Monthly Archives: August 2014

Dirty water in your dishwasher after the cycle? Clean out your air gap

When’s the last time you cleaned out your dishwasher’s air drain gap? Check out this blog post by and see how she checked and cleaned out her dishwasher’s air drain gap when she discovered dirty standing water at the end of her dishwasher’s cycle. Check out the photo of the gunk she found inside her drain gap!

Dishwashers and air drain gaps

What’s an air drain gap?

The air gap is a cylinder looking item on your countertop above the sink. An air gaps helps prevent drain water from the sink from backing up into your dishwasher and contaminating your clean dishes.

Signs of a clogged air gap or garbage disposal hose include:

  • water coming out of vent holes in the air gap and spilling on to the counter when you run your dishwasher
  • white crusty residue on, or leaking from, the air gap

It’s important to note that you might not have an air gap as part of your dishwasher’s installation, but in case you do, here’s how to fix it following these tips from Greg Chick of Ramona’s Plumber.

First, remove the metal outer cover and inner plastic cover (unscrew or unsnap) to expose the drain gap.

  1. Cover the air gap opening with an empty paper towel tube and blow into the other end of the roll from above. Sometimes the force of your own breath can free any clogged food particles blocking up the gap.
  2. Use a bottle brush to clean out any fat or deposit build ups inside the pipe (see video)
  3. Use a wet-dry vacuum to suction out the air gap. First, run hot water down the sink drain. Place your wet-dry vacuum hose over the air gap opening and turn on for 30 – 40 seconds. The hot water will help dislodge any clogs.


Note: not all dishwashers have air drain gaps as part of their installation, so this may not apply to your appliance.

If you are still getting water coming out of your air gap, check your dishwasher drain hose and the hose running to the garbage disposal. Look for kinks or clogs in these hoses.

For fast-shipping dishwasher parts and garbage disposal parts, visit

Why does my washing machine smell?

Bad smells of mildew and mold is a common problem in front-loading high-efficiency washing machines. This is because these types of washers use less water by design and therefor, require less detergent as well. However, too many people use too much detergent and that excess detergent (along with dirt and moisture from washing) gets left behind on the gasket seal of the washer. Bacteria and spores soon start growing in the moist, damp environment, leaving to bad smells.

Open washing machine with colorful laundry spilling out

To get rid of this, Continue reading

Simply Delicious Crostini

Instead of throwing away stale bread, take some leftover toppings and make crostinis! Great snack and a great way to use up left over cheese, herbs and other toppings.

lards and epinards

Leslie Camera 549

Sometimes I find myself surrounded by remnants of meals past; some mozzarella and basil from that lasagne I made, some tomatoes from that sauce I cooked, some bread from me eating that loaf of bread… you get the picture. I hate throwing out food since it’s wasteful and not cost effective, but it can be hard to concoct a meal out of leftovers. How are you supposed to find a recipe that uses everything you have laying around your kitchen? Often, you can’t, but if you only have to run out and  buy one new thing in order to make a recipe that involves most of your leftovers, why not?

I came up with this crostini recipe when I saw that an old loaf of Italian bread was about to be thrown out. I looked around and saw that we had some tomatoes, which we normally keep in the house…

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Refrigerator not cooling? 5 things to check to fix it yourself

Is your refrigerator is not cooling ? Before you call the repairman, here are a few simple things to check first.

First, make sure your appliance is getting power. Does the light come on in your fridge when you open it?

Next, check your freezer. Is your freezer still cold? If so, make sure the vents on the back of your freezer are not blocked. Cold air is made in your freezer and circulated into your refrigerators via this vent. If the vent is blocked by packages of frozen foods, then it might by why your refrigerator is warmer than normal.

Also, if you notice your freezer’s back panel has a layer of frost, this could be a sign of a defrost issue. Frost build-up is a sign that the coils behind the back panel of your freezer are not defrosting. This could be due to a bad defrost timer, heater or defrost thermostat.

Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer inside Refrigerator next to fruit

Is your refrigerator is not cooling ? Before you call the repairman, here are a few simple things to check first.

Next, check your refrigerator condensor  coils (be sure to unplug your refrigerator first!) to make sure they are not dirty or covered in pet hair.  If it’s been a while since your cleaned your refrigerator coils (or never) and if you have pets, you could have a whole bunch of dust and pet hair covering your refrigerator’s coils preventing it from dissipating heat.

After cleaning your coils with a refrigerator coil cleaning brush, plug your fridge back in and see if it cooling. You might want to buy a refrigerator thermometer to make note of the temperature inside your fridge. The temperature inside your refrigerator should be between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (optimum 37 degrees Fahrenheit).

Check the temperature controls and settings on your refrigerator. Make sure they are set properly in case they were changed accidentally.

Check the gasket or seal around your refrigerator. If it is loose, cracked or sagging, then cold air is escaping from your fridge. Other signs that your door gasket is the problem include:

  • sweating or condensation inside your fridge
  • ice forming on the freezer walls
  • temperatures inside refrigerator is warmer than normal

To test the seal on your refrigerator, take a dollar bill and close it in the door of your refrigerator or freezer. Pull on the dollar and see if you can feel any tension or grip. Tension or grip indicates a tight seal. Do this test along different parts of the door. If the seal is not tight, then this could mean either you need a new gasket or the door needs adjustment.

If none of the above suggestions are the reason for your refrigerator not getting cold, then there could be a number of other issues going on with your appliance, including problems with the compressor, temperature control thermostat, main control board, evaporator fan or condensor fan.

For more refrigerator parts, or to find a part for your appliance, visit

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