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Essential Upkeep for Your Appliances

Stainless steel self-cleaning range with black stovetop, over-the-range microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher

Tips for maintaining your home's electrical devices.

Ranging from kitchen equipment, such as the refrigerator and dishwasher, to entertainment gear like televisions, most homes have several appliances. Because of normal wear, your equipment may experience reduced efficiency and productivity. Have you noted an increase in your electricity consumption or a decrease in any of your appliances' outputs?

Both routine maintenance and correct use of your home equipment help enhance productivity and lifespan. From how often you should clean to which parts to check periodically, your appliances come with a manufacturer's care manual that holds a wealth of information. This handy guide highlights do-it-yourself (DIY) tips on how to take care of home appliances.

Care and maintenance of refrigerators.

The best way to maintain your refrigerator is to keep the outside and inside clean. Here are some upkeep tips:

  • Clean your refrigerator regularly: Remember to clean behind and under your fridge. Remove the base grille and clean it to improve airflow to the appliance components.
  • Clear dust on coils: Dust hinders insulation and can cause overheating.
  • Wash door seals: If seals in your fridge door are sticky, clean them thoroughly with soapy water and a soft cloth.
  • Check rubber gasket seals: This helps avoid the escape of cool air. Escaped air causes your fridge to compensate for the loss and increased power consumption.
  • Close your fridge quickly: Always close your refrigerator to prevent an increase in your power bill.
  • Clean ice dispenser: If your refrigerator has a built-in ice or water dispenser, be sure to clean the accessory.
  • Empty the drip tray: Remove and clean the drip tray at least every two to three months.
  • Avoid overloading: Overloading your refrigerator overworks your compressor. Also, note which food to store in what compartment.

Dishwasher upkeep.

Dishwashers do the job of removing food residue from and cleaning your dishes. The best way to keep dishwashers in good shape is to clean them regularly to prevent the buildup of food and other debris. Tips to maintain these appliances include:

  • Clean your dishwasher: Regular cleaning helps eliminate dirt and grime. Use a dishwasher cleaner for normal cleaning.
  • Fix the filter: Dishwashers often come with a filter system that traps food particles. Check and clean the filter periodically to prevent the accumulation of pits, seeds and other particles.
  • Rinse out any mineral deposits: Is your water supply providing hard water? Hard water causes a mineral buildup in the holes of your dishwasher's spray arms. Carefully poke the water jets with a sharp object like a paper clip to clear any deposits and replace clogged water inlet valves. Dishwasher cleaner formulations can help remove some mineral deposits.
  • Check racks: Replace or repair dish racks once their plastic coating wears off. Also, replace plastic tine tips if they get lost. Worn-out dishwasher racks may corrode and cause rusty metal chips to damage the dishwasher pump.
  • Clean the seal: Wash around the edge of your dishwasher with a water-vinegar solution.

Routine maintenance for a washing machine.

Top loading washing machines have low maintenance requirements, while front-loading models require more care:

  • Avoid overloading: Overloading your washing machine may wear out and eventually break some components. Follow the manufacturer's recommendation on maximum load capacity.
  • Wipe the inside drum periodically: Clean and wipe the inside drum at least once a week to remove any type of soapy residue or debris.
  • Leave the door open: Leave the washer door open after you complete a load of laundry. This allows air to circulate and prevents moisture trapping.
  • Use the right detergent: Ensure your detergent is appropriate for your washing machine. Note that extra soap can leave a residue in your machine.
  • Wash the washer: Frequently clean the door, gasket, dispenser and drum. Some washers have cleaning cycle that clears soap buildup.

Prolong your dryer's longevity.

Although washers and dryers go hand-in-hand, they have very different maintenance needs. Other than emptying the lint trap after each load, the following tips will help extend your dryer's lifespan:

  • Clean exhaust vent: Check and clean the exhaust and outside air vents regularly.
  • Keep your dryer level and stable: Place your dryer on a flat and stable location.
  • Ensure tubing, vet caps and lint traps stay clear: Keep everything clear of lint.
  • Monitor drying time: Watch the clock and act swiftly in case of lengthening drying times.

Home appliance maintenance tips for ovens and microwaves.

Keep your oven in tip-top shape with thorough inside and outside cleaning. Pop the knobs off for easy cleaning. When cooking, place a baking sheet beneath food to catch any drips and clean off the drips immediately. Carrying out inspections on your door gasket will prevent loss of heat and improve energy consumption.

With proper care, microwaves have the potential to last 7 to 10 years. The tips below will help prolong your microwave's lifespan:

  • Never use metal containers or utensils in your microwave
  • Avoid heating sealed food containers and packed food
  • To avoid fires or explosions, avoid heating flammable food or beverages
  • Do not cover the top when in use
  • Quickly clean spills and stains to avoid a foul smell

Heating and cooling appliances.

Air conditioners and heaters come in handy during summer and winter, respectively and water heaters are a must for any home. Minor maintenance requirements are:

  • If you're going to be away for a while, drain your water heater to reduce mineral buildup
  • Cover water heaters for insulation
  • Clean indoor and outdoor air conditioner systems
  • Change AC filters for improved efficiency

Televisions, game consoles and stereo equipment.

In most cases, the only thing you need to do for this type of equipment is turn it off and unplug it, then give it a gentle wipe with a soft, dry cloth to remove dust build up. For stubborn marks, slightly dampen the cloth with distilled water. Never spray any type of cleaning solution or liquid directly onto the appliance.

Are you wondering how to take care of stainless-steel appliances? Just wipe specialty appliances with steel surfaces using a suitable cleaner or vinegar-based solution to eliminate smudges. Maintenance tips and hints support use across various equipment, including large and small kitchen appliances. Investing time in preventive maintenance will save you money.