Ti’s Tips – All about washing machines & mold!

Question: “I have a HE (high-efficiency) front-load clothes washing machine. Lately it seems our clothes come out smelling terrible like moldy mildew or something! Is there something a plumber can do to help this?”

Answer: What’s worse than a mountain of dirty laundry? A mountain of laundry you’ve just cleaned that smells of mildew. Especially towels!

If you have a front-load, HE washer, this scenario is far more common than you might realize. While the technology in HE washers is wonderful (they use much less water than traditional top loaders & their spin cycle is truly awesome) over time, humid conditions can lead to mold in two zones: the gasket (that rubber seal on the inside of the door) and the drum.

The Causes of HE Washer Mold:
Let’s start with the gasket, which is the most common culprit when it comes to washer mold. The reason is simple: the gasket doesn’t get much of a rinse. During a typical wash cycle, only a small amount of water is splashed past the seal, and over time, detergent and gunk accumulate in the folds as the water evaporates. Combine that with the fact that humidity stays trapped in the folds and you’ve got a recipe for the stinky stuff! If you notice a strong moldy odor when you open the door to the washer, pull back the rubber gasket examine the folds for black mold.

The second area in which mold residue forms is the inside of the drum. The main cause here is humidity combined with residue from laundry detergents & fabric softeners that cling to the inside of the washer.

How to clean your washer to keep it smelling fresh:
If you do have mold in your washer, there’s no need to panic. Getting rid of it is very straightforward and the preventative measure you can take to keep it from coming back is one & the same.  I can attest to the ease of dealing with this problem first-hand, as in the past, our washer had a bad mold problem.

Pour plain white vinegar in the bleach reservoir to the very top with each load. Not only does it kill the bacteria causing odor, it softens your clothes as well. I was skeptical of this at first thinking I would replace the moldy smell for a sharp vinegar stench. NOT the case, everything comes out smelling like laundry mom used to do!

Are you & your family having any issues with your washing machine? If so, call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015. Don’t delay, schedule today!

Sutherland Plumbing is Now Hiring!

Sutherland Plumbing is now accepting applications for a residential service & repair Journeyman Plumber. Click HERE to go straight to the job application page on our website.

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Don’t throw that down the garbage disposal!

The handy kitchen garbage disposal is useful for getting rid of a variety of food scraps & waste that might otherwise create unpleasant smells in the kitchen. However, many foods can actually damage your disposal or render it useless. These tips can help keep your garbage disposal running smoothly: 

1. Avoid putting fibrous foods or tough-skinned vegetables into the disposal. 

The strings of celery, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, corn husks, carrots, onion skins and potato peels can wrap around the blades, preventing proper operation of the motor. If you feel you must put fibrous foods into your disposal, do so in very small quantities and run the cold water while you operate the unit.

2. Don’t put extremely hard foods into the garbage disposal. 

Items such as bones and fruit pits can dull and even break the unit’s blades! In a worst-case scenario, hard foods will jam the disposal, preventing blades from turning and causing the motor to burn out.

3. Keep grease and greasy foods out of the disposal. 

Greasy foods will distribute a film over the blades, diminishing their effectiveness. Eventually, the grease will begin to decay, causing an unpleasant odor in the kitchen. Pouring grease into a garbage disposal can result in clogged drains when the grease solidifies.

4. Contrary to popular belief, egg shells have no place in the garbage disposal. 

Some people claim that egg shells sharpen the blades of the unit, but this is not true. The shell’s stringy membrane layer can wrap around the shredder ring and the shell itself will be ground to a sand-like consistency capable of clogging pipes.

5. Avoid putting “expandable” foods such as pasta and rice into the garbage disposal. 

Even small particles of these foods can swell with water and eventually clog the trap.

6. Exercise common sense, and don’t put non-food items into the garbage disposal. 

Avoid the example of homeowners who have placed rubber bands, twist ties, cigarette butts, pull tabs, fabric, sponges and plant clippings into their disposal units! These items cannot break down enough to wash down the drain.

7. Two methods to help tame stubborn garbage disposal odors:

*The first is to freeze white vinegar in ice-cube trays. Put the frozen cubes down the garbage disposal and turn it on. The texture of the hard ice will aid in the removal of odor-causing sludge & grime.

*The second method is “Borax.” This stuff is time-tested and proven to be an effective and inexpensive cleaner & deodorizer. Simply pour a few scoops into the disposal while running the water. I prefer to put the scoops of Borax in the sink and wash it into the disposal with running water.

In order to maximize results, do either of these when you plan on not using the unit for a few hours, like the last thing before bed. This way these products have the best fighting chance to eliminate and neutralize odor!

The garbage disposal is a sturdy kitchen appliance; however, even the best model cannot handle unsuitable items. If you run into any problems with your unit, you should seek the help of Sutherland Plumbing, LLC

Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal problems? Call (503) 719-4015 & speak with the pros at Sutherland Plumbing. Call today!!

Sutherland Plumbing is Now Hiring!

Sutherland Plumbing is Now Hiring!

Sutherland Plumbing is now accepting applications for a residential service & repair Journeyman Plumber. Click HERE to go straight to the job application page on our website.

Do you know somebody who may be a candidate? Please feel free to share this post!

Sign-up for the next Sutherland Plumbing e-Newsletter!

 

At Sutherland Plumbing we pride ourselves not only with our top quality work &
craftsmanship but also in keeping in touch with our valued customers.

Each month, Sutherland Plumbing sends-out an “e-newsletter.” The monthly “e-
newsletter” offers our customers special deals from our dedicated staff! But you have to subscribe to our “e-newsletter” first!

Do you want to be eligible for great monthly plumbing specials for your home or
business?

If you’d like to subscribe to the Sutherland Plumbing “e-Newsletter,” please click
here to go to our main website. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and you can
sign-up using the fill-in form in just a few seconds!

It’s fast, simple & you can save $$$. What could be better?!

 

Sutherland Plumbing is Now Hiring!

Sutherland Plumbing is now accepting applications for a residential service & repair Journeyman Plumber. Click HERE to go straight to the job application page on our website.

Do you know somebody who may be a candidate? Please feel free to share this post!

One more reason to choose Sutherland Plumbing!

Clear, accurate estimates with no surprises:

Today is no different from the past – businesses compete over price and sometimes price alone. One way businesses do this is to quote cheap prices over the phone or advertise low rates and then tell you what it’s really going to cost once they are in your home or business – A.K.A “bait and switch!” The cheap rate over the phone is often half the truth. The low rate or quote “sight unseen” may not include or cover a variety of items which usually cost extra!

Sutherland Plumbing technicians will look at the issue, explain the process in detail and answer all of your questions prior to work commencing. This way you know what your options are and what costs those options carry before any work begins!

Sutherland Plumbing will personally provide you with a clear, concise, accurate, written estimate prior to any work commencing. Just call (503) 719-4015. Call Today!

Sutherland Plumbing is Now Hiring!

Sutherland Plumbing is now accepting applications for a residential service & repair Journeyman Plumber.

Click HERE to go straight to the job application page on our website.

Do you know somebody who may be a candidate? Please feel free to share this post!

Sutherland Plumbing, LLC: CCB# 200460

Sutherland Plumbing – a REAL family company!

We frequently hear talk of “Local,” “Family-Owned” or “Family-Operated” companies. Sometimes it’s true, but sometimes these companies are actually huge corporations or franchises! 

At Sutherland Plumbing we pride ourselves in being the Portland metro area’s premier family-owned & family-operated plumbing company. Each & every time you work with Sutherland Plumbing, every single customer will always work with a real Sutherland family member at some point during the process.  No huge offices & no endless bureaucracy.

That’s just one of the Sutherland Plumbing differences!

Sutherland Plumbing is Now Hiring!

Sutherland Plumbing is now accepting applications for a residential service & repair Journeyman Plumber. Click HERE to go straight to the job application page on our website.

Do you know somebody who may be a candidate? Please feel free to share this post!

Sutherland Plumbing LLC: CCB# 200460