How to maintain kitchen appliances

Aftercare tips to keep appliances working perfectly for years to come

Purely Studio White Kitchen

When you’ve finally got the kitchen of your dreams, the last thing you want is for broken-down appliances to cause a disaster.

After all, nothing disrupts the flow of family life more than the washing machine suddenly flooding the kitchen floor or finding out the weekly shop has gone bad because the fridge has stopped working. Worse still, damage to both the appliance and the surrounding kitchen area can be costly and time consuming to put right.

So what can you do to prevent a potential kitchen catastrophe?

Choosing high-quality appliances from reputable electricals brands is crucial, but equally there are a number of simple upkeep steps you can take to ensure appliances remain in perfect working condition for years to come.

Fridges & freezers

Allowing dust and dirt to collect around the condenser coils of your fridge can cause it to run inefficiently and even break down altogether. To prevent this, every 3-6 months you should lift away the protective grill that covers the coils, usually at the back of the fridge, and gently dust or vacuum away collected debris.

You should also regularly clean the rubber seals around the edges of fridge and freezer doors. This is because residue build up can cause the door to stick, leading to tears in the seal when you try to open it and preventing the fridge from cooling properly.

Microwaves

Clogged up vents can cause a microwave to overheat or even explode, so it’s vital to frequently clean your microwave before dried-on stains become a potential hazard. One clever tip is to heat a mug of lemon juice and water for several minutes in the microwave, or until the liquid has evaporated, as this will help to cut through grease so you can easily wipe away dirt.

Dishwashers

The most important way to keep a dishwasher healthy for longer is to always rinse off food debris before loading dishes into the machine, as crumbs can easily jam up moving parts and cause bacteria to build up. You should also remove and rinse the filter at the bottom of the dishwasher every so often and run the machine on a cycle with a cup of cleaning solution or vinegar every 3-6 months to fight calcium build up.

Ovens

While you may be tempted to line the bottom of the oven with a sheet of foil to catch drips and make cleaning easier, this can actually restrict airflow and cause the heating element to not work effectively. Most ovens should be cleaned once every 3-6 months to keep them in good working order, but never use spray-on cleaner in a self-cleaning oven, which uses pyrolytic cleaning technology to turn greasy residue into ash that can be easily wiped away.

Washing machines

If you’re installing a new washing machine, and once every five years afterwards, you should replace the hose that connects the machine to the water supply to stop blockages leading to costly leaks. If you’re away for an extended period of time, like a holiday, it’s also a good idea to shut off water supply to the washing machine completely to prevent damage if anything does go wrong. When using the machine day to day, avoid overloading the drum to prevent the motor from burning out, and close doors gently to avoid damaging the seal.

Tumble dryers

It’s easy to forget to clean the lint trap after every load of washing you put into the tumble dryer, but doing so can make all the difference since lint is highly flammable and allowing it to build up can pose a serious fire risk. For the same reason, you should also check the machine’s lint pipe for potential blockages once every six months.

As an added incentive, removing lint frequently allows your machine to work more efficiently since ventilation and heating isn’t obstructed, so it will save you money on your energy bill too.

Hobs

Gas hob not lighting? This is often caused by food spillages blocking the igniter, so try turning off the unit at the plug and cleaning the igniter carefully with a toothbrush to dislodge any trapped dirt.

Category: Advice