Keep Your Kitchen Appliances Running Great with these Three Simple Tips

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Posted by: , Branch Manager and State Certified Contractor

kitchen appliances

Three simple tips to keep each of your appliances running at its best – and to keep more money in your wallet.

Appliances keep your food fresh, your clothes clean, and your family fed – but they need proper care to keep them running at their best. These simple tips will keep your appliances running better for longer – and even save you money along the way.


  1. Clean the condenser coils – Dusty coils cause your refrigerator to work harder, which means higher energy bills and a shorter life for your unit. Clean the condenser coil with warm soapy water at least once a year.
  2. Check and clean the door seals – Refrigerator and freezer door seals keep cool air in and warm air out. Look for cracked or damaged seals. Here’s a trick: try closing a dollar bill in the door – if you can pull it out easily, the seal is too loose. Clean seals with an all-purpose cleaner – never with bleach, which is corrosive.
  3. Don’t cool the room – Up to 30 percent of the cooled escapes with the door open, so decide what you want before you open the fridge door.


  1. Keep your water hot – Hot water is the key to clean dishes. Before starting your cleaning cycle, run water through your sink’s faucet until it’s hot to the touch – this will draw hot water up from your water heater in preparation.
  2. Use a rinse agent if needed – Because of new energy and safety standards, you may need to use a rinse agent for proper drying. Check your dishwasher’s user manual for details.
  3. Run an empty dishwasher with vinegar – Toss a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of an empty dishwasher and run a normal cycle. Vinegar cleans out old food to keep your dishwasher smelling fresh (Tip: You can use vinegar for your washing machine, too)

Garbage Disposals

  1. Clean your disposer using ice cubes and salt – Ice and salt will remove debris from grinders. Pour two cups of ice into your disposal, followed by a cup of rock salt. You can even freeze white vinegar into cubes and crush them.
  2. Run water before, during, and after grinding – Running your garbage disposal dry can burn out your motor; water lubricates grinding teeth and pushes ground-up food through the drain holes. Use cold water – hot water can melt food, which can coat your pipe linings.
  3. Avoid hard-to-grind food items – Don’t put rice, pasta, bones, or grease – which solidifies at room temperature – into your unit. Stringy or tough-peeled vegetables – cornhusks, lettuce, potato peels, celery, etc. – should also be avoided.

Microwave Ovens

  1. Don’t operate a microwave without food inside – When there is nothing to absorb microwaves, they can be redirected back to the magnetron tube and wear out the unit prematurely.
  2. Keep it clean – Always keep the inside of the microwave clean and cover foods when heating – foods can get behind the wave-guide cover and cause sparking and burning.
  3. Use the right glass – Here’s a quick test: Microwave the empty container for one minute – if it’s warm, it’s unsafe for cooking; if it’s lukewarm, it’s ok for reheating; if it’s cool, it’s OK for cooking.

Coming soon – Part II – Tips for Ovens, Cooktops, Washing Machines and Clothes Dryers