There is no denying that home appliances are an indispensable part of daily life. From cooking to washing, everything can be done with these life-savers.
However, in the daily hustle of life, we tend to be in the false sense of safety that our appliances will run forever. Just like us, machines will eventually become exhausted and stop working if not taken of properly.
Appliances are costly, and repairs can often be costlier. But with proper use and care, your appliances will continue to serve you for years to come.
You don’t have to be an expert to keep your appliances working; you simply need a bit of common sense and some handy tips.
Refrigerators and Freezers
Perhaps the most overworked appliance in the house is the refrigerator. Have you ever turned it off after buying it? Maybe not. If taken care of properly, these last up to 14 years. Here are a few things you can do to keep both your fridge and your food fresh.
Never overwork your refrigerator and freezer by filling it to the brim. This will interfere with ventilation, making it is harder to cool newer food items. This also makes the compressor work more so that it heats faster, stays warm longer, and fails earlier.
Freezers, however, should be kept full (but not too full) as the food act as ice packs by radiating coolness. You can also achieve this by keeping water bottles in the freezer.
Clean the Refrigerator Coils
The coils keep your food cool by absorbing the heat. So, it is essential that these coils stay clean of dust and debris that would otherwise hamper its function.
Most coils are located behind the front grill or at the back of the refrigerator. Pull them out with a coil cleaning brush and clean the coils by using a vacuum with a brush attachment every 6 months. An efficient coil will also save your utility bills.
Scrub the Doors’ Rubber Gasket
The rubber is used to seal the cold in and the warm air out. Keep the seal tight by regularly scrubbing off food and debris with soap and warm water. Replace the seal when it begins to crack and always close the doors tightly.
Another tip is to apply petroleum jelly to prevent the seal from cracking.
If your refrigerator has started to smell more revolting than enticing, it probably means you need to clean it up. Get rid of the smell with these tricks:
Remove the food and clean every nook and cranny, especially the shelf supports, with a disinfectant.
Crush charcoal briquettes and place one batch in the freezer and another in the fridge.
Place old newspaper in the shelf supports. Both the charcoal and the newspaper will absorb the smells, so replace them
every day for a week or until the smell goes away.
Washing machines take care of our clothes, but how much do we take care of them?
Wash smaller loads
Overloading the washing machine can damage the motor and other parts. The repairs can be costlier than a new washing machine. Also, do not wash your rugs and rubber mats in the machine.
Keep it clean
This is true for any appliance. Clean appliances work more efficiently and last longer.
The inside drum should be cleaned with a damp cloth every week to remove soapy residues, dirt, and threads from clothes. After cleaning, keep the lid open to dry the moisture inside to prevent molds.
Don’t use too much detergent
Most high-efficiency washing machines use less water, so going overboard with the detergent can cause your machine to be more dirty than clean. The leftover detergent makes a thin film on the inner surface, which can be a hotspot for mold growth.
We often do this subconsciously, but this can seriously damage the lid, and they are costly to repair. Close the lid gently, starting from your next wash.
Check hoses for leaks
Prolonged use can lead to cracks in the hose. Inspect it regularly and replace any brittle hoses. A more permanent solution is to switch to steel pipes if possible.
Ensure that the machine is level with the floor, as the vibrations can lead to loose connections, water leaks, and very noisy machines. You can also place the feet on anti-vibration pads to keep it quiet.
If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher at home, then keep it running longer with these few tricks.
Avoid too many dishes
Like other appliances, avoid overloading the dishwasher as it prevents water from reaching all the dishes properly. You might end up having to run it again or clean the dishes by hand.
Keep the filters clean
The filters prevent food particles from clogging up the drain, so they must be cleaned regularly. Otherwise, water can’t reach the top rack dishes.
Follow the user manual to find the filter. They are usually in the lower rack below a filter cover. Then, vacuum to clean off the screen. Also, check the float switch to see if it sticks and clean it with water.
Wipe the door gaskets and bottom edge with water and bleach. Clear the pump and spray arms of any debris.
Clear Disposal Debris
Do this by simply lifting the flaps of the splash guard and scrub with a toothbrush and grease-cutting cleaner.
Use Preheated Water
Run the kitchen faucet until hot water out comes before loading the dishwasher, as this will save excess energy spent heating the water once it fills.
If the dryer isn’t heating properly it may be due to a non-heating fluff setting or clogged filters. Ideally, the lint filter should be cleaned after every cycle.
Check your filter by pouring water on it, if the water holds, it is time to clean the filters. A clogged filter means longer drying times and can be a serious fire hazard.
Clean the lint filters
Take out the lint filter and scrub it with a soft-bristle brush using detergent and hot water. It is also a good idea to deep-clean the dryer every few months, as lint can also clog up other places.
Do this by removing the back panel to access the inside and clean as required. Clean the exhaust vent pipes with a vent brush biannually, as they can also be a fire hazard.
Both gas and electric stoves don’t require much maintenance. Just keeping them clean is enough.
Clean the stove near the igniter with a toothbrush or a damp cloth. Also ensure the ceramic seal strike plate is properly placed on the burner to avoid your utensils from falling off. Also, clean the ceramic plate with soapy water every week or at the end of cooking.
In case of glass-topped electric heaters, clean with glass cleaner twice a week to avoid buildup. For the burner models, clean all the removable parts and around the igniter with mild detergent and warm water.
If the burner or electric stove isn’t heating properly, it is probably due to a loose connection. Turn of the burner, pull it off the socket, and plug it in again. If this doesn’t work, bend the burner prongs forward gently to create a better connection.
Dirty drip pans beneath the stove burners can be the cause of inefficient heating. Replace these with new ones or cover them with clean aluminum foil.
You should keep a few things in mind to keep the water heater running properly longer.
Check the pressure relief valve for mineral deposits, as dried residue can clog the valve and prevent it from opening properly. Simply open the valve fully a couple of times per year to prevent this.
If your heater elements are working properly but the water isn’t heating, it is probably because of the dip tube, which can be easily replaced. A dip tube carries cold air to be heated by the heater and corrodes over time, leaving cold water near the hot water outlet. Replacing the dip tube will solve this problem.
Juices, smoothies, shakes, or soup mix, blenders are an important part of cooking. Taking care of your blender will ensure it stays in your kitchen for a long time.
Choose the right blender
Before you buy a blender, check which blender is the right one for you. Different blenders have different options, so you might want to look into which one suits you best.
Read reviews and learn about the differences between Blendtec and Vitamix to help you get started about the types of blenders and what they can be used for.
Keep it clean
Wash your blender after every use, especially under the blades. If left unwashed for long, the material will stick to your blender and will not come off easily. Wash the lid separately and wipe the motor with a damp cloth. Let all parts dry before you put them away to prevent mold.
Blender jugs are usually made of glass and so are vulnerable to breaking, especially in the hands of pets and children. Store them away in a high and safe place to protect from dust, temperature, and accidental breakage.
Blend the right materials
Even the best blenders have their limits and cannot blend everything. For example, there are certain blenders for smoothies, and others are better for chopping spices. You have to check which blender is best suited to your needs before you buy one.
The best solution to a long-running microwave is to keep it clean. Clean the microwave by heating a microwave safe glass bowl of water until the liquid boils. The steam will loosen all the gunk inside, which you can then remove with dishwashing soap and water.
To prevent fire hazards, avoid heating food in metal dishes. Remove any seals before heating packed food and do not cover the top when the microwave is in use.
With the horrid summer in full swing, everyone wants to seek respite from the hellish heat with some cool air. But before you turn on the air conditioner, you might want to clean it to prevent being bombarded with dust, fur, bugs, mouse droppings, and mold that might have accumulated over the winter.
Vacuum all the surfaces and the fins on the outer face of the conditioner. Also, clean the foam filter beneath the cover panel. Once in use, clean the filters with soap and a damp cloth every month and blow dry the vents weekly to clear the dust.
Clear the condenser of debris and hose down the radiator fins. To access the inside, unscrew the fan and clean the inside with a brush to rid the dust.
Also, keep the air conditioner free of any obstacles for better airflow.
Keep a few general tips in mind, like ensuring that the extension cord is the right size and that the connections are secure. Also, make sure these connections are away from water.
Taking proper care of appliances is not hard work, and it pays off well in the long run. Your appliances will work for years to come and will remain both cost-friendly and environment-friendly.
However, no matter how much care you take, no appliances last forever. Some repairs require professional help, so you will need to recognize when to call the repairman and when to head to the store to buy a new one.