10 DIY Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Appliances Running Like New

3559029_l (1)As the years pass, we all develop a long term relationship with our appliances. They are incorporated in our every day, basic routines so it is important to keep them in good shape. Major appliance malfunctions and issues can be easily avoided with just a little TLC (tender, loving, care).

This kind of TLC does not require the work of a professional handyman. Rather, these are simple appliance maintenance tasks that you can do yourself with little investment and no prior appliance experience. 

1. Verify Your Oven Door Has a Tight Seal

Without a proper seal, your oven can lose more than 20% of the heat it produces. This means that your food takes longer to cook or cooks unevenly. You can check your seal’s condition for any damaged or worn areas. First locate the rubber or fiberglass gasket around the perimeter or the door. Look for areas that may be torn, broken, or deformed. If you happen to find any potential leaky areas, it’s time to replace the seal. You can find replacement seals here: Replacement Door Gaskets

2. Clean or Replace Dirty Range Hood or Downdraft Vent Filters

Don’t forget the filters! It is important to wash your metal mesh grease filters more often than not. You can wash them by hand with warm, soapy water or you can simply place them in your dishwasher. Charcoal or paper filters should not be washed, replace them instead. You can find replacement filters here: Replacement Range Hood Filters

3. Clean Stove-top Drip Pans

Remove the drip bowls from underneath your burner elements and pre-soak them in a cleaning solution. You can clean them naturally by combining dish soap and baking soda in a 1:1 ratio in a small bowl. Mix together until it creates a frosting-like consistency. Apply a generous amount of the mixture to your drain pans and scrub out any tough stains. To ensure maximum cleanliness, let the mixture sit on the pans for about a half hour, or more if needed. Remember to clean your drip pans regularly! If cleaning is not enough, you can find replacement drip pans here: Replacement Drip Pans

4. Clean the Coils in Your Refrigerator 

Dirt, dust, and pet hair can easily clog up your refrigerator coils, restricting air flow and causing the refrigerator to work hard to keep cool. Once or twice a year, use a handheld vacuum to clean the coils and remove any dust/debris. The location of the refrigerator coils varies by model; they are gererally found behind the kick plate (front panel) or at the rear of the refrigerator. To really get in those hard-to-reach places within the coils you can find cleaning brushes here: Condenser Cleaning Brushes

5. Change Your Refrigerator Water Filter

It is recommended by most experts that you change your refrigerator’s water filter at least every six months. Filters that don’t efficiently remove contaminants and impurities can expose you to harmful drinking water. Instructions for changing the filter in your refrigerator varies by model. You can access your manufactures repair manual for proper instructions. You can find replacement filters for your refrigerator here: Replacement Water Filters

6. Fix Rusty Dish Rack Tines

Rust on the tines of your dishwasher racks can cling to and ruin your dishes and silverware. To avoid this issue, purchase a tine repair kit, and use sealant to adhere the replacement tips over any rusty or chipped tines. Let the sealant dry for at least 24 hours before running your dishwasher. You can find replacement tines (racks) and cleaners for your dishwasher here: Replacement Racks and Baskets and Dishwasher Cleaners

7. Clean and Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal

Remember to always turn off and unplug your appliances before doing any maintenance or repairs. Look down your garbage disposal drain for any large, stuck items. You can use tongs or another tool to clear the blockage. Do not use your hands! Pour a mixture of ice cubes and salt, or vinegar down the drain. Then run cold water over the drain for about 10 seconds, and turn on the unit. To reduce odors, place a handful of citrus peels into the disposal, run cold water, and turn on the unit. To ensure cleanliness, you can also find disposal cleaner here: Garbage Disposal Cleaner

8. Clean Your Dryer Exhaust Vent

Lint in your dryer’s exhaust not only inhibits your appliance efficiency, it is also a fire hazard. To clean your dryer’s exhaust, loosen the clamp and pull the exhaust off the back of the dryer. You can access your manufacturer repair manual for clear and concise instructions. With your hands, remove any large clumps of lint from the tubing and hole in the back of your dryer. If you can’t reach certain areas, you can gently scrape the inside of the tubing with a coat hanger or a tool of your choice. Vacuum out debris and reattach. If your exhaust is damaged in any way and is causing poor performance, you can find exhaust kits here: Replacement Exhaust Vent Kit

9. Inspect Your Washing Machine Hoses

Most washing machines that experience flooding are caused by leaks in the hoses. You can check the hose which connects to the back panel of your washing machine. Inspect the hose for any cracks, leaks, or weak spots. If you find any deformities, replace the hose. It is recommended to replace your washing machine’s hose every five years. You can find replacement hosing here: Replacment Hoses and Fill Hoses

10. Clean Your Air Conditioner Filter

Clogged or dirty filters in your air conditioner can restrict air flow and reduce the unit’s energy efficiency as well as limit the appliance’s overall lifespan. Thus, you should clean your filters every two-four weeks. To clean the filter, you must first remove the front panel of the unit to access the filter. If the filter is reusable, you can simply vacuum out debris and dirt. If the filter is disposable, it must be replaced. You can find replacement filters here: Air Conditioner Filters


 

We hope these quick maintenance tips were clear and helpful! If you have any further questions regarding your appliance, we suggest you refer to our appliance repair help page: Point & Click Appliance Repair Help

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