Are You Loading Your Dishwasher Correctly?

Yes, the point of a dishwasher is to free up your time and have something do those dishes for you. However, if you don’t load it properly, your appliance isn’t going to be able to do the job correctly. Many people mistakenly call for appliance repair in San Francisco when their dishes don’t come out clean when in reality, there’s nothing wrong with the machine – they just don’t load it properly. You’ll then end up spending a bunch of extra time trying to re-clean everything. That defeats the whole purpose of having a dishwasher, doesn’t it?

The trick is to make sure you are loading your appliance correctly, maintaining it correctly, and setting it correctly to enjoy years of sparkling clean dishes with every cycle. Following are some guidelines that will help you enjoy your dishwasher to the fullest and avoid wasting time re-cleaning:

  1. Make sure to remove excess food on dishes before it dries. A lot of people think, “Why do I have to clear dishes off when I have a dishwasher?” However, if you leave food to sit on dishes and it dries, you’ll be lucky if soap and hot water removes stuck-on food completely during wash cycles. It takes far less time to give dishes a quick swipe before food dries than it is to try to soak or scrub dishes to remove food later on.
  2. Consider using dishwasher detergent that contains special enzymes to latch onto, break down, and wash away food. They will really help make sure even stubborn foods and greasy substances lift off your dishes easily every time.
  3. Make sure your dishes are facing the right way. Many people have no idea that there is actually a correct way to have the dishes facing to get the best cleaning. Load the bottom rack with the most “challenging to clean” dishes like pots and pans and plates. Usually, the water source is in the middle of the machine, so you’ll want to clear a path between the spray and the dishes, and you’ll want to have the dishes facing the center.
  4. For the top rack, make sure that mugs, cups, and bowls are face down. This way, they won’t collect water or little deposits of food. If water spots are a problem, be sure to add a rinse aid to fight water deposits. Rinse aids add a sheeting action to help keep the water drops from clinging to dishes or drying into streaks and spots.
  5. When loading your silverware, be sure to mix them up and spread them out. Avoid putting all the spoons together facing the same way, etc. Prevent nesting and distribute them evenly. Load knives with the sharp end down!

If you find your dishwasher isn’t cleaning your dishes as well as it should be, get a hold of us at Absolute Appliances Repair for appliance repair in San Francisco – we serve the entire Bay Area, including San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Larkspur, and other areas in Marin County. Contact us today!

open dishwasher with clean dishes at home kitchen

Dishwasher Not Getting Those Dishes Clean? Here’s Why

It’s frustrating and disappointing when you come to terms with the fact that your once spectacular dishwasher is no longer getting your dishes as clean as it used to. Your first instinct might be to call for appliance repair in San Francisco, but wait! There are some things you can do that may solve the issue without professional help.

The point of a dishwasher, of course, is to get those dishes cleaner than you could by hand, and free up time for you to do other things. When you pull dishes out of the machine that aren’t clean, it defeats that purpose, because you then have to spend time scrubbing those dishes anyway! What’s the deal? Why is your dishwasher no longer outperforming your own washing capabilities? Following are some things to check that may provide a solution when your dishwasher is performing at less than acceptable standards:

  1. Water supply lines can and do carry incredibly small amounts of sediment and deposits like calcium and lime that can gradually collect everywhere and anywhere the water flows – including spray nozzles, supply lines, and spinner arm sprayers of your dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent contributes to this as well. Eventually, these water supply lines can get clogged, and even jammed up completely. Test to make sure water is still getting through to your dishes by placing an empty cup on the top rack and one on the bottom, right side up. If the cups fill with water after the cycle ends, move on to the next test. If not, you may need to unclog the calcium and lime deposits that have collected. Dishwasher cleaner or even vinegar are a couple things that can do this when you run a few cycles with these added to the machine in place of soap.


  1. Check to see if there is water pooling at the bottom of your dishwasher after it’s completed a cycle. You shouldn’t ever have a pool of water there when it’s not running. If you do, check the filter, if your machine has one. Scoop out any debris that may have collected at the bottom, and check the drain hose for clogs as well.


  1. The propellers, or spray arms, of your dishwasher are extremely important because they are responsible for delivering water to all of the dishes within. Sometimes, the handle of a large pan can be sticking up, blocking the path of the spray arm and preventing it from spinning. Without the ability to spin, water won’t reach 90% of your dishes. Manually give the spray arms a spin to make sure rotation is fluid, and check to make sure there are no handles or anything else obstructing their path.


  1. Speaking of spray arms, check the water outlet holes for clogs. You can stick a toothpick in each of the holes to clear them. Check the soap dispenser, too, to make sure that it closes firmly and opens with ease. Detergent can’t be released or dispensed properly if the door has trouble opening.


  1. Load your dishwasher Don’t nest the dishes, and be sure to mix up and spread out the silverware. There is a proper way to load these machines in order to make sure water reaches all of them – if water can’t reach them, they won’t get clean. Don’t put 10 spoons all facing the same way into the same basket compartment – get some knives and forks in there, and make sure every piece is exposed so that water can reach it all.


If none of these solutions work to improve the performance of your dishwasher, another problem is likely to be causing your trouble. You can always call Absolute Appliances Repair for appliance repair in San Francisco – we serve the entire Bay Area, including San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Larkspur, and other areas in Marin County. We can get your appliances of all makes and models back to working order or help you replace them.  Contact us today!


Why Overloading Your Washer can Drain Your Wallet

Let’s face it – your washer is awesome! The convenience it provides and the thorough cleaning it accomplishes on even the dirtiest clothes is impressive. Washing machines are thankfully built to provide years of service, but you might be cutting those years short by doing some bad laundry habits you might not even be aware of.

  • Overloading the Washer

One of the biggest offenses many people commit against washers is overloading them. While a “if it fits” mentality works just fine for many things in life, it doesn’t cut it when it comes to putting clothes in your washing machine. When you overload your appliance, it limits the agitation and movement that clothes have – and it’s this agitation that “shakes” the dirt and grime out of clothes. Stuffing as much in the machine as you can will really only get the clothes wet.

Not only that, but clothes in an over-filled machine won’t get the amount of laundry detergent they need. Detergent is a surfactant, which means that it works by making dirt, grime, and germs slippery enough to “slide off” of fabric. If soap isn’t able to get around to all the clothing, those dirty spots aren’t going to go anywhere. All this means that you’re going to end up doing the laundry again to get it all clean, costing you more money than if you would’ve separated the load into smaller groups to begin with.

In addition, an overloaded washer is going to work harder than it should to perform its duty, and the motor and tub bearings are going to endure extra stress. This could throw your spinning drum out of alignment, and all this will cause your washing machine to fail before it should, costing you money for appliances repair in San Francisco you otherwise wouldn’t have had to pay.

To make sure you don’t overload your washer, our experts of appliance repair in San Rafael suggest aiming to fill the tub about ¾ of the way full. Never fill it past the top of the tub, and don’t smash down the clothes to make room for more.

  • Additional Tips to Care for Your Washer in San Rafael and Surrounding Areas

Here are some things you can do in addition to not overloading your washer to prolong its life and keep it in top condition for many years:

  1. Keep an eye on your washer hose. If you’ve been using the current hose for more than five years, you risk facing major water damage and a flooded laundry room. The hose can loosen and kink from the vibration of your machine and over time, normal wear and tear can loosen it, too. If you think you might need a new hose, contact us for washer repair in Larkspur, Novato, and other areas around San Francisco.
  2. Use the right type of detergent. If you have an older machine, you can pretty much use just about any detergent designed for washers. However, if your machine is a newer high efficiency model, make sure the soap you pick up has a symbol on the bottle or box that is an oval with the letters “He” on it. The “He” stands for “high efficiency”. This is important because new He detergents don’t require as much water to clean clothes. You don’t want to use non-He detergent in a new efficient washer!

If you ever have any trouble with your washer, or with your dryer or any other appliance in your home, don’t hesitate to contact Absolute Appliances Repair. Our professionals will help you with everything from choosing a great new machine to performing regular maintenance to coming out for emergency appliance repairs in Marin County. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you!

Does Your Dishwasher Smell? Here are 3 Potential Reasons Why

Does Your Dishwasher Smell? Here are 3 Potential Reasons Why

Having a dishwasher is one of the most appreciated modern conveniences of our time. Over the years, it has probably saved countless hours of labor for most households. The benefits of having a dishwasher are many, and we sometimes take these little appliances for granted until something goes afoul.

It’s that one time when you open the door and are greeted with a very unpleasant odor. Some have reported that their faithful appliance has developed a smell that is similar to rotten eggs or fish. While this does not happen in every case, when it does occur, all of your enthusiasm and appreciation seems to suddenly be enveloped in a sewer like smell that’s difficult to bear.

It leads many to wonder, just what is causing it and what can be done to rectify the problem. The good news is that the offensive smell may not require a major dishwasher repair in SF. In fact, in many situations, these things can be handled in a matter of minutes on your own.

Food Particles

When you notice a foul odor coming from your dishwasher, one of the first things you need to do is to check the filter. There is a good chance that there are some lingering food particles that may be stuck inside. If left for too long, the food can begin to rot, causing the offending odor. You can easily eliminate the odor by removing the filter and clearing out any food that may be present. You can also check areas around the filter to see if any food particles have collected around it. Once you clear out the rotten food, your dishwasher will smell just as fresh as the day you brought it home.

A Kinked Hose

Another common cause of the offending odor is a problem with the drain. Sometimes the hose to the drain may be situated too low, which can cause the water to pool up at the bottom of the hose rather than flow out. By elevating the drain hose so that the water cannot collect in the bottom will prevent pooled water from stagnating and emitting a bad smell.

Air Gaps

There are times when your dishwasher may need an Air Gap. Dishwashers are connected to the drainage pipe of the kitchen sink, and the air gap is designed to keep the backflow of a kitchen sink from clogging up the dishwasher. If you have had a recent clog in your kitchen sink and you have an air gap, it is possible that there is a blockage that is preventing the water from flowing through and it is getting backed up in your dishwasher hose. To clear the air gap, screw off the head and look inside to see if there is an accumulation of debris that needs to be cleared away.

The key to eliminating bad odors from your dishwasher is to first find the source. Identifying the problem can actually be easy to resolve. As a general rule, you should regularly clean the inside of your dishwasher by setting a cup of vinegar or baking soda and placing it on the top rack while running a full cycle. This will quickly eliminate the odor problem and have your machine delivering a fresh and clean smell you’ll be happy to live with.


Is Your Dishwasher Not Washing Your Dishes Thoroughly?

Find Out What’s Causing Your Dishwasher to Skimp Around the Edges

If you’ve been using the same automatic dishwasher for years, you might notice that, over time, the machine fails to clean every inch of your dishes. You might have to run them through the same cycle twice or clean them by hand, which defeats the point of owning a dishwasher in the first place. There are lots of reasons why a dishwasher’s performance can deteriorate. Find out why your dishwasher isn’t performing as well as it used to and how you can fix it.

Are you having trouble with your automatic dishwasher? Contact us at Absolute Appliances Repair!

Clogged Filter

Every automatic dishwasher comes with a filter that’s designed to catch large pieces of food and other items that the machine can’t break down. Make sure you keep the filter clean by emptying it out every week or so.

Using the Wrong Detergent

Newer dishwashers are designed to work with enzyme-based detergents that eat away at foods instead of rinsing them down the drain. If you’re using the wrong type of dishwasher fluid or detergent, the machine might not be able to do its job properly.

Using the Wrong Cycle

Many modern units will come with lots of different rinsing and washing cycles for you to choose from, including those for heavy-duty pots and pans, eco-friendly washes that use less water, and those for smaller loads. Try using a different cycle to see if it makes a difference.

Hard Water Stains

One of the most common problems people have with their dishwasher is that it leaves hard water stains on the glass, which can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’re having company over. You may need to use more water softener in your system to help get rid of the salts that cause these stains.

It’s Time to Upgrade

Some automatic dishwashers aren’t made to last the test of time. Most models won’t last beyond twenty or twenty-five years, which means your current unit might be beyond repair. You can have an appliance repair expert help you decide if it’s worth fixing your older unit or if you should upgrade to a newer model. Find out how long you’ve had the current machine to see if it’s time for a change.

If you’re having trouble with your dishwasher, let the professionals take care of the problem by calling Absolute Appliance Repair in San Francisco. We know how to repair all kinds of models, helping you get the most out of every cycle. Contact us today to book an appointment!

When to Repair Vs. Replace Your Large Home Appliances

How to Spend Your Money Wisely When Repairing or Replacing Appliances

Large home appliances are some of the most expensive items to a person’s name, right behind their car and the deed to their house. But many homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about or caring for their appliances until the damage has already been done. Suddenly, the refrigerator or the oven stops working, and the person has no idea whether they should repair or replace one of the biggest items in their home. This is a common dilemma for many homeowners. A person can save a lot of money when dealing with a broken appliance if they’re willing to do some homework.

Know the Life the Appliance

When dealing with a broken appliance, it’s important to understand the lifespan of the item. This will tell the person how much longer their appliance will last and whether or not it’s worth spending the money to have it repaired. The National Association of Homeowners recommends using these numbers as a reference:

  • Air conditioner: 15 years.
  • Dishwasher: 9 years.
  • Dryer: 13 years.
  • Garbage disposal: 12 years.
  • Refrigerator: 13 years.
  • Stove: 13 to 15 years.
  • Washer: 10 years.

These numbers can vary a bit based on the brand and whether the appliance has been well maintained over the years. If an appliance is getting towards the end of its lifespan, it’s probably best to have it replaced.

Check Your Warranty

Homeowners should also take the time to check their warranty information. If the appliance is still covered by the warranty, the person should have it repaired while they still can. Most manufacturers offer long-term warranties, so there’s a good chance that the item is still protected. Homeowners should also get in the habit of keeping a copy of their warranties in a safe place.

Consider Your Current Financial Situation

If the appliance isn’t covered by a warranty, the homeowner should contact an appliance repair company in their area to get an estimate. If the repairs will cost around 50% of the item’s total cost, it’s best to start from scratch and buy a new one.

If the person doesn’t have a lot of money when their appliance breaks down, they might have to have it repaired just to get by in the short-term. It all depends on what the person can afford. It usually makes more financial sense to replace the broken item sooner rather than later instead of spending money on intermittent repairs over the next several years.

Those looking for a company that provides appliance repair in Marin should contact Absolute Appliances Repair for the best customer service in town!


The Benefits of Luxury High-End Appliances

The possibilities when it comes to integrating convenience and appliances in today’s tech-savvy world cannot be overstated. These days, the finest ovens take cooking commands from smartphones and the top-of-the-line refrigerators can text you to pick up a dozen eggs. Every so often, manufacturers entice buyers with all kinds of new features and options for luxury kitchen appliances – some prove to be valuable and others – well, not so much. It might be hard to imagine life without your self-cleaning oven, but what about the refrigerator that has a television installed in its door?

Luxury Appliances for All Generations

Some of the most popular new appliances are those that have features that make life a little more convenient for more than one generation. Today’s modern family often includes people spanning at least a couple of generations, and oftentimes up to three.

For example, Bosch Appliances brand manager, Micaela Shaw, says that the company’s new best-sellers have features and designs that consider young hands, aging eyes, and middle-aged backs. Many control panels have larger numbers and letters that are easy to see, one of its dishwashers shines a light on the floor to relay the current status of the appliance, and one of Bosch’s ovens has a side door that eliminates the need to bend over a door to pull out that Thanksgiving turkey.

Another benefit of many luxury kitchen appliances is their smaller sizes; BlueStar features a 24” oven that easily fits into tiny spaces (perfect for the adult child or in-laws in the attached suite at home) and Blomberg offers a refrigerator/freezer that, at just 22” wide, fits easily into small kitchens.

The Wireless Revolution Comes to Luxury Appliances

“Smart” appliances that interact with you in new ways are rapidly infiltrating the scene, and they include everything from refrigerators that tell you when you are running out of an item to ranges that remind you to turn them off or clean them. Manufacturers seem to be moving along with the idea that people want to be able to connect with their appliances for everything – anything that offers a glimmer of the possibility of more convenience.

Nowadays you can find refrigerators with several different doors, freezers with compartments that offer individual temperature controls, fridges that let you re-order items right from their screens, dishwashers with new bottle-washing jets built right into their top racks, and more. Do you have any luxury appliances with new, modern features that make your life easier?

For Bay Area large home appliance repairs, contact Absolute Appliances Repair!

Keeping Your Appliances Safe When Moving to a New Home

So, you’re moving to a beautiful new home and you want to take all those hefty appliances with you. But before you load everything into the truck, you need to make sure that your appliances are ready for the big move. All that rattling around on the road can damage some of your most valuable items like the refrigerator, stove, automatic dishwasher and your washer and dryer. If you’re not careful, some of those big-ticket items might not work properly when you arrive at your new home. Protect your appliances with these moving tips from Absolute Appliance Repair, your local home appliance service company.

Packing Up Your Fridge

Before you pack up the fridge, make sure that you leave it unplugged for at least 24 hours. This gives the fridge some time to defrost. As soon as it’s unplugged, throw out any perishable items and thoroughly clean all surfaces including the bottom drawers, shelves, and the walls. Make sure that you’ve removed all the water from the freezer where large chunks of ice tend to form, unless you want to unpack a fridge full of mildew. Lastly, take out the shelves and drawers and secure them separately before you load the fridge onto the truck.

Clean Out the Stove/Oven

Just like your fridge, start by cleaning out the inside of your oven and wiping down the stovetop. Pack up and clean all the loose pieces, including the racks and knobs. Finally, you’ll need to unplug the stove from the wall. Make sure that the gas has been turned off before you try to unplug the stove. Unless you have experience installing and uninstalling your stove, you should contact the manufacturer or your local gas company for assistance or more information.

Removing the Dishwasher

To start, remove any dishes and the utensil rack. While most dishwashers are pretty good at keeping themselves clean, take a moment to examine the inside. Wipe down the sides, top and bottom if you notice any splashes or stains. Leave the door open and let the interior air dry for at least 24 hours to prevent mold and mildew.

Before you remove the unit, you’ll need to disconnect the power and water supply. Unless you have direct access to the power cord, you can switch off the electrical circuit. Once the power and water have been turned off, disconnect the water supply hose, let it drain, and dry it off with a towel.

Prepping Your Washer and Dryer

Washers and dryers tend to be extremely sensitive. Before you start tinkering with either machine, contact the manufacturer or the user’s manual for detailed moving instructions. You’ll need to disconnect the hoses and pack them in a separate container. The most vulnerable part of the machine is the drum, which is usually located at the back of the washer. Make sure that you’ve secured the drum before you begin handling the machine.

Final Preparations

For all appliances, make sure that all the doors have been tapped shut. Any loose items need to be packed separately or physically tapped to the inside of the machine. Secure all power cords with a zip tie or some tape. If you have any questions along the way, contact the manufacturer or your local appliance home service company for assistance. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with such large, valuable pieces of equipment.

If you discover that some of your appliances have been damaged in the move, contact Absolute Appliance Repair for all your home and kitchen appliance repair needs!

Getting Your Large Appliances Ready for Cooking during the Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us, there are plenty of reasons to take a few minutes to look at your home – at your appliances, specifically. We all know it’s vital that everything runs as smoothly as possible while the turkey, dressing, and pies are cooking, whether you’re throwing a giant dinner for the masses or you’re getting a small feast for two together. Here are some tips you can use to get your appliances ready to operate at their best this holiday season:

    1. Refresh the Fridge

First and foremost, you’ll want to clean out your refrigerator before you do anything else, because so much of your holiday fixings will go into it. As part of your refrigerator fix, get rid of old condiments, condiments that hardly have anything left in the container, and anything you know darn well no one is going to eat. (Leftovers, anyone?) Be sure to wash shelves and drawers with warm soapy water and rinse well to get rid of any bacteria and germs.

    1. Crank Up the Ice Maker

You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of ice at the ready for your guests, so while you fix the refrigerator up for the holidays, turn up the ice maker settings on your freezer. Don’t have an ice maker? Not a problem – go to any store and buy an ice bin and get cubed up the old-fashioned way with ice trays. If you live in an area where the temperature is chilly, you can also keep drinks outside (in the garage, etc.) to help keep them cool.

    1. Clean Your Dishwasher

Once you get past the idea that it’s weird to clean an appliance that exists to clean, you’ll want to remove stains that can prevent your dishes from becoming truly clean. No one wants to eat off scale-ridden dishes, and no one wants to serve on them, either! Grab some specially formulated dishwasher cleanser or use lemon and vinegar to dissolve scale and freshen your appliance.

    1. Avoid Cooktop Repair Charges

Avoid disaster and the cooktop repair phone call that follows by cleaning your range, stovetop, and oven before all the cooking commences. A cooktop that isn’t clean is one that won’t function at its best, and we all know how important it is for this appliance to work properly for holiday cooking!

    1. Take a Look at Washer Hoses

This may not cross your mind right away with all the business of the season, but the last thing you need is a flood from a washing machine that’s leaked. Make sure there are no cracks or tears in the hoses that are in the rear of your washing machine and if there are, you can easily and quickly find new hoses and replace them.

If you find that any of your appliances are in need of some attention before the holidays arrive, or if you want our experts to check them out before a problem rears its ugly head, contact Absolute Appliances Repair. We can schedule a time for us to come out and make sure your appliances are in proper, safe, efficient working order to make your holidays the best yet. Contact us today.

Energy-Saving Tips for Large Home Appliances

Simple Ways to Use Less Energy in the Kitchen

The kitchen tends to be a hotbed of energy consumption. Large appliances such as your automatic dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven are some of the biggest energy hogs in your home, right after your air conditioner. If you’re looking to cut down on consumption, use these tips from the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce the amount of energy your home uses in the first place.

Shopping for Savings

Buying energy-efficient appliances is one of the best ways to reduce consumption in the long-term. Instead of adjusting your behavior on a day-by-day basis, energy-efficient appliances do most of the work for you. When shopping for appliances, look for the EnergyStar label. These products are designed to use a fraction of the energy that some older models require. When shopping for a refrigerator, look for models with a top-mounted freezer. They use anywhere from 10 – 25% less energy than side-by-side models and those with bottom-mounted freezers.

Reducing Energy Consumption by Changing Your Behavior

Let’s face it: most people don’t have the money to buy new energy-efficient appliances. Instead of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars at your local appliance store, you can reduce consumption by being mindful of how you use your existing appliances.

Stove and Oven

The best thing that you can do for your stove is to keep it clean. Messy burners and stovetops become barriers for heat, boosting the amount of energy needed to heat up a cup of soup or boil some water. Make sure that you use pans that match the size of the burner. Using a small pan on a large burner is a massive waste of heat. Using lids and kettles instead of open pots also helps to lock in the heat.


Most of the energy used to power your automatic dishwasher comes from your home’s hot water heater. Check your user manual to see if you can lower the water temperature. Try to scrape off your dishes as much as possible instead of rinsing them before you load them into your dishwasher. Make sure that your dishwasher is full and not overloaded. And, lastly, try air drying your dishes by laying them out on the counter instead of using the dry cycle.


Operating 24/7, the refrigerator is a major energy hog, generally the second biggest consumer in your home. Keep an eye on the internal temperature of your unit. You should be able to control the temperature using a knob in the back. Your refrigerator should be set at around 36°F and your freezer should be at, you guessed it, 0°F. If you suspect that your internal temperature monitor is not accurate, which is often the case, fill a small glass with water and a thermometer and let it sit overnight. Compare the readings with what’s on the internal monitor. If the readings are off, the doors on your fridge might not be sealing properly. If that’s the case, it might be time to replace your fridge.

You can also reduce consumption by covering liquids and wrapping foods. You should also clear away spills, crumbs and any built-up frost that might be collecting in your fridge or freezer. All that extra gunk is just one more thing that your refrigerator needs to keep cool.

If you’ve noticed a major uptick in your utility bill, some of your appliances might be the culprit. Make sure that your large household appliances are working properly by calling Absolute Appliances Repair, your number-one choice for San Francisco Bay Area appliance repair.