Are You Maintaining Your Home Appliances Properly?

It’s the holidays again! It’s that time of year when the extended family comes over to celebrate family, food, and the abuse of your appliances! Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic. The fact is that appliances need to be maintained. Not only to protect your investment, but also keep your family healthy and avoid any un-needed stress and expense during the holidays. Here is a quick “go to” list for maintaining your home appliances properly.

Air Conditioner

Possibly the most expensive appliance in your home. Make sure you replace your air filter every 1 – 3 months no matter how fancy the filter is. On a sidenote, they now have washable, reusable filters at the big box stores. Inspect your interior A/C unit yearly for build up of mold, mildew or debris in the coils and clean the inside coils and frame if needed, especially if it’s located in humid areas like the garage or attic. I also recommend having your ducts cleaned every few years to remove dirt that has gathered. Indoor air is usually more polluted then outdoor air and can cause all kinds of health problems if not maintained.


Most of us know about replacing small air and water filters in the fridge, but that’s only the half of it. Your fridge runs every day circulating air with a fan from the most used room in the entire house, your kitchen. This fan is located on the bottom of the fridge, along with other wires and coils that all collect dust from the circulating air. After a while, the dust cakes up and will reduce your fridge’s efficiency, and possibly cause damage to the fan and electric components if left unchecked. To clean, simply pull out the fridge from the wall and use a vacuum with a cylinder attachment to clean from behind. Or if you’re a little country like me, whip out the old leave blower and blast it! Check Youtube for instructional videos on both these methods.

Maintaining your appliances properly

Vacuum behind the plastic screen under the doors.

Food Disposal

I have a few tips for keeping this clean. If it starts to smell, throw in some ice and a couple squirts of dish soap. Turn on the cold water and flip the disposal on. The blades will crush the ice and soap, effectively cleaning the unit. You can also use orange peels to clean it, giving it a nice citrus scent.


True story. I went to visit my sister and brother in law at their home up north. They rented a very nice home with older appliances and had a problem with the dishwasher. Every time they ran a load, the dishwasher would smell like rotten eggs throughout the entire kitchen. I asked my brother in law when the last time he cleaned the dishwasher’s food filter and he looked at me like I was speaking Japanese! Turns out the filter had never been cleaned and had a full Thanksgiving dinner worth of food caught in it! Most dishwashers have food filters that need to be cleaned every 6 months to a year unless you don’t pre-clean the dishes, and then probably every few months. Some dishwashers have food disposers like in the sink. Consult your owner manual if you are not sure what you have and please clean your filter regularly. Every time you run your dishwasher, old food caught in the filter rinses through onto your dishes. Yuck!

Maintaining your appliances properly

Most newer dishwashers have an easy twist out filter.

Washing Machine

Hard water, soap scum, mold, and mildew can plague a washing machine and make your clothes just plain nasty. To prevent mold and soap scum, run your washer on the hottest water setting at least once a month. I also run the machine every few months with no clothes or soap, and on super hot with a few cups of white vinegar. Try not to leave washed clothes in the washer too long as humid environments are prone to grow mold. And don’t use too much soap because it gunks up the insides.


Dryer fires are one of the most common cause of 911 fire department calls. Besides being fun to say, dryer fire, dryer fire, they are easily preventable. Clean your lint filter every time you start a new load. That’s it! Your dryer should be vented outside and not into the attic. Every year or two, check the dryer’s vent tube for lint clogs or kinks that would block air flow.

Have any questions or suggestions? Drop me a comment, and Like my Facebook page to stay tuned for my super easy way to clean and polish stainless steel appliances. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful time with family this year!

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