6 Ways to Keep Appliances Ship-Shape

Appliances aren’t given much thought when running properly. But as soon as they’re not, they’re all you think about. A broken appliance can wreak havoc on your home this summer. Take these simple steps to help keep things running smoothly.

6 ways to keep appliances bigPhoto by: Shutterstock

A little preventative maintenance can go a long way when it comes to lengthening the lives of common household appliances. The following tips require almost no tools or previous experience, and can be accomplished by even the most novice home do-it-yourselfer.

Clean Your Coils: Refrigerator condenser coils are easily overlooked. To clean, most require removing the kick plate and likely getting down on your hands and knees. But the benefit will most certainly outweigh the inconvenience. Once the coils are exposed, use a handheld vacuum to clean and rid the coils of loose particles and dust. Once cleaned out, your refrigerator won’t have to work as hard to keep the contents at the correct temperature.

Dryer Exhausted?: A clogged dryer exhaust is not only inefficient, it’s also a fire hazard. In most cases, all it takes to clean it is loosening the clamp to the exhaust and then gently pulling it off the back of the dryer. A vacuum attachment should be able to remove the lint and clear the vent. Once vacuumed, simply reattach the cleaned exhaust.

Down the Drain: A garbage disposal may seem like a convenient way to get rid of food and debris, but blindly dumping everything can damage the disposal and drain. Small scraps are fine, but items like chicken bones, or stickers from fruit and vegetables, can cause clogs. Use a flashlight to check your disposal and if you spot anything, use tongs, never your hands, to free the debris. Once the disposal is clear, turn it on while running cold water. Then, add citrus peels to rid any lingering odors.

A Clean Machine: You use the washing machine to get clothes clean, but what happens when the machine itself isn’t clean? Make sure that the washing machine is able to do its job by occasionally using a hot water wash and wiping down the door after the last use of the day to remove moisture. The best preventative maintenance for a washing machine is to simply follow the instructions. Using the amount and type of detergent recommended can do wonders. Dumping in too much detergent won’t get your clothes any cleaner and may damage the washer.

Dishwasher: Most dishwashers are not designed to remove large pieces of food or other residue left on dishes. A quick rinse and swipe with a sponge can make the work your dishwasher has to do a little easier. Plus, food and other residue can clog your dishwasher’s drain—if your dishes aren’t coming out as clean as they should, take a look at the drain and consider having it cleared.

Oven Lovin’: One of the simplest ways to ensure your oven is operating at an optimal level is to check that the oven door has a tight seal. Without a proper seal, more than 20% of the oven’s heat can be lost, leading to longer cooking times. Check the rubber, or fiberglass, seal around the door for breaks or cracks, and replace the seal for optimal oven performance.

Next > How to Eat with the Season this August
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