Archive | September 2013

For Success, A Blend of Experiment and Common Sense…

Mix it up!  Make it Smooth!  Use your blender like a pro.  And keep all of your fingers!  Pretty much everyone has a blender (or two) and we all know what we’re doing when we pull it out of the cupboard and start throwing ingredients around like mad scientists, right?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  What we should all remember is that we are about to deal with a sharp and powerful tool.  And versatile!  If ever there was a time for throwing caution to the wind – this is not it.  Know your blender.  Is it capable of crushing ice? Not all are designed to.  Does the jar fit firmly onto the base?  If not, check your user manual – there will be notes about the proper fit.  Does the gasket go above or below the blade assembly?  Usually above, but check your manual to be sure.

Caution and common sense are our allies when dealing with blenders and recipes alike.  Know what your blender can and cannot do for you.  For instance, you can chop nuts, make salsas, make salad dressings, cream pie fillings, custards and soups and you can crush ice and make a variety of frozen beverages among other things.  You generally can NOT use your blender to make mashed potatoes, bread dough, cookie dough, shredded cheese or meringue – and it is NOT a juice extractor.  If you want carrot juice, use a juicer.  Lots of people have “epiphanies” regarding the use of their blenders. “I think I want a peanut butter and strawberry waffle shake!”, for example or “I’ve been craving raisins, bacon and banana popsicles – where is the blender?!”  Because of these inspirations, many are driven to experiment.  Expect mixed results – excuse the pun.  In any case, when you are preparing to use the blender, it pays to keep a few simple pointers and rules in mind:

  • Consider using the pulse button to do your blending – this limits the blender’s run time, and provides you with more precise control over the process.
  • Running the blender longer than necessary can shorten the blender’s life – most household blenders are not intended for extended periods of use.
  • When adding your ingredients, liquids first, then add solids.
  • Make sure your solid ingredients are cut into small enough pieces to allow proper blade rotation for the creation of an effective vortex – this will save time and provide smoother results.
  • When adding ingredients, leave room in the jar for expansion of your product – at least 1/3, and in the case of hot ingredients, up to 1/2 of the jar’s volume should be left unfilled.
  • ALWAYS USE THE LID – NEVER run the blender without the lid in place – you will be very sorry if you forget this rule.
  • Even if your blender’s lid fits snugly, always place your hand on top of the lid and hold it in place – while the blender is running is no time for surprises.
  • If you are blending hot ingredients, remove the blender lid’s center fill cap so that steam can escape – DO NOT REMOVE THE LID – only the center cap!
  • When you are finished using the blender always clean it before putting it away (not everybody takes this step, so beware your neighbor’s smoothies).  Proper cleaning means removing the blade, gasket, lid and base ring from the jar and hand-washing all of these parts carefully (remember- you want to keep your fingers).
  • If you put a bit of warm, soapy water into the blender and pulse it on a few times (LID ON), you can speed the cleaning process.
  • NEVER immerse the blender’s motorized base unit when cleaning – just wipe its exterior with a damp washcloth.

Keeping these simple guidelines in mind can save you a lot of unnecessary clean-up, can save you time, can extend the life of your blender and can even help you avoid injury.  At Nelson Appliance Repair, we have fixed thousands of blenders, and provided our customers with parts and advice since 1957.  If you have need for blender parts, check our website at www.NelsonAppliance.com .

Remember, don’t be afraid to experiment – but use your noggin and follow the rules – be safe!

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Save Face with A CLEAN Shave!

Trying to get a good shave in the morning shouldn’t be a hassle, But sometimes your tools aren’t up to the job. Time to check your equipment! Electric razors come in a variety of shapes, sizes and brand names – and they all use cutters or “heads”. Over time the cutters or blades can dull and may start to pull whiskers instead of cutting them (you WILL know it when it’s happening). What many customers don’t realize is that a shaver that has stopped performing well may just need a simple cleaning.

A clean shaver almost always shaves like a new shaver. Taking the time to clean the shaver’s heads under running water with a brush at least once a week can dramatically improve performance, reduce skin irritation and can even lengthen the useful life of the blades and rotary combs or foils. Simply opening the shaver’s head and “knocking out” the whiskers doesn’t quite get you there – grab the razor’s cleaning brush or an old toothbrush, remove the heads from the shaver and give them a real cleaning. When you’ve finished, nothing further prepares your shaver for doing its best like using a good shaver spray. Shaver spray is to be applied to the heads while the shaver is running and helps to clean and lubricate so that the razor’s heads run at top speed (the faster your shaver runs, the more efficiently it will shave).  You can use Remington, Norelco, Sterling’s or Eltron shaver spray brands on any electric shaver – they are all formulated to work on all electric shavers!  Click here to find shaver spray at Nelson’s.

Many customers come to us for new shaver blades, and we’re happy to provide them – but many times we’ve been able to save our customers money by providing a cleaning instead. Of course, if you find a hole, tear or dent in your electric shaver’s heads, only new heads will restore proper performance (and save your skin from a nasty bite).  Most shaver instruction manuals recommend new shaver heads every one to two years (depending on brand), but every beard is different, and not everyone shaves every day.  Regardless of the age of your shaver blades, pay attention to their performance – once you notice that cleaning no longer restores the cutting performance you are used to, it is likely time to find new heads.  But always remember – keeping them clean will keep you shaving clean for a long time!