When your appliances are working properly, you barely notice them. But if your dishwasher or your dryer breaks, it can feel like your life has fallen apart—at least until you can get your appliances back to working like they're supposed to.
Don’t worry, though—we’ve got some appliance maintenance and cleaning tips that won’t only help keep your home running smoothly, but also help your machines last longer too.
Clean your stovetop and oven often
Whether your lasagna boiled over in the oven or an egg hit the burner instead of a pan, don't ignore those cooking spills. Clean them up right away. Food debris, grease, and grime can create a fire risk, and wiping away all that gunk will help keep your stovetop and oven working their best.
Check your oven thermostat
Doing so will help your oven work better, especially when it isn't heating properly.
Here's how to check your oven thermostat:
- Place an oven thermometer (they're inexpensive and available at most hardwarestores and online) in the center of your middle rack and preheat the oven.
- When the oven reaches a constant heat, compare the temperature you set to the manual one.
- If they're not the same, the oven's thermostat may be to blame. See, it wasn't your fault the soufflé fell. Contact a local oven repair expert for help.
Clean your refrigerator coils and fan
It's a good idea to clean your refrigerator condenser coils and fan regularly—twice a year at least, or more often if you have pets that shed. With clean coils, your fridge won't have to work as hard to stay cool.
You can find the coils and fan either at the bottom of your appliance or on the back, depending on the age and model of your fridge. Unplug your refrigerator, then use a vacuum to remove excess dust and dirt, and finally, wipe the coils with a towel dipped in dish soap and water. Make sure the coils and fan are completely dry before you plug in your refrigerator again.
Keep the dishwasher filter clean
Cleaning your dishwasher filter will get you cleaner dishes, plus it's a great way to extend the life of your appliance.
Clean your clothes dryer vent
You already clean the lint filter on your dryer after every load, right? We hope so.
What you may not know, however, is that the best way to make sure your clothes dryer keeps working properly is to also clean the dryer vent.
How often should you do it? If you notice that your clothes need extra time to dry, if the top of your machine is piping hot after a cycle, or if there's a burning smell in your laundry room, your dryer likely has lint buildup and it's probably time to clean your vent.
Doing so is crucial for preventing a fire from starting where lint, dust, and debris collect. It'll also keep your appliance working the way it's supposed to for a longer time period.
Don't overfill or overload your appliances
Your appliances work hard, but if you overload your dishwasher or dryer, for instance, they won't work as well. Heavy loads can strain or break belts, motors, and other moving parts.
Keep your appliances working at their best by making sure they're comfortably full when you run them. Leave plenty of space for your dishwasher jet to reach plates, your clothes washer to turn, and your dryer to tumble.
Clean your washing machine
It may sound silly, but it's important to periodically clean your actual washing machine. Our experts recommend you run the clean cycle on your washer every 40 washes. Check your owner's manual for which cleaning product to use. If you have a front-loading machine, it uses less water than top-loaders, which means detergent and dirt sometimes don't completely rinse away. It may need extra attention. Check out our guide for how to clean your front-load washer.
Check and maintain your appliances
There's never a good time for, say, your refrigerator to stop running. But you can avoid most disasters if you check your appliances often.
Here are a few things we recommend doing several times a year:
Check your lint filter. To make sure your dryer is getting enough airflow, pull out the lint trap, remove any lint, then run water through it. If the water isn't flowing freely through the screen, you need to clean it with soap and water.
Check the contact on your stove burners. Turn off your stove. When it's cool, pull each burner on the stovetop out of the socket and attach them again firmly to make sure they have a tight connection.
Check your refrigerator gaskets. Inspect the gaskets on your fridge doors to make sure they're solidly attached to the door frame. If they're sticky, clean them with warm water and a sponge so your refrigerator door will close tightly and keep the cool air in.
Peace-of-mind protection for your appliances
Another great way to keep your appliances working as they should for years to come? Protecting them. Cover all your eligible appliances with Asurion Appliance+—no matter where you bought them—and get fast, reliable coverage and easy access to local experts when you need them most. Learn more about Asurion Appliance+ coverage.