Lockdown DIY - How To Maintain Home Appliances
With many people spending more time at home, it’s easy to let the boredom get the best of you. So to help us all keep busy and positive, we’ve created a list of clever little DIY hacks to get your home working as good as new – starting with deep-cleaning your white goods.
They’re expensive bits of kit, so making sure they’re in good shape is important! And now is not the time for things to go on the blink, either.
So, if you’ve finished with your regular cleaning routine and feel up for a challenge, here we go:
Flush out your washing machine
Washing machines can become less efficient over time, so here’s how to get yours running as good as new.
First, remove any hair or scum from inside the door and around the drum. Next, take out the lint filter (it’s usually behind the small latch on the front or between the door and the drum), and clean out any fluff, tissue or rubbish.
The energy and water efficiency of appliances drops over time, increasing utility bills
Put some washing machine cleaning solution into your machine’s detergent drawer and run the hottest cycle. Alternatively, you can use two detergent caps of white vinegar.
Finally, run the same cycle again with just eight tablespoons of baking soda in the drum. The chemical reaction will wash away organic build-up, making your machine run as if it just came out of the box!
Un-fluff your tumble dryer
When tumble dryers collect fluff and dust they don’t perform so well. But the good news is they’re pretty easy to deep-clean.
First, remove the filter from inside the door and get rid of as much fluff from it as you can. (You should try and do that every few loads as standard.)
Next, wash the inside of the door with hot soapy water and clean around the drum using a stainless-steel cleaner, or some vinegar if you don’t have any.
Finally, if your model has one, unplug the vent hose (the pipe that leads the steam away from the machine) and cover any holes with tape. If you do spot that it’s damaged, you should replace it because it could lead to damp issues.
If you feel like going one step even further, you can also unplug your machine, unscrew the back panel and vacuum around the blower area and vent pipe connection. This will help to improve your dryer’s efficiency even more. Just don’t lose the screws!
Deep clean your dishwasher
The following is a great way to blast away organic build-up and get rid of bad odours.
First, remove the bottom rack and fan blade(s) and get rid of any gunk or food from the bottom of the machine. This makes the machine more efficient and helps to prevent any clogging.
Next, run the hottest cycle with some dishwasher cleaning solution. If you don’t have any, put 250ml of white vinegar in an open dishwasher-safe tub on the upper rack.
Once the cycle is finished, sprinkle eight tablespoons of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Then start a short, hot cycle to leave the appliance smelling fresh and looking shiny.
Freshen up your fridge
It may seem obvious how to clean a fridge – hot soapy water and a sponge.
But once you’ve done that, here are two extra steps to freshen up your fridge even further.
Dust and grime on the back of the refrigerator can prevent it from cooling properly
First, a way of getting rid of any annoying hardened food: mix a teaspoon of baking soda with water and cover any stains with this paste. Leave it for an hour before scrubbing it off and see the difference!
Second, pull the fridge out and hoover the dust off the coils. This dust can prevent a fridge from cooling efficiently. And given a fridge can use up 15% of a home’s total power, it makes sense to keep it as efficient as possible.
Fix up your freezer
Ice build-up forces your freezer to work harder, which costs you more. So it’s a good idea to defrost your freezer every now and then. The hard bit of course is making sure you don’t waste food in the process.
With that in mind, here’s a tip: make as much ice as you can before turning the freezer off. Then, put the ice and all your food into a cool box.
A freezer built up with ice costs more to run, as well as limiting space
Turn off your freezer, open the door and tip it forward with a tea towel or two under the door to catch all the water.
As soon as the freezer is ice-free, wash the inside with hot soapy water. Once you’re done, plug it back in and load it up again.
Oh, a final tip: if you’re not sure what products are safe to use on your white goods and you’ve lost the instructions, you can always search the serial number online. You should be able to find a pdf for each appliance with all the information you need to keep them healthy.
Check out these other cleaning tips to help keep you busy and get you through these trying times: