient location. You can set up your kettle, microwave and toaster oven in a dining room or a corner of your living room and have your essentials close by. To avoid dust getting on your dishes and utensils, pack them in plastic tubs, so they are protected but easily accessible.

DEVELOP A DISHWASHING STRATEGY

Unless you plan on eating out three times a day, you will still need clean dishes during your kitchen remodel. So, you will need a dishwashing strategy. You won’t want to visit an upstairs bathroom to dump out coffee cups or rinse vegetables. So, designate a sink for kitchen use, so you don’t need to move dishes every time you want to take a bath. This sink can be set up with a dish rack and allow you to keep your detergent on hand. While it will lack the convenience of having your kitchen sink, it should make the chaos of the remodel a little easier to deal with.

TRY TO CONTROL THE DUST

It is inevitable that any home improvements will create dust, a lot of dust, and during a kitchen remodel this can cause problems throughout your home. Your contractor should have plastic sheeting to cover flooring and create a curtain around the project site. This will keep some of the dust under control, but you will need to have plenty of microfiber cloths on hand to pick up drywall dust. Clear anything on the route between your kitchen and outdoors, to avoid workers bumping into items when they are carrying tools or appliances. Be prepared to clean up at least once a day to minimize dust in other areas of your home.

ESTABLISH A PET PLAN

If you have pets, you will need to set up a safe area where they can have access to food and water, yet be out of the way of contractors. You should also set up a place to sleep. This will provide a secure place for your pet to retreat if they start to feel anxious

BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR FOOD STANDARDS

The reality of not having a working kitchen is that you will not be able to prepare the meals, snacks, and drinks that may be everyday staples in your home. It is unlikely that you will be able to brew fresh coffee every morning and make a three course dinner. Be prepared to make some compromises. Sandwiches, toast, salads, cereal, and fruit are all easy to prepare, and nourishing. Ice cream on a stick will keep the kids happy, yet doesn’t dirty a bowl. Plan your menu according to your means, not your usual habits.

FINDING THE RIGHT APPLIANCE FOR YOUR NEW KITCHEN

A kitchen remodel isn’t complete without the latest model appliances and if you’re ready to find the ideal appliances for your new kitchen, consider starting your search with this collection of kitchen appliances to explore your choices, or contact a home appliance expert for specialized service.

Best Top Load HE Washers of 2017 Based on Consumer Reports

Today’s laundry appliances are significantly more advanced than the bulky and loud machines of the past. Modern laundry machines boast advanced features and functions that treat clothing, bedding, and other items with the utmost level of care. You cannot begin your laundry process without a powerful washer, and with so many great choices available today, finding the right machine is a daunting challenge.

Washers come in a variety of common designs, and many modern homeowners choose to invest in top load high efficiency (HE) washers. These modern top load units do not feature an agitator, and as a result offer larger capacities than traditional models. To help you explore the wide range of these appliances, we’ve gathered information on some of the best top load HE washers of 2017 based on Consumer Reports.

Samsung WA52J8700AP

Founded in 1938, Samsung has been a global leader in the electronics industry for nearly 80 years. While the company is best know for its electronics products, it also produces a wide range of high quality laundry appliances, like the Samsung WA52J8700AP top load washer.

This premium Samsung washer boasts an impressive 5.2 cubic feet of capacity, allowing you to easily wash large loads of laundry. With 15 wash cycles and 12 unique wash options, you’ll be sure to find the proper settings for each and every load of laundry. Moreover, this washer offers superb washing performance thanks to Samsung’s Activewash™ and AquaJet™ Deep Clean systems. Tired of loud and noisy laundry appliances? Then you’ll appreciate Samsung’s VRT™ Quiet Operation system, which reduces operation noise and vibration. Best of all, this machine offers superior water and energy efficiency, making it an ideal choice for eco-conscious homeowners.

Click here for more details on this Samsung washer.

Samsung WA45K7600AW

Samsung manufactures a number of high quality washers, and the Samsung WA45K7600AW top load washer is also one of the best washing machines available today.

This Samsung unit offers exceptional washing performance, with 12 wash cycles, five temperature settings, and three water level options, providing the care and attention your items need. This machine’s Activewash™ system promotes superior wash functions, eradicating stains and odors with ease. With 4.5 cubic feet of washer capacity, you’ll be able to wash plenty of items at once. Moreover, Samsung’s VRT™ Vibration Reduction, limits appliance vibration while in use, preventing excess noise along the way. This unit also offers superb energy and water efficiency, helping you save money on your home’s bills. This washer offers fewer cycles and less space than the Samsung WA52J8700AP washer at a lower cost, making it a great choice for more budget-conscious homeowners.

For additional information about this Samsung washer, click here.

LG WT7500CW

LG’s entire brand philosophy is focused on developing appliances that make your life easy. The company’s appliances are built to be convenient, and the LG WT7500CW top load washer is sure to simplify your laundry process.

This LG machine offers great washing performance thanks to its TurboWash® technology, which utilizes powerful high-pressure nozzles to wash clothes fast and speed up the laundry process. You’ll also be able to take advantage of 14 unique wash cycles, offering the array of options the modern home needs. This washing machine is a truly advanced unit, and features LG’s SmartDiagnosis™ technology and Wi-Fi connectivity to provide added appliance monitoring and support features. Best of all, the combination of LG’s LoDecibel™ Quiet Operation technology and TrueBalance™ Anti-Vibration system significantly reduces appliance noise and vibration, ensuring this washer doesn’t intrude on your life while in operation.

Click here to learn more about this LG top load washer.

Whirlpool WTW8500DW

Whirlpool appliances offer sophistication without complication, making your home more efficient along the way. The Whirlpool WTW8500DW top load washer stays true to that mission by utilizing smart design and technology to boost washing efficiency.

The key to this Whirlpool unit’s superior washing performance is its Adaptive Wash technology, which automatically revises wash actions and water levels to meet the needs of each and every load of laundry. With 26 automatic wash cycles, you’re almost guaranteed to find the perfect choice to treat your items. This washing machine is also very easy to use thanks to its intuitive touch controls. This washer is a great choice for homeowners looking for an easy to use appliance that also offers a wide range of settings.

Are you interested in this Whirlpool washer? Click here for more details.

Exceptional Top Load HE Washers For The Contemporary Home

No home is complete without modern laundry appliances, and a top load high-efficiency washer is a great choice for many spaces. While finding the right washing machine for your home can be a challenge, if you’re dedicated to researching the options available, you’re sure to find the ideal match for your laundry room.

You can explore a wide range of washing machines and more with this online collection of laundry appliances.

Best Front Load Washers Of 2017 Based On Consumer Reports

21st-century living requires exceptional laundry appliances, and you cannot begin the laundry process without a great washer. Thanks to a host of innovative design features and advanced technologies, there is a range of powerful washers available for your home. But finding the ideal machine for your space can be a challenge.

Many of today’s best washing machines are front load washers. This design typically offers more space than a top load design, and also offers faster spin cycles that speed up your entire laundry process. To help you discover the perfect unit for your laundry room, we’ve compiled information on some of the best front load washers of 2017 based on Consumer Reports ratings. With a host of premium units available, you’re bound to find the right washer for your home.

Maytag Maxima MHW8200FW

The Maytag brand, one of the most storied in the Unites States, is respected for its dependable and durable appliances, and the Maytag Maxima MHW8200FW front load washer is sure to meet your needs.

This washer offers truly superior washing performance, with 11 wash cycles and a host of convenience features to simplify your laundry process. The secret to this machine’s exceptional performance is Maytag’s PowerWash® system, which promotes superior cleaning actions that eliminate tough stains with ease. With its stainless steel wash drum and durable design, you can rest assured that this unit will operate for years to come. Best of all, this washer offers excellent energy and water efficiency, cutting costs on your home’s bills.

For more information on this impressive Maytag washer, click here.

Maytag MHW3505FW

Maytag also offers the Maytag MHW3505FW front load washer.

This washer is powered by Maytag’s PowerWash® system as well, and features 18 wash cycles with five unique wash options, helping you discover the ideal settings for each load of laundry. This washing machine provides advanced tap touch controls and convenience features like bleach and fabric softener dispensers that make completing laundry easy. Compared to the highly ranked Maytag Maxima MHW8200FW, the Maytag MHW3505FW washer is more affordable, providing quality features and functions for a great value.

Click here to learn more about this Maytag unit.

LG WM9000HVA

LG’s company slogan is “Life’s Good,” and all of its innovative appliances are designed to bring convenience and simplicity to your home. The LG WM9000HVA front load washer is sure to meet your needs, with a variety of advanced features that make laundry easy.

This LG washer offers 5.2 cubic feet of washtub capacity, helping you wash large loads of laundry and bulky items easily. This unit offers exceptional wash performance for all types of laundry thanks to 14 wash cycles and 12 wash options. Moreover, LG’s TurboWash™ technology offers the extra power you need to eradicate difficult stains and odors from your items. Best of all, this washer offers a LoDecibel™ Quiet Operation that reduces noise and vibration levels, providing a washer that will not intrude on your daily life with noise.

Want to learn more about this LG washer? Click here.

Samsung WF45K6500AW

Samsung is widely recognized as one of the most sophisticated consumer electronics companies in the world, and it offers a superior level of quality in all of its home appliances. The Samsung WF45K6500AV front load washer offers the impressive technological advancements required for the contemporary home.

This unique washer features a Samsung AddWash™ door, allowing you to easily add items after the wash cycle has begun. In addition, this unit provides excellent washing performance, with 4.5 cubic feet of capacity and 14 wash cycles with 12 unique wash options. This ENERGY STAR™ certified appliance also offers exceptional energy and water efficiency, cutting costs on your home’s bills. Even better, this advanced unit provides Samsung Smart Care technology and Wi-Fi connectivity to provide appliance monitoring and support features. With an innovative design and a host of advanced features, this Samsung washer is an ideal choice for the modern home.

Click here for additional information about this Samsung washer.

Whirlpool WFW75HEFW

Whirlpool appliances are known for their powerful features and exceptional ease of use, both of which you’ll find in the Whirlpool WFW75HEFW front load washer.

This Whirlpool front load unit offers 4.5 cubic feet of washtub capacity, allowing you to complete sizable loads of laundry without overloading the machine. Thanks to eight automatic wash cycles and Whirlpool’s adaptive wash technology, you can rest assured that your items will come out of the washer clean. Like many modern washers, this unit makes automatic adjustments to ensure clothing and other items receive the optimal level of care. This washer is also both water and energy efficient, providing an ideal choice for the eco-friendly homeowner.

Are you interested in this Whirlpool washing machine? Click here.

Superior Front Load Washers Ideal For The Modern Home

 

The laundry process relies on powerful laundry appliances, and an advanced, modern washer is sure to bring convenience to your home. There may be a huge variety of front load washing machines available today, but by dedicating the time to research options, you’re bound to find the ideal choice for your home.

For a wide variety of exceptional premium washers, be sure to visit this online collection of laundry appliances.

Jenn-Air Connected Appliances

Jenn-Air® has been a true leader in using technology in their appliances, particularly in cooking  Alexa voice assistant. Here’s how it works:

products. A few years ago they launched a revolutionary oven with a 7″ touch full color screen that serves as a culinary center automatically cooking food to the user’s desired doneness. They’ve continued as an early adopter in “smart” appliances with connected wall ovens, that can be operated with apps for iPhones and Androids, and are tied in with Nest home controls. Now, they can be connected to Amazon’s

Simple voice commands have been created for everything from preheating and setting timers to changing temperatures and cooking modes. For example, while hands are busy prepping and mixing ingredients, preheating the oven to a desired temperature can be initiated simply by saying “Alexa, tell Jenn-Air to preheat the oven to 400 degrees.”

Owners of Jenn-Air® Connected Wall Ovens can now use their voices, along with the brand’s existing IOS and Android wall oven apps, to control many essential functions of this luxury, high tech appliance. The new voice command feature, enabled by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, is easily activated using the brand’s free wall oven “Skill,” one of thousands available at the Alexa Skills Store.

Maintaining Your Major Appliances

Here are some tips to maintaining, cleaning, and inspecting your washing machine and clothes dryer. You can save time and money by following this advice, and avoid breakdowns, or hazardous situations.

Washing Machine

Washer Hoses

It’s a good idea to periodically check and replace the fill hoses on your washing machine. If you have rubber hoses, you should consider replacing them with braided stainless steel hoses. It is recommended that you replace your washer hoses every 3-5 years. While you are back there, take a look at the electrical connection. The plug needs to be firmly in place, the cord connection to the washer should have a restraint, and should not evidence any corrosion or burn marks. Also, you should periodically clean the inside of your outer washer tub. Whirlpool makes a cleaner called Affresh for this purpose. There are also a variety of home remedies including using combinations of bleach, vinegar, and/or baking soda. You can discover these cleaning remedies online, or just look on the aisles of your grocery store for washer cleaning products.

Front Load Gasket

If you have a front loading washer, pay special attention to cleaning the front gasket, especially at the bottom where it’s possible for moisture to settle and mold to grow.

Automatic Dryer

Dryer lint filter

Make a habit of cleaning the lint filter in your dryer once a week. It’s also very important to regularly clean the dryer vent. If you’re lucky you’ll have a short direct vent pipe to the outside that you can clean with a vacuum cleaner or even a spiral brush. In extreme cases of long vents with bends or turns, it may be necessary to have the dryer vent cleaned professionally. A clogged dryer vent can cause a fire, so this is definitely important. It’s also a good idea to periodically remove the front panel and vacuum the dryer cavity. As with all your appliances, take a look at the electrical and gas connections, and deal with any corrosion or frayed wires. If there is any evidence of a problem such as a short circuit, bad gas connection, etc. call a plumber or electrician and don’t use the appliance until the problem is fixed.

Of course, if your washer or dryer needs replacing you should call or visit the professionals at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center for the best selection and lowest prices on major appliances and decorative plumbing fixtures.