Why does my washing machine make my clothes smell?

washingmachinesmellIf your washer leaves your laundry smelling bad it might be time to clean your washer. Dirt, grime, soap-scum and odor -causing bacteria might be hanging out inside your washer and transferring to your clothes.  If you have a front-loading, high-efficiency washer, you could have a worse bacteria problem, as the sealed environment keeps water and moisture in causing bacteria to grow.

Make sure you are getting the cleanest laundry you can by regularly cleaning your washing machine once a month with Affresh Washer Tub Cleaner. Affresh breaks up odor causing residue, mold and mildew that can lead to bad smells from your washer, especially in HE washers.

Affresh washer cleaner

Place one tab of Affresh in an empty washer tub and run on a “normal” or a “clean tub” cycle using hot water.

Affresh is septic tank and washer safe.

Keep your washer from smelling by also following these tips.

  • If you have a HE washer, be sure to clean the gasket seal around the door and tub. You may have to pull back the seal to clean any hidden residue that accumulates there.
  • Leave the door open between loads to let your washer tub air out.
  • Use only High Efficiency detergents with HE washers and be sure to use the proper amount. If your clothes are left soapy or there is a sudsy residue, you may be using too much detergent.

Why is my new oven smoking and producing a smell?


Did you recently purchase a new oven only to find out it smokes and smells the first time you turn it on? What’s going on? Well, you can relax, this is normal.

It turns out the smell or smoke might be coming from the residue of oils added to the oven cavity during the manufacturing process, or from the insulation of your new oven.

To get rid of this smell, you can try running a self-cleaning cycle. Be sure to open a window, or use your range vent hood to help ventilate the room.

Also, if you have a pet bird, put it in a well-ventilated room far from your kitchen,  or remove it from your home during the self-cleaning process.  Birds can be extremely sensitive to the fumes produced by an oven’s self-cleaning cycle. Be sure to allow your home to air out before bringing your bird back inside.

6 Easy Electric Stove Repairs

infiniteswitchknobfrontFixing some electric stove problems doesn’t necessarily require a lot of skill or time, just the right know-how and parts. Here are some repairs you can do yourself.

  • Before starting any repairs, be sure to unplug your appliance.
  • It’s also a good idea to use a multimeter to test any part to make sure it is in fact bad and the cause of your problem.
  • To find a part for your electric stove, find the model number on your stove and enter it into the part search box.

Burners not heating. Adjust or replace the surface burners.


Sometimes the ends of a burner heating element are not making a proper connection. You may need to adjust the burner element to make sure it is making a proper connection.

When the part is cold, simply push the element in slightly and pull out. Try installing it again by placing the surface element into the terminals and pushing it in and down slightly to lock into place.

If this does not work, test your burner heating element and replace it if necessary.

Burners not heating or overheating
If a surface burner replacement does not fix your burner problem, you may need to replace the infinite switch on your stove. The infinite switch controls how hot the surface element gets according to your settings. If you notice your burner getting hotter than it should, this might be the part that is bad on your electric stove.

Back of oven with back panel removed showing infinite switch and wires.

Back of electric stove with back panel removed showing infinite switch and wires.

To replace, remove the back panel from your stove and access the infinite switch. Remove the wire harness from this part on the back of the stove. You will also need to remove the knob and screw holding this part to the front of the stove. Remove the part and insert the new infinite switch. Replace the screws, knob, wire harness and finally, the back stove panel.

Clean the inner glass in an oven door
Clean the inner glass inside your oven door by taking the door apart. You can either unlock the hinges that hold the door to the oven and remove the door completely, or else open the oven door and have someone hold the outer glass front door for you while you remove the screws on the inner panel. After the screws are removed, gently place the front oven door glass on the ground.

Clean the inside of your oven door by taking it apart. It's easier than you think!

Clean the inside of your oven door by taking it apart. It’s easier than you think!

Clean the glass of your oven with a nylon scrubbing sponge and a heavy duty degreaser cleaner. Dry using paper towels and follow it up a glass cleaner and more paper towels. The Family Handy Man suggests wearing gloves to prevent leaving any finger prints on your newly cleaned doors.

Oven not heating? Replace the bake or broil element.
Small screws hold the bake or broil element to your oven’s wall. Unscrew these screws and pull the element forward gently to bring forward the wires that connect to the terminals. Be careful not to let these wires fall back into the oven’s insulation, otherwise you will need to find them again by taking the back panel off the oven.

Be careful not to let these wires fall back into the oven’s insulation, otherwise you will need to find them again by taking the back panel off the oven.

Be careful not to let these wires fall back into the oven’s insulation, otherwise you will need to find them again by taking the back panel off the oven.

You may need to use pliers to carefully remove the wires from the terminals. Attach the wires to the ends of your new bake element. Attach your new heating element to your oven using the screws.

Diagnosis an oven fault code
If you lost your oven’s care manual, find your oven’s model number and do a search online. Most appliance manufacturers have these booklets or the fault code information and meanings (including how to fix or clear your fault code) on their website.

Many stoves also include a fault code sheet located behind the back panel of your stove. Remove the back panel of your range to access it.

Oven not heating up to the proper temperature? Replace the oven sensor.

The oven sensor monitors the temperature inside your oven. To replace it, remove the back panel of your oven and locate the oven sensor. Unscrew the sensor from the oven and disconnect the wire to it. Reconnect the wire to your new oven sensor and insert the sensor back through the hole into the oven cavity. Align the screw holes and secure with screws and replace the back panel of your oven.

Find videos on these, and more appliance repairs, on www.PCApplianceRepair.com or visit our YouTube Channel.

Keep your garage refrigerator working all winter long with a garage refrigerator heater kit

Garage Refrigerator Heater KitWhen winter hits and the temperature drops, make sure the refrigerator in your garage keeps working by installing a Garage Refrigerator Heater Kit.

Your refrigerator only creates cold air when it needs to maintain a consistent temperature inside your refrigerator.  During the winter, when outside temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, your refrigerator senses this and stops producing the cold air that keeps your items cool and your freezer items frozen.

A garage refrigerator heater kit provides enough heat to trick the thermostat into running the compressor. More cold air is then produced keeping items in your freezer frozen and your food safe.

Made by Electrolux, this kit can be used in many top-mount (meaning freezer on top) refrigerator models made by Frigidaire and Kenmore. Installation instructions are included along with the part.

Purchase a Garage Refrigerator Kit at www.pcappliancerepair.com before temperatures drop.

Don’t miss these items when cleaning out your refrigerator

Don’t miss these items when cleaning out your refrigerator“Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day” is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 15 and aside from this being a good idea, due to Thanksgiving and other holidays coming up, keeping your refrigerator clean and neat will help save you money and possibly keep you from becoming sick.

A 2013 study done by the NSF, a public health and safety organization, found Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli, yeast and mold living in the meat and vegetable crisper drawers of refrigerators they tested as part of the study. If you are cleaning out your fridge this weekend, be sure to clean these parts of your refrigerator to remove the possibility of germs residing here. Soak and clean these parts in the sink with warm water and mild cleanser. Wipe dry with a towel.

If rotten or spoiled meat has left a lingering smell inside your refrigerator, the NSF advises to use warm water mixed with a baking soda solution (about 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water) to control odors. You can also use a box of baking soda or install the Refrigerator Deodorizer which is 50 times more powerful than baking soda, to eliminate odors inside your refrigerator.

Clean the gasket (that’s the seal around your refrigerator door) where dirt likes to hide. A lose, cracked or torn gasket could be costing you money through lost energy and spoiled food. Luckily, the gasket can be replaced.

Be sure to also clean out the defrost pan which is located behind the refrigerator cabinet or in back of a removable toe kick plate.

Locate the condensor coils on your refrigerator and use a condensor coil cleaning brush to remove any dirt, dust or pet hair that has accumulated on them. Keeping the coils clean helps your refrigerator run more efficiently, saving you money.

Use a refrigerator thermometer to measure the temperature inside your refrigerator and freezer. Ideal temperature ranges should be between 34 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit for your fridge, with 37 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 percent humidity optimal. Your freezer should be 0 to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have any scratches, rust or discoloration on your stainless steel fridge, you can remove it with Scratch-B-Gone stainless steel scratch remover. Find more stainless steel cleaners at http://www.pcappliancerepair.com.

Finally, replace any broken parts on your refrigerator. Retaining door bars, refrigerator shelves, meat and crisper pans, light bulbs and other parts can all be replaced. Find your replacement refrigerator part at www.pcappliancerepair.com.

A little history about “Clean Out Your Fridge Day,” according to this article, the day was started by the Whirlpool Corporation in 1999, aiming for it to be the third Wednesday in November.



Easy Fall craft – dryer vent pumpkins

Dryer vent pumpkin craftDecorate your  home for Fall with this simple-to-make craft idea: dryer vent pumpkins. You can use this craft as a decoration in your home at the beginning of Fall and keep them in (or outside) your home for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Unlike real pumpkins, these pumpkins won’t spoil.

To make the dryer vent pumpkins, purchase a box of flexible foil dryer venting available at www.pcappliancerepair.com. You will also need a hot glue gun or several twist ties, wire cutters, scissors spray paint (orange or light yellow for white pumpkins) and gloves or clips.

  1. Make a tight circle with your dryer venting to determine the size of your pumpkin and where you need to cut.
  2. Use scissors to start cutting. A wire runs through the venting tube, which will need to be cut using a wire cutter.
  3. Spread hot glue on one side of the venting and connect the other side to it to create a circle. Hold in place either by hand (wearing gloves) or by using clips. Let the glue dry for several minutes.
  4. You can also secure the ends together using twist ties.  Poke four holes in the venting (two on each end, top and bottom) and thread the twist ties together to complete and hold the circular shape together.
  5. Spray paint with your choice of color.  I used a glossy orange spray paint with a coating of Krylon Glitter Blast spray paint in Orange Burst over the glossy orange.
  6. Use a small branch as the stem (glue to secure) or use rolled cinnamon sticks for the stem like Courtney did here for her dryer vent pumpkins.  I like how she added some Spanish moss to the tops of her pumpkin.

Thanksgiving Day table decoration idea: place the pumpkins on a a plain burlap table runner (which you can purchase at any craft store). Surround the pumpkins  with some Autumn-colored leaves (real or fake).

Thanksgiving Day Table Craft  Decoration

Spooky noises from your appliances

What's causing those spooky noises coming from your appliances?All appliances make noises, but some sounds can signify trouble with your appliance. Here are some possible causes – and solutions – to the squealing, thumps and bangs from your appliances.

Clothes Dryer

Grinding sound
Worn drum glides. The drum glides provide a low friction surface on which the drum spins. Over time, these parts can become worn and will need to be replaced.

Rumbling or thumping sound
Worn drum support rollers which support the dryer drum as it spins. Over time, the rollers wear down and the shape of the rollers change and become elongated, forcing the drum to spin up and down on the non-round wheel surfaces.

Dryer belt needs replacement.

Washing Machine

Loud banging
A loud banging from your washer when it’s in use might mean an unbalanced load. Stop the cycle by opening the lid and redistributing the items inside the washer’s tub. Overloading and under loading the machine might also be the issue. Either remove items, especially items that tend to absorb more water, or add items to balance out the load.

Use a levelling tool to make sure your machine is level and adjusts the leveling legs if needed.
Banging sounds and shaking might be caused by broken or worn parts that support the tub. Manually spin the tub of your machine while it is not in use and listen for any noises while it spins.
A bad rear bearing that sits in the outer tub and supports the spin basket could be worn or bad, causing the basket to move around during use causing extra noise.

Broken suspension rods which support the tub could also be the reason for a noisy washer. If the tub appears crooked inside the machine, it could indicate one of the rods has broken.

Shock absorbers support the tub while the washer is running. Worn shock absorbers could be the reason your washer is noisier than normal.

Noisy or increased noise
An increased noise from your dishwasher could indicate a clogged or defective drain pump. Check to see if there is a blockage in the drain pump. If there is none, then the pump might be defective.

Squealing sounds
High-pitched squealing sounds when the washer is filling might indicate a low water pressure problem. Increasing the water pressure should fix this. If not, there might be a problem with the water inlet valve which will need to be looked at and possibly replaced.

Squealing, rumbling sounds
Squealing or rumbling sounds from your refrigerator might mean that the evaporator motor is on its way out.

Squealing or chirping
A bad evaporator fan

How to clean your clothes dryer

If your laundry is still damp after it comes out of the dryer, or it takes your dryer a long time to dry your laundry  (more than 30-45 minutes) and the outside of your dryer is hot to the touch, these are all signs that you might have clogged duct work or venting and it’s time to clean your dryer.

Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of 16,800 home fires reported in 2010, according to a report by the National Fire Protection Association. These fires contributed to 51 deaths, 380 injuries and $236 million in direct property damage.

To clean out your clothes dryer, use a special lint brush to reach deep into the lint screen compartment of your clothes dryer where lint is trapped inside.

To clean out your clothes dryer, use a lint brush to reach deep into the lint screen compartment of your clothes dryer where lint is trapped inside. After unplugging your dryer, remove your lint screen and push the brush deep inside the lint shoot. Pull out the brush and either using a vacuum attachment or your hand to remove the lint stuck to the brush. It might be a good idea to wear a mask while cleaning due to  floating lint or dust particles.

Next, clear lint from your clothes dryer duct work using a Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush. Remove the vent from the back of your dryer and stick the brush inside your vent tubing. Once the brush cannot move any further, gently pull it out to remove any lint clogging the vent.

Clear lint from your clothes dryer duct work using a Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush

Finally, after unplugging your dryer (if you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas) and doing some disassembly, use a Refrigerator and Crevice Cleaning Tool Vacuum Attachment to clean inside the dryer itself. The tool attaches to your vacuum cleaner and allows you to reach underneath the dryer drum and into all the crevices inside your dryer’s cabinet to remove dust and lint. It’s flat enough to fit underneath the dryer drum, saving you from disassembling more parts and removing the dryer drum. Plus, it can also be used to clean underneath other appliances as well.

Use a Refrigerator and Crevice Cleaning Tool Vacuum Attachment to clean inside the dryer itself

For a video on how to clean your clothes dryer. including how to disassemble the cabinet to reach inside, visit http://youtu.be/gtcVvFMG9YA

Other additional tips from the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
  • Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
  • Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.

For more tips, visit http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/clothes_dryers.shtm

Enjoy filtered water and ice from your refrigerator with the GE SmartWater Exterior Refrigerator and icemaker Inline Filter System (GXRLQ)

For refrigerators without built-in filters, works with most types of refrigerators

Enjoy clean, filtered water and ice from your refrigerator, even without a built-in water filter, with the new GE SmartWater Exterior Refrigerator and Icemaker Inline Filter System (GXRLQ).

GE SmartWater Exterior Refrigerator and Icemaker Inline Filter System GXRLQ

The system works with most types of top-freezer and side-by-side refrigerators and is housed behind the refrigerator.  Once installed, Continue reading

Avoid costly repairs by cleaning your dishwasher

Most people think that they do not need to clean their dishwasher, but over time parts can become coated and clogged with excess soap residue, food particles and broken pieces of plastic, glass or bone. Taking the time to disassemble a few parts from your dishwasher to give them a good cleaning will not only improve your dishwasher’s performance, but could possibly extend the life of your appliance and save you money by avoiding costly repairs.

Below are some tips on what to clean in case your dishwasher is not cleaning your dishes as well as it use to do.

Dishwasher Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

When was the last time you cleaned your dishwasher?