Appliance Tips

Preventative maintenance can extend the life of your appliances and ensure they run at peak efficiency.

Tip: Fabric softeners are waxy and can gum up in the washer if they are dispensed before being diluted with water. If there’s a fabric softener dispenser on your machine, add the recommended amount of softener and then top off with water. If you’re pouring from a cup, use a 3-to-1 ratio of softener to water. In addition, try to avoid overloading the washer – add clothes until the unit is filled to just below the top of the agitator axle without packing down the clothes. An overloaded washer strains the motor and transmission, potentially shortening their expected life-span.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)

Tip: Clean the lint filter after every dryer load. Replace the door seal if it’s loose, worn, damaged or hardened. If you don’t, the warm dryer air will escape, forcing the unit to work harder. Check the seal by holding a tissue near door while the dryer is running. If the tissue is sucked toward the door, have the seal replaced. Two times a year Clean the lint filter with soap and water to remove built-up soap and fabric softener.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)

Tip: Avoid unnecessary splattering by covering dishes with wax paper or a paper towel. If the oven does not have a removable glass shelf, a plate or paper towel placed under the food (such as a baked potato) can keep it cleaner. Wipe up spills soon after they occur. Wash regularly with a mild detergent and water. Rinse and wipe dry with a paper towel or clean cloth. Give special attention to cleaning around the edge of the door and the door opening to prevent soil buildup which could prevent the door from closing tightly. If a spill is seems dried on, boil water in a glass cup a few minutes and then leave it in the oven for 5 minutes – the steam will help to loosen the soil – then wipe dry. To help eliminate odors, clean the interior with a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup warm water, then rinse and dry. Alternately, you can mix 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts water in a large glass cup and boil for 3-5 minutes. After it cools, remove the water and wipe dry. Never use abrasive pads or powders on the oven. The owner’s manual may have additional directions for care that are specific to your appliance.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)

Tip: To remove unpleasant odors from the refrigerator, soak a piece of cotton in a favorite essence like vanilla, lemon, etc. and keep it on the top shelf. After a short time period, opening the refrigerator will greet you with a welcome fragrance! A piece of fresh lime can also help reduce unpleasant odors, especially if you tend to keep chopped onions in the refrigerator.

Keep the top of the refrigerator clear, and make sure there is at least a 1/2-in. clearance on the sides. Make sure the refrigerator is level or tilted back slightly so the door closes completely. Once a month, clean the door gasket with 1 tsp. of baking soda dissolved in a quart of warm water. Besides cleaning the gasket, this will help keep it soft and pliable. A leaky door gasket wastes energy and shortens the life of the compressor. The door gasket can be tested by closing the refrigerator door on a dollar bill at various places along the door and then pulling lightly to see if the bill slides out easily. A couple of times a year, coils should be cleaned with a condenser coil brush. The coils are usually located behind the snap-out grill at the front bottom of the unit. On older models, they may be located in the back and are partially covered by cardboard. Unplug the unit first so that you don’t strike the moving fan. Even when the unit is unplugged, avoid disturbing the insulation or damaging the fan by bending the blades. If you have pets that shed, this process may need to be done more frequently. Once a year, you should slide the refrigerator out and vacuum around and beneath it. Left unattended, this dirt will eventually end up on the coils.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)

Tip: Run hot water in the sink nearest the dishwasher before starting it. This will ensure that even the first cycle of water is at or near the design temperature of 120 degrees F. If the water isn’t at least 60 degrees F, the soap won’t dissolve. Promptly repair cracks or chips in the plastic coating on the racks to prevent rust. Steel wool can be used to remove rust. Rack tines can be repaired with slip on rubber tips, or with a specially-designed plastic sealant to cover areas that are exposed and beginning to rust. Always load the dishwasher according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and use dishwasher detergent only in the recommended amounts. Do not put any other cleaning compound or detergent inside the dishwasher, as it may create too many suds and overflow. Store detergent in a dry, cool place, and do not keep extra packages on hand for lengthy time periods, as the detergent absorbs moisture from the air and loses cleaning ability. As an occasional cleaning measure, run a regular wash cycle with a small container filled with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar in both the lower and upper racks. The dishwasher will disperse the vinegar during the wash cycle to dissolve mineral accumulation and soap residue throughout – especially at the hinges where rust-causing buildup occurs.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)

Tip: Your burners and oven often accumulate greasy grime that is difficult to scrub away. To keep your range sparkling clean, pour a tablespoon of vinegar on a sponge and wipe the stains on the gas stove carefully. This should make them come off more easily. Follow up by cleaning the stove with some mild detergent and water. Your gas burner will sparkle like a new one! Be careful to not let water get into the holes in the burner where the flame comes from – it will render the burner inoperable for the time that it takes to dry. While many gas stove problems are simple mechanical adjustments or maintenance tasks that have been overlooked over time, if at any time you smell gas or have to replace a part, call your local gas company or appliance service facility first for help.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)

Tip: Get in the habit of wiping down the range top regularly – a clean surface prevents scratches and stops acidic food from eating away at the appliance finish. Remove the oven racks before running the self-cleaning cycle (they can discolor at high temperatures). Additionally, clean around the door and gasket before starting a self-cleaning cycle – these areas usually don’t receive enough heat to thoroughly burn off grease and splatters. You can cut down on smoke during cleaning by sweeping out crumbs first. The minimum duration of the cycle should be two and a half hours, although some manufacturers recommend three or more. The self-cleaning cycle burns off residue with an automatic 850 degree F setting, and costs about $1 to run. After the cycle has completed and the oven has cooled, wipe out ashes with a clean wet rag. You might consider running the self-cleaning cycle at night, when kids won’t get near the hot stove and you won’t notice the odor as much. Once a year, inspect the oven door gasket – it should be soft and pliable. As it hardens with time and use, it may allow heat to escape. This can tax the element in electric ovens, affect cooking performance, and cost energy dollars.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)
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Tip: Range hoods and fans remove grease and moisture from cooking, and thus collect dirt that needs regular cleaning. Exposed metal inside and out should be washed frequently with a solution of warm water and a light detergent. If very greasy, use ammonia and water and then rinse. Never use abrasive pads or scouring powders as they can scratch the finish. To keep the light bulb clear and bright, wash it when cool with water and a light detergent and then rinse and dry. Occasionally, fan blades may need to be cleaned to remove dirt and grease – these can restrict air flow and cause the motor to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard. If the hood is vented, check the exhaust vent regularly, especially if you experience a lessening of the hood’s efficiency – grease clogs and dirt build-up occur normally with age and use, and can block the vent. Metal filters can be cleaned by removing them and soaking in warm soapy water. After a few minutes, scrub gently, rinse, and dry before replacing. Some hoods have activated charcoal filters that cannot be cleaned. Replacement filters should be installed approximately once per year, and can usually be obtained from facilities that carry your particular brand of hood. Your owner’s manual may contain additional cleaning instructions that are specific to your brand and style of hood.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)

Tip: Garbage disposals have become fairly common in today’s kitchens. They are a great convenience when they’re working right and smelling good. To keep them running great, here are some things you can do… Turn the water on before you start the disposal and turn it off only after the unit has stopped – this will help maintain the water flow and flush it out after use. To really get things flowing and to help maintain your icemaker, start the disposal and feed it the old cubes sitting in the icemaker’s bucket. To help improve odor and water flow, feed lemon or lime peels into it – the rinds will do the cleaning work.

For All Brands: (Admiral, Amana, Asko, Bosch, Caloric, Chambers, Coldspot, Costco, Dacor, DCS, Dynamic Cooking, Dynasty, Electrolux, Equator, Estate, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, Gaffers & Sattler, Gaggenau, GE, Gibson, Haier, Home Depot, Hotpoint, Imperial, Insinkerator, Jenn-Air, Kelvinator, Kenmore, Kirkland, Kitchenaid, LG, Magic Chef, Malber, Maytag, Meile, Modern Maid, Norge, O’Keefe & Merritt, Panasonic, Peerless, Penneys, Profile, Quasar, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sanyo, Scotsman, Sears, Brand, Sharp, Signature, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, Toshiba, Traulsen, U-Line, Viking, Wards, Waste King, Westinghouse, Whirlpool, Wolf)