Common appliances, like washing machines and refrigerators, have never been cheap. These “essential” appliances make our modern lives easier; we’ve come to rely on them to quickly complete daily chores that used to take hours. To extend the life of these major appliances, a little maintenance can go a long way.
Here are some tips for maintaining your appliances for longer and better performance.
How to Extend the Life of Your Appliances
1. Use a mesh laundry bag when washing small items.
Socks, underwear, and other small laundry items can easily be sucked up into the drainage hose of your washing machine. This can cause blockages that’ll require a visit from the repairman. (In case you’re wondering, this is likely where all those missing socks go, as well.) Using a mesh bag will keep these small items from washing away and keep your drains clear.
2. Clean your washer on a regular basis to help remove soap build up.
An excess of soap residue can leave your clean clothes smelling funky and can interfere with the proper operation of your washing machine. Fill your tub with hot water, add two cups of vinegar, and let soak for two hours. Run the washer through the rest of the wash cycle along with an extra rinse cycle. Wipe down the tub, agitator, and visible surfaces, and inspect for signs of mold or mildew. Always leave the lid open for the washer to air dry in between loads.
If you notice any signs of mold or mildew, fill the tub with hot water, add two cups of bleach, let it sit for two hours, then finish the wash cycle. Always remember that mixing bleach and vinegar can be dangerous, so be sure to run the extra rinse cycle in between treatments to be safe.
3. Every fall and spring, pull your appliances away from the wall and inspect the wiring.
Rodents that come inside to nest during colder months like to chew the insulation from wiring for nesting material. Damaged wiring can lead to fires or permanent damage to your costly appliances.
4. Every three to six months, use a shop vac to remove the dryer lint from deep inside the lint trap.
You should also clean out the dryer vent to prevent buildup, which can lead to a dryer fire.
5. Every three to six months, clean dust and debris from the fan and components of your computer.
Your computer is a large financial investment. Most computer maintenance focuses on keeping the software running smoothly, but the hardware requires regular maintenance, as well. One of the most overlooked maintenance tasks for any computer is cleaning. Your cooling fan draws in air to help cool the machine, but it also draws in dust and dirt at the same time. You can even get mouse nests, spiders, and small objects lodged in the casing! These all have the potential to kill your computer’s fan, which can lead to overheating.
You can purchase compressed air to perform the cleaning yourself. Or, if you’re uncomfortable poking around inside your computer, take it to a certified technician.
What maintenance tips do you have to extend the life of your costly appliances?