It's a known fact that, in these times, our homes are filled with useful - yet pricey - electrical appliances. These are there to make our lives so much simpler, and it's without a doubt that they do just that.
From the trusty washing machine that saves us having to do our laundry by hand, to the vacuum cleaner that makes cleaning the house quick and effortless, it's important to know how to look after these appliances.
As mentioned, replacing these appliances can be a big hit to your wallet. Not to mention, unkept machines can run very inefficiently. This ultimately wastes your money on energy bills.
What's more, scrapping a machine can have horrendous consequences on the environment
Read below to learn how best to maintain your favourite appliances:
Most importantly, it's vital to regularly clean your oven. Excess grease and spills can burn on to oven, even risking fires. Not to mention, these things can also drip down into the electrics, causing even more damage.
- Unplug the oven when cleaning it: it's always best to unplug any electrical appliance when cleaning, maintaining, or repairing. This avoids the risk of injury.
- Use a cooking tray at the bottom of the oven to catch spillages or fallen foods. You can easily remove and clean the tray without having to get in and scrub your oven.
- Clean regularly: a quick wipe down after use every day is much easier than a giant cleaning procedure every year.
- Don't clean under the knobs. It may seem easy to remove the knobs and spray some anti back all around. But, in fact, this can actually damage the electronics, as well as being a danger to yourself.
Keep Things Efficient
Eliminating the dirt can really help in keeping your oven working well. However, another part to check is the door seals. If loose or damaged, heat can escape through gaps. This means your oven will have to work harder, wasting energy and then your money.
If using a fan oven, it's also helpful to turn the oven down slightly a few minutes before turning the oven off completely. This prevents the element from overheating by allowing it to gradually reduce its temperature.
The fridge is undoubtedly the appliance that works the most in our homes, constantly working to keep foods cool.
Therefore, it is vital to look after it.
Your fridge's seals are what secures the door shut. They lock in the cold air, but if broken or loose, the cold air can easily escape.
Therefore, you fridge then has to work harder to keep the temperature down, again wasting energy. However, it can risk your fridge not being able to cool the foods properly, with some food even going off much quicker. This again wastes money, not to mention risking illness from eating something spoiled.
- Seals can't be fixed, and so must be replaced if broken in any way.
Keep It Clean
- Dust and debris can collect at the back of your fridge. This can clog vital components, or worse, cause them to overheat. It's advised to occasionally give the back of your fridge a quick hoover, dusting off parts and even cleaning the fans. This helps make sure your fridge doesn't overwork.
- It's also good to make sure your fridge has space behind it. If placed right up against a wall, this can cause overheating.
Check out our fridge repair section for more advice if you think something is up with your refrigerator. Most of the time, it is just a simple fix.
Your Laundry Room
In today's life, our washing machines and dryers are more than vital. It's impossible to consider doing a family's load of laundry by hand.
Washing machines can have various problems if left unattended. If yours is having severe problems, check out our repair section. Often the solution is simple and doesn't warrant chucking your machine.
Cleaning Is Vital
Again, it's all about keeping your appliances clean.
- Preventing limescale and detergent build up (as well as even mould) can help save your machine from so many issues, not to mention save you money. Check out our cleaning article for best practices. You can easily buy solutions for cleaning your machine regularly.
- It's also important to be mindful and leave open the machine's door and soap draw after every use so that the machine can dry without allowing mould to grow.
- It's also important to clean out the filter at the bottom of your machine. If this gets blocked, it can prevent your machine from draining efficiently.
Day To Day Habits: Watch Your Load
It's important to check how you load your machine also.
Uneven (say a load consisting of light t-shirts and one pair of heavy jeans) or overfilled loads can be extremely bad for your machine. An uneven weight or overloaded drum puts extra stress on your machine as it turns, particularly the springs, supports, or the bearings. With time, these parts will wear down and ultimately need replacing. Fixing your machine's bearings is a BIG job (read our article here), so it's advisable to just prevent this task by loading your machine correctly.
What About Your Dryer?
A simpler machine than a washing machine, your dryer can have fewer problems, but it is still important to look after it.
Mostly, it's most vital to clean out the water draw and lint filter. This should be done as regularly as after every use. Why? Firstly, it will allow your clothes to dry much quicker with the air free to flow. However, secondly, it will prevent the risk of lint/fluff/debris collecting excessively, causing it to find its way into the machine and increase the risk of fire.
Your Dishwasher: Make Doing The Dishes Simple
Clean Your Cleaner
Once again, it's all about keeping your machine clean. You can use dedicated cleaners on an empty cycle to stop grease and limescale clogging up internal parts.
It's also vital that - if any breakages happen - all debris is cleared. If left in the dishwasher, the debris can find its way into the machine, damaging components or worse, clogging the pump.
What's more, it's important to make sure you load your machine carefully. Ensure the spray arms don't hit or become obscured by big plates or such things. If these crack, then water pressure can be affected, and therefore the level of cleaning will decrease.Not to mention, your things may also break.
Your Vacuum Cleaner: The Trusty Cleaning Sidekick
Vacuum cleaners come in all different shapes and sizes, all with different specifications and components.
However, there are a few essential maintenance procedures that are vital for all makes and models to ensure your vacuum keeps on cleaning.
Filter, Filter, Filter
Ensuring your vacuum's filters are clean or replaced regularly is something to remember. Their function is to keep dirt and dust from entering the motor. When clogged, this can not only decrease the efficiency of your vacuum, but it also risks overheating your hoover, and even fire.
This is also paired with making sure your regularly empty the dust compartment or replace a full bag. This again will decrease your vacuum's ability to clean if not checked. Again, this wastes not only your time - cleaning with an ineffective vacuum - but also your money on your energy bills.
Read here for more advice on how to care for your vacuum's filters. Another regular problem is vacuum cleaners losing suction. This is a common problem and can usually be easily solved: read here for details on how to fix it.