When purchasing a household appliance, or any other expensive item for that matter, we usually compromise by spending a little extra thinking that we are purchasing a quality item and that it will last a little longer.
However, while the quality of the make certainly matters, it is not the only thing that counts. The way you treat and maintain an appliance makes a great difference in how long it will last you and makes it more worth the investment. There is no demanding upkeep required, just a couple of simple tips to bear in mind.
Keep them clean
Most of what you can do for your household appliances involves cleaning. Dusting on regular basis is quite all right, but most of them require a more thorough cleaning about twice a year.
– The refrigerator
Your refrigerator, for example, requires you to clean the coils on the back of it. Moisture from the vapor in the kitchen, plus the dust particles, create a layer of sticky residue which builds up on the coils and makes your refrigerator put the extra strain to keep your food cool. It consequently spends more electricity and wears off more quickly. For additional efficiency, keep the rubber strip around the door clean so it seals better and keeps the cold air in.
– The stove
The stove also requires a regular scrub but it mostly refers to the drip pans. Do not wrap them up in foil, but clean them regularly so they can effectively reflect heat. The auto-clean of your oven should not be switched on every time you use it because it can cause damage to the appliance due to high temperatures.
– The dryer
Your dryer needs to be cleaned off the lint after every use. Also, every six months or so, inspect the vent and the inside of the appliance to clean any lint which managed to get through.
– The dishwasher
A dishwasher should be cleaned from the inside, periodically, but more importantly, cleaning the dishes of any left-over food will keep the waste and filth out of the appliance.
– The washing machine
Your washing machine needs washing every couple of months, there are homemade treatments you can use combining baking soda and vinegar to clean it and disinfect it. Clean the hoses periodically, as well.
Any device using filters has them for a purpose, make sure you clean them regularly and replace when required, in accordance with the instructions manual.
The appliances that require loading, also require you not to overload them. By rule, this will put the extra strain on an appliance and makes its lifespan shorter. Another reason not to overload is the fact that you will be reducing the effectiveness.
While I grant you, you save energy if you wash two loads of laundry instead of three, the chances are that the clothes will not be washed properly. The same goes for your drier and the dishwasher. Also, do not put hot or even warm food in the fridge, but let it cool before you put it in.
Use the right amounts of soap
This refers to the dishwasher soap and laundry detergent used in washing machines. Technological advancements have allowed us to build high-efficiency appliances in order to preserve resources, namely water, and electricity. Using too much soap or detergent in appliances which are trying to minimize the water usage can leave a thin layer of residue on the inner surface and create a perfect soil for mold.
Re-magnetize your fridge door magnetic strip every couple of years. Total Appliance repair advises that this is a quick routine job for any repair service. However, you can easily do this yourself and save some money.
Empty your pockets prior to loading your washing machine as it could contain items which fall apart and stick to the fabric of the clothes in it, or even worse, damage the inside of the appliance. Leave the door open to let the air flow freely.
You will save your dishwasher some work by running the hot tap prior to switching it on, the water will be hot from the very beginning and there will be no need for the appliance to heat it up.
Final piece of advice
A full repair is required in case something goes wrong and is beyond your expertise. However, there are a lot of repairs you can do on your own. Before you start worrying about the repairs, consult the instructions manual and the general recommendations to know how to treat an appliance right after you purchase it. This will save you a lot of trouble and money.