Ever cursed at a broken appliance?
Before you complain about a manufacturer’s quality, here’s something you should know:
From dishwashers and refrigerators to dryers and washing machines, many appliance problems are caused by operator error.
Here are a few of these problems and how to avoid them:
Problem: Glassware appears cloudy or foggy after dishwasher cycle.
Common myth: The dishwasher is failing to clean properly.
Real cause: You’ve used too much detergent and it caused permanent damage known as etching.
How to fix it: Once etching is present on glassware, there is no way to remove it. Avoid using too much detergent by following the owner’s manual’s recommendation. Consider detergent pods in lieu of filling the detergent cup directly to avoid overfilling it.
Real cause: You have hard water.
How to fix it: To find out if you have hard water, pick up water test strips from a home improvement store. Alternatively, you can hire professional water experts to test it for you. If water is found to be too hard, you may need to install a water softener. The softer the water, the less detergent the dishwasher will need to do its job.
Problem: Dryer is taking longer to dry clothing.
Common myth: The dryer is aging and/or parts are failing.
Real cause: Lint buildup in the venting system is restricting air flow.
How to fix it: At least once per year, the entire venting system should be cleaned out from the inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap. A vent cleaning brush makes this an easy DIY job. In addition to causing performance problems, this is an extreme fire risk. The lint trap filter should be cleaned out after every load; this is critical for proper air flow.
Problem: Ultra wrinkled clothing after washing.
Common myth: Washing machine’s agitator is twisting clothing too much.
Real cause: Too much clothing is being stuffed into a single load.
How to fix it: Don’t overload your machine. Remove clothing promptly after drying cycle is complete.
Problem: Freezer burn (a.k.a. the snow-ish fuzz that covers your food stored in the freezer) is covering the freezer contents.
Common myth: There’s a problem with the freezer’s thermostat.
Real cause: Food is dehydrated due to exposure to the air – all thanks to improper food packaging. Most frozen foods available at grocery stores are not packaged to prevent dehydration.
How to fix: Food intended to be stored in a freezer for more than a few days should be placed in airtight containers or zippered plastic bags specifically designed for freezer storage.
Is it safe to eat freezer-burned food? Yes, but most people find that the dehydration leaves the food with a bland taste.