Appliance Repair Use And Care Tips
Here are some helpful appliance tips and hints to help you keep your home appliances running smoothly. These tips can help save you time, extend the life of your appliances and help them run more efficiently. Please read our disclaimer for complete details about the information we present in this section of the site.
To find tips for maintenance on a specific home appliance, choose from the list below:
- Washing Machine
- washing rubber backed mats
- checking and replacing washing machine water-fill hoses
- using front load washers
- Clothes Dryer
- Oven / Stove
Washing rubber backed mats in a washing machineYou don't want to wash rubber mats in your washing machine because the rubber backing deteriorates over time, eventually falling apart and clogging up the drain and water lines, thus resulting in a very expensive appliance repair.
Checking and replacing washing machine water-fill hosesHoses that burst always give a warning first, at the 90 degree turns either coming from the wall or at the washing machine connections. The hoses will form a large bubble giving the home owner a warning 99 percent of the time. Look for this situation.
When replacing the hoses:
- Use steel braided hoses (they are less likely to rupture at the 90 degree bends).
- Turn off both hot and cold water supply and then remove the old hoses.
- Connect your new hoses to the washing machine first and tighten firmly. Make sure there are no kinks.
- Connect to the hot and cold water supply and tighten.
- Check for leaks!
Using Front Load WashersFront load washing machines provide superior wash results compared to top load machines. They allow clothes to remain newer looking for a longer period of time, and save energy in the form of reduced water, detergent and electricity consumption.
- Sorting and loading the clothes correctly will provide the best results when used with a detergent approved for "HE" High Efficiency washers.
- Separate clothes that shed lint (chenille and terrycloth) from clothes that attract lint (synthetics, corduroy, velveteen).
- Pilling, which can look like lint, is produced by normal wear on cotton/polyester blend fabrics. To reduce pilling, wash these fabrics inside out, using the delicate wash cycle.
- To prevent "yellowing" of whites, use the hottest recommended temperature for each type of load.
- Retain the dark or bright colors by washing in cool or cold water.
- Read the labels on the clothing for recommended wash cycles, a simple but often overlooked tip.
Cleaning dishes more effectively in the dishwashing machine
- Soft water is highly recommended. It helps the dishwasher perform as designed. Test for hard water and purchase a water softener in necessary.
- Scrape the dishes off before putting them in the dishwasher. A restricted wash system results in immediate filming and unsanitary conditions. Do not wash your dishes before washing your dishes! Don't confuse scraping with washing. We need dirty dishes to get clean dishes. The detergent needs the soil to do its thing and break down as it should.
- Always purge the hot water at the sink until it is hot just before running the dishwasher. This will ensure the first fill is hot. Also, check to make sure that your hot water heater is set between 120-125 degrees. Most units are shipped turned way down. Keep in mind that hotter is not better. If you set the water any hotter, you're at risk of flash drying your dishes. This is when the environment in the dishwasher is so hot that after the final rinse, instead of the water running off the glass taking with it all its impurities, it is instantly baked on.
- Choose the correct cycle. The average consumer wants to use the shortest cycle possible to save money and then blame the dishwasher for not cleaning. Shorter is not necessarily better. Once you've chosen the proper cycle, do not interrupt it.
- Don't use a detergent that has a rinse aid in it and also put liquid rinse aid in the dispenser. This causes suds in the final rinse. Plain CASCADE® and a rinse aid in the dispenser are recommended.
- For getting rid of film try a product called GLISTEN®. Follow the instructions, bearing in mind that you may need to do it twice. If this doesn’t help, you may have a larger problem with your dishwasher. GLISTEN® is also a deodorizer. It is recommended that you use it twice a year whether you need it or not. An ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure.
Drying clothes more effectively
- Avoid kinking exhaust vent behind dryer. The shorter the better.
- Exhaust ducting should be of a metalized semi rigid/flexible material. Do not use vinyl as it can be easily crushed. Vinyl will not withstand heat as well as metalized ducting.
- Check your outside vent hood. Clean if necessary. It is not advisable to use mesh wire or grates to cover the vent hood. This will definitely help keep rodents or birds out of your exhaust but can easily clog as some lint always makes it through the dryer's lint screen. The best vent hood has a flapper that opens when the dryer is in use and closes when off. Verify proper operation of the flapper periodically.
- Clean lint screen between loads and more frequently if drying material with higher cotton content.
- Do not overload dryer. Too many clothes will inhibit proper circulation of heated air between and through the garments. On the other hand, too few clothes can create a similar problem by bunching and disallowing proper air flow through the clothes. Proper air flow dissipates the moisture from the clothes faster making for a faster dry time.
- In winter months, dryers located in a heated area of the home will dry more quickly than a non-heated utility room.
- Drying multiple loads one after the other will reduce overall dry time by utilizing heat retained by the dryer from previous loads.
- Recheck pockets before putting clothes into dryer. Chewing gum may make it through the wash with little to no consequence but your luck will run out if it is put into the dryer. Gum, pencils, change, nails, needles, jewelry, etc. can damage clothing as well as damage your appliance (as a rule of thumb, do not lay loose change or other small articles on top of your appliances).
Cleaning range/stove burner drip pansDrip pans serve a variety of purposes. From catching food and spills, to radiating heat back to the cooking surface. Patience is the key when you decide to clean drip pans. There are many different suggestions and methods for cleaning them.
- Place drip pans in a plastic bag, Zip lock or a trash bag, with ammonia diluted with water and seal the bag, letting it set for a while. Then scrub the pans with a scouring pad.
- Use a paste of baking soda and water to scrub.
- Soak the pans in hot water and then place them in the dishwasher.
- Use an oven cleaner.
All of these will work but the suggestion of ammonia can create health risks. There are also risks and hazards with the oven cleaner, so please follow the directions on the containers. Your best bet is to soak the drip pans in hot water for a while then use a nonabrasive cleaner and good old elbow grease. If time is of the essence, or you just don't want to bother cleaning them, replacements can be obtained at reasonable prices. The best thing you can do to keep drip pans clean is to clean them immediately after use or spills, once the burner has cooled.
WARNING: The last thing you want to do is wrap drip pans in aluminum foil. This is same as having bare wires exposed. It can cause short circuits, fire, or other serious problems.