Once upon a time, kitchen appliances were built to last 20 years or more. Sounds like a fairy tale, right? These days, you’d need a magic wand to keep appliances running that long.
Still, a little attention to routine maintenance can help extend the life of any appliance, as well as increase its operating efficiency. Rismedia suggests these tips for caring for your kitchen appliances:
Microwave: Periodically wipe down the inside of the microwave. “Whether you realize it or not,” Rismedia explains, “food and liquids spread across the inside of the unit and actually absorb heat later on, leading to burns and damaging the inside of the machine.” A quick sponge-down from time to time can help avoid this problem.
Vent hood: Routine cleaning can add to the efficiency of the hood. Rismedia suggests removing filters from the hood and placing them in a large sink filled with hot water, degreasing soap and “several shakes” of baking powder. Let the filters soak for at least 10 minutes. Then remove them from the water and rub them with a sponge to remove any remaining debris. Finally, let the filters air dry before replacing them in the hood.
Oven: When cleaning the outside of the oven, take special care with the oven’s control panel. “[A]void using sopping wet sponges or rags,” notes Rismedia, as this could eventually result in short-circuiting the panel. Also, inspect the oven’s seal for possible leaks, which can cause the appliance to lose more than 70% of its heat. If you see a leak, replace the seal (which can be found at most home improvement stores).
Refrigerator: Check periodically to see that the food is organized in a way that enhances the refrigerator’s efficiency. A tidy interior will keep air flowing well throughout. Place foods that can freeze closer to the back of the fridge, where the cold air duct is located, and all other food closer to the door. Also, clean the coils once or twice a year (more if you have pets that shed) using a vacuum cleaner attachment or stiff brush.
Dishwasher: Check the rubber seals around the appliance, as Rismedia notes that “a minor crack can quickly lead to a flooded kitchen.”