How to Help Your Appliances Last

How to Help Your Appliances Last

How long do appliances last? The answer may depend on how well and how often home appliances are cleaned and maintained. Your home appliances help clean your clothes, wash your dishes and store your food, so it’s important to keep them working well. The following appliance care tips can help you properly maintain your kitchen and laundry appliances so they last as long as possible. Always consult and follow your appliance and product use and care instructions before beginning any task, as it should be your primary source of information.

Get home appliance maintenance tips for your:

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Range
  • Disposal
  • Coffee Maker
  • Other appliances

Washing machine maintenance starts with proper use

With their many moving parts and exposure to water, washing machines are one of the hardest-working appliances in your home. Maintaining your washer is crucial to extending its lifespan and fortunately there are some simple steps you can take to help ensure its longevity.

  • Clean your washing machine monthly with affresh® washing machine cleaning tablets to help remove buildup that can cause odor-causing residues.
  • Clean the dispenser drawer by rinsing or wiping, as needed.
  • Specifically for front load washers, always leave the washer door open between uses to help dry out the washer, and wipe down the seal between the door opening and the drum, including the area under the seal, at least monthly.
  • Replace inlet hoses after five years of use, and periodically inspect and replace inlet hoses if bulges, kinks, cuts, wear or leaks are found.
  • Follow the load guidelines in your washing machine’s owners manual to prevent overloading and subsequent wear and tear.
  • Use quality laundry HE detergent, and only use the right amount. This helps prevent detergent buildup on interior components.
  • Make sure your washing machine is level to avoid rocking, which can cause more stress on some machine components.

Appliance care tips for dryers

While dryers do not fill up with water or detergents, they still require regular maintenance to keep them performing at their best. The following tips can help your dryer last longer.

  • Clean lint screen before or after each load and once a month, clean out your dryer’s lint trap using a vent cleaning brush and a vacuum with a crevice tool attached.
  • In addition to cleaning the lint trap, use warm, soapy water and an old toothbrush to gently clean your dryer’s mesh lint screen. Once cleaned, rinse it and let it dry completely before returning it to the dryer.
  • Wipe down your dryer’s interior using a mild soap and water solution and a soft, damp cloth.
  • Unless otherwise instructed in your owner’s manual, clean your dryer’s venting at least once every two years. You may want to clean it more often if you notice your dryer starting to struggle with drying loads. Keeping your dryer vents clear not only improves your dryer’s efficiency, but also helps prevent fires.
  • Make sure your dryer is level. If you have a stackable washer/dryer set, place the dryer on top and keep it in place with a stacking kit. Also, make sure your washer and dryer are the same brand to ensure that they fit together properly.
a man using & maintaining a dryer

Regular dishwasher maintenance can keep things running smoothly

Dishwashers can wear down over time due to the cumulative effects of hard water, detergent exposure, food scraps and grease. In addition to cleaning your dishwasher, use these maintenance tips to keep this appliance running smoothly for as long as possible:

  • Inspect dishwasher spray arms periodically to ensure they are not clogged by hard water minerals. Cleaning your dishwasher monthly with affresh® dishwasher cleaner can help reduce and remove buildup.
  • When it comes to loading dishwashers, aim for a “just right” approach — a full, properly loaded dishwasher means cleaner dishes and fewer overall cycles.
  • Ensure that you only wash dishwasher safe items in your dishwasher. If you see rust on your dishwasher racks, use vinyl paint or tine caps to cover it.
  • If your dishwasher has a stainless steel finish, use a stainless steel cleaning spray and brightener to protect and maintain it.

Extend your refrigerator’s appliance life expectancy with regular care

While most people know it’s important to clean the inside of your refrigerator, cleaning the outside of your refrigerator is just as important. Regular cleaning and maintenance help keep your refrigerator in good working order and extend its lifespan.

taking care of a fridge can help it last
  • If your environment is particularly dustry or if there is significant pet traffic in your home, clean your condenser coils every six months using a coil cleaning brush or soft brush vacuum attachment.
  • Wipe down the door gaskets with a damp, soft cloth to ensure a proper door seal.
  • Change your refrigerator water filter on a regular schedule, at least every six months.
  • Keep the top of your refrigerator clear so it can dissipate heat more easily.
  • If your refrigerator features a stainless steel finish, use a stainless steel cleaning spray and brightener to protect and maintain it.

Appliance maintenance is crucial for your range

Part of ensuring the longevity of your range involves regularly cleaning the cooktop and the oven. However, it’s also important to care for your cooktop surface, range control panel and other components that help you cook, roast, bake and more.

  • Maintain a glass cooktop by gently placing pots and pans on the surface, rather than sliding or dropping them into place.
  • Clean the control panel with a soft, damp cloth. Do not apply water or cleaning sprays to the panel, as direct moisture could damage the electronics.
  • Use oven-rated silicone liners or non-stick mats to catch oven drips, as foil can melt on racks or oven surfaces. Be sure they are only several inches larger than your dish and allow for 3 inches of clearance around the outside of the oven to ensure adequate heat and air flow.
  • Use your oven’s self-cleaning cycle or an oven cleaner. Don’t forget to remove your oven racks before starting the cycle.

Improve the appliance life expectancy of your disposal with proper use and care

Cleaning your garbage disposal monthly is a great way to eliminate odors, but how do you ensure that this convenient appliance lasts as long as possible? These tips can not only keep your disposal in good working order, but will also help prevent clogs that can shorten its lifespan.

cleaning a garbage disposal helps it last
  • Use cold water to make food debris stiffer, harder and easier to grind.
  • Keep the following out of your garbage disposal: grease, oil, fat, fibrous vegetables (like celery), bones and fruit pits.
  • Between monthly use of affresh® disposal cleaner, run the hottest water your sink delivers down the disposal to flush away food particles.
  • Allow the disposal to run 1-2 minutes after grinding food, keeping the cold water on as you do so. This will help sweep away food particles and ensure they go down the drain.

Appliance maintenance tips for your coffee maker

Coffee beans contain natural oils that can build up in a coffee maker’s basket over time and impact taste. In addition, mineral buildup can clog hoses and other coffee maker parts that you can’t see. Along with proper care, cleaning a coffee maker regularly can help it last longer.

  • Coffee makers should be descaled with a specialized cleaner at least once every month. (If you have hard water, you should descale your coffee maker monthly).
  • Wipe down the outside of your coffee maker to keep it free of dust and coffee stains.
  • Make sure that your coffee maker’s reservoir is empty when not in use. Allow the reservoir to air dry between uses.
  • Keep your coffee maker safely stored between uses and wrap up the cord so it does not catch on other items.

Follow these appliance care tips for your microwave

Like any cooking appliance, microwaves are often subjected to spills, crumbs and other food debris. While cleaning your microwave regularly is an important part of maintenance, the following tips can help your appliance last even longer.

  • Make sure your microwave has plenty of air circulation around it.
  • Do not place metal cookware, dishes, silverware or other metal items in your microwave.
  • Make sure your microwave is connected to a surge protector.
  • Only clean the inside of your microwave with mild soap and water.
  • Do not run a microwave cycle unless you are cooking something — in other words, don’t turn on your microwave if it is empty.

small appliances like blenders and mixers need maintaining too

Additional kitchen home appliance maintenance tips

In addition to the appliances mentioned above, it’s important to maintain other appliances such as ice machines, electric kettles and countertop ovens. While each of these will have their own care and maintenance instructions, some general tips and guidelines can help you keep these items clean and extend their life expectancy.

  • Stand-alone ice machines should have proper ventilation to assist with cooling and general operation. You should also check the water flow to your ice machine regularly, as crimped hoses or mineral blockages can cause damage over time. Descale your machine every nine months or as needed to remove hard water buildup that can clog pumps, hoses and other appliance components.
  • Electric kettles should be cleaned regularly and (if applicable) have their filters changed regularly according to your appliance’s instructions. Use distilled water to avoid mineral buildup, and empty your kettle after each use so water does not sit inside. Lastly, only use your kettle to heat the exact amount of water you need.
  • After using countertop appliances like blenders, toasters and countertop ovens, unplug them and loosely wrap up the cord. Clean items like blender jars, blades, gaskets and wand heads in warm, soapy water, then wipe down the base or handle with a soft, damp cloth. Wipe down the interior and exterior of countertop ovens with a damp microfiber cloth and empty the crumb tray of your toaster after each use.

Keep your appliances clean and help them last with affresh®️ appliance care products

Appliance upkeep is easy thanks to affresh. Our collection of kitchen and laundry cleaners are specially formulated to clear away dirt, minerals and detergent residue that can impact your appliance’s performance. Frequent cleaning can also help maximize the lifespan of your appliance. Shop for affresh cleaning solutions for your home appliances today.