10 Home Appliance Maintenance Tips

  • A woman wearing a colorful purple apron puts a pan in the dishwasher.
We don’t tend to give a lot of thought to our appliances—until they break. Then, we’re scrambling to wash our own dishes, borrow the neighbor’s washing machine, or find something to buy for dinner.

With a few simple steps, you can extend the life of your appliances, so that they can keep doing the work we need them to for as long as possible.

1. Clean Coils in Your Fridge

Clogged coils restrict air flow, which makes your fridge work harder. Once or twice a year, use a hand-held vacuum to suck any dust, dirt, or pet hair out of the coils.

2. Let Your Oven Do its Thing

Your oven has a self-cleaning cycle for a reason. Use it—and also wipe down the inside and out of your dishwasher at least once a month.

3. Take Care of Your Dryer

The number one thing you can do to keep your dryer humming (and prevent fires) is to make sure you keep the lint trap clean.

4. Freshen Your Microwave

Clean freaks all know this simple trick: Fill a microwave-safe container with two cups of water and two tablespoons of vinegar, then microwave for three to five minutes. When it’s done, leave the door shut for another few minutes to allow the steam to do its work. Finally, take a sponge or cloth and wipe the interior down.

5. Be Cool to Your Air Conditioner

You can accomplish just that by changing the filter twice a year, ideally in fall and spring.

6. Treat Your Garbage Disposal

After everything you put down the drain, your disposal (and your nose) will appreciate a little lift. Do so by pouring warm water into your disposal at the same time as cut-up lemons.

7. Check Your Water Type

If your home has hard water, mineral deposits can wreak havoc on your dishwasher over time. An easy fix it to fit your dishwasher with a water softener.

8. Wash Your Washer

Running your washer on a vinegar cleaning cycle will keep it clean and doing its job. Also check the detergent drawer. If it’s caked with residue, pull it out and give it a proper cleaning.

9. De-crumb your Toaster

You might not even have noticed it, but most toasters come with a handy little crumb-collector drawer that can be pulled out and cleaned. Doing so can prevent fires and bad smells.

10. Don’t Forget Your Furnace

The filter should be cleaned or replaced at least twice a year. You should also consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned as well.

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About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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