Refrigerator Isn’t Cooling Properly
- Clean the Seal: The seal on refrigerator doors can often have food particles or other grime that allow cool air to slowly filter out of the appliance. Use a solution of baking soda and water applied with a toothbrush, then wipe the rubber seal down with a wet cloth.
- Dust the Coils: Dirty coils make the refrigerator work harder to cool down, often resulting in higher temperatures. Located your refrigerator’s coils (either at the front base or the back of fridge) and use the brush attachment on your vacuum to clear any dust or debris.
- Check the Fan Motor: The refrigerator relies on the evaporator fan motor to cool it’s compartments. Locate the fan motor (often inside the freezer) and see if you can move the fan blades. If you cannot, you likely need a new motor.
- Dryer Takes Too Long to Dry
- Check the Vent: If the vent is clogged, the dryer won’t be able to heat properly. Regular cleaning should be performed by a professional since the process usually entails taking the appliance apart.
- Power Connection: While simple, this step is easily overlooked. Check to make sure the power source hasn’t been bumped or disconnected. You may even try unplugging and reconnecting an electric dryer.
Dishwasher Isn’t Cleaning the Dishes
- There’s No Water: Make sure the water shut-off valve is open. If the valve is open, but the dishwasher still isn’t getting water during the fill cycle, the valve may need to be replaced.
- More Soap: If you’re dishes aren’t coming out as clean as they should be, try using more soap. If there are two soap compartments and you’ve only been filling one, try filling both.
- Clean Your Dishwasher: It’s a good idea to periodically clean your dishwasher to remove any calcium build-up that has occurred. Calcium build-up often leaves a smokey film on dishes, most noticeable on glassware. There are a variety of dishwasher cleaners available for purchase.
Range Maintenance Tips
While pots and pans get a cleaning after each use, burners and drip pans tend to be cleaned less often. A clean range is not only pleasing, but can ensure your elements are heating evenly, as well as help you avoid needing a range repair down the road. Use these cleaning tips as part of your routine range maintenance.
For electric burners, it’s important to keep drip pans clean for proper heating. When the burners have completely cooled, lift them out of the range and remove the drip pans to clean. An easy way to clean these is to place each burner pan in a plastic zip-close bag with a small amount of ammonia. Zip closed and after a few hours, rinse and return to the range.
Range hoods often are forgotten in the cleaning process, but maintaining a clean hood filter will keep your kitchen well ventilated during cooking times. You can clean these easily in your sink or bathtub. Fill the basin with warm water and add a cup of vinegar. Soak the grate for about 10 minutes and then rinse the grate with either your shower or sink sprayer.