Should old appliances be forgotten? Of course not. While classic New Year’s resolutions such as a vow to slim one’s figure, limit the number of bars hopped on a Thursday night, or reduce the amount of time spent scrolling through a social media feed remain evergreen, there are some additional resolutions you should consider that will make your home life a whole lot easier over the next twelve months: keeping your home’s appliances well-maintained.
To get you started, we’ve collected some of Repair Clinic.com’s top appliance maintenance tips. So, let’s raise a glass to a new year filled with a little preventative maintenance and a minimum of repairs.
Keeping the dishwasher a kitchen MVP
If any appliance gets a workout during the holidays, it’s going to be the dishwasher. Here are four tips to keep this kitchen MVP in top condition:
- Since the dishwasher’s spray arm or arms can become clogged with food particles after repeated use, you should use a small brush or pipe cleaner to clear out the holes in the arm to improve the water flow.
- If your dishwasher has a detachable filter, you should periodically remove the filter and clean it thoroughly to reduce odors and prevent water from pooling near the sump area. You should also inspect the filter for any rips or holes. If you find any damage, replace the filter with a new one.
- Occasionally, the plastic coating on the rack tines will wear off, causing them to rust. You can purchase a tine repair kit to correct this problem.
- After several weeks of use, consider using a product like Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner to give the inside of the appliance a good cleaning. Affresh is specially formulated to help remove limescale and mineral build-up.
Just stay cool refrigerator
You can’t expect your refrigerator to continue working optimally all year long without a little care and maintenance. Here are three of the most important things you can do for your fridge:
- At least once a year, you should clean the refrigerator’s condenser coils. The coils dissipate the heat from the refrigerant running through them which helps keep the refrigerator and freezer compartments cold. To do this, remove the appliance’s lower grille (or “toe kick plate” as it is sometimes called) as well as the lower rear access panel, then use a condenser coil brush and a vacuum to clean the coils, the condensing fan blade, and the surrounding area. Just remember to unplug the appliance’s power cord before removing any panels.
- To keep the cool air in and the warm air out, you want to make sure the door gaskets form a good seal with the refrigerator frame. Every few months, use hot, soapy water to wipe down the door gaskets and clean the frame where the gaskets come into contact with it.
- Starting to notice unpleasant odors when you open the refrigerator door? Consider using baking soda or a product like FreshFlow Produce Preserver to help keep everything smelling fresh.
A full range of maintenance tips
While refrigerators can look pristine for months on end, your range gets more of a work-out and can start looking a little grimy after only a few days of use. Here are four simple tips that can keep your range/stove/oven looking great:
- Both the range’s control panel and cooktop can be easily cleaned with non-abrasive cleaners like Affresh Stainless Steel Cleaner and Cerama Bryte glass ceramic cooktop cleaner. Always apply the cleaner to a rag or wash cloth rather than the surface you wish to clean.
- The burner drip bowls can stain easily after months of use and can be very difficult to clean. The solution? Since drip bowls are quite inexpensive (most are under $10), you can simply replace the old ones with shiny new ones.
- Does your oven have a self-cleaning feature? Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to run the self-cleaning cycle once every three months to break down the residue that can build up inside the oven. If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning setting, you can periodically use an oven cleaning kit to keep the inside of the oven looking its best.
- You won’t be able to see how good the inside of the oven looks if the oven’s light bulb is burned out. Oven light bulbs are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace; just make sure the bulb is the right match for your range model.
It will all come out in the wash
No one wants to go back to washing clothes using a wash tub and a laundry wringer if they don’t have to. Here are four tips that will help keep your washing machine performing like a champ and look good while doing it:
- Regularly inspect the water supply hoses attached to the washer’s water inlet valve to ensure they are undamaged. Regardless of their condition, it’s a good idea to replace the hoses with new ones every five years. We recommend installing stainless steel hoses for added durability. Just be sure to shut off the home’s hot and cold water valves before detaching the hoses.
- Keeping the washer level will help prevent unnecessary wear-and-tear (and keep the washer from scuttling across the laundry room floor when in operation). You can do this by adjusting the appliance’s legs. Most washers use adjustable legs with locking nuts. Level then tighten these legs as close to the washer base as possible. Some washers have self-adjusting rear legs. Once you’ve leveled the front legs on these models (you can use a level to ensure this), tip the appliance forward and back down to set the rear legs.
- Every few weeks you should use self-cleaning washer tablets, such as Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner, during an empty wash cycle to help keep the tub free of lint, residue, and mold.
- Speaking of mold, if you have a front-load washer, you should wipe down the door boot seal and leave the door open slightly after every wash to prevent mold buildup and reduce odors.
Making sure the heat is on
The companion appliance to your washer needs just as much care to dry your clothes, towels, and linens efficiently. Here are four cleaning tips directly related to your dryer’s performance:
- Be sure to clean the dryer’s lint filter after every cycle (the filter is normally located on top of the cabinet or at the door). A dirty lint filter can result in the dryer running longer than necessary or, even, overheating. You can use a bristle brush to remove any stubborn residue. Does the filter has any rips or holes? Replace it with a new one.
- Keep the lint screen housing free of excess lint as well. You can use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to clean the housing.
- At least once a year, you should remove the venting from the rear of the appliance and use a vent brush to clean out as much lint or obstructions as you can from the entire length of venting. The number one cause of a dryer failing to heat is poor air flow due to clogged venting (the clog often causing the appliance’s thermal fuse to blow).
- Another recommended annual maintenance is to fully vacuum and clean out the inside of the dryer’s cabinet. The cleaner the appliance, the more efficient it will run.
Keep all of your appliances working great with parts from Repair Clinic
To help maintain and repair all of your appliances, as well as outdoor power equipment, and heating and cooling products, Repair Clinic.com stocks genuine manufacturer replacement appliance parts from brand names such as Whirlpool, Electrolux, GE, LG, Samsung, Speed Queen, Briggs & Stratton, Honda, Toro, Echo, MTD, Bryant, Lennox, Goodman, and many more. To find the right part or accessory for your appliance or equipment, enter the full model number in the Repair Clinic website search bar. You can then use the “Part Category” filter and the “Part Title” filter to narrow the results down to identify the specific item that fits your model.