Don't you just love that "new kitchen" smell? Whenever we get something new - be it a car, a home or a kitchen - we want to keep it looking and running like new as long as possible! After a kitchen remodel many of our clients are full of questions on how they should use and take care of their new appliances. Here are some over-arching tips for most appliances that we hope you'll find helpful!
Dishwashers: Check the temperature of the hot water running through your dishwasher. The water in the unit should be at least 130 degrees. Here is a quick tip. run the hot water at the sink next to the dishwasher until the cold water is cleaned out from the hot water line. If you are using a new energy efficient dishwasher, be sure to use a rinse agent for good drying. Always check the bottom of the dishwasher for any food particles that may prevent the machine from working properly. To prevent poor washability, check the cutlery tray for item that may protrude and affect the spray arm.
Microwave: To prevent possible failure of the unit, do not operate it without food inside. When items are not present to absorb the microwaves, they can be sent back to the magnetron tube and cause failure. Make sure to clean the microwave after each use. Food that splatters can get behind the wave guide and cause sparks and possible burning.
Garbage Disposal: Don't let the name fool you. It isn't made to absorb all your garbage! Trying to feed the disposal large quantities of waste can result in clogged pipes or impair the unit. Do not put items in the unit such as corn or celery since they can clog the mechanism. To clean the disposal, add ice and run it. Also, never put your face directly over the unit and place your hand inside the unit unless the unit is disabled for safety.
Ovens: Be sure to clean your oven at least once once a month to prevent problems. When cooking with foil, keep it at least one inch away from the heating unit. Foil can reflect back the heat and cause overheating or failure of the unit. Follow cooking directions on food and make sure the items that you use say "oven safe."
Cook Tops: Be sure to cook under the correct the temperature to prevent spillovers that can affect the surface of the unit. Over time, spills can wear down the top and cause possible replacement or incorrect distributed heating.
Washer: Simple upgrades on your unit can make a difference. Purchase stainless steel hoses to prevent possible bursting. Place your washer in a rubber washer bin so as to prevent damage from possible leakage. Especially if the washer is located upstairs or adjacent to a room in your home. This can be purchased at your local home improvement store. Be wary of rubber back mats. They can cause a problem by adding strain to the washer and affect the loads. They can also break down and separate, which in turn can clog the hoses, pumps and valves.
Clothes Dryer: Check your vent line outside of the house at least once a month. Restricted air flow in the vent can affect the performance of the dryer. People have checked vents and found unusual items blocking the flow. The vent should be cleaned out at least once a year. For the inside of the dryer clean out the lint screens. Replace any white plastic vent hose with foil or metal.
By using common sense, a little elbow grease and some time, you can provide your appliance with the ability to work to its best capacity. The longer your appliance works better and longer the less you will have to open your wallet to costly repairs or replacements.
(Original article by Mrs. Mon E. Penny)