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DIY Plumbing Blog | How to Disinfect Your Dishwasher

disinfect your dishwasher blog post image
Your dishwasher may help keep your pots, pans, and kitchen utensils clean but inside it could become dirty with leftover food particles and built up soap scum. Though your dishwasher is the master of clean, it cannot clean itself. This is exactly why our team of specialists recommend disinfecting your dishwasher at least once a month if you use it regularly. Our dishwasher experts at Brothers Plumbing have decided to put together this helpful six-step guide on how to disinfect your dishwasher.

Items Needed

  • Scrubbing sponge or paper towels
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Old toothbrush or small cleaning brush
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Measuring cup
  • Dishwasher-safe container
  • Powdered laundry bleach

Step 1

You’ll want to fill your kitchen sink with hot soapy water. Then take any removable components inside of your units such as utensil baskets, glass guards or cup holders. Wash these items, rinse them and put them back in their spot.

Step 2

Next, remove the bottom dishwasher rack. Never forget to check your drain for debris. Make sure that you thoroughly clean out any leftover bits of food or built up soap scum with your scrubbing sponge or paper towels. Wipe down the area underneath your dishwasher’s spray arm and heating element.

Step 3

After that take your scrubbing sponge and dip it warm soapy water to wipe down the inside of your dishwasher. For a deeper clean, use your baking soda as an abrasive powder to remove tough soap scum or debris. Once you’ve finished with that you can put the bottom dish rack back inside.

Step 4

Take an old toothbrush and dip it in warm soapy water. This will make cleaning the areas surrounding the door of your dishwasher easier. Scrub the areas clean, pay special attention to the crevices along the rubber door seal.

Step 5

Use your vinegar as a mild antibacterial disinfectant by pouring one cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher safe container and put it on the top rack. Set your unit on it’s hottest temperature setting and run it through one regular cycle.

Step 6

The final step is using chlorine bleach as a strong germ-killing disinfectant. Fill your unit’s detergent compartment with regular powdered laundry bleach. Then run your dishwasher through another entire normal cycle on the hottest setting possible.

Succesfully Finished

Upon completing all six of these simple steps your dishwasher should be clean, disinfected and ready to go. To ensure that your dishwasher remains cleaner longer we always recommend that you scrape and rinse your dishes of leftover food before placing them inside your dishwasher. If your dishwasher is having issues that need the attention of a professional, you can always give our trusted team of dishwasher specialists at Brothers Plumbing a call today.

DIY Plumbing | What Not To Flush

picture of a toilet

What Not to Flush

“It’ll be fine” are often the last words that go through many of our customers’ heads right before they see water filling up in the toilet bowl rather than draining. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. The good news is that most of your toilet clogs are avoidable by throwing certain things in the trash rather than trying to flush them. In this post, we’ll go over the main culprits that need to be kept out of your toilet.

Femining hygiene products

Tampons, pads or other hygiene products should never be flushed down the toilet. The products will swell once they are soaked in water and can easily get caught in the “u” bend of your toilet or in bends further down the plumbing system.

Dental Floss

It may seem harmless because it’s so thin, but dental floss isn’t biodegradable and can cause clogs and backups. It can also harm the environment and wildlife if it ends up in water sources.

Baby wipes or wet wipes

Even wipes that are labeled “flushable” can harm your pipes. It’s best to keep any sort of wipes out of your plumbing. Keep a trash can near the toilet for these instead.

Cotton balls, Q-tips, or any other absorbent bathroom product

Cotton won’t break apart when soaked with water like toilet paper will. They’ll swell instead and clump together in pipe bends causing blockages.

Medication

While these aren’t likely to clog your pipes, they cause serious damage to groundwater and wildlife. The pills will break down in water and the chemicals from the pills will contaminate water sources used by both humans and wildlife. If you need to get rid of pills look for medicine take-back programs in your area.

Diapers

Like feminine products, diapers are meant to absorb water. It’s unlikely that a diaper will even make it down the drain in the first place due to its size, but on the chance that it does it will definitely expand and clog your pipes. Use a diaper pail instead and save yourself the hassle of fishing diapers out of your pipes.

Toys

Toy cars are fun, but not when they’re lodged in your plumbing pipes. Toys ending up in the toilet isn’t always avoidable (we know you’re not the one putting them there), but talking to kiddos can help them understand why their plastic dinosaurs don’t belong in the toilet.

Hair

Have you ever had to cut the hair off the roller on a vacuum cleaner? Not fun. Now imagine those clumps of hair getting caught on anything they can in your pipes and causing blockages except now you can see them to cut them off. To top it all off, hair will never dissolve in water no matter how long it is in there for. Do yourself a favor and keep hair as far away from your plumbing as possible including your sink and shower drains.

Gum

Like hair, chewing gum will never break down in water which means that if it’s in your plumbing system it’s gonna be there forever. It’s also sticky which means that it can easily get stuck to your pipes and cause obstructions. Stick with throwing gum in the trash so it doesn’t stick to your pipes.

Paper towels

Toilet paper flushes just fine so why wouldn’t paper towels? We get the reasoning behind this, but the fact is that paper towels do not break down in the same way that toilet paper does. It will wad up rather than break apart and cause serious blockages

Cooking grease

Cooking grease is thin when it’s hot and looks like it shouldn’t be a problem for your pipes, but when it cools it thickens and coats your pipes causing serious problems. Your best bet is to collect cooking grease in jars and throw them away.

Bleach

While bleach won’t clog your pipes, it is way too harsh on your pipes. If you’re having trouble getting stains out of your toilet, try using vinegar instead for a less harsh alternative.

The best offense is a good defense, which means trying to keep these things out of your toilet in the first place. A safe bet is that if it isn’t human waste or toilet paper, then it probably shouldn’t be going in your toilet. Accidents do happen though and if you end up with one of these causing plumbing problems in your home then one of our trained professionals can help. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for any of your plumbing needs!

DIY Plumbing | How To Winterize Your Home

Winterize Your Home
Winter is here which means that your home is gonna need some love. With our help, you can save money on your electric bills and keep all that precious warmth inside your house rather than losing it to the outside. This holiday season give your self the gift of home winterization. We promise you won’t need a gift receipt because this is one present you’ll definitely be happy with.

Cold weather preperation doesn’t take much and includes a lot of small tasks that don’t seem like they accomplish much on their own. With their powers combined, though they will save you money and keep your family cozy all season long. We’ll start with the easiest and cheapest solutions and move on from there.

Replace your weatherstripping

Weatherstripping is the fastest and most inexpensive way to cut down on heat loss. Take a look at any door that leads to the outside, if there is light coming in around the edges, then it’s time for new weatherstripping. You can pick up weatherstripping at any local hardware store for less than ten dollars and replacing it could save you hundreds on your electric bill.

Use heavier drapes and rugs

Using heavier drapes during cold months can provide an extra layer of insulation to your windows. Regular glass windows are pretty terrible at keeping heat in and heavy fabric can be a huge help in stopping heat loss. Heavy rugs also provide an extra layer of insulation to the floor with the added benefit that you won’t have to step onto cold tile or hardwood floors when you get out of bed in the morning.

Clean or change your furnace filters

Dirty furnace filters mean that your furnace has to work harder to heat your home. Checking filters is an easy fix, but it’s often overlooked. If your furnace is having to work harder, that also means that you could be spending more money on our energy bills than you need to.

Invest in a programmable thermostat

Many new thermostats can learn your family’s habits and will adjust accordingly. This helps with heating costs because the thermostat can automatically adjust up or down depending if someone is home. This one is a little more advanced than some of our other tips so if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, enlist the help of a professional.

How to avoid frozen pipes this winter

Keep the water moving: Keeping water running through your pipes, even at a trickle, can help prevent pipes from freezing. Leave one of your bathroom or kitchen sink faucets trickling before going to bed.

Leave your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open: Leaving your under-sink cabinet doors open allows warm air to circulate around the pipes under your sink and can help prevent freezing.

Update your insulation: You can use foam pipe insulation from your local hardware store for a quick fix, but for a permanent and reliable solution, you should add insulation to your basement, crawl spaces, and attic. Adding insulation will also save you money on your energy bills so adding insulation is a great option no matter what season it is.

Broomfield Fish: November Brothers Gives Back

Brothers Gives Back: Broomfield Fish
Brothers Plumbing, Heating and Electric is proud to be able to donate over 600 pounds of food from the Brothers staff and $1000.00 through the Brothers Gives Back to Broomfield Fish. Cystic Broomfield FISH was founded in 1963 through a collaboration between six Broomfield churches and was originally called “Broomfield Church Women United” and then “Fellowship In Serving Humanity” or just FISH. Recognizing that many community members did not have access to food and other important services, they decided to help. With the support and commitment of local volunteers and faith communities, they began donating and distributing food to those in need.

Coats for Colorado: Brothers Gives Back

Brothers Gives Back: Coats for Colorado
This and every November Brothers Plumbing Heating and Electric does a coat drive. This year the 57 coats that were collected from the Brothers Team are being donated to Coats for Colorado. Coats for Colorado is the state’s largest coat drive and possibly the biggest in the United States. Coats for Colorado has provided well over 2,000,000 coats to Colorado citizens, including over 100,000 alone during its 2016 campaign. We assist more than 120 non-profit health and human service agencies in meeting the needs of their clients, and we provide winter coats to thousands of individuals and families.

The mission of Coats for Colorado works to provide warm winter coats at no cost to Coloradoans of all ages.

If you would like to donate or become involved in the Coats for Colorado, please visit http://coatsforcolorado.org

At Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric, we believe in giving back to the community. Every month we give $1000.00 to a local charity or nonprofit… nominated and chosen by you, our customers! If you have a non-profit nominee suggestions, please visit our blog!