Everyone knows that to make a car run right you have to do things to keep it going.  You have to change the oil, get new tires, and get regular tune-ups.  A lot of people think it stops there; they don't realize that appliances around the house need things like that, too.  The oven, the fridge, the dishwasher, and even the dryer all need regular maintenance to work efficiently.  Keeping up with the maintenance of your appliances is a sure way to save yourself some trouble and money. Here are a few tips I've learned in my years of adulthood.


Ovens get dirty very easily. To keep them clean, people tend to put a piece of aluminum/tin foil on the bottom rack to catch the food that falls. Some actually put the foil on the very bottom of the stove.  This is a big no-no. Putting foil in your oven can essentially throw off heat spots, which makes your cooking time longer and less effective.  Putting it on the bottom bed can block the element and melt the foil completely, ruining your oven or catching it on fire.  It can also void the warranty on your appliance. Here’s an article I found to give you some tips on getting around it.


Refrigerators seem pretty easy to clean. You just have to wipe off the outsides, trade out the saran wrap on the shelves, and occasionally clean off all that junk on top of it. However, because fridges are so big, most people never clean the back of them.  Refrigerators are like people–they have to have oxygen to breath. All refrigerators need to be at least three inches away from the wall, have their coils cleaned off once every six months, and have at least one inch of air flow on top. Without proper cleaning and ventilation they start to become overworked, resulting in the use of more power, and eventually causing them to overheat. For steps on cleaning your fridge properly, check in your owner's manual or here.


Dishwashers are amazing appliances.  I can't imagine going back to scrubbing my pots and pans on a regular basis. That being said, I never realized how overworked a dishwasher can get. Even if you wipe the food off of your dishes before you load them, there's always something left over on the plate. That food has to go somewhere.  All dishwashers have a drain system to send the dirty water out. Every so often it's important to remove the filter, clean out the drain, and use a toothpick to clean out all of the water jets. To find out how to remove all of the necessary pieces, I recommend looking in your owner's manual, looking for your model dishwasher on youtube, or check here for a more detailed step-by-step.


Dryers come across as pretty self explanatory. You dry your clothes and clean out the lint trap. Simple enough, right? Wiping off the lint from that mesh piece isn't all you need to do. Dryer sheets, while smelling amazing, leave a thin layer of residue on your clothes. That residue is what makes your clothes smell great and keeps them from being covered in static.  It also covers that mesh piece in an invisible layer of film. That film keeps your mesh piece blocked so your dryer doesn’t get the proper ventilation it needs.  This can eventually ruin your dryer completely. To test your mesh piece, run it under water.  If it's clean, the water will pass through it; if it's not, the water rolls off. For cleaning steps check here.

This has been a guest post by August from Granite Falls, NC
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How Simple Maintenance Can Make Appliances Last Longer