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Bad habits ruining appliances
© Andrey Popov |
Tech tips

These 10 bad habits are destroying your home appliances

A meme on social media shows a hideous green refrigerator from the ’70s with the caption, “A new fridge from 2022 needs to be replaced in four years, but this old monster will outlive you.”

While that is a bit exaggerated, there is some truth to classic appliances lasting forever. But if your newer appliances don’t last as long as you think they should, you might be part of the problem. Tap or click here for tech upgrades that make your house worth more money.

It may sound dramatic, but the effort you expend caring for things you own pays dividends. Bad habits can wreak havoc on the life of appliances. Don’t worry. We’re here to help. Keep reading for 10 bad habits to avoid that could be harming your home appliances.

1. Washing clothes with things in pockets

Is your washing machine making that funny noise again? It’s always a good idea to exercise caution when doing laundry, or you risk damaging the inner drum or any other inner workings of your washer and dryer.

Always take coins and other objects out of your pockets before washing. The same principle can be applied to other fabrics with hardware. We recommend washing things like curtains with metal grommets in garment bags or a similar solution.

2. Not managing your fridge’s contents wisely

Did you know that a well-stocked fridge actually holds onto coldness more efficiently than a near-empty one? It’s true, but over-stocking your fridge and freezer isn’t the way to go.

Your fridge relies on vents to keep cold air circulating throughout its closed chambers. Try to prevent your food from blocking these important mechanisms, especially in your freezer.

3. Using the wrong cleaning products

Cleaning your appliances correctly and with the right solutions ensures they last as long as possible. Care in this area maximizes your investment and keeps them running like new. Tap or click here for 19 time-saving cleaning products I use that really work.

Household items designed to get extremely hot, like burners on your stove or an older radiator, should be cleaned according to manufacturer instructions. When in doubt, we recommend consulting the brand’s site directly and inquiring further to avoid corrosion and other issues. Tap or click here for free online user manuals.

4. Overloading your washing machine and dishwasher

A half-empty dishwasher feels like a waste. However, all that extra air ensures that each dirty dish receives proper cleaning. Plenty of soap and water to go around and more air between each dish means a cleaner-feeling spread every time.

Your washing machine should also be used according to your manufacturer’s instructions for the same reason. A moderate load also keeps the machine functioning optimally without being thrown off-kilter by too much weight, water included.

5. Leaving lint in your dryer

We hate to sound like your mother, but leaving lint in the lint screen makes it more difficult for the appliance to collect everything floating around. It’s also a fire hazard. You risk clogging your vent pipe if left uncleaned for too long over too many uses.

6. Using heavy-duty cast iron on a ceramic stovetop

Ceramic stovetops are classy and luxurious but take time, care and money to maintain. They’re easy to scorch and scratch with rough-bottomed cast iron cookware. Those who already own one are advised to choose pots and pans with smooth bottoms and to avoid dragging them across the surface.

If you live for cast iron cooking, we recommend choosing a conventional range or stovetop, not a glass or ceramic one.

7. Utilizing a dirty oven

It’s not just your conventional oven, either. Dirty microwaves, toaster ovens, and other heat-based appliances like classic toasters should all be maintained and cleaned whenever you have a big domestic day planned.

Even if you’re very careful when using the oven, oil and food particles can coat its inside and burn with each subsequent use. It’s not just gross; it may also be leaving the appliance’s heating coils less effective than they would be otherwise.

8. Too much soap in your washing machine

This common habit not only robs you of loads later but is not ideal for the washing machine, which is designed to perform optimally using a humbler amount of soap.

If you hate a slimy-feeling inner drum, try cutting back on detergent. You might also consider using an all-natural brand free of dyes and other harmful additives. It’s good for the machine and even better for you and your family. Tap or click here for some of the best natural cleaning products of 2022.

9. Running hot water into your garbage disposal

Counterintuitive? Absolutely, but it’s the truth. Extremely hot water melts fat and grease, which can gum up the insides of your pipes and cause foul odors from deep within.

Using cold water is always the way to go. You can use vinegar, baking soda, and lemons to freshen everything up when cleaning. Anything acidic will eat away at any accumulated filth.

10. Leaving air filters unchanged

Air filters are everywhere in a modern home, from the vent above your stove to your furnace. The more debris you have clogging any appliance air filter, the harder the machine needs to work just to break even.

This is probably one of our biggest home maintenance tips. It’s energy-saving, cost-efficient, and helps you make the most of nearly every appliance you own. Cleaner air throughout your house is one huge bonus.

Even if you’re not living in the smart home of tomorrow, it’s not difficult to keep everything in good condition through discipline and regular care. You bought it. Why not keep it in great shape until the day you’re done with it?

You may also like: 3 better ways to clean screens and TVs

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