Helpful Hints
Washers & Dryers

When buying an appliance, please don't let yourself fall into the trap of buying the most expensive appliance you can find and expecting it to work better or last longer.  The price of the appliance is higher only because they have more parts on them, not necessarily better or different parts, either. Push-button controls and digital/LED readouts are only one way they will get more of your money for nothing in return. And these parts will cost you more in the long run when, not if, they break down. Keep your life simple by buying the basic appliances. And save yourself a lot of money!

Ladies, bras were not meant to be put in a dryer, especially the underwire ones. The wire comes out and gets into all kinds of odd places. I've found them most often in the element which then needs to be replaced. To dry your bras simply lay them across the top of the dryer when it is running since it doesn't take much heat to dry them quickly.

Do yourself a big favor and remember to clean out the pockets before putting clothes in the washer. Foreign objects can get into all kinds of places they shouldn't and cause a lot of problems not to mention cost a lot of money to repair.

If your dryer quits heating, no matter what brand, it is very likely the element.  But not always!  There are thermal fuses on dryers made in the last decade or so and these parts usually go bad before the element.  Before checking anything on an appliance, unplug it first!   You need to have an ohm meter to check these parts (just check for continuity) and be sure to disconnect one wire from the part before you apply the ohm meter.  If you don't have an ohm meter, remove the 2 wires from the thermal fuse and slide the connectors together so they are not touching any metal part of the dryer, plug the dryer back in, turn it on and see if it heats.  If it does that is your problem!  If not, you need to go a little further.  Disconnect one wire from the element and check it with the ohm meter.  You should get a reading.  If not, the element is bad.  We stock most brands of elements and thermal fuses for the popular brands of dryers.

If your washing machine stops spinning, depending on the brand, it could be a coupling (Whirlpool/Kenmore) or the belt in other brands, the lid switch, the timer or motor.  These last 2 items are a bit pricey and should be prediagnosed before purchasing.  If your machine is making any kind of noise at all when it is supposed to be spinning it won't be the lid switch.  If it fills with water and just sits there it is very likely the lid switch.

 At least once a year, dissasemble your dryer and vacuum out all of the lint, especially on the motor. This will keep the motor bearings from drying out and significantly decrease the chance of a fire. Also spray WD-40 on the drum support shafts and belt tensioner.

   Dryer duct should also be free of lint build-up. A dryer benefits from good air-flow, too.  Check to make sure the duct is not pinched or twisted when dryer is back in place.  Also, most manufacturers will not warantee a dryer unless it has aluminum duct installed.

Be sure your appliances are level.  Use as little laundry soap as possible, liquid is best and no more than half a capful even for a full load. If you use a fabric softener keep in mind that this will build up over time and leave oily-looking stains on your clothes.  Baking soda or 1/2 cup of vinegar added to the water will soften clothes naturally.  Don't use these if you are using bleach!

From what I've seen in the 20 years I've been working on washers is that people tend to overload them and use way too much laundry soap.  Load clothes in the washer by laying them evenly and not bunched up or mashed down.  Also only load clothes (and don't mash them down to get more done at a time!) to the top of the holes in the basket.   Changing these habits can benefit you greatly.  Enough said on that subject!

The lint filter in your dryer, especially if you use dryer sheets, could be clogged from the material on the dryer sheets.  Take the lint filter out of the dryer and try running water through it.  It will probably puddle in the screen.  If it does, take a fingernail brush or something similar, old toothbrush (kind of small though!) and some soap and scrub the screen until water will flow through freely.  Do this periodically and it will save on the element and the motor!  Remember, dryers need good airflow too!  If your filter has any holes consider replacing it.  It will let a lot of the lint flow into the rest of the dryer and raise the possibilty of starting a fire.

Drying tennis shoes in the dryer is not a good idea.  The constant bouncing of the shoes can wear on the drum supports and cause repairs later. Just lay them out in the sun to dry or on top of the dryer when it is running.

When replacing a dryer cord, save yourself some time and aggravation.  The terminals on the ends of the cord are round, or eye, connectors.  You can clip the outside arc of the circle with metal snippers and you won't have to take the screws completely out of the terminal block to install the cord. Just slip it on!  So much easier!

Save on your electric bill by hanging your clothes, towels and sheets on the line and then tumble them in the dryer set on air fluff. That will soften them up and they will still have a fresh smell.


Your refrigerator would benefit greatly from a good cleaning.  The condensor coils, located on the back or the bottom of the unit, collect dust, lint and hair, etc. The coils look like a black grate kind of thing.  You'll recognize it when you see all the lint accumulation!  Use a crevice tool to clean these and be careful not to poke too hard and break them!

Check the seals on the doors by closing the door on a dollar bill and then pull the bill out.  If it has a bit of pressure on it then the seal is good. If the bill falls out or does not offer any resistance to removal then it needs to be either replaced or the door needs to be adjusted to allow closure.


Many times we have been called out to repair an oven that won't turn on.  Most times it is the timer on the stove that has been set to start and no one knew it was activated.  If this happens to be a problem you are confronted with then be sure to check the timer!

Vacuum Cleaners

 You know, I hate to disrespect anyone but I feel this person needs to be outed and I don't mind being responsible for that action. There is a Kirby salesman out there who is a thief and should not be trusted to sell a Kirby honestly. If you are contacted by a Kirby salesman and have questions about his honesty, call me and I will give you the name of this man. At first contact, he seems very honest and amiable but has proven to be a thief.  PLEASE call me before you purchase a Kirby!

The new bagless vacuums, in my personal opinion, leave a lot to be desired.  There are usually several filters on these that need to be cleaned or replaced occasionally instead of bags to replace.  And for some reason, they always come in dustier on the outside of the vacuum than the bag vacuums!   An old toothbrush can be used to clean the solid plastic filters, as well as a lot of other things around the house!  The fiber filters can be vacuumed off or, if the filter is made of a foam material, can be washed by hand under running water. 
Fabric sheets like Bounce are also good to put inside the cloth bag (between paper and cloth bag) of your vacuum cleaner to keep it smelling better and keep static cling down to a minimum.

The cloth bag of your Kirby can be washed in your washing machine. Remove paper bag and then remove bag from machine.  The emptor or bottom piece of the bag needs to be removed next.  Call us for further help on this matter.

Try to not use the powdered freshener for the carpet. It is so fine it gets into the motor of the vacuum and causes all kinds of problems.  If the carpet has an odor, call a professional carpet cleaner.  The prices are reasonable and they do a much better job with the hot water!  Hot water kills the bacteria in the carpet fibers.  I like to use Febreze spray to make things smell better!

General Tips

20 Muleteam Borax is an excellent bug repellent as well as water softener!  And its cheap and easy to use.  I've used it to keep everything from fleas to cockroaches out of my home and out of my yard!  You should probably reapply it after a heavy rain though.   Safe for pets and your children. Find it in the laundry section of your favorite grocery store!

WD-40 is an excellent lubricant and cleaner for your locks, too.  Just spray a little in the keyhole and slide your key in and out to work it into the lock. This stuff also takes off the sticky glue left behind from stickers on glass, plastic and metals.
I hate to show any disrespect for anyone (including big corprorations) but the American public needs to know the kind of junk being put on the market today.  Please don't waste your money on the shampooers being sold in stores.  They are made of plastic and are not made to last.  If you need to clean your carpets, hire a reputable company to do it for you or rent a Rug Doctor or other comparable carpet cleaner.  The cost is reasonable and it is much better service for the money.

No appliance sold today is going to last you much more than 10 years but there are a few name brands still worth the money.  If you are in the market for a new appliance, please give us a call at 334-365-6120 or email us at the link on this page and we will do our best to answer any questions as soon as possible.

When you see your keys are getting worn or cracking, get copies made as soon as possbile.  You don't want to be stuck somewhere and have your key break either in the lock (if your lucky!) or you could drop your keys and they have been known to break that way also.  And always have one more key then users.  Key copies are cheaper than making a key for a car who's owner only had one key!

Another good tip, not appliance related though, if you have debit/credit cards, record the 800 numbers in your cell phone to call if you should happen to lose that card.  Why this number is there in the first place is beyond me but at least they get it to you!

For pet stains, try baking soda.  If it is almost solid, pile on the baking soda!  And I mean heavily!  Let the baking soda soak up the leavings and then just vacuum it up.  If it is liquid, grab a huge handful of paper towels and stand on them to soak up as much as possible.  Then pour club soda on it and pile on more paper towels and stand on those.  When that is soaked up, neutralize it with a mix of 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar.  Then blot that dry.  Be sure to leave no scent in the carpet as pets will go there again if they can still smell it, and they have a powerful sense of smell!

If you call someone to come and repair something or if you call someone to open your house or car for you, please refrain from calling more than one service providor.  Speaking for our own business, we do our best to get to you as soon as possible and if we get there and the job is done our time and money has been wasted.  This is true for any service providor. 
For parents who have children with the Chicken Pox or any kind of itchy skin condition, put your kids into a bath of vinegar and water.  The vinegar will virtually stop the itching and help heal their skin.  Or for small areas of itchiness, use a washcloth soaked in water and vinegar and apply to the affected area. 

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