Easy Homemade High-Efficiency Laundry Detergent with Baking Soda

Conventional laundry detergent seems more convenient in theory–all you need to do is buy a bottle or box and throw it in. But conventional laundry detergents can take up a huge chunk in a family budget. The homemade stuff is cheaper and simple to mix.

Most ingredients can be found in your cupboards and local grocery store. After scouring the interwebs for the best detergent, we decided on this quick and easy recipe from blogger One Good Thing by Jillee. We’ve tweaked the recipe a little so you can customize your favorite scents.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 c. Hot water (Boil the water first, then let it sit while you assemble everything else)
  • 3 Tbsp. Borax
  • 3 Tbsp. Washing soda (TIP: You can buy it, or you can learn to make your own here.)
  • 2 Tbsp. of your favorite dish soap, fresh-smelling shampoo or ½ c. grated bar soap
  • A small plastic funnel
  • A gallon-sized bottle or jug
  • Throw all ingredients in the gallon jug, then pour in the hot water.
  • Swirl the jug until all ingredients are dissolved. There will be bubbles—that’s okay!
  • Once all ingredients are dissolved, pour in cold water almost to the top of the jug.
Presto! This batch will make enough detergent for about 12-16 large loads. The materials are so cheap, each load of laundry will run you less than a nickel a pop.
Have you tried making your own laundry detergent? What’s worked for you?

There’s Still Time to Get Your Water Rebate!

Did you purchase a new ENERGY STAR qualified washer or dishwasher this year? Depending on where you live, you could still qualify for a rebate from your municipality–even if it’s already been in your home for a few months.

Some municipalities offer up to $100 or more towards the purchase of a new energy-efficient washing machine or dishwasher.

Here are a few tips to help you find out if you qualify for a water rebate, and what you can do to ensure you receive your money:

  • The sooner, the better. Sometimes there aren’t enough water rebates for everyone. The sooner you send in your application, the better chance you have at getting money back.
  • Keep that receipt handy! If you’ve lost your receipt and you bought your unit at an Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses store, ask one of our managers print another one for you.
  • Double check your appliance’s make and model number with your municipality’s list of qualifying units.
  • If you live in an apartment or condo, you can still qualify for a rebate. Check with your management company for your water account number.

Below is a sampling of the cities in Colorado with rebate programs:

Qualifying appliances featuring this logo are often covered by municipal water rebates. Call your local water utility for details.

  • Boulder - Water rebates for qualifying models bought any time in 2012, on a first-come first-serve basis.
  • Colorado Springs - Qualifying models purchased between Jan. 1 thru Nov. 30, application must be postmarked by Dec. 31.
  • Denver – Water rebates are available within 90 days of a qualifying purchase.
  • Fort Collins - Any ENERGY STAR qualified high-efficiency clothes washer or ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher purchased in 2012 with a receipt qualifies for a rebate. Fort Collins also offers zero-percent interest loans on certain energy-efficient home improvements.
  • Greeley - Rebate application must be submitted within 90 days of purchase, and applies only to 2012 purchases.
  • Longmont - From 90 days of purchase.
Have you already submitted your application for a water rebate in Colorado? How long did your rebate take? Were there any complications? Share your experience below!

Most Energy Efficient Appliances for Earth Day! Part 1

FAFS4474 Frigidaire Affinity Steam Washer.

FAFS4474 Frigidaire Affinity Steam Washer.

Here’s our line-up for energy efficient appliances! Just in time for Earth Day, we gathered what we thought were the best bang for your buck to help you save some green in more ways than one. We’ll be posting our top picks for energy efficient appliances over the next few days. Today’s feature is front-load laundry.

 Best Energy Efficient Front-Load Laundry: Frigidaire

 The Frigidaire Affinity FAFS4474 steam washer was rated one of the most energy-efficient front-loading washer by the CEE for 2010, which accounts for water usage, heating and projected drying time after the wash cycle. It uses only 2.9 gallons of water per cubic foot of washing volume and about 104 kWh of energy per year, meaning the overall annual electricity bill for this machine would run you about $12 a year.

 It features IEC 4.4 cu ft of space with advanced anti-vibration control, making it ideal for second-story laundry rooms, as well.

 Appliance Factory Outlet is offering this washer for over 50% this week which includes the $100 Denver Water rebate. This is our most popular washing machine so hurry in, supplies are limited! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s review for top-load laundry.

Electrolux named Energy Star Partner of the Year!

Electrolux was named Energy Star Partner of the Year! Appliance manufacturer Electrolux has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as Energy Star Partner of the Year due to their efforts at increasing their Energy Star qualified product line and educating consumers about the Energy Star program.

 Here is a quote from the article:

“As a proud ENERGY STAR partner, Electrolux is committed to bringing consumers energy-efficient appliances with uncompromising design, functionality and quality,” said Kevin Scott, president of Electrolux Major Appliances, North America. “Energy efficiency and environmental concern are key elements of the Electrolux global commitment to sustainability in our products and in our operations. This recognition is an honor and a testament to our long-standing relationship with the ENERGY STAR program.”

 You can read more about it on their website!

Spring Cleaning: 6 Organizing Ideas for Laundry Rooms

Your laundry room isn’t just the last-resort location for the family cat litter. Organization is key — the more organized your laundry room, perhaps the less you’ll loathe spending time there every weekend.

Organizing your laundry room can allow you to re-purpose it into an office space.

But where to begin on organizing a space you hate using?
Continue reading

The Affinity Challenge: Guaranteed Best Value in Steam or Your Money Back

Frigidaire Affinity Series Washer Dryer Set

Best Value in Front Load Laundry

At Appliance Factory Outlet, we love to bring you the best value for your buck. That’s what we do. We also love to bring the most reliability in the market, and that’s why we’ve chosen to highlight Frigidaire’s Affinity Steam laundry pair this week. Frigidaire has been rated as the most reliable brand among appliances year after year, with the lowest amount of service calls of any brand. 

Continue reading

Kitchen Appliance Measurements

One of the most overlooked steps in buying an appliance is getting the right measurements. Not all kitchen appliance brands have standard measurements, so getting your kitchen’s specific space requirements should be one of the first steps you take when deciding on a good investment. Some important factors to consider:

  • Keep appliances size-appropriate. Large-capacity models in small kitchens lack visual appeal and practicality.
  • Measure your home’s entry ways so you can be sure you’ll be able to get your new appliance inside the house.
  • Remember to take measurements of width, height and depth of where your appliance will sit.
  • Be aware of the space an appliance will need to open and close.

This is what a counter depth fridge looks like. Photo from TinaRobinsonDesign.com

Continue reading

5 Easy Tips for Front-Load Laundry Care and Maintenance

Keep that door ajar! Image from fresh-wave.com

 

Front-loading laundry is notorious for a trademark musty smell that comes from inside the machine. The issue actually comes from the design of the machine, water can get stuck inside of the door gasket and other parts of the machine and mildew builds up.  In 2005, there was actually a lawsuit against Maytag because the issue got so bad customers were complaining of mold actually being ON their clothes. 

Fortunately, advancements have been made in front-load technology since then but appliance manufacturers now suggest certain tips to ensure that mold and mildew don’t build up anymore, including leaving the door ajar. Electrolux has even innovated a special door clip that leaves the door ajar without leaving it wide open, to prevent Continue reading

Holiday Gift Buying Guide: 11 Tips for Buying Appliances as Christmas Gifts

Before You Buy

1. MEASURE YOUR SPACE
There are no standards for appliance space sizes, counter depth or height, etc. Measure the space for your appliance with a measuring tape—do not measure the appliance you are replacing. Write down the dimensions and bring them with you.

Also—measure the width of your doorways/staircases if you are bringing the appliance in through them. Doors can usually be removed to fit in appliances, but alas, doorjambs and stairways and cannot be widened to fit your large appliances.

2. KNOW YOUR FUEL TYPE
This seems easy if you’re buying a range but you should make sure you know if your hookup is electric or gas if you are buying a dryer or an oven (some are dual fuel!)

Refrigerator

Side by Side & French Door Refrigerators open from both sides, so there's not too much worry about hinges unless you're buying a traditional top mount or other types of appliances. Photo credit: Alex Muse

3. CONSIDER YOUR HINGES
If hinges open on the wrong side for you, you may have to get them switched around. Our delivery/installation team can do this for a small additional fee.

4. DO SOME RESEARCH
Does the person you are buying this gift for know what he or she wants? Can you get an idea of what they are looking for without ruining the surprise? Knowing what you are looking for will cut down on shopping time which means you spend less time out there during the crazy holiday shopping season. There are a lot of features and options to consider when looking for a new appliance, so keep that in mind.

The Day of the Sale

5. DECIDE WHETHER YOU’RE PICKING IT UP OR HAVING IT DELIVERED
If you’re picking up this appliance, you may have to pick it up from our warehouse. You can also have it delivered before or after Christmas. We offer same day delivery on in-stock merchandise purchased before noon, except for on Sundays. Some other exclusions may apply, so be sure to call up your local store for more details. Right now we’re adding some extra sweetness to our delivery deals by offering Red Bow Delivery and Red Bow Deluxe Delivery for those who want to give their gifts with a little extra pizzazz.

Get your appliance delivered, detailed, deluxed, polished up & presented with a deluxe red bow with our Red Bow Deluxe Delivery Service.

6. DECIDE IF YOU ARE INSTALLING IT YOURSELF

Our Red Bow Deluxe Delivery includes hooking up the appliance and installing it in your home for you. If you decide to install it yourself, make sure that you have all the necessary accessories for the appliance (power cords, hoses, etc). Make sure to ask your salesman if you’re not sure whether you have everything you need to install it.

After the Sale

7. RECEIVE DELIVERY/INSTALL TIME ESTIMATE
Our deliveries are done within a 2 hour window. You should get a call the day before your scheduled delivery.

8. APPLY FOR REBATES
If your appliance is an Energy Star appliance, you could apply for more savings through Recharge Colorado. Once you’ve received your appliance, you can fill out the required forms on Recharge Colorado’s Cash for Clunkers rebate program and save even more money. Keep in mind that not all appliances qualify, though, and that the forms DO expire, so it’s best to fill them out & return them as soon as possible.

9. READ YOUR MANUAL
Knowing how your new appliance works will help you utilize all those great features!

Avaiable at your local Appliance Factory Outlet.

10. NEED ACCESSORIES?
Aside from the hoses and cords you might need, you’ll also want to look into items like rinse-aid for your new dishwasher, and stainless steel or ceramic cleaner to keep your cooktops & surfaces looking bright and shiny. Refrigerator water filters also need to be replaced every 6 months to a year depending on your model (remember the manual!).

11. READ OUR BLOG!
Check out our blog for great recipes to test out on your new range or oven! We also cover details of the Recharge Colorado Rebate Program to help you get situated,and give you advice on preventative care & how to’s for your appliance.

Happy Shopping!
-L

Cash for Clunkers Charging Up For Relaunch of Rebate Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Cash for Clunkers Charging Up For Relaunch of Rebate Program

22 Oct 2010

 DENVER, CO–The Cash for Clunkers Recharge Colorado rebate program is still handing out rebates for Energy Star certified appliances in Colorado. The Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) has already paid out over $2 million of the $3.4 million funds available for these rebates, but has decided to relaunch the program with a few new changes in order to increase participation. The program will launch on October 27, 2010.

 Updates on the Cash for Clunkers Rebate Program

  • The GEO states that rebate offers are on a first come, first serve basis. 
  • The applicant must purchase their qualifying appliance before applying for a rebate.
  • Check the list of qualifying appliances, as well as the terms and conditions before making a purchase to ensure compliance with the program.
  • The appliance rebates are still the same value as before:  
  • Dishwasher rebates for $50
  • Clothes washers for $75
  • Refrigerators for up to $100 with proof of recycling of the old unit
  • Appliance Factory Outlet offers complete delivery, installation, and haul-away of old appliances as well as recycling of the old unit in accordance with EPA guidelines.
  • The GEO will update their website to include real-time information on the amount of funds available
  • Required documents for the rebate must be postmarked within seven days of submitting their application in order to get the rebate

Appliance Factory Outlet can help you get your rebate and has a large selection of Energy Star certified appliances to choose from. We can also help you find other water and energy rebates for your Energy Star certified appliance throughout the state of Colorado. We are proud to help Coloradoans get more cash in return for upgrading their old appliances with more energy efficient ones in order to save money and reduce their impact on the planet.

 More information on terms and conditions can be found at your local Appliance Factory Outlet or by visiting www.RechargeColorado.com or call 1-800-462-0184.

Contact:
Appliance Factory Outlet Corporate Offices
info@appliancefactory.com

Easy Fixes for Common Appliance Problems

Appliances make our lives more convenient—if we didn’t learn this in 50s we sure know now. We use them for absolutely everything: washing our clothes, our dishes, storing our food, & much more. But what happens when something affects the way they work? They can cause minor inconveniences that sometimes we feel we might as well put up with. However, many people don’t realize that a lot of common appliance problems can easily be fixed with the right know-how and a proactive attitude towards fixing these minor problems! Remember, however, that sometimes more serious problems may be present and that a professional repair technician is always the best answer. Below are some common appliance problems with easy starting points on how to fix them.  Continue reading

Fisher & Paykel’s 10 Year Motor Warranty

If you recently bought a Fisher & Paykel washing machine, you’re probably already familiar with how well it cleans your clothes. But did you know what the key factor is that makes your washer run so efficiently? It’s the smart drive motor. This exceptional motor doesn’t have any brakes, pulleys, gears or belts like most washing machine motors, and it’s capable of adjusting its speed to the movement of your clothes by using built-in sensors. Not only does Fisher & Paykel’s technology exceed other washing machine brands, but the New Zealand company goes a step further by offering an outstanding warranty on their motor–for free!

Fisher & Paykel already gives its consumers a warranty covering parts and labor for any whiteware purchase for one year. In addition to this warranty, Fisher & Paykel back their smart drive motor with an additional nine year direct drive motor warranty – giving you altogether a 10 year warranty on the motor of your washing machine. Not many laundry brands do this for free.

 

To know if your washing machine qualifies check the serial number on the Continue reading

Kelly Ripa & Electrolux Support Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women- 22,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year according to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

 This month Electrolux and Kelly Ripa are reaching out to laundry consumers to help raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Electrolux has committed to raise $750,000 for the OCRF. In this effort Continue reading