Category Archives: Laundry

Creative Uses for Dryer Lint

Emptying the lint trap after every load of laundry is one of the most important ways to take care of your dryer and make sure that it runs safely and efficiently. But what should you do with all that dryer lint you collect? Sure, you could just throw it away, but if you like the idea of recycling and repurposing objects, read on for some inventive uses for dryer lint.

Absorbent makeshift towel- You can use a handful of dryer lint to soak up messes for a quick, absorbent fix. This comes in especially handy for motor oil in the garage or driveway.

 

Stuffing for toys and pillows- If you are the crafty sort who enjoys sewing pillows, quilts and stuffed toys, dryer lint makes a great substitute for cotton batting or another type of stuffing you would find in a craft or hobby store.

 

Pet bedding- Small animals like hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs like a nice fluffy nest to sleep in. Dryer lint makes the ideal bedding for your furry friend.

 

Packing material- If you are looking for a greener and cheaper alternative to Styrofoam packing peanuts or bubble wrap, we suggest a nice layer of dryer lint around your fragile items. The lint makes a good cushion for anything you are trying to mail.

 

Fire starter- You undoubtedly know that dryer lint is a fire hazard; after all, accumulation of lint in the dryer is responsible for 2,900 fires in the US each year.* Put that flammable quality to good use by bringing lint with you on camping trips, or use in your wood-burning fireplace to get the fire going. PRO TIP- Mixing the lint with melted wax from old candles in empty cardboard egg cartons makes handy fire-starting blocks.

 

Mulch-To help plants stay warm during the winter months, apply a layer of dryer lint to the soil for insulation. The lint is biodegradable over time and will break down on its own.

 

 

*Source: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v13i7.pdf

 

 

Front- Loaders vs. Top-Loaders: the Debate Continues

Like Coke vs. Pepsi, boxers vs. briefs, or even the always-controversial “over vs. under” toilet roll debate, the question of whether a top-loading washer is really superior to a front-loader, or vice versa, is a topic with strong opinions from passionate debaters on either side of the issue. While both types of washing machines have their advantages and drawbacks, people seem to have a clear preference for one or the other, and are not likely to waver when it comes to buying a new machine. Here is an outlined pro/con list of both styles of washer; see where you fall in the Great Washer Debate:

 

Front-Loading Washers:

Pro: Front-loader enthusiasts often tout the eco-friendliness of high-efficiency models, citing the comparatively low amounts of water and energy that it takes to do a load of laundry.  Front-loading washers generally do use less water and spin faster than their top-loading counterparts, making them the greener option.

Con: They stink. Or, at least, they used to stink. Maybe they still do on occasion- the point is, a lot of people will never know because they won’t give the new designs a second chance. Many consumers were turned off by the first generation of front-loaders due to the chronic mildew smell that they reported coming from both the machine itself and the clothes they washed. So serious was this issue that the manufacturers took the complaint all the way to the Supreme Court, and the number of front-loaders sold in the U.S. dropped from 45% in late 2009 to just 29.5% today. The design of front-loaders has improved since the first generation to minimize the risk of stinky laundry, but many people are still wary of the front-loader design as a result.

Pro: According to Consumer Affairs, front-loaders clean better than top-loaders on average, while also using approximately 5 gallons less water per cycle. Also, with the use of an electric hot water heater, front-loading washers can cut electricity use by up to 50%, resulting in cost savings.

Con: Front-loaders are initially more expensive, which means that even though you will ultimately be saving money on your energy and water bills, the savings may not add up to enough to justify the price of the purchase.

 

Top- Loading Washers:

Pro: You can open the lid and throw in more clothes after the cycle has begun. This is a big deal for anyone who is easily annoyed by finding that missing sock in the hamper moments after starting a load.

Con: While top-loaders have gotten much better at cleaning, they are still about 5% less effective at their job, according to a test performed by Reviewed.com.

Pro: Top-loaders are initially less expensive than front-loaders, meaning that a family whose washer has just recently conked out can replace it with a new top-loader with a lot less impact to their wallet.

Con: Top-loaders just don’t look as cool as front-loaders. If the aesthetics of an appliance concern you, then a top-loader just isn’t going to make you happy. Sure, they’ve come a long way with their agitator-free barrels and clear lids, but if you want a washing machine that looks like it was designed for the Jetsons’ house and boasts a variety of colors and modern, high-tech features, the top-loader may not cut it.

 

Where does your loyalty lie? Join the Washer Wars in the comments below.

Save Time and Money with These Laundry Tips

We combed the Internet for the best tips, tricks and “life hacks” for doing laundry. These helpful hints will save you money, time and make your laundry look better than ever!

 

Unbutton All the Buttons!- Make sure you unbutton all of the buttons on a button-down shirt, to keep the buttonholes from stretching and tearing due to the agitation in the washing machine. Even the tiny buttons that hold down a collar should be unfastened prior to being tossed into the washer. (Source: www.realsimple.com)

 

Two is Better Than One- Something as simple as putting two laundry baskets in your closet- one for whites and one for colors- can eliminate sorting from your laundry routine altogether! When you get undressed at night, just sort the clothes into each basket as you take them off. When laundry day rolls around, you’ll be glad you did. (Source: www.lifehacker.com)

 

Refresh Towels and Eliminate Odors- You know that “old towel smell” that towels and washcloths get over the course of time? Give your linens a second life and eliminate that mildew odor for good by washing a load of towels twice in hot water; first with vinegar, and the second with baking soda. (Source: www.buzzfeed.com)

 

DIY Fabric Softener- Why buy fabric softener when you can make your own?- Next time you’re at the grocery store, skip the fabric softener and stock up instead white vinegar, that household staple that doubles as a super-efficient cleaning product. For a DIY fabric softener, add between ¼ cup and 1 cup vinegar to the final rinse cycle, but take care never to mix the vinegar with bleach. (Source: www.marthastewart.com)

 

Choose a Shorter Wash Cycle- There is no need to over-wash clothes. Choosing the shortest wash cycle and cranking up the water temperature is as effective at cleaning as a longer cycle with cooler water, and it will cut the time spent doing laundry dramatically. Similarly, run another spin cycle in the washer, which squeezes out excess water, thus reducing drying time. (Source: www.goodhousekeeping.com)

 

Installing Your Gas Dryer

There are two types of laundry sets – electric & gas. When you decide it’s time to upgrade, it’s important to know which set, electric or gas, you need to be looking for. If your home uses gas to power your laundry, there a few actions you need to take during the install process if you are doing it on your own.

It is important as a home owner that you understand how these gas-powered dryers work within your household. Most importantly, while you are replacing your old dryer, you need to check for gas leaks. Gas is naturally odorless but gas companies have added a rotten egg sort of smell to it so it is more detectable. If small amounts of gas are leaking in a large living space, chances are you will not know – this is why it is important to check your gas line and when you check it before install, it becomes a lot more convenient.

We have attached a link below of a full step-by-step process that we found helpful. These directions should make it easy to do at home on your own.

Install A Gas Dryer

http://www.wikihow.com/Install-a-Gas-Dryer

Prevent A House Fire – Clean Your Dryer Vent

More than 15,000 fires are sparked every year by clothes dryers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many people are more aware of cleaning out the lint trap between loads but seem to forget that the dryer vent needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis as well.

I’m not saying you need to clean the hose every month or anything – that’s unnecessary; we’re talking about every year to year-and-a-half. The vents used in dryers can built up thick walls of lint and other dirty debris over time that can trap the air that needs to escape for effective drying. By preventing the air and moisture to escape, the dryer has to work harder and harder at drying – leading to heat build-up which may cause a vent fire.

The placement of your washer and dryer could create a higher risk for a fire to occur. If the dryer is located in the middle of the house rather than up against an outside wall, the dryer vent hose is much longer which makes it more difficult for the dryer to push the lint out. Therefore, dryers with longer vents need to be monitored more closely as they are more susceptible to fires.

Getting your dryer vent cleaned out also preserves the life of your dryer and keeps your energy bill down! If you installed your own dryer, chances are, there may be a few tweaks a technician can help you fix in order to ensure your machine is working safely and efficiently.

So please, be mindful of this household task as these fires are preventable. If you don’t remember the last time you had it cleaned, it would be a good time to call someone to get it looked at because chances are, you’re over-due and holding you and your family at high risk!

For tips on how to catch build-up before it’s too late, visit ABC Action News here:

http://www.abcactionnews.com/money/angies-list/thousands-of-fires-are-sparked-each-year-by-clogged-dryer-vents

 

LINT ALERT is also available!

Lint alert can be installed in your home to take the guess work out of this potentially hazardous issue. This device is placed in your home and is connected directly to your dryer; this system detects the amount of lint and debris build up in your dryer vent and will alert you once it evaluates that the vent is too full and there is a high risk for fire. Our specialists highly recommend the use of the Lint Alert to be used in every home to eliminate the risk of a house fire and ensure the safety of your family.

 

References:

ABC Action News

http://www.abcactionnews.com/money/angies-list/thousands-of-fires-are-sparked-each-year-by-clogged-dryer-vents

 

The Almetal Dryer Vent Corporation

http://www.almetaldryervent.com/productinfo.html

 

We provide vent cleaning services! Call Brand Source at (720) 881-8384 to learn more about Lint Alert and schedule your vent cleaning appointment today!

Get Ready For The First Energy Efficient Dryer!

You’ve seen and heard about HE washers; shoot, you probably have one! But Whirlpool has gone above and beyond to create the first HE dryer.

What does it mean for a dryer to be Energy Star-qualified? To be considered energy efficient, these HE dryers need to use approximately 20% less energy on average than dryers that meet the federal minimum efficiency standards for 2015. Dryers have been adapted to this by including advanced moisture sensors which prevents over drying and is easier on your fabrics. HE dryers are also advanced because of the Ecoboost setting which improves the method for turning the heaters on and off during the cycle depending on the load. This is where you can save most of your dryer’s energy!

Great it saves energy, but “How much money does it save?” is what you really want to know. Energy Star says to expect to save about $18 a year in electricity costs. Over 12 years, that’s more than $200 – it doesn’t seem like a lot but consider saving that amount of money on top of saving the life of your clothes. The Whirlpool Duet WED87HED electric dryer is the ‘ying’ to your HE washer’s ‘yang’ – it may not seem like you’re saving much now but using these high efficiency laundry sets  not only save you money in the long run but can take better care of your clothes and in turn, take better care of your wallet.

Keeping Up With Your Front Load Washer

Several family homes have upgraded to the front load washing machine. They stack, they’re energy efficient, they save you time and money – mostly money! But what about the upkeep to make these beautiful machines last longer? You’re probably saying, “Wait, upkeep?? People do that?” YES! Maintenance is very important to help keep your machine running smoothly and almost more importantly, keep your machine and clothes from exuding a nasty, moldy stench.

Today, most energy efficient washers have a self-cleaning setting – much like your oven. This cycle helps to take care of and even prevent mold and mildew build up from all those loads of laundry. But there are other cost efficient, easy ways to keep your machine clean and if you’ve passed that point and it’s already starting to stink, there are solutions for that as well.

Below are some links that we have found to help the average laundry-set-owner keep their washing machine clean and fresh. Whether it’s a daily ritual when you’re doing the laundry or a here-and-there cleaning, these tips will help you prevent and take care of this unfortunate situation.

 

Tips and tricks to do for every load:

http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/how-to-keep-your-he-front-load-washer-clean-and-smelling-fresh/

Daily + Once-in-a-while cleaning techniques:

http://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/8-tips-maintaining-front-load-washing-machines.html

Deep cleaning your cleaning machine:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8160246_clean-high-efficiency-washing-machines.html

Bleach and vinegar – but not all at once!

http://blog.diynetwork.com/maderemade/2013/04/30/get-your-laundry-back-on-track/