RISMEDIA, January 16, 2010—(MCT)—Taking the time to do a little preventative maintenance on household items is far less costly than having to replace a soiled carpet, broken vacuum cleaner or scratched TV.
The October 2009 issue of ShopSmart magazine, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, offers the following tricks to help your household products last throughout the years.
Clothes washer- Don’t overload it. That wears down the machine.
Dishwashers- Periodically remove any debris from the filter and the bottom of the machine.
Gas ranges- Inspect the burners regularly and clean the burner ports with a needle, but don’t touch the igniter.
Refrigerators and freezers- Clean door gaskets with water and mild detergent periodically. Vacuum the coils every few months as they tend to collect dust, which lowers efficiency and raises energy costs.
Vacuum cleaners- Small objects such as coins can damage the power head and even the motor on some uprights, and string can wind its way around the rotating brush. Unplug the machine and dislodge items ASAP.
Digital cameras and camcorders- Use the strap to keep from dropping your camera, and stow the camera in a case when it’s not in use. Clean dirty lenses gently with a microfiber lens cloth and lens-cleaning fluid.
Laptop computers- Use them on a flat surface. Soft surfaces can block airflow and lead to overheating.
LCD TVs- Clean the screen gently with a soft, slightly damp cloth, ideally a microfiber one. Avoid cleaners and paper towels which can cause scratches.
CDs and DVDs- If you have to clean one (avoid cleaning it unless it’s dirty), wipe it with a soft, lint-free cloth from the center to the outer edge.
Baking pans- Dry thoroughly after washing to prevent rust. Smearing a little vegetable oil onto the sides and bottom with a paper towel after each use will also work.
Knives- When they’re not in use, store them in a wooden knife block or individual plastic shields. Be sure to keep them out of the dishwasher as well- going through a cycle can cause pit blades and wooden handles to crack.
Nonstick pots- Hand-wash your pots, removing burned-on food with a plastic scrubber.
Stainless-steel flatware- Use a stainless cleaner to remove scratches and stains and restore shine. Scouring powder or steel wool can cause scratches and reduce stain resistance.
Teakettles- Remove mineral deposits from the interior by filling the kettle with equal parts white vinegar and water, bringing it to a boil, and allowing it to stand overnight.
(c) 2009, Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.