Rosie on the House: Take care of hard-working kitchen appliances

Clean and care for your appliances.

It is time to take care of those hard-working kitchen appliances! The following provides a quick rundown on how to keep them in ship shape plus some easy DIY tips, assuring longer life and better performance!

Not surprisingly, some of the more sophisticated models are more difficult to work on. Be sure to read your warranty and manual before using the appliance or doing any repairs on them.

Refrigerators

To do a deep clean by emptying all of the contents into an ice chest. Unplug the fridge and disconnect it from the water supply. Place a mat or cardboard on the floor and take care not to scratch the floor as you pull fridge out from the wall. You’ll want to brush off all the dust from behind and underneath fridge. Finish by mopping the floor space with vinegar water.

For the inside, remove shelves and bins and clean the interior with a mild cleaning solution and microfiber cloth. This is a good time to replace light bulbs or order new bins and shelves if needed.

If you have a water filter that is easily accessible, this would be a good time to install a new one (this is best done every 6 months or so). Daniel Beyer of Rosie on the House Certified Partner Beyer Appliance Service warns that when the plastic on the filter becomes brittle, it can leak and cause a lot of damage.

Keep door seals clean by wiping them down periodically. Close the door with a piece of paper half in the fridge and half out. If the door holds the paper, the seals are in good shape. If the rubber seals are beginning to crack, it’s probably time to replace them.

Most importantly: clean those coils! Remove the grate (found at the top or bottom of the fridge) and clean the coils by vacuuming once every six months, even if you don't clean the whole fridge. The coils need to be dust-free to do their job; dust-laden coils can suffocate the fridge, causing the compressor to work harder. Compressors are the costliest fridge repair so giving them a little extra love goes a long way for protecting your investment.

Ovens

Clean ovens regularly to keep baked foods from tasting and smelling burnt. Most ovens now have self-cleaning cycles and homeowners can set a timer for the cleaning to be done during off-peak energy hours.

If you prefer to clean it yourself or the self-cleaning function does not work, use non-caustic cleaners. Cold oven cleaners take longer but have less chemical smell. Or make a cleaning paste of baking soda and vinegar, apply it to interior of oven. Let it set for 20 min and wipe it clean.

This is a job that pays off to do as spills happen!

DIY repairs for ovens: BE SURE ELECTRICITY IS TURNED OFF.

Not all ovens have elements that are easy to replace. Check your manual and warranty first. Light bulbs are relatively easy to replace but can easily break in the socket. Do not try to remove these unless electricity to the unit is off.

For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert for 35 years, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program, heard locally from 8 to 11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson and from 7 to 10 a.m. on KGVY-AM (1080) and -FM (100.7) in Green Valley. Call 888-767-4348.

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