Learn from Crystal – Home Dryer Repair

Heather says: Let’s give my pal Crystal a round of applause. She saved herself $95 by tackling basic home appliance repair. Not too bad for 1.5 hours worth of work, including the trip to the part store. She IMed me asking if I knew anything about dryer repair. I suggested she check and see if … Read more

How to Get Rid of Clover Mites: Clover? I hardly know her.

Dear Home-Ec 101, We are currently dealing with an invasion of clover mites in our two bathtubs. The current method of eradication involves flushing them down the drain with hot water when bathtime rolls around. Any non-chemical advice for letting them know they’re not welcome around here? They’re driving me buggy. Signed, A mite irritated … Read more

Smelly Garbage Disposal Problem Can Be Fixed

Dear Home Ec 101:
How do you de-stink a garbage disposal?
~Gagging in Glendale

stinky garbage disposal

girl212.jpgHeather says:

If you Google the problem you’ll find 101 different remedies for your stinky situation. The problem is then deciding which ones are effective and which are a waste of time or potentially dangerous to your appliance.

Tim, at Ask The Builder, suggests the smell may be coming from hardened bits of food sticking to the disposal’s walls. When you run the disposal to rid yourself of scraps, they don’t magically disappear. The food particles are mashed into a soupy mixture that gets splashed all over the inside of the machine. If enough water is not run, those bits are left behind and that is what is perfuming your kitchen. Some food matter may also be sitting in the drain pipe, if it was not flushed all the way out of the house. Yum-O!

It is important to always run the water while using the disposal to help flush the food away. After using the disposal, Tim suggests filling the sink 2/3 full with soapy water and simply pulling the drain and running the disposal to wash out any remaining bits of water. It’s a great idea, but sounds a little wasteful to me. If you’re going to fill the sink with soapy water, you might as well go ahead and wash any leftover dishes and the counters while you’re at it. The food won’t adhere permanently in that space of time and you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. Sometimes it’s hard to be frugal. ::dramatic sigh::

The added pressure from the sinkful of water should push any nasties lurking in your drain on out to the sewer, too. If after trying this method a few times you still have an odor problem you may have to go a few steps further and give your garbage disposal a good internal scrubbing. The good thing is this should only be a one time operation, provided you practice the good disposal hygeine outlined above.

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How to Repair a Moldy Dishwasher

Dear Home-Ec 101, I keep finding mold in my house at every turn – first it was the sippie cups that for over a year had been mold-free. Next, my dishwasher. I ran it with a mug of vinegar in the top rack in an otherwise empty dishwasher but it is still dirty and is … Read more

Where to Find Your Main Water Shut-off Valve

Dear Home-ec 101: My son’s school had an earthquake drill; they sent him home with a worksheet to fill out.  We need to locate the main shut off valve for our home’s water supply. Can you help? Shakin’ in Shelbyville Heather says: Excellent question, your main shut off valve is the knob on the house … Read more