Are your appliances running as efficient as they could be? With how often appliances are used, they need regular maintenance and cleaning to keep them in tip top shape. Here are 8 tips to keep your appliances running smoothly.
Clean refrigerator coils and water filter
Cleaning your refrigerator’s coils is an important task that can keep your appliance running efficiently and possibly extend the life of your unit. To learn more about how to clean your coils, change your water filter, and other refrigerator maintenance tasks, see our blog.
Clean dishwasher filters
How often do you clean your dishwasher? Even though dishwashers are frequently used, they aren’t cleaned as much as they should be. One of the best things to do is to keep the dishwasher filters clean.
If you have a self-cleaning filter, you don’t need to clean your filter. If you have a manual filter, however, you should clean your filter every month.
To clean a manual dishwasher filter, remove the bottom rack. Find the cylindrical filter unit at the bottom of the appliance, and remove the upper one first by twisting it. Then lift up. Wash the filter in warm, soapy water and then rinse it. Return the filter to the dishwasher.
Clean the dryer lint filter and vent
Dryers are a necessity in many households, but they are often not maintained properly. Cleaning your dryer can maintain its efficiency and extend your appliance’s life.
The simplest way to maintain your dryer is to clean the filter after every use. However, just wiping away the lint may not be enough. Fabric softener can clog your filter without you evening knowing it. Remove your filter and pour some water onto the screen. If the water pools and doesn’t flow through the filter, you’ll need to wash it with soapy water.
Dryer vents should be cleaned at least once a year, although doing it more often doesn’t hurt. A clogged vent makes the dryer work harder to dry your clothes, and it uses more energy. According to Bob Vila, a clogged dryer vent can also cause a fire.
To clean your dryer vent, unplug the dryer and move it away from the wall. Detach the hose. Then clean out the vent and the hose with a vacuum. After putting the dryer back into place, head outside to clear out the exterior vent.
Check washer hoses for leaks
While you are in the laundry room, it is a good idea to check your washer hoses for leaks or wet spots. Be sure that the hoses are tightened properly. And, if you have rubber hoses, you might want to consider upgrading to stainless steel braided hoses, which can prevent bursting.
If you find that your hoses are leaking, immediately turn off the hot and cold water to the machine to avoid potential damage to your home.
Clean toaster crumb tray
Toasters are a frequently used and often ignored appliance when it comes to cleaning. When is the last time you emptied your crumb tray, or turned the toaster upside down to shake out the crumbs?
Crumbs left in the crumb tray or inside the toaster over time can catch fire.
To reduce your risk of a toaster fire, unplug your toaster when it is not in use. Be sure to hold the toaster over the sink or garbage can to empty the toaster and tray of any crumbs.
Clean your garbage disposal
Garbage disposals need to be cleaned to reduce odors and to sharpen the blades. Your first step when dealing with a garbage disposal should always be to turn off the power to the unit. Once the power is off, check to be sure that the disposal does not turn on.
Look down the drain with a flashlight to determine if any objects are lodged or stuck in the disposal. If you find anything, use needle-nose pliers or metal tongs to remove the items. Never stick your hand down the chamber.
Now that you’ve checked for objects, restore power to the disposal. Drop a dozen or so ice cubes into the disposal with a half-cup of rock salt. Then turn it on and run water down inside. This should clean the blades.
Unplug the disposal again and add baking soda and vinegar to the disposal. Allowing the solution to react and sit for 15-20 minutes should kill bacteria and other germs that sit in the disposal. You should also add baking soda and vinegar to a toothbrush to scrub the rubber flaps of the disposal.
Now plug the drain and allow the sink to fill up halfway or three-quarters full. Remove the drain plug and run the disposal for a final clean.
To keep your disposal in working condition, never put foods like potato peels, egg shells, or corn husks down the drain. These, and many other items, can damage your disposal.
Clean the microwave and vent hoods
Does your microwave need to be cleaned? Is the subtle smell of burnt popcorn or reheated lasagna just not going away? Here are some tips on how to clean your microwave and vent hoods.
The first step to cleaning any microwave should be to wipe it down inside and out with a sponge or paper towel. After you’ve cleaned the surface, it’s time for the real work to begin.
Consider placing a bowl of water or freshly squeezed lemons in the microwave. Run the microwave on high for two to three minutes so that the bowl of water or lemon water can start to boil. Let the bowl stand for a few minutes so that the steam can cut through any food or grease still stuck on the interior. Then remove the bowl.
An alternative to this step is to use baking soda and vinegar. Simply wet a cloth or sponge in a bowl of the mixture and wipe down the inside. Then do the same thing as the previous step by running a bowl of the solution for two to three minutes.
With each method, remove the turntable (if applicable) and soak it in hot, soapy water. Then wipe down the interior of the microwave with a damp cloth or sponge.
Now it’s on to the vent hoods. These filters should be cleaned once a month to keep your filters in great condition. Slide the filter and pull it out. Then soak them with hot water and detergent or vinegar solution.
Purchase a home warranty
Appliance breakdowns always seem to happen at the worst times. If your refrigerator, dishwasher, or other appliance stops working, it will need to be repaired or replaced. This could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the cost of replacement parts and for installation.
What about your homeowners insurance?
Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover wear and tear or other appliance breakdowns due to failing components or old age. That’s wear a home warranty can come in handy!
Freedom Home Warranty exists to help you cover the cost of repairs and replacement for your home’s appliances.
We offer three affordable plans and a la carte coverage options to ensure that your home’s systems and appliances are protected in the event of a breakdown. And, all of our customers have the freedom to choose their own contractor.
We’re here to protect you!