Some great tips for cleaning your kitchen appliances!

No one likes the chore of cleaning the oven, microwave, blender etc... it's a job that can drive even the calmest person commit acts of violence upon inanimate objects. Here is a look at some of those hard to clean kitchen appliances and some tips that will help make your life that little bit easier.

#1 The Blender

This tip comes in two parts. Firstly clean the blender as soon as you are finished using it. Leaving the remains of your latest blended concoction to dry on to the bottom of the blender only makes it a lot more difficult and frustrating to clean. 

Secondly as soon as you have finished pouring your creation into a bowl or cup pour a little bit of washing up liquid into the blender and add some warm water. Replace the blender back on its motor and give it another whirl. This should help remove any chunks left behind and give the blades a good clean. Repeat this process as many times as you see necessary. Once the blender is clean rinse with cold water to get rid of and soap suds and you're done. 

#2 The Microwave 

Cleaning dried foods such as beans, soup etc.. off the inside of a microwave can be a difficult and frustrating task. Following these simple tips can make the process a lot easier and stress free. All you will need is a lemon, a microwaveable bowl, 300ml of water and a cloth. 
  1. Firstly start by cutting a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the microwaveable bowl and mix in around 300ml of water. 
  2. Next put the bowl in the center of the microwave and put on full power for between 5-10 minutes, allowing enough time for the steam to condense on the roof and walls of the microwave. 
  3. Once the bowl has been in for the appropriate amount of time carefully remove it (it will be hot!) and, with a cloth. wipe off the once dried on food remains with great ease.
  4. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage, stand back and admire your great work. 

#3 The Oven

A nice tip that will make cleaning the oven a doddle is to place half a cup of ammonia into a cold oven over night. The fumes from the ammonia will loosen up all the grease and build up of burnt on food. The next day simply wipe the oven clean with a wet cloth. 

#4 The Electric Grill

For anyone who has ever used a George Foreman grill (or any other brand for that matter) you will know the sheer anger and frustration you experience whilst trying to clean the damn thing. Which is why, especially in student homes, they can go uncleaned for months on end (giving all food you cook in it that char-grilled taste). 
  1. Unplug the grill and let it cool slightly.
  2. Place wet paper towels over the grill plates ensuring the grill is still warm enough that it promotes some steam to loosen the cooked on grease and grime.
  3. Close the grill with the paper towels still in place and leave to cool. 
  4. Once the grill has cooled lift the lid, remove the paper towels and with a washing cloth that has been dipped in hot soapy water simply wipe the grill clean with ease. 
This method will save a lot of time spent scrubbing burnt on fat and food from the grill plates and makes a job we all dread a whole lot easier. 

#5 The Dishwasher

A dirty dishwasher will not clean dishes as effectively as a clean one, that's why it is important to clean them out every once in a while. Here are is a nice simple tip that should help make the task a little easier.
Firstly place half a cup of vinegar in a glass cup on the top rack of your dishwasher and run it on high for one cycle. Then place a cup baking soda on the bottom of the basin and run the dishwasher on a half cycle with hot water. This should help shift all the dirt and grime that has gathered in your dishwasher and you will be able to see the difference in your dishes after a wash. 

If you have any more cleaning tips of your own please feel free to share in the comment box below. 

Thanks for reading and I hope we have made cleaning your appliances that little bit easier. 

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Powerful hairdryers, next on EU's ban list? Let us know what you think!

With the introduction of new European legislation, with the aim of meeting targets for energy efficiency, we have already seen a ban on vacuum cleaners rated above 1,600 watts. The ban will cover any vacuum cleaner over 900 watts in 2017. According to the European Commission the rules will contribute to saving 19 terawatt-hours every year by 2020. This is the equivalent of the electricity produced by four power plants for 5.5m homes.

Next for the chop, in the European Unions attempt at tackling climate change, could be powerful hairdryers. Hairdryers tend to range from around 900 watts up to as much as 2,300 watts. Fears are emerging throughout hairdressers and consumers that more powerful models favoured by salons will no longer be available. Critics describe the plan as "ill thought out" and claim that it would be unlikely that the plans would save energy and could make hairdressers vulnerable to arm, back and wrist injuries as it could increase the amount of time it takes to dry a client’s hair. National hairdressers federation president Paul Curry, owner of Studio 12 in York, said: “We all want to do our bit for the environment but these ludicrous changes, if they do become law, are ill thought out and could be potentially very damaging to our industry.”

As well as hairdryers there are up to 30 other appliances that appear in the study requested by the European Commission in order to meet a target for energy savings of 30 per cent across the EU by 2030. Other appliances that appear in the study include toasters, kettles, wifi routers, lawn mowers and smartphones. 

The study carried out by the European Commission will determine which appliances need to be regulated, in order to best reach targets for 2030, and make recommendations as to the most effective way to regulate the chosen appliances. 

G√ľnther Oettinger, the German EU energy commissioner, explained that legislation preventing consumers from buying high-wattage appliances was necessary to fight climate change. He explained “We haven't got round to these devices yet, we want curb power consumption. All EU countries agree that energy efficiency is the most effective method to reduce energy consumption and dependence on imports and to improve the climate. Therefore there needs to be mandatory consumption limits for small electrical appliances.”

Have your say!!!

Do you believe that limiting the power of every day appliances is a step in the right direction when it comes to tackling climate change and reducing our energy consumption. Or, do you believe the new rules could have harmful effects on the market and certain industries and effect the quality and functionality of future products.

Please let us know and have your say by using the comment box below.
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Pacifica Group Ltd make North East Fastest 50 List

I am pleased to announce that Pacifica Group Ltd once again, after winning the award in 2011, have made the North East Fastest 50 list, helping set the pace for the region’s growing economy. The Ward Hadaway Fastest 50, devised by leading North law firm Ward Hadaway and backed by The Journal, identifies and champions companies in the region who have achieved the most impressive performances in growing their businesses.

Independent economic researchers compile a list of the 50 fastest growing companies in the North East using factors such as companies who have seen the biggest annual growth rate in their turnover. This means that every company on the list is there on its own merit and being measured on its tangible success. 
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How going green can benefit the environment as well as your bank balance.

In a time when the idea of going green seems to be everywhere it is hard to ignore the constant pressures to live a more economically and environmentally friendly lifestyle. “Going green” is the concept in which we steer away from old and wasteful habits and look towards new renewable, sustainable and eco-friendly processes, products and energy.

In this article we will take a look at how repairing your own appliances can not only help save you money but also help you save the planet and be more eco-friendly. We will also take a look at the latest in “Green Appliances” and explore new features that will save you money and help save energy and reduce waste.

When we throw an appliance away the likelihood is that it will end up in landfill, but what happens when all the landfills are full, what will we do with our rubbish then?  In order to stop this from happening or at least slow down the process me must reduce waste or look towards more recyclable products.

One thing we can do to help reduce waste is stop and think before we throw out our broken appliances, ask yourself “can this be fixed?” obviously you don’t want to spend a fortune on getting an engineer in to fix the appliance when it may not cost much more to buy a brand new appliance. But if it is possible to fix the appliance yourself, with specified parts bought online and delivered to your door for a fraction of the price of a new appliance, then you are not only doing your part to help save the planet by reducing the waste that goes into landfill but you’re also saving yourself a load of hard earned cash which you can then  spend on something more productive like that new pair of shoes you've been after or that new treadmill you’ll use a couple of times before it becomes a rather expensive clothes rack.

Now to take a look at the latest in eco-friendly appliances that are available on the market today. Buying the best in eco-friendly appliances may come at a high price but will save you a lot of money in the long term and will help reduce waste and be better for the planet and the environment. For example you may hunt around for the cheapest washing machine you can find and think you've bagged yourself a bargain and saved a lot of money but to produce products for such a low cost, corners must be cut. This can result in machines not being as efficient as they could be therefore creating a lot of waste and using more energy than is necessary. Therefore the cheap washing machine that you bought will have high running costs a due to a waste in water and energy and be costing you a great deal more in the long term.

Washing Machines

One of the leading washing machines when it comes to energy efficiency is the WMB81445L from Beko. It uses half the energy of an A-rated machine at 60 degrees and has an impressive range of programs, including the 14-minute fast wash.It also automatically reduces the water level for half or small loads, saving you money on utility bills. Beko’s specially developed Aquafusion Technology also reduces the amount of wasted detergent and significantly enhances washing performance. The washing machine is also designed to give great results at lower temperatures such as 30 degrees.

Fridge Freezers

One of the markets leading eco-friendly fridge freezers, with an A+++ energy efficiency rating, is LG's GBB530NSCFE. Thanks to LG’s Inverter Linear Compressor, this refrigeration product has been rated as A+++, ensuring efficiency by its design comprising of less components than conventional compressors, therefore making less noise and having less friction points. Even cooling is achieved through LG's Multi Air Flow System, whereby cool air is circulated through multiple vents, ensuring efficient cooling at an even temperature throughout. Due to these features making the appliance as efficient as possible it has a running cost of only £25.23 per year with CO2 emissions of just 73.95kg per year. 

Tumble Dryers

The Gorenje D9866E seems to be head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to energy efficiency and its stats make for some interesting reading. With a running cost on average of £23.10 a year based on 23.41p per cycle and CO2 emissions of just 67.69kg per year. It has an efficiency rating of A+++ down to features such as a lower drying temperature and sensor drying. 


Leading the way in the eco-friendly cookers market is a offering by SMEG called the SUK61MX8. It has an energy rating of A and can reduce energy consumption by a further 20% from the standard A Energy rating. It has a yearly running cost of just £17.66 and emits 51.76kg of CO2 a year. Features such as double glazed doors, enamel interior and seven different oven features help keep this oven as economically efficient as possible.


Finally, a look at one of the more energy efficient dishwashers available on the market. The Siemens SN26T297GB. Running costs average out at around £34.75 per year with a mere £3.26 per year going towards water costs. CO2 emissions are around 92.31kg per year giving is an energy efficiency rating of A+++. Features include energy efficient Zeolith drying, hydroSensor and loadSensor analyse your load to give most efficient wash, speedMatic hydraulic system for efficient washing and dosageAssist dispenses the perfect amount of detergent so less wasted detergent. 

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