With the summer holidays over, it's all too short a time until the cold months of winter There's always the excitement of Christmas to plan towards and one thing you can definitely do without is any of your major household appliances letting you down when you need them most.
Of course nothing comes with guarantees but looking after your white goods properly increases the chances of them giving the maximum possible years of trouble-free service. Here're a few important appliance maintenance tips for the autumn.
Of all possible dishwasher maintenance tips, keep it clean has to be top of the list. It won't take long to work through the list of jobs to be done:
Clean the trap - This is found at the base of the unit and it's where food debris is held. Traps are designed to be easy to remove for cleaning and forgetting to keep them dirt free is one of the major reasons for dishes not coming out clean. Cleaning the trap, drying it and putting it back will probably take less than five minutes.
Check the spray arms - The holes in spray arms can get blocked with food debris, dried soap or, in hard water areas, lime. Again these are generally designed to be easily removed and can be soaked in a solution of vinegar and water. Use a pipe cleaner to remove dirt by hand if it doesn't lift during the soak.
Run a weekly rinse of your dishwasher - One cup of vinegar in an empty cycle is enough to keep the unit looking and smelling fresh. Learn a few more dishwasher maintenance tips here.
There are a few washing machine maintenance tips you should be aware of:
Inspect the hoses - You should do this a few times a year, so it's a natural job your your autumn checklist. Replacing hoses at the first sign of weakness or cracking could save you the expense and inconvenience of a flood.
Check it's level - Most washing machines have front legs which are adjustable with a lock-nut. It the nut works loose and the unit is anything less than perfectly level it will start to vibrate. Apart from making the machine more noisy this puts a horrible strain on all components and will shorten the life of the appliance.
Check for gashes and scratches and touch them up if necessary - This will prevent rust from forming and you certainly don't want a rusty washing machine.
Clean the soap dispenser and wipe the inside of the machine - Soap build up looks ugly and over time can reduce the efficiency of the machine
As with dishwashers, the most important of oven maintenance tips relate to cleanliness:
Clean the igniter on gas stove tops - Food debris build up on igniters can stop them from working. The best way to get rid of this is by using a dry toothbrush to gently brush away the crud.
Cleaning the inside of the oven - Don't use products designed for non-self-cleaning ovens on self-cleaning ones as you'll destroy the surface that makes self cleaning possible.
Consider booking a professional oven cleaning - They'll check for any broken components as they take care of a dirty job for you.
Check your oven calibration - Use an oven thermometer to make sure that correct temperatures are being reached at a number of different settings. If they're not you may be able to re-calibrate the cooker yourself, following instructions in your manual or online. If you're anything less than one hundred percent confident however it's best to call in a professional.