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As we enter the holiday season, thoughts turn to good times, good eats, and homemade kitchen treats.We depend on the appliances in our kitchen to be there ready to serve us by safely storing and preserving our food, providing predictable even heat when cooking, and allowing us to clean up more efficiently so that we can spend more time with family and friends. With all that our appliances do for us, regular maintenance is the least we can do for them. Your appliances will last longer, your home will look nicer, and you repairman will have plenty of time to sleep in. Here are some suggestions the keep your appliances in top shape. When you are doing the cleaning be extra careful not to allow electronic controls to pick up moisture as that can lead to an expensive break down, which is what maintenance should be helping you avoid.
* Clean the refrigerator door and drawer gaskets with a cloth soaked with warm water and dish detergent, and then dry them with a towel. Gaskets that get sticky with food can tear, which can be a surprisingly involved and expensive repair. Torn gaskets can also lead to other mechanical problems which can end up being costly.
* At least once a year, wash the drawers and racks in the refrigerator, and scrub the interior surfaces of the appliance with a solution of water and baking soda.
* Clean the condenser coils on the back or bottom of your refrigerator. These coils attract dust and when the get dirty they reduce the efficiency of your machine, causing it to work harder which leads to higher electrical bills. It also can lead to breakdowns which can be expensive as well. W.L. May stocks brushes created specifically for cleaning condenser coils, or the long attachment on your vacuum can also do the job.
* Wipe off cold containers before returning them to the refrigerator, says Whirlpool’s Institute of Kitchen Science. Wet containers require the unit to work harder to remove moisture from the air, and can also cause mold.
* If you have a stainless range, once again there are several products we stock to cleand the stainless steel. We also carry scratch repair kits that can help with the almost invetable scratching that can happen to stainless steel.
* Check under the spray arm for a strainer filter that can be emptied and cleaned.
* Run a dishwasher cleaner through your dishwasher. There are several commercial products available that we stock at W.L.May and many home recipes for cleaners you could try as well. Regardless of how you do it, it should help eliminate mineral build ups and leave the interior of your dishwasher looking and smelling clean and germ free.
* As with your refrigerator and using the same techniques, clean the gaskets around the edge of the door.
Oven and Stove Top
* Wipe away spills right away, do not allow them to get baked onto the your range.
* Take advantage of the cleaning function on your oven, if it has one.
* If your oven lacks a cleaning cycle, a tip is to set a shallow pan of ammonia in the oven overnight. In the morning discard the ammonia, and wipe down oven with a damp cloth. Repeat as needed.
* As with your refrigerator, we have solutions available to help in cleaning stainless steel ranges.
* Run the disposal when you send waste to it.It seems obvious, but sometimes people don't turn the disposal on right away. That waste can build up causing odor problems and increasing the workload the disposal will have when it finally gets turned on.
* Periodically run a half a lemon through the disposal. The citric acid in the lemon will help break down any lingering food particles and also will leave your disposal with a pleasant scent.
*Combine a few cups of water with a squirt of lemon juice and heat until boiling in the microwave. You could alternately use a solution of vinegar and water or dish soap and water. The lemon juice in the steam cleans the inside of the appliance, letting you easily wipe away accumulated food.