Tag Archives: care

20 tips to make appliances last longer

20 tips to make appliances last longer A little maintenance can go a long way in helping to extend the life of your appliance and also make them as energy efficient as possible – saving you money each time you use them.

Washing machines

Check your washer fill hoses for kinks and bubbles. Consider replacing your old rubber hoses with stainless steel braided washer hoses which are much more resistant to bursting. Washing machine hoses can burst and cause flooding in your home. Such damages cost Americans approximately $170 million in damages every year.

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Get your kitchen and appliances ready for the holidays

Although the holidays seem far away, now’s the time to make sure your appliances are operating properly before you start all your holiday baking, hosting and after-party cleaning.

ReadyfortheHolidays

Refrigerator

Replace broken refrigerator veggie or crisper drawers with new ones.

Replace taped up or broken refrigerator door bars and get back some of your storage space.

Change your refrigerator’s water filter.

Stove or Oven

Consult your owner’s manual to see the best way to clean your oven. Some ovens have a special coating on them that cannot be cleaned with detergents, soaps or commercial oven cleaners. Also, if you do use the self-cleaning feature, check whether you are to leave the racks inside your oven during the process. Some manufacturers recommend you remove them and clean them by hand.

Be sure to use the self-cleaning function a few weeks before guests arrive as sometimes the process leaves a lingering smell. Check your oven’s heating function after it has cooled down.

Use the self-cleaning feature after you have already heated the oven to cook. This will save energy and save you money.

Replace old or worn stove knobs with new ones for a better cooking experience.

Replace stained and dirty drip pans .

If your electric oven doesn’t heat, you may need to replace the bake element or the broil element (check both).

Check your oven’s temperature accuracy with an oven thermometer. Take four different readings and space them 20 minutes apart once your temperature hits its setting. Average the different readings together and divide by four for an average temperature.

Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is not cleaning like it should, check out our article on “How to clean your dishwasher” and use a dishwasher cleaner like Affresh to remove excess detergent residue and stains from inside your dishwasher.

Replace missing rack roller wheels.

Need a new dishwasher utensil or silverware basket? You can purchase a new one using your dishwasher model number to find your correct part.

Garbage disposal

Use a garbage disposal cleaner to clean and freshen your disposal. Or freeze ice cubes with a slice of lemon or citrus rinds and grind them in your disposal to deodorize. Flush with cold water.

Towel tips: cleaning, shopping and donating

Sunday is Towel Day, a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams.  Here are some towel cleaning and shopping tips, along with what to do with old towels (hint: don’t throw them out!) Don’t panic and read on.

Washing and drying towels

First, always read and follow the directions on the care tag. If the tag says, “no chlorine,” don’t use it as it may weaken the fibers of the towel.

Wicker laundry basket with two folded towels

Don’t panic! Grab a towel.

Remove musty odors from your towels by washing them in very hot water with one-to-two cups of vinegar. The water must by very hot in order to kill the bacteria causing the smell. Wash them again using one cup of baking soda. Immediately hang them up to dry or dry them in your clothes dryer.

If your washing machine is the source of musty smells, use a cleaner like Affresh, which is designed for HE washers.

Add the proper amount of detergent to your wash. Too much detergent traps odors and dirt and can fade colors.

Skip liquid fabric softener as it will interfere with the towel’s absorbency. Instead, opt for a single scent-free dryer sheet to soften your towels.

Wash new towels separately to avoid lint from transferring onto other items inside the wash.

Mix in some vinegar with your detergent in order to keep new towels looking bright and colorful.

Shopping for new towels

Are you shopping for new towels? Check the label or tag and look for 100% combed cotton, suggests GoodHousekeeing.com. 100% combed cotton towels naturally attracts water and can hold almost 25 times its weight in the liquid. They are also stronger and prevent pilling.

Don’t be deceived by the feel of the towel in-store, most manufacturers add softeners to the finish of a towel, so they feel softer.

What to do with your old towels

If you have kids, spread an old towel underneath your child’s car seat to catch juice spills and crumbs.

Cut them up and use them for cleaning rags and for washing your car.

Make a beach towel tote bag.

Turn them into a bathroom rug mat.

Donate them! Many animal shelters accept clean towels (along with hand towels and wash clothes) for animal bedding, bathing and general clean up. Contact your local animal shelter to find out what donations they accept.

Homeless and women’s shelters also accept used towels. Find a shelter near you.

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