Cleaning Costumes – How to Wash Your Child’s Halloween Costume

Cleaning Costumes

Cleaning Costumes

Now that Halloween has come and gone it will be time to start cleaning costumes for storage.  Since most Halloween costumes are delicate and can’t make it through a typical washing machine cycle, it is important to hand wash, wash on extreme delicate, or eco dry clean your costume. If you have chosen the do-it-yourself method, you more than likely will have to tackle stain removal. Halloween can be a messy night for our kids. So come November 1 morning, we know we have some laundry to do.

Be sure to look at any tags on costumes for special cleaning instructions based on fabric type. My first recommendation for stain removal is to be quick.  The quicker you tackle the stain the more successful you will be at removing it.  It is important to dab not to vigorously rub the stain.  For instance, if you have a chocolate stain like the one shown here in the photo, try a cold water rinse first.  If the stain still remains, use a small amount of eco-friendly dish soap directly on the stain.  Rinse again in cold water.  If it is still visible after these steps, dab and rub gently using a small amount of baking soda until the stain is removed. Other natural solutions to stain removal are:

  1. Gently dab and rub using a paste of baking soda and vinegar.
  2. Use a towel and rubbing alcohol to dab ink- or grease-based stains.
  3. Apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain, wait 30 minutes, and then wash as usual.

If the costume is made of a sturdy fabric like cotton and can handle a light washing cycle, we recommend EcoVantage plus detergent on a delicate cycle and hang dry.  Do not put the garment in the dryer, as this sets stains and may shrink the costume.  ASKO drying cabinets are perfect for drying costumes.

Michelle Savin is an eco-stylist from California.  She is an expert on organic and eco-friendly family living. She is the founder of organic bedding line Until Kara.  Follow her at Organic Conscious Mom.  

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What to do with Your Carved Pumpkins?

Preserve Carved PumpkinsDo you ever want to preserve carved pumpkins for a longer use?  Have you ever wanted to learn about composting your pumpkins? Here are a few eco ways you can do both.

You can preserve carved pumpkins with four easy steps.  You can also enrich your garden by composting pumpkins after all the fun is over. The first step to preserving a pumpkin is to make a lemon juice mixture of one-half cup of water and half a cup lemon juice.  Put in a spray bottle and spray the interior and exterior of your carved pumpkin.  The acid mixture offers protection from the elements.  Use vegetable oil as an alternative.  Use a paper towel to dab vegetable oil on the carved areas.  This can act as a preservative and prevent decay and shriveling.  Oxygen causes decomposition and vegetable oil acts as a protecting agent.  The third step is a temporary freeze.   Put the carved pumpkin in the freezer for 12 hours to extend its outdoor life.  You can do this as much as needed.  The fourth step involves using silica packets like the ones that are sold with shoes.  The silica can actually prevent mold by reducing the moisture in the pumpkin.  Place the packets in the carved pumpkins but be sure to
remove and dispose of properly before composting your pumpkins.

Follow these steps and you will be on your way to composting pumpkins.

  1. Remove candles or wax or silica packets you used to preserve your carved pumpkins.
  2. Find a spot that is in the sun and away from your daily activities.
  3. Cut up or smash your pumpkin.
  4. Cover it with a layer of leaves
  5. And let nature take its course

Michelle Savin is an eco stylist from California.  She is an expert on organic and eco-friendly family living. She is the founder of organic bedding line Until Kara.  Follow her at Organic Conscious Mom.


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Which is the Best Dishwasher?

Which dishwasher is the best? When considering buying a new dishwasher for your home, this is probably one of the first questions you ask yourself. Watch this video to discover the different dishwasher features available so you can choose which is the best dishwasher for you. Then, watch this video on benefits of ADA dishwashers for common kitchen remodeling pitfalls.

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Which is the Best Dishwasher?

Which is the Best Dishwasher?

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Benefits of ADA Dishwashers for Common Kitchen Remodeling Pitfalls

Did you know ADA dishwashers are shorter than standard tall tank dishwashers? If you have installed new flooring in your kitchen as part of a kitchen remodel job, sometimes your standard tall tank dishwasher won’t fit due to the reduced installation space. ADA Dishwashers can be a solution to the problem, but watch this video to learn how to measure your installation spaces for appliances ahead of time when remodeling your kitchen, so you don’t create problems for yourself down the road.

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3-Rack Dishwashers Offer the Most Flexibility

Dishwasher Rack Flexibility -
Three Rack Dishwashers Offer the Most Options for Your Changing Needs

3 Rack Dishwashers

3 Rack Dishwashers

A dishwasher should make your life easier, which is why companies like ASKO have developed innovations like the three-rack dishwasher and even the four-rack dishwasher! Allowing consumers to adjust the dishwashing capabilities to meet their needs is an important feature for many consumers.  Your day-to-day dishwashing needs vary greatly from, for example, when you need to wash a full load of china after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family.  Your eating and dishwashing habits vary, and finally there are dishwashers on the market to accommodate your changing needs.

For example, ASKO’s new Extra Tall Tub, unique, flexible rack dishwashers allow for a much larger wash load than traditional dishwashers—you can wash as much as 40 percent more dishes in every load, up to a total of 17 place settings. That will definitely help you to get cleaned up after big dinner parties so you can focus your valuable time on your guests! With removable baskets  for knives and other utensils, and adjustable height upper racks, they conform to your particular needs, no matter what you are washing. They feature multiple spray zones, including power zones, to ensure that your entire load comes out completely clean. Even with all this power, they still have extremely low water consumption, and are Energy Star rated!

However, some homeowners may not have enough usable installation space  for a tall tub dishwasher. Many of us are remodeling and upgrading our homes instead of buying new ones, so a new problem in the kitchen has surfaced. Remodeled floors can reduce your dishwasher installation opening. This can prohibit consumers from being able to install taller dishwashers, therefore leaving them with less dish loading space. Not with ASKO’s Tall Tub ADA dishwashers. Not only are theycompliant with height regulations mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, they come with flexible racks as well! Quality should not be compromised because of space constraints. Capable of handling 14 place settings, ASKO ADA-compliant dishwashers are available in TouchProof™ stainless, as well as stylish black, white, and black glass with stainless steel.

For over 60 years, ASKO has been building quality appliances. With commitment to protecting the environment as well as providing clean dishes, the company produces low energy, low water dishwashers without ever sacrificing quality and efficiency. Their dishwashers combine form and function, and are available in a wide range of styles to suit any space and taste. Check them out online to discover the appeal of high-quality Scandinavian appliances.

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Does Your Dishwasher Dry?

Water Saving DishwasherA dishwasher is a convenience, but as consumers shift their focus to a water-saving dishwasher or other energy efficient model, they may feel the need to give up some of the features that make the appliance truly useful., The internal heating element in dishwashers, is an energy waster and is not efficient because it works by “baking” the dishes dry. Fortunately, there is now a unique new drying system available that leaves dishes and even plastic dry by the end of the cycle while saving energy and damage to dishware!

Your dishwasher should make life easier. Any dishwasher that leaves you drying the dishes by hand is creating more work for you. Now ASKO, maker of some of the world’s most energy efficient dishwashers, has developed the TurboDrying™system, which is the best drying system  on the market, ensuring that your entire load comes out of the dishwasher dry.

Traditionally, dishwashers dry dishes in one of two ways. There is the aforementioned internal heating element, which bakes the dishes to get them dry. This is not only inefficient, but can also be damaging, as plastic things that drop to the bottom can stick to the heating element and melt. Another approach is Condensation Drying which uses the stainless steel interior tub along with a high temperature final rinse to heat up the inside of the dishwasher. This approach creates a condensation environment that encourages the remaining moisture to sheath from the dishware which is similar to a drip dry process. Because these systems are not completely effective, consumers often have to resort to methods like leaving the dishwasher open for an extended time or allowing dishes to sit overnight. There are even additives on the market to help dishwashers’ poor performances. This is definitely not the most convenient or efficient method to achieve dry dishes! The Turbo Drying™ system is unique, and eliminates the
need for hand drying or costly additives. After the last rinse, a chamber in the door collects all the moist air and sends it down the drain. The result is dry dishes, as soon as the cycle completes.

ASKO makes some of the most energy and water efficient dishwashers in the world, including fully integrated models to match any kitchen, and low water dishwashers that outperform the competition. Premium Swedish appliances, including dishwashers, are designed to be efficient, durable, and environmentally friendly. Visit the ASKO website to discover their award-winning style and to learn why their dishwashers are market leaders.

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Thinking of Buying Swedish Appliances? Warranty Protection Defined

Swedish Appliances Warranty Protection Defined

Swedish Appliances - Warranty Protection Defined

If you’re in the market for a dishwasher and you’ve done your homework, you may be leaning toward a European dishwasher. Swedish appliances have a reputation for energy efficiency and superior performance. However, an area that people fail to research is the warranty, and that can be a serious mistake.

Even an excellent product runs into trouble from time to time, and when that happens, you want your appliances fully protected. A dishwasher that goes awry can cause damage to your home, leading to costly repairs. Therefore, it’s important to catch problems with your appliances early and have them fixed properly. That’s why ASKO offers the 2-Plus-1 Warranty—the best warranty in the appliance business! This warranty applies to all ASKO appliances manufactured after Jan. 1, 2008.

The 2-Plus-1 Warranty automatically gives all customers with single-family residential installations protection for two full years. While it does not cover rental lease or time-share of commercial applications, it does guarantee that residential customers will be covered. Under this warranty, ASKO will pay for replacement parts and/or repair labor to correct defects in materials or workmanship, as long as an authorized ASKO service agent performs the service using genuine ASKO parts. In addition, customers can qualify for another year of full warranty by submitting a product registration form online or through the mail within 90 days of the purchase. Even more impressive is ASKO’s lifetime warranty! It pays for the stainless steel tank, drum, or inner door panel parts if the appliance fails to hold water due to a manufacturing defect.

Even high-quality Swedish appliances can sometimes run into trouble. If that happens, it’s a relief to know you are protected. ASKO customers can rest easy, knowing they are fully covered. For more information on ASKO products, and to learn more about the best warranty in the business, visit their website at

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Celebrity Kitchens You’ll Love and Want to Imitate!

Celebrity KitchenWhether the rich and famous give the media a sneak peak or a grand tour of their mansions, country homes, or apartments, the room that they often love to show off the most is the kitchen.

As it is the case with most families’ kitchens, celebrity kitchens are generally the most reflective of the famous person’s lifestyle. By getting a cue from some of these beautiful designer kitchens, you can get an idea of what your own personal style is and incorporate those in your own space.

#1 Oprah Winfrey

Media queen Oprah Winfrey’s affinity for the infusion of stainless steel appliances into gorgeous cabinetry makes her Hawaii retreat’s kitchen one of our very favorites. With ceilings hand-painted to look like an old quilted pattern and hints of light wood and pure white carpentry work, Oprah definitely lets her personality shine through her kitchen.

#2 Ricky Martin

An amazing career, two adorable kids, and one of the nicest homes on the East Coast… What else could Ricky Martin ask for? An exquisite kitchen, of course! Highlighted by white countertops, beautiful brick floors and lovely white cabinetry, Ricky’s kitchen is spacious, chic and immaculate. Appliances in white and stainless steel take this home kitchen beyond simplicity into superstar mode.

#3 Justin Timberlake

New York City’s superstar bachelor Justin Timberlake has a kitchen fit for city living: spacious, modern and simple. What makes Justin’s kitchen one of our favorites is the combination of white and gray with the beautiful hardwood floors and simply stunning cabinetry. The wall-sized window gives the kitchen a feeling of openness and elegance.

Design your Own Dream Kitchen

Some of these designer kitchens may have sparked your creativity, especially if you’re looking to remodel or refresh the look of your own home. You, too, can have a kitchen fit for a celebrity. The key is to have the right idea of what you want, and the right appliances to go with them.

With ASKO appliances, you can have a custom-built designer dishwasher that fits your personality and speaks to the overall ambiance in your home. Find out more at

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Stainless Steel Dishwashers: Why a Rinse Agent May Not Be Good for Your Investment or Your Family

Rinse AidsMany of us love the convenience and savings of having our stainless steel dishwashers. You can save both money and time by using a dishwasher, allowing you to use less water in the process and completing the task quickly and efficiently.

To improve the quality of the wash in the dishwasher people often use  rinse agents like Jet Dry. These products are designed to aid in the rinsing process to ensure that dishes not only dry faster, but also cleaner and without spots or streaks. But is using a rinse agent really in your best interest?

The Cons of Rinse Agents

Despite the common belief that it’s okay to use a rinse aid in your dishwasher, there are some reasons you should consider when examining why rinse agents such as Jet Dry should not be used. Here are three things you might be saving by skipping on the rinse agent and substituting for something else.

  1. Your Health – Rinse aids contain chemicals, some of which are sometimes toxic and not biodegradable. These chemicals create a film that stays on your dishes and glasses. Meaning they can transfer to the food and drink that gets ingested the next time those dishes are used. Also, the chemicals in rinse agents sometimes get released into the air, causing fumes that can irritate your eyes.
  1. The Environment – The chemicals used in rinse aids get washed back into the water system, polluting the water that goes through the system and back into our lakes and rivers.
  1. Your Money – Purchasing rinse agents can get fairly expensive at about $6-$7 per bottle! This is pricey, especially considering that dishwasher detergent is expensive to begin with. There are homemade alternatives that are cheaper and easier to come by.

Homemade Non-Toxic Alternatives

By far, the most popular all-natural, non-toxic rinse agent often recommended for stainless steel dishwashers is white vinegar, which can be found in the salad dressing aisle of any local supermarket. Fill the dispenser with vinegar every time you run the washer to get your dishes sparkly and clean, with no streaks or spots. You’ll have no vinegar smell and it will cost you merely pennies on the dollar as opposed to the fancier, store-bought rinse aids that will no doubt cost way more.

ASKO Dishwashers for Safer Living

If you’re interested in finding out how you can have a eco-friendly, safe dishwasher fully integrated into your kitchen, look no further than ASKO appliances. Our line of high quality, environmentally sound appliances can help you maintain a safe family environment for your home. Find out more at

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Stacking Washer and Dryer

Stacking Washer and Dryer

With a busy life full of kids, spouses, out-of-town guests and probably even pets, you need the very best laundry appliances to help you keep everyone’s clothes and linens fresh and clean. You dream of a stacking washer and dryer that will keep you and your family “in business,” so to speak, and in particular a dryer that will dry all of the clothes and the bedsheets without an ounce of dampness.

Why a Family-Sized Dryer?

ASKO knows that, all too often, people tend to settle for barely functional with no style and no longevity. This shouldn’t be the case with your washing machine, but it definitely shouldn’t be the case with your dryer.

Here are five reasons why you should consider an ASKO family-sized dryer for all of your laundry needs:

  1. Stylish and functional design. With easy to use panels that include a logical left-to-right programming style and preprogrammed cycles by fabric type, ASKO wins in the category of functionality. And with Scandinavian design that speaks to simplicity in style, ASKO wins in design as well.
  1. Reduced ironing. With its patented Butterfly™ Dry technology, ASKO brings you a family-sized dryer that dries effectively while reducing wear and tear on your motors and belts, which saves you money. Complete drying coverage of your loads is achieved using a continuous figure eight tumble pattern that reduces wrinkles, thus saving you hours of ironing. A stainless steel drum that gets smoother with age provides the best fabric care, and you have an ultra-low temperature setting with more airflow to dry effectively.
  1. Superior fabric care. All ASKO dryers come with Auto Dry programs that save money. A precise thermistor sensor measures temperature for accurate drying that reduces static cling and protects your clothes and linens.
  1. Flexible installation. Do you want a fully integrated washer and dryer that is built into your laundry room? Do you prefer a stacking washer and dryer, or would you rather have each element side-by-side? ASKO can do them all, giving you many venting options like allowing for a 60′ venting capability, three-way venting or even Condenser Ventless dryers. You have endless options from which to choose.
  1. Quality guaranteed. All ASKO washing machines and dryers have a 2-plus-1 parts and labor warranty, the strongest warranty in the industry. Three years protection and long life tested for quality, ASKO goes the extra mile to ensure you enjoy your washers and dryers for years to come.

Check out ASKO products today

If you’re looking for a family-sized dryer that will meet and exceed your expectations in quality, performance and style, look no further than ASKO appliances. Visit us today at to learn more about our products.

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