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Your kitchen appliances may just be the most used in the house—make sure you’re giving them the TLC they need in order to keep them running efficiently!

Microwave

  • Keep it clean.Whether you realize it or not, food and liquids spread across the inside of the unit and actually absorb heat later on, leading to burns and damaging the inside of the machine. By periodically wiping down the inside of the microwave, you can prevent that from happening and lengthen the lifespan of your appliance.

Oven/Stop Top

  • Clean the hood!Locate your vent hood’s filters and remove them from the vent hood. Fill your sink or a large basin with hot water and a large squirt of degreasing soap and several shakes of baking powder. Add your stove hood filters to the soapy water and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Next, remove the vent hood filters from the water and use your sponge to remove the rest of the debris. Once your filters are clean, let them air dry, and after they’re fully dry, put the filters back into the vent hood.
  • Check your oven’s control panel.Be sure to test all the buttons on your key pad control panels—even the ones you don’t use every day. And, avoid using sopping wet sponges or rags to clean your appliance’s keypad control panels. You may be slowly damaging the control panels on your appliances during your routine cleaning, which could eventually short-circuit the panel.
  • Don’t forget the seal.If your oven door doesn’t seal properly, you could be losing over 70 percent of its heat. Inspect the seal for breaks, tears or abnormalities and look for possible leaks. If you spot a problem, replace the seal, which is available for purchase at most home improvement stores.

Refrigerator

  • Organize and optimize.A clean, tidy refrigerator and an organized freezer will help with airflow and keep your fridge running efficiently. Foods that can safely freeze should go closer to the back of the refrigerator, where the cold air duct is located. Place foods that should not freeze closer to the door, where the air will be warmer.
  • Clean the coils!Keeping coils free of dust, debris, and pet hair really does help the refrigerator operate more smoothly and efficiently. You can purchase a special coil-cleaning tool for the job, but a vacuum cleaner attachment or a stiff brush can also do the trick. Just run the vacuum or brush over and under the coils, removing dust as you go. The coils should be cleaned in this manner once or twice a year and more often if you have pets that shed.

Dishwasher

  • Prevent a flooded kitchen. Check for deterioration in the rubber seals around your dishwasher—a minor crack can quickly lead to flooded kitchen.

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