Tips & Tricks: How to Make Appliances Live Longer
By: Mai Sroor
Home appliances are a big investment, especially nowadays, and a valuable asset in your home. You should take good care of them and keep them running efficiently for as long as possible. Here are some tips to help you keep your appliances in a good shape.
*Prices listed in this article are the ones provided at the time of its publication, and are subject to change according to the supply and demand of the market.
- Use appliances as they were intended.
- Unplug unused appliances.
- Minimize appliance use.
- Make appliance care a family affair.
Refrigerators & Deep Freezers
- Dust off the fridge’s condenser coils with a broom or a vacuum cleaner every few months, to improve air circulation and efficiency.
- Don’t overfill the fridge, because this blocks the airflow and forms pressure over the fridge.
- Use 1 tablespoon of baking soda on 1/2 a quart of water to clean the closures and gaskets that seal the fridge. This prevents mold from growing and helps keep the seals in proper shape.
- Keep jugs of water or ice packs to prevent warm air from heating items when you open the fridge door.
For more information on the history of fridges, read “Refrigerators: Then & Now”.
- Replace any brittle hoses to avoid flooding.
- Never slam the washing machine’s door; this can break the door switch.
- Don’t overstuff your washing machine; this can wear out the motor and drive belts.
- Keep it level and as close to the floor as possible. If the machine is not perfectly level, it may rock back and forth and vibrate too strongly.
- Clean the inside once a month by running a normal cycle on the hottest temp with this mix: 1/2 cup vinegar + 1/4 cup baking soda + 1/4 cup water. Leave the door open after it’s done.
- Clean out the fabric softener dispenser periodically using a damp rag and hot water.
- Remember to check the clothing labels to get your clothes properly washed without damaging them or causing their colors to fade.
Check out washing machines here.
Learn about the history of washing machines in Washing Machines: Then & Now.
- Keep the door gasket and bottom edge of it clean to prevent leaks. Just use water and bleach.
- Clear out objects in the pump area and the filter to prevent the drainage system from clogging.
- If glass breaks inside the dishwasher, use a vacuum cleaner to get all of it, because even the tiny pieces can cut through and let water into the motor.
- Don’t overload it; this will restrict the water spray patterns, which will prevent proper cleaning.
- Run an empty cycle with vinegar to remove hard water deposits and loosen stuck-on food bits.
Check out dishwashers here.
Gas Cookers & Ovens
- Wipe up debris and spills shortly after they occur. Be careful not to touch the igniter in order to avoid the port getting clogged, causing damage to the burners’ efficiency. Use a soapy sponge to clean it.
- Loosen cooked-on spots with water or baking soda and water. Do not use abrasive materials that can scratch the surfaces.
- Wash burner controls and other knobs with warm water and a detergent. Some knobs have markings that can come off, so take care not to soak or scrub them too hard.
- As an alternative of commercial oven cleaners, fill a glass bowl with half a cup of ammonia and let it stand in the oven overnight. Wipe the walls clean with paper towels or newspapers afterwards.
- Clean the brush roll periodically. Debris buildup on the brush roll will cause the vacuum cleaner to have to work harder and may lead to problems.
- Replace the bag or empty the tank before it’s completely full, to enable vacuum working easily and efficiently.
- Replace the return air filter once per year.
Check out vacuum cleaners here.
Learn the Steps to Choose the Perfect Vacuum Cleaner.
- Clean the inside of microwave frequently; food particles and splatters absorb some of the microwave energy while the unit is operating and may cause burns and other damage. For optimum cleaning results, squeeze two lemon halves into a bowl of water, microwave it, remove the bowl when done and immediately wipe down the microwave’s sides.
- Close the door carefully, don’t slam it; slamming the door may alter the order of the door switches’ closing, resulting in a blown, internal fuse.
- Heating water in a microwave oven is not advised due to the risk of “superheating”: Water can be much hotter than boiling degree, but still not appear to be boiling. If touched, the water can suddenly and violently burst, causing scalds to anyone nearby.
- Never run it empty; this may damage it, as with the absence of food or liquid, the microwave energy is not being absorbed and will bounce around inside. This can cause the magnetron (that generates microwaves) to overheat and fail.
Check out microwaves here.
- Take out the crumbs tray and wipe it off. Also, shake the toaster out over the sink or trash to get excess crumbs out. Do this on a weekly basis so your house doesn’t smell like burning bread even if bread is not being toasted.
- Remove the plates (if removable), submerge them and wash them in warm, soapy water with a dish rag or sponge. Let the plates soak for a few minutes to loosen stuck-on foodstuffs. Rinse the plates thoroughly with clean water and let dry.
- For non-removable plates, pick off any stuck-on foodstuff with a plastic utensil, like a spatula, to prevent scratching the plates. With a soapy sponge, carefully wash the plates. For easier removal, you can pour a small amount of vegetable oil onto sticky foodstuffs and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen.
Check out toasters here.
For more on the history of toasters, read Toasters: Here & Now.
Don’t forget to read Yaoota’s guide on How to Choose the Best Toaster.
- Clean the coffee maker every month:
– In the coffee pot, mix 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water, then pour the mixture into the water tank of the coffee maker.
– Place a filter in the basket and turn your coffee maker on.
– Once the brewing process is complete, run at least 2-3 more pots of plain water to flush the vinegar out of the coffee maker.
Check out coffee makers here.
Choose the ideal coffee maker with this Coffee Maker Guide.
Looking for a coffee maker? Try reading 11 Coffee Machines for Coffee Lovers.
*Some products may be currently out of stock, but they will be available again soon. If you encounter any similar problem, please comment on the article, or contact us through our Facebook page.