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Maintaining Your Kitchen Appliances

Being a homeowner can be costly, but some expenses can be trimmed with regular maintenance. Since so many appliances run in the kitchen, it’s one of the best places to start.

Here are some of the best ways to keep your kitchen appliances running well so that they last through their normal lifetime, and hopefully beyond:

Refrigerators have a life expectancy of 13 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Mold should be the main thing to try to prevent the spread of in a refrigerator. This requires regularly removing all food from it and cleaning every corner. Check each week if expiration dates on food have passed, and toss out anything that’s old.

On the exterior, clean dust and any debris from the condenser coils on the back, and check and maintain the seals on the fridge.

Stove or Oven
Gas ranges should last 15 years, which includes the stovetop and oven. Clean both on a monthly basis with an oven cleaner or basic cleaner for the surface.

Even after a self-cleaning cycle, an oven can need some extra scrubbing by hand to remove old food drippings that have turned to ash. Be sure to wear a mask and gloves. For a gas stovetop, you may need to take apart the components to clean them well.

Garbage Disposal
At six years, a garbage disposal may have one of the shortest life spans in a kitchen. A lot of it depends on what you put down there.

Putting big chunks of food, or thick items such as carrots can break a disposal. You’re better off throwing those in a trash can or composter.

To keep your garbage disposal smelling clean, fill the sink with soap and water and then let it flush and drain. Cut a lemon in quarters and run them in the disposal until they’re gone.

Expect nine years of good service from a microwave oven. Spilled food can cause stains inside, and fingerprints, splatters and other things can make the outside dirty.

To clean the inside, heat a cup of water inside the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes. Let it evaporate until steam appears on the glass window, then open it and wipe the inside with a sponge. Scrub the glass plate separately, and use soapy water to clean the inside.

For the exterior, an all-purpose cleaner with a sponge or cloth should work well. Don’t spray the cleaner directly on the appliance because it could enter the ventilation holes.