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8 Cleaning Ideas To Save On Maintenance Costs

For us do it yourself appliance repair people, our best appliance repair tip is to provide regular proper care and maintenance for your appliances.

The owners manual is our guide to preventing costly mistakes and unnecessary repairs. The good news, each and every appliance comes with one. But most people never read the manual. WHY? Everyone needs to read the manual prior to setting up and utilizing an appliance. By thoroughly reading the appliance manual we have some insight into the care and maintenance the appliance needs to stay efficient and in good working order. Following the directions exactly and avoiding shortcuts will save you money and possibly a broken appliance. Take the time and do it right.

Let’s start with the basic cleaning and maintenance recommendations for most major appliances:

1. Cooktops, Gas & Electric Stoves


To keep them looking nice, clean splatters immediately once stove top has cooled enough to safely clean it. Be sure to only use cleaners recommended by the manufacturer, especially on one piece cooktops. For electric or gas stoves, clean drip bowls under the burners immediately after splatters, once they have cooled. Replacing old tarnished drip bowls with new ones can significantly liven up an older stove. These are cheap and can be found for under $20.

The inside of your oven is important to its operation. Promptly clean oven spills once the oven has cooled. Using the correct and a safe oven cleaner will make this easier and give you better results.

If you have a gas range, the color flame on the pilot light can give an indication of gas efficiency. When correctly adjusted, the flame will be blue. If improperly adjusted, the flame will be yellow.

2. Refrigerators

It is very important to use a vacuum with brush attachment to clean coils on the rear of the unit monthly. This can increase efficiency, shorten run time and avoid overheating.

Clean the door gasket weekly when you wipe the front of the fridge off.

For refrigerators with and automatic ice maker or water purifier, filters should be replaced at least twice each year.

3. Freezers​


You must prevent ice build up by defrosting whenever you see it building up. Ice on the side of your freezer greatly reduces efficiency. Clean the door and gaskets weekly.

Clean coils on the back of the freezer often. It should be almost the same procedure as for a refrigerator.

4. Dishwashers​

Dishwasher cleaning

I cannot stress this enough, you must clean the dishwasher interior. Due to the heat, many minerals in your water will build up on the sides and jets. You can remove these minerals by running a wash cycle with at least one cup white vinegar every month.

Clean the strainer using warm water and detergent if you do not rinse your dished thoroughly before using the dishwasher.

If you can, carefully remove and clean the spray arms using a wire or stiff brush yearly. Remove mineral deposits from the spray holes as much as possible. sometimes a paperclip or pin is a great help in doing this.

5. Clothes Washers

Clothes Washers

To keep your machines looking good, clean detergent or bleach spills promptly to avoid possible damage to the finish.

Most units have a filter or screen of some type on the water inlets. Clean them at least yearly.

6. Clothes Dryers

Clothes Dryers

It is a necessity to clean the lint trap after each load of clothes. A blocked lint trap can drastically reduce air flow and compromise dryer efficiency.

Make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outside; never vent a dryer to the inside of the home. Clean the vent and hose annually to prevent lint build up and avoid a fire hazard. Do not over look this step!

7. Hot Water Heaters

Hot Water Heater cleaning

The most typical problem leading to tank failure and a leaking water heater is the build up of minerals within the tank. Most of the newer gas water heater or electric water heater models (1998 to present) have a unique lining that resists build up. Nevertheless, it is still a great idea to hook up a garden hose to the valve on the bottom of the tank and drain it. Not only do you not want the sediment in your hot water heater, you also do not want them in your water lines or faucets!

8. Additional Maintenance/Repair Tips

pro maintenance

One of the very best appliance maintenance and repair tips we can give you is to know your limitations. Take your time and even take pictures of items before you take them apart. Short cuts can lead to other items breaking or improper repair. In some cases, appliance maintenance or repair is best left to the professionals.

About the Author Joyce

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