Monthly Archives: February 2018
  1. Liquid Fabric Softeners Vs. Dryer Sheets

    Liquid Fabric Softeners Vs. Dryer Sheets

    When it comes to fabric softeners, there are two popular options: liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets. Both products soften your clothes, reduce static, and keep them smelling fresh. But is there a difference between the two products?

    At Reno’s Appliance, we’re washer and dryer experts and can give you the straight facts about fabric softener.

    How does liquid fabric softener work?

    Liquid fabric softener works while your clothes are washing. It soaks into your clothes and lubricates the fabric fibers with special chemicals that make them feel softer. This lubrication is also what helps reduce static cling.

    Most washing machines have a clearly labeled compartment specifically made to hold fabric softener. The machine will automatically dispense the softener at the right time in the cycle. This timing is important because fabric softener does not mix well with detergent. If your machine doesn’t have a fabric softener compartment, then you will need to take an extra trip to the laundry room just to add the fabric softener, which can be inconvenient. 

    Another drawback is that liquid fabric softeners are made from oil, so they may stain clothes if not used properly. You have to be sure to add liquid softener during the final rinse when the tub is full of water to avoid staining. Also, liquid softeners tend to build up in the dispenser so frequent cleaning is required.

    How do dryer sheets work?

    Dryer sheets, like the name implies, are added during the drying cycle. They are coated with stearic acid, which melts from the heat of the dryer and coats clothes to make them feel softer, reduce static, and infuse them with a fresh scent.

    Dryer sheets may also stain clothes if not used properly. To avoid staining, fill your dryer with clean, wet clothes and place the dryer sheet on top. Also, avoid overfilling the dryer when using dryer sheets.

    When should fabric softeners not be used?

    Never use any fabric softener when washing these items:

    • Microfiber clothes: Using softeners may damage the fabric.
    • Athletic wear: Softeners may reduce the fabric’s ability to “wick away” sweat.
    • Children’s clothing: Fabric softeners will reduce the flame-resistant properties of children’s clothing.
    • Towels: The idea of a soft, fluffy towel sounds nice, but softeners will reduce the towel’s ability to absorb water.

    Are there alternatives to fabric softener?

    If you want the benefits of fabric softeners, but don’t want to use commercial products, then there are alternatives you can try.

    Adding a half-cup of white vinegar to the wash during the rinse cycle when the tub is full of water will soften clothes without leaving a vinegar smell behind. As a bonus, vinegar will brighten and preserve colors. But vinegar will have no effect on static.

    As an alternative to dryer sheets, you can make three inch balls out of aluminum foil and toss 3 or 4 of them into the dryer. This will reduce static, but won’t add any softness. You can reuse the foil ball over several cycles. Replace them when the foil becomes smooth.

    What’s the bottom line?

    Both dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners have advantages and drawbacks. But both products work well and do what they advertise. This is one of those debates where there is no clear winner. It just comes down to personal preference.

    The best detergents and fabric softeners aren’t going to be effective if you don’t have a solid washer and dryer. Come to Reno’s Appliance and view our extensive selection of washing machines from dependable manufacturers like MaytagWhirlpoolGEElectrolux, and dryers from trusted brands including Frigidaire, LG, and Bosch. Reno’s also carries washer and dryer pairs, plus a full line of parts and accessories to keep your appliances running right.  

    Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. We have every home appliance you will possibly need. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection.

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  2. Common Ice Maker Problems You Can Fix Yourself

    Common Ice Maker Problems You Can Fix Yourself

    Having a refrigerator with an ice maker is incredibly convenient. There’s no need to mess around with ice trays or buy heavy bags of ice at the store. With an ice maker, you have a steady supply of ice ready at all times—unless something goes wrong. And the day your ice maker stops working is the day you realize how much you depend on it.

    There are numerous reasons why your ice maker might stop working. However, there are 2 common problems that are relatively easy to fix. No repair technicians or special tools needed. As appliance experts, we wanted to give you tips on how to diagnose these issues and repair your ice maker yourself.  

    Problem #1: Ice gets stuck or dispenses slowly.

    • Possible cause: Sometimes, cubes in the ice bin may melt slightly and refreeze, which creates large clumps of ice. It’s impossible for new ice to push past these larger ice clumps. So, ice continues to back up and clog the chute.
    • Solution: Remove the ice storage bin and break up the clumped ice with your hands. If there’s too many clumps, then just empty out the entire bin in the kitchen sink. Then put the bin back in the freezer. To prevent the problem from recurring, make sure you’re using the ice maker more frequently. Ice clumps are more prone to form if the cubes sit for long periods of time.
    • Possible cause: Most ice makers have a raker bar that distributes ice evenly throughout the bin. Sometimes, ice forms around the raker and prevents it from doing its job. If too much ice builds up in one section of the bin, then the ice maker might stop working.
    • Solution: Remove the ice bin and pour out some of the ice. Then remove the ice from the raker bar by hand. Keep your eye on how much ice you have. If it ever starts getting too full, then empty out the bin a bit to help prevent ice from forming on the raker.
    • Possible cause: Ice and debris can clog the chute, preventing new ice from being dispensed.
    • Solution: Look inside the chute and remove any blockages by hand.

    Problem #2: The ice maker is not making ice.

    • Possible cause: The water supply valve fails.
    • Solution: A direct water supply line into the freezer allows it to produce ice. If the valve that controls the supply line has become stuck, corroded, or worn out, the ice maker will stop working. You’ll need to investigate the water supply line and possibly replace the valve to get the ice maker working again.
    • Possible cause: The filter is clogged.
    • Solution: Ice makers come with filters that remove impurities from the water before the ice is made so the cubes don’t taste funny. The filter can become clogged over time and block the flow of water into the ice maker. If you’ve never changed the filter, then be sure to do so soon and check your owner’s manual to see how often you should be changing the filter.

    If you check all the items above and your ice maker still isn’t working properly, then it might be time to call in a professional. Or, it may be time to treat yourself to a new ice maker. Reno’s Appliance carries a variety of high-quality ice makers from top brands including Whirlpool and Electrolux. We also have an extensive collection of refrigerators that come with built-in ice makers. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection of side-by-side, French door, bottom freezer, and top freezer refrigerators.

    Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. We have every home appliance you will possibly need.

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  3. Your Washer's Lint Trap Needs Love Too

    Your Washer's Lint Trap Needs Love Too

    You probably know all the reasons why you should clean your dryer’s lint trap on a regular basis. Simply removing all the fuzz that accumulates on the lint screen can help your dryer run more efficiently and reduce the risk of fire.

    But did you know that your washing machine has a lint trap, too? It can be hidden on some machines, so you may have never noticed it. But, it has the same function as your dryer’s lint trap—to remove lint from clothes. If you notice that your clothes are coming out of the wash covered in lint, then it’s probably time to clean out your washer’s lint trap.

    Where is my washer’s lint trap?

    The location of the lint trap varies depending on the age and manufacturer of your machine. Check your owner’s manual for the exact location. If you don’t have the manual, here’s a few places where you can check:

    • Slide your fingers around the top of the washing basin. You may find a screen, which you can pull out to remove lint. Then, soak it in hot water for 10 minutes to remove detergent residue.
    • Inspect the center agitator if you have a top-loading machine. You may be able to remove the top cover to reveal the lint trap and clean it out with a soft brush or cloth.
    • Check the end of the hose that drains water out of the machine. There may be a small mesh screen fitted onto the end of the hose. If it’s clogged, then you can throw it away and pick up replacement filters at your local hardware store. Or, make your own filter by cutting a nylon stocking at the ankle and affixing it to the drain hose with a clamp or a strong rubber band.

    What if I have a high-efficiency washer?

    If you have a high-efficiency washer, then your machine doesn’t have a lint trap. Instead, it relies on a water pump filter to remove lint from the wash. These pumps are touted as self-cleaning, but if you are still seeing lint on your clothes, it is possible that the filter is clogged. You can help flush away any debris by cleaning your washer every month and running an empty, hot-water cycle.

    In addition, there may be a small door located near the bottom of front-load washers that you should check periodically. You may find buttons, coins, or other small items that can interfere with the filter pump. Top-load washers usually require removing the outer housing to access the water pump filter from the back of the washer.

    Cleaning this pump filter regularly will allow water to flow out more quickly taking suspended lint with it and not leaving it to redeposit on your clothes.

    What if I am still experiencing problems with my washer?

    If you’ve cleaned out your lint trap and you’re still having laundry issues, then check out these tips to keep your washer and dryer running in peak condition. Also, make sure you’re avoiding these 6 common laundry mistakes.

    Or, perhaps it’s time for a new washer. Come to Reno’s Appliance and speak to any member of our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff. They’ll listen to your needs and recommend a product from our extensive inventory of world-class washing machine brands that are known for dependability and durability like SamsungWhirlpoolGEElectrolux, and many others. Reno’s also carries a full line of parts and accessories to keep your washer and dryer running right.

    Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. We have every home appliance you will possibly need. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection.

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  4. 4 Fantastic Valentine's Day Dinners

    4 Fantastic Valentine's Day Dinners

    Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Are you wondering how to make the day special for your loved one? This year, forget the crowded, overpriced restaurants and impress your Valentine with a delicious home-cooked meal. Here are 4 savory dinner recipes that are perfect to share with a loved one.

    Herb-Crusted Salmon

    This is the perfect recipe for the novice chef. It’s simple, but so flavorful and your valentine is sure to be impressed.

    Ingredients

    • 2 (8 ounce) salmon fillets
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

    Directions

    1. Preheat your oven’s broiler and set the oven rack about 8 inches from the heat source.
    2. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush lightly with vegetable oil.
    3. Place the salmon fillets skin side down on the baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt.
    4. Process the garlic, tarragon, and parsley in a blender to form a loose paste. Transfer to a small bowl.
    5. Mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper into a garlic paste until combined.
    6. Spoon the mixture over the top and sides of each salmon fillet.
    7. Cook under the broiler for 5 minutes. Then, turn the broiler off and turn the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
    8. Bake until the internal temperature of the salmon is 130 degrees Fahrenheit and the salmon flakes easily with a fork. About 4 minutes.

    Filet Mignon with Balsamic Glaze

    You and your valentine will fall in love with this delicious recipe.

    Ingredients

    • 2 (4 ounce) filet mignon steaks
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    • ¼ cup dry red wine

    Directions

    1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of each steak.
    2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until browned.
    3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add balsamic vinegar and red wine. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over.
    4. Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one tablespoon of glaze over each, and serve immediately.

    Champagne Shrimp and Pasta

    The champagne elevates the never-fail combo of shrimp and pasta into an elegant indulgence.

    Ingredients

    • 16 ounces angel hair pasta
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 1-pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 ½ cups champagne
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
    • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes, then drain and set aside.
    2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Cook and stir mushrooms in oil until tender. Remove mushrooms from pan, and set aside.
    3. Combine shrimp, champagne, and salt in the frying pan, and cook over high heat. When liquid just begins to boil, remove shrimp from pan.
    4. Add shallots and tomatoes to champagne and boil for 8 minutes.
    5. Stir in 3/4 cup cream and boil until slightly thick, about 1 to 2 minutes.
    6. Add shrimp and mushrooms to sauce, and heat through.
    7. In a large bowl, toss pasta with remaining 1/4 cup cream and parsley.
    8. To serve, spoon shrimp with sauce over pasta, and top with Parmesan cheese.

    Mushroom Tart

    Capture your valentine’s heart with this rich and flavorful vegetarian tart. Serve with a simple green salad to compete the meal.

    Ingredients

    • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry from a 17.3-ounce package, thawed according to package instructions
    • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 20 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
    • 10 ounces of fresh baby spinach
    • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a 16 x 10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges.
    3. Place the pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score dough to form a 1-inch border. Using a fork, prick dough inside the border every 1/2 inch.
    4. Bake until golden, rotating pan once, about 15 minutes or until tender.
    5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, toss onion with 1 tablespoon oil and salt. Cover and cook over medium heat until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes, then stir and continue cooking with cover on for 15 minutes.
    6. In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat remaining oil. Add mushrooms, then cover and cook until tender and all liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
    7. Fold in spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes more. Drain any liquid.
    8. Top dough with mushroom-spinach mixture. Scatter onion and goat cheese on top. Bake until cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
    9. Remove from onion and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

    Now that you have the recipes, you’ll need the right appliances to make sure you get perfect results. Stop by Reno’s Appliance in Paterson, NJ to see our wide selection of ranges, wall ovens, warming drawers, and professional ranges.

    Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service.

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  5. 5 Earth-Friendly Ways to Eliminate Refrigerator Odors

    5 Earth-Friendly Ways to Eliminate Refrigerator Odors

    Have you ever opened your refrigerator door and been hit with an awful aroma? You threw out those old leftovers days ago. So why is your refrigerator still stinky? Refrigerators are notorious for holding onto bad odors, even long after the offending leftovers and spoiled food has found its way to the trash.

    Before you decide to blast your fridge with expensive and potentially harmful commercial cleaners, consider these 5 nontoxic items that can freshen up your refrigerator. In fact, several of them are probably in your pantry right now.

    1. Baking Soda: This is the classic fridge cleaner and odor absorber. If your refrigerator is smelling particularly bad, make a paste using water and baking soda. Then empty the refrigerator and use a washcloth or clean rag to apply the paste to the walls and shelves of the unit. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Any bad odors will leave with the baking soda. After the deep clean, place an open box of baking soda on the shelf in your fridge and replace it every 2 to 3 months to keep odors at bay.
    2. Freshly Ground Coffee: Probably one of the most heavenly aromas known to your nose, freshly ground coffee is also an excellent odor absorber. If your refrigerator is smelling less than fresh, put about 3 tablespoons of freshly ground coffee beans in a small bowl or cup and place it in your refrigerator. You can use coffee as a quick “anytime” freshener or after using the baking-soda cleaning technique above. The only drawback is that coffee goes stale rather quickly, so you’ll need to replace the coffee in your fridge about once a week.
    3. White Vinegar: Vinegar does have a strong odor itself, but it also has amazing abilities to neutralize even the most stubborn smells. Create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, spritz your fridge liberally and wipe it down. Placing a small bowl of vinegar in your fridge will keep your fridge smelling fresh.
    4. Refrigerator Air Filters: Rather than simply masking odors, these devices use a process to eliminate foul odors from your refrigerator and freezer by trapping, neutralizing and removing odor-causing molecules. You can buy air filters separately, or get a refrigerator like this Sub-Zero model with built-in air filtration technology that goes a step further to scrub the air of ethylene gas, bacteria, mold, and viruses.
    5. Lemon or Vanilla: As a final step after cleaning your fridge, try rubbing a bit of fresh lemon or pure vanilla extract around the edges of your refrigerator’s shelves. While this won’t kill odors, you will be greeted with a pleasant aroma each time you open the refrigerator door.

    The next time your refrigerator smells less-than-fabulous, try one of the techniques above and start breathing freely around your fridge again. And if you think that your fridge is just way too funky for your food, then stop by Reno’s Appliance. 

    Reno’s Appliance has a large selection of refrigerators from top-of-the-line brands including Sub-ZeroBosch, and Frigidaire in a range of popular styles such as French doorbottom freezer, and top freezer. We also carry compact refrigerators, which are perfect for small apartment, dorm rooms, or the office. You’ll even find a nice selection of sleek and stylish wine refrigerators.

    Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. We have every home appliance you will possibly need. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection.

    Read more »