Keeping Your Dishwasher Sparkling Clean

This is a short blog on a basic product, but one of the items in my house I am sooooo thankful for.

We live in a city that has hard water.  I have had a problem with some of my plastic cups and knife handles coming out of the dishwasher with a cloudy coat.  In addition, the tub of my Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer was getting a build up of white powdery hard water deposits.

My awesome sister recommended a product that I am now recommending to you!!

LemiShine detergent booster – what a life saver.  So easy to use and so effective.

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LemiShine

I just sprinkle a little bit in with my detergent or in the bottom of the drawer and the dishes come out sparkling and the dishwasher stays nice and clean.  The instructions on the bottle are slightly different, but I find this works for me.

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There are some warnings on the bottle regarding what types of items can be in your dishwasher – I encourage you to read them.  I am typically not a rule follower so have used this product on all kinds of items.  I have washed Cutco knives (love them by the way) and fine china (only a couple times though), along with our everyday dishes.  I have not noticed any damage on anything washed with this product.

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The bottle states it is “Made with: real fruit acids and natural citrus oils”.  Seems natural enough to me.  LemiShine is also Phosphate Free.

The makers also have other products you can use to clean your dish washer, dishwasher detergent, and a liquid rinse product.  I find my tride and true dishwasher detergent, Cascade, and this booster enough to keep both my dishwasher and my dishes clean.

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You can get a great deal on the LemiShine product at this link.

 

 

Scrap Your Traditional Dish Washer

OK, I hate doing dishes.  My one saving grace is my Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer – yes, I said drawer.   Rather than the traditional ‘pull down door and slide out the rack’ dishwasher, this is a full drawer that pulls out and loads easily.

DD605 Fisher & Paykel
DD605 Fisher & Paykel
2 Drawer model
2 Drawer model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am by no means old (although my kids may say different), but I hate bending over to load the bottom tray of a standard dishwasher.

The Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer changes that.   There are two versions, one with a single drawer and another model with two drawers.  I had the two drawer version installed in my kitchen (the DD605 in Black).  For the most part, however, I just use the top drawer.  Having the second drawer is great for special events when the dishes pile up.   Each drawer runs independently and can handle all varieties of dishes, glasses, and silverware.   I can load and unload the top drawer with very little bending (more of a reach than bend).  In my dream kitchen, where space is not an issue, I would have a single drawer on each side of my kitchen sink – now that would be awesome.

The F&P DishDrawer is whisper quiet as well.  The most noise it makes is the water flowing in to the drain in the sink.  Great for running a load right after dinner and not interrupting family time.

There are a few different brands of DishDrawer washers, but the Fisher & Paykel seems to be the standard.  I believe the Whirlpool version is actually made by Fisher & Paykel.  Some of the earlier F&P models had some issues, however, the most maintenance I’ve done on mine is replace the rotor after several years of use.  The dishwasher started making a squealing sound while draining.  The rotor ran about $85 and can be replaced easily with no tools required (my type of repair).

There are some basic settings for heavy, normal, fast, delicate, and a rinse cycle.  There is also an eco mode that uses less power.  Each drawer has its own controls and digital display.  The display shows the time remaining and a graphic representing the current cycle.

Cycles
Cycles
Display
Display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can compare prices and purchase through Amazon at this Link – the two drawer runs approximately $1200 and the single drawer runs approximately $650 – pricey but a great investment – IMHO.  It is very durable – I’ve had mine for about 7 years, my sister has had her model for over 15 years.

The DishDrawer is sharp looking and comes in several different front panel colors.

A few notes:

The Fisher Paykel DishDrawer should fit in any standard dishwasher opening but be sure to check measurements just to make sure.

If you don’t use the bottom drawer, it is good to run it at least once a month to keep all parts moving.

Useful links:

Please see my brief post on Keeping Your Dishwasher Sparkling for an additional dishwasher tip.

I found this to be the best video for rotor replacement instructions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dUhQ8lzfcM

Replacement rotor can be found at this link – please verify part numbers with your user manual

Fisher & Paykel user manuals.

 

 

Seeing the Unseeable

Continuing the discussion on the Flir One infrared  camera, I’d like to discuss the benefits as it relates to home maintanence and efficiency. If you have not read my Flir One/infrared overview, please see blog post: DIYers Must Have.

The Flir One has many home uses.  Think about how many aspects of your house are related to or affected by temperature changes – the list is long.

Taking a picture with the Flir One camera is referred to as a scan.

Based on a scan of my air conditioning vent surface (remember it measures surface temp, not air temp) I can deduce that my air conditioner is running effectively.  The temp scan of the vent opening was 57.6 degrees Fahrenheit (you can select F or C).  The A/C thermostat showed a room temp of 76 deg for an air differential of 21.6 deg.

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According to the Lowes website a 20 Deg differential means your A/C is working well.  The Lowes article tells you how to test your a/c with a refrigerator thermometer for a lot cheaper, but hey where’s the fun in that.  Plus how many uses does a refrigerator thermometer have?

Here is a synopsis of other uses limited only by your imagination.

Scans of your roof can show areas of missing or thinning insulation.  Also, with the right conditions can show roof leaks.

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This is a scan of our ceiling  as you can see there are a few spots where the cold air is getting in (the blue tints). Further investigation is required to determine if it is just thinning insulation or a roof leak.

Scans around doors or external walls can show where heat (or cold) is escaping running up your utility bills.

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This is a scan of my front door on a cold winter day.  As you can see, cold is entering at the center and bottom of our door.  Time to update some weather stripping.

A scan around a room can show heat sources like computers left on, tvs, etc.

A scan of your electrical panel can reveal if there are hot spots that may need to be looked at possibly preventing future fires.

Can’t tell where your sprinklers are hitting the grass, scan it and see where the damp (cooler) spots are.

Trying to track down a slab leak?  The leak area should be cooler or hotter depending upon which line is leaking.

Having a hard time finding your studs?  Wood studs will change temp different than your drywall so the scan will show your house’s skeleton.

One note, the scan is not accurate on glass or shiny surfaces so trying to see the temp difference between your window and wall is not straight forward. Try taping a section of your window with painters tape, wait a few minutes to let the tape temp adjust to the window temp, and scan the taped section.

The next Flir blog will address health uses.  This is one you will not want to miss, so follow me to get notified of the posting.

DIYer’s Must Have

As my first blog entry, I’d like to begin by saying I’m not an expert in any one particular area. I have, however, been called a “Jack of all Trades”.  Trying new things and working through processes to discover easier more efficient ways of doing things are what I thrive on.

The one product that incentivized me to start this blog is the Flir One infrared camera.  A must have for the DIYer, technology addict, or just plain curious.

Very  rarely do you come across a tool that can benefit multiple areas of your life.  This is one!  I rank the usefulness of this device right up there with duct tape.

Infrared is the measurement of temperatures. A camera basically takes a snapshot (or movie) of temperature ranges on a surface. There are many nuances to this technology, but a basic simple knowledge is enough to have some fun and take advantage of the multiple uses of this device.  The image on the left (below) is an infrared image of my dog after a surgery.  The white areas are the warmest, then red tones, then blue.  The red area on her back is where she was shaved for the incision (thus showing her warm body).    The image on the right is an interior wall taken in summer with the air  conditioning on.  The dark (cool) rectangle in the middle is my air vent.  The edit mode will allow you to pinpoint an area and display the temperature at that specific point.  Here I am showing the temperature coming out of my air vent with the a/c blowing (note: the measurement is not the air but the surface temperature of the vent which I’m assuming closely reflects the air temperature).  A future blog will discuss how to use this information.

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History and Background
My brother-in-law is in the infrared business. His company helps corporations (like oil refineries and chemical plants) monitor their equipment for ‘hot and cold spots” to quickly locate and monitor both maintenance and production problems in real time. His company’s high resolution and high temperature cameras can cost over $50,000! His company’s cameras and training were procured through the leader in the industry – FLIR Systems, Inc. So if you need a pro, see http://www.aitsolutions.com.

This infrared technology really intrigues me and the uses are many (I’ll cover some in later blogs).

Flir has many products but recently introduced a “home” model of the infrared camera called the “Flir One”. This product REALLY excites me. In my next blog, I will discuss how it can be used to save money, protect on real estate purchases, and help keep you healthy. Stay tuned…