Maintaining Your Appliances – A How – To Guide

Let’s face it. Being an adult is expensive. Everywhere we turn, something breaks or goes wrong, and we find ourselves paying massive bills to repair damages. It seems like it will never end, and unfortunately, it never will. However, there is a way to make life a little easier – and that is to maintain our appliances. If properly taken care of, appliances will last for years to come. If not, they can break and cost us hundreds of dollars in repairs, or even thousands when we need to replace them. In order to avoid that scenario for as long as possible, there are a few simple things we can do to make our appliances have good, long lives.

Refrigerator Maintenance

Refrigerators are very expensive, so keeping them cleaned and maintained is so important if you want it to work properly for years to come. On top of that, they are the MOST used appliances in our homes, as they keep our food from spoiling.

  1. Clean the condenser coils. You’ll need a special coil cleaning brush for this. If you don’t have one, you can get a refrigerator coil cleaner here. It is very simple to do. Remove the grill from the bottom of your fridge, and clean all the dust and grime from the coils with the brush. Then, vacuum all the dirt off the brush and repeat the process until your brush comes out clean. The reason it is so important to clean the coils is because they are the part that is responsible for keeping our food cold. If you find that your fridge is not as cold as it used to be, it’s probably because of dirty coils.
  2. Do a deep clean and defrost. (I recommend doing a fridge deep clean during the winter, especially if you live in a cold environment. That way, you can store all of your food in your garage or even outside where you won’t have to worry about it spoiling if it isn’t in the fridge.) To do a fridge deep clean, just remove all the food, throw away the expired stuff, and unplug your fridge. Clean everything from top to bottom. Defrost the freezer and get rid of all the gunky ice and frost that has formed around the sides. Then sanitize everything with a vinegar solution or a nice cleaner. I like this one. After everything is clean, plug your fridge back in, put the food back, and you are ready to go.
  3. Clean the rubber seal gasket. Although you can do this step during your annual deep clean and defrost, it’s probably safer to do it every time you do a lite fridge cleaning. The reason I say this is because if something sticky gets stuck on the gasket, it will cause the door to stick to the fridge. The harder you have to pull on the door, the more of a possibility that the gasket will rip. This causes the door to not seal properly and cold air will begin to escape from the fridge. When this happens, you will be smacked with a hefty fee to fix it.

Washing your Washer

For me, my washing machine is the most used appliance in my house, next to my fridge. I usually run at least a load of wash a day. Because of this, washing machine maintenance is very important to me. Here are a couple things I do to take good care of my washer.

I never put in heavy loads

I learned this the hard way. Two years ago I thought it was a good idea to wash a small area rug I had. I crammed it in the washer, and an hour later, both my rug was shredded, and the washer had broken. Luckily, my husband was able to fix our wash machine, but the rug was completely scrapped. Long story short, never over-fill your washer. A good rule to stick by is:

If it doesn’t have room to move, it shouldn’t go in the wash.

If you hear your washing machine making funny noises, chances are, it’s probably over-filled. Eventually, this will break the motor in your washer.

Deep clean your machine

Once every few months, I like to deep clean my wash machine. I put in a cup of vinegar, put it on a heavy cycle, and allow the washer clean itself. The vinegar will destroy mold and break down rust and other particles forming in the washer. Once the cycle is finished, I clean underneath the rubber part and remove all the hair and dirt. Then I clean the insides with a vinegar solution to remove the residue. Lastly, I wipe down the outside of the machine from top to bottom with a cleaner.

Dryer Maintenance

Making sure your lint trap is free of debris every time you use the dryer is extremely important. If it isn’t, the dryer can catch on fire. No one wants that! Sometimes just removing the lint from the trap isn’t enough. Once a month, run the lint trap under some warm water and scrub everything with a mild soap and soft-bristled brush. This will remove any lint that was stuck in the little holes. Allow it to air dry until it is ready for use again.

Dishwasher Washing

Who here loves their dishwashers? I certainly do! My dishwasher is my favorite appliance, because I hate washing dishes by hand! However, since it is only my husband and I, it only gets run about twice a week. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a good deep clean from time to time.

  1. Remove the racks periodically and clean them. This one is pretty self explanatory. Just take out the racks and give them a good wipe down with your favorite cleaner or a vinegar solution. It’s important to do this because if your water is naturally rich in iron (like mine) then those particles can get stuck on the racks and eventually cause damage.
  2. Do a deep clean once a year. Like with the fridge, it’s important to deep clean your dishwasher so it will continue to work in tip-top condition. You can do a cycle with vinegar to break down all the grime in the washer. Once the cycle is finished, remove everything and clean it all by hand – the racks, the sides, the top and bottom. Don’t forget to clean the rubber seal gasket and the outside of the machine as well. Make sure no You can also clean the filter at the bottom of the wash machine.
  3. Periodically clean the filter. The filter is located at the bottom of the dishwasher. When wet, nasty food gets stuck in there, the dishwasher won’t properly wash your dishes any longer. To clean the filter, all you have to do is remove the lower rack, and find the filter at the bottom. It is very easy to spot. Remove it, and throw out all the old, wet food. Once that’s done, you can go ahead and wash it. There may also be a mesh rack under your filter. You can also remove and clean that as well. Once everything is out, clean around the bottom, and put everything back.

Cleaning and maintaining our appliances is a crucial part of home owning. Since we are always stuck with bill after bill, it is a good idea to take some extra steps to avoid a headache in the long run. We all enjoy saving money, so let’s start right now! In light of this, let me ask this question: what are some of the ways you like to clean and maintain your appliances? I’m always interested in new tips! Let me know in the comments!

I hope everyone has a splendid week, and God bless!

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