Another appliance FAQ

July 15th, 2015

Appliance Hack Appliance Talk Environment, Energy & Water Saving Fridges & Freezers Laundry Small Appliances

Do you have appliance questions?  We have appliance answers!


Sit back as Appliances Online tackles a few of the curlier appliance questions:

Is fabric softener bad for your washing machine?

Not always, but it can be.

fabric softener source: Mike Mozart on Flickr

While fabric softener is great for reducing fabric stiffness, frequent use can lead to its chemicals building up in the workings of your washing machine, or even wrecking the rubber door seal of a front loader, so you might want to save your softener to use only on special loads.

How much does it cost to run an appliance for an hour?


There’s a simple way to calculate this:

  • Find the appliance’s wattage, usually measured in kilowatts (kW).  If you can’t find it in your product’s specifications, check with the manufacturer.
  • Find the electricity tariff in your area, measured in cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), by checking your latest electricity bill, or by contacting your energy provider.
  • Multiply the wattage by the electricity tariff to determine your appliance’s approximate hourly running cost.  This cost may vary depending your appliance’s settings, and peak/off-peak energy tariffs in your area.

Once you’ve worked out an approximate hourly running cost for an appliance, you can use this figure to estimate how much it costs to run an appliance on a weekly, monthly or even yearly basis.

How can I stack a dryer on a washer?

The safest way to stack a washer and dryer is to use a stacking kit.


Most stacking kits are produced by laundry appliance manufacturers specifically to suit their models, so always double-check that your washer and dryer are compatible before purchasing.

Your best bet is to choose a washer and dryer with the same measurements from the same brand, and a stacking kit that’s compatible with them both – check the specs, and contact our team if you’re uncertain.

APL600 enviro rubber mat

It’s also possible to stack a washer and dryer without a stacking kit, by placing a towel or rubber mat between the two to absorb the vibrations when the appliances are operating.  Be VERY careful  though, as any accidents could be dangerous and expensive.

What is holiday mode on my fridge?

It’s a special energy-saving mode for keeping your food cool while you’re away on holiday, or other occasions when your fridge isn’t seeing much use.

holiday mode button

Since the fridge door won’t be opening while you’re away, you can set this mode to minimise the use of your fridge’s compressor, and instead relying on the fridge’s built-in insulation to maintain a cool temperature, thus minimising your electricity use and helping to keep your power bills under control.

How can I clean a suit jacket?

Suits look great, but they can be tricky to clean if they get messed up.  Because a good suit is made from several layers of different materials, they can react unpredictably to being tossed in with the regular laundry.

suit jacket pocket source Kan8eDie on Wikimedia Commons

Other than taking a suit jacket to your local dry cleaner (something you don’t want to do too often, due to the harsh chemicals involved), you can try to spot clean them by hand, or very carefully wash them in the washing machine using a cold cycle, no detergent, and a delicates bag.

Can a condenser clothes dryer be mounted on the wall or stacked on a front loading washer?

Condenser dryers are great, but the additional equipment they’re packing behind the scenes (such as their water tank and condensing technology) makes them weigh quite a lot more than standard vented dryers, which means thay can’t be safely wall-mounted.

7kg-smeg-condenser-dryer-sacd7-medium7kg Smeg Condenser Dryer SACD7

However, some selected condenser dryer models can be stacked on top of a front-loading washing machine, though in these cases it’s important to use a compatible stacking kit to make sure that everything stays stable – heavier machines mean the potential for nastier accidents!

If stacking a condenser dryer isn’t an option, make sure that your laundry has floor space available if you plan on purchasing a condenser dryer.

What else can you make with an ice cream maker?

This is a fair question – after all, an ice cream maker is a fairly specialised appliance, and one that often gathers dust through the chillier months of the year.

vegan ice cream mango

Other treats that can be made using an ice cream maker include:

  • Frozen soft drink slushies
  • Margaritas
  • Iced coffee/chocolate
  • Iced fruit juices

The possibilities are endless! That said, there’s never a bad time to make and eat ice cream…

How does spin speed affect washing?

Your washing machine’s spin speed helps shake the moisture out of your clothes at the end of a wash cycle, kind of like the way a dog shakes itself dry.

Dog Shaking Off Water - Washing Machine Dog! source: Clara S on Flickr

At the end of your wash cycle, your washing machine will drain as much water as possible from its bowl, then spin rapidly to draw water from your clothes using the principle of centrifugal force.

At the end of the spin cycle, you clothes should come out of the washing machine merely damp, rather than sopping wet, so they can spend less time on the line or in the dryer, and therefore can be worn again more quickly.

Got more appliance questions?  Need more appliance answers?

We’ve only scratched the surface of the wonderful world of appliance questions and answers today – if you’ve got a burning question, share it with us below, or contact our expert team over the phone on 1300 000 500, or via email or live chat.

The answer may be closer than you think!

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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