Home Appliance MaintenanceThese home appliance maintenance tips are intended to help you to extend the life of your home appliances, such as your dishwasher, home laundry equipment, refrigerator and so on. Many people neglect their home appliances in the belief that they will last forever, or that there is little they can do to extend their life.

They are wrong – there is a great deal you can do to enable you to get the most out of every appliance you purchase. Here are just a few of the home appliance maintenance actions you can take to extend the life of any electrical appliance in your home.

Home Appliance Maintenance Tips: The Dishwasher

Action:  Regularly clean the filter if there is one, and keep the spray holes clean and free of deposits. Make sure you keep the racks in good condition, and repair any damage using a repair kit- these are available at most hardware stores or from the maker’s website. Keep the interior surfaces generally clean.

Effect:  A clogged or dirty filter or spray can deposit particles of food back onto your clean dishes and cutlery. Once the metal of the racks gets exposed it will not only rust and deposit brown particles on your dishes, but the exposed prongs can scratch your crockery and glasses. General internal dirtiness leads to a less clean finish on your tableware.

The Refrigerator

Action:  Keep the flexible seals clean and dry, and keep the door latch properly adjusted. Check this by closing the door over a piece of paper – it should be difficult to pull out. Keep the internal surfaces clean using a baking soda solution – do not use a detergent. Vacuum the coils at the back regularly and also clean beneath the fridge.

Effect:  Dirty seals let cold air out and make your refrigerator work harder, thus shortening its life. Dirty internal surfaces can have a similar effect while dust around the external coils also makes your condenser work harder. There should be a good flow of air behind and beneath your refrigerator to permit adequate cooling of the condenser. Sodium bicarbonate solution is a good cleanser that leaves no odor while most detergents do.

The Washing Machine

Action: Inspect the hoses regularly and replace any damaged hoses.  If you can, replace rubber hoses with steel-braided equivalents which are considerably stronger.  This is easy to do.  Clean the door seal regularly and also keep the detergent drawer clean.

Effect:  You can avoid damage caused by leaking or burst hoses – this is a major cause of damage to your home and to your washing machine. Rubber hoses are particularly prone to this. Dirty door seals can leave marks on your clothes, particularly whites, and blocked or dirty detergent drawers can reduce the efficiency of your wash – you are paying for less effect.

The Clothes Dryer

Action:  Save money by drying your clothes on an outside line! Failing that, make sure the airflow is not impeded in anyway.  Clean out the lint filter after each use. Clean out the ducting on a regular basis using a vacuum cleaner, and replace flexible ducting with a solid metal version. Make sure that any external venting is clear and free of obstruction.

Effect:  A good airflow is essential, not just to maintain drying efficiency, but to prevent overheating and a potential fire. Flexible ducting can trap lint that can catch fire if the machine overheats

The Garbage Disposal

Action:  Clean the unit by grinding citrus peel. Also grind up ice cubes, and clean after every use by running cold water through the unit for a minute or so.

Effect:  Citrus peel removes odors caused by trapped food particles. Ice cubes will clear up any general debris in the unit, and cold water keeps fats and greases solid so they can be more easily ground up and removed by the running water.

Oven and Cooking Range

Action: Clean the oven with an oven cleaner only if it has no self-cleaning option.  If so, then use only that and nothing else. Clean out the gas burner holes with a pin or a sewing needle. Clean burner caps and metal or glass tops with hot soapy water.  Clean out the back and below your free-standing oven at least annually.

Effect:  The self-cleaning coating of such ovens can be ruined by proprietary alkaline oven cleaners, and there is no need to use them with this type of oven.  The burner holes at the side of the burner caps of a gas oven must be kept free from debris for maximum efficiency, and overall cleanliness helps maintain good heat transfer.

There are more home appliance maintenance tips available, although there are two major factors involved in them all:  cleanliness and maintenance a good flow of air or heat. Fundamentally, if you keep everything clean and avoid blockages, your home appliance should last for the whole of its allotted life. Failure is generally caused by a lack of cleanliness and general attention, and the above home appliance maintenance tips should deal with these problems.