How to extend the lifetime of your kitchen appliances

Kitchen appliances are expensive to replace, so it’s important to show yours a little TLC. Doing so will extend their useful life and save you money. These simple tips and tricks will help you to help your kitchen appliances so you can all be together for many years to come.

The Refrigerator
No matter how clean you keep your house, dust and pet hair will accumulate on your refrigerator’s motor and coils. When it does, the fridge has to work harder to keep things cool. To lower the cost of your energy bill and make your fridge last longer, periodically remove the bottom kick plate and vacuum dust off of every part you can reach. When you have a buddy to help you, pull the fridge away from the wall and vacuum behind it, as well, if there are coils there. Pay attention to the rubber seals around the refrigerator door, too. These rubber gaskets dry out and fail over time unless you spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly over them once in a while when they feel dry.

The Dishwasher
Keep your dishwasher in good working order by loading it carefully. The racks in your dishwasher are coated with vinyl but are metal underneath. They will rust if the coating is nicked or damaged and are quite expensive to replace. Have your dishwasher installer show you where the filter is on your unit and clean it regularly. If you have hard water, consider installing a water treatment or filtration system to reduce scale buildup inside your dishwasher, washing machine and plumbing.

The Kitchen Sink
While not an appliance, per se, your sink is an important part of your kitchen and an item that is expensive to replace. Make yours last longer by regularly cleaning faucets to avoid scale. Never let acidic foods sit in your sink or let soap or cleaners dry in surfaces. Run lots of cold water when using your garbage disposal to avoid clogs and clear any clogs you do get. Never run the following through your disposal:

• Rice or pasta
• Coffee grounds
• Eggshells
• Bones
• Celery
• Beans

The Oven and The Stove
Clean your oven twice a year and clean up spills in your oven and on your stove immediately. You can use your oven’s self-cleaning feature or clean manually, but be sure to use only chemicals safe for your oven during manual cleaning. Remember to avoid using abrasive sponges and cleaners on your stove top. When you clean, do not clean under or remove the knobs. Inspect burners when cleaning your stove and cooking on it, replacing any that are deformed or warped. If you notice a spot on a stove burner that is a different shade of red than the rest of the burner, stop using that burner and replace it as soon as possible.

The Microwave
Your microwave will live longer if you cover everything you microwave, even if you’re just boiling water. There is a cover inside all microwaves that leads to the element. Splatter can get under this filter and damage the element. Keep all of your microwave sessions under 20 minutes or you risk warping the interior walls and never microwave anything metal.

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