Condo Housekeeping: Maintaining Your Appliances

Smiling blonde woman cleaning washing machineWhen you were a carefree renter, maintaining your landlord’s appliances was your last priority. Now that you own all of the expensive appliances in your condo – and are responsible for keeping them in working order – regular maintenance is expected to keep them chugging along.

At the basic level, most appliances can be maintained by keeping the electrical wires, hoses, and filters up-to-date, and by cleaning them frequently to avoid tough build-ups. See this article for tips on cleaning with natural, DIY products.

Read your appliances’ manuals for the most specific information. These tips work for pretty much any appliances…

Refrigerator/Freezer:
– Clean spills immediately to avoid permanent grime
– Deep clean your fridge with warm water, castile soap, and baking soda monthly: make sure to get all of the drawers, shelving, door hinges, and gaskets (the flexible seals around edges)
– Use a long-handled coil brush, or vacuum attachments, to carefully remove dust that may have collected on the back coils (yearly)
– Carefully move your fridge to sweep/vacuum underneath it regularly

Stove/Oven:
– Clean all stove top parts after every (or every other) meal
– Check to see if you can put your stove-top burners in the dishwasher, or a bucket of a warm and soapy vinegar water solution
– Wipe away spills on the oven door immediately
– Use the self-clean option for the oven, if available
– Any residues left over after the self-clean process should be cleaned by hand

Microwave:
– Clean all surfaces immediately if food splatters
– For stubborn food residue, heat a cup of water in the microwave and let the steam soften the dirt before wiping
– Remove any residue that collects in moving parts
– Do not manually move parts that move mechanically
– Keep the vents clear and unblocked
– Do not overheat

Dishwasher:
– Always load properly
– Clean all surfaces as they become noticeably dirty
– Be sure to remove chunks of food residue from all items before putting them in the washer
– Do not wash dishes with soap before putting them in the washer
– Do not add too much soap to the washer
– Every few months, run an empty cycle with lemon juice or baking soda. It will remove deposits left from dish soap, and food stains, to help the machine work more efficiently
– Clean and/or replace filters (if present)

Toaster:
– Remove excess crumbs after each use
– Wash with soapy water

In-Sink Food/Garbage Disposal:
– Regularly feed your disposal lemon or orange peels to reduce odors
– Toss in and grind up a few ice cubes and egg shells to keep it sharp
– Use cold water when running the disposal and for a moment afterwards

Washer:
– Clean all surfaces as they become noticeably dirty, especially around the opening
– Do not overload
– Check hoses 2 to 4 times per year: replace as needed
– Replace rubber washing machine hoses with braided-metal ones to reduce the risk of bursting
– Always ensure that the machine is level and on firm footing
– Do not use too much detergent

Dryer:
– Clean all surfaces as they become noticeably dirty, especially around the opening
– Clean out the lint trap after each use
– Do not over-load or under-load
– Every few months, wash the lint filter with detergent to remove chemical residues that can block airflow
– Prevent mold from growing around any of the door gaskets by, after each use, keeping the door open until the tub is dry
– Check the hoses and exhaust pipe for crimps, loosening, rips, etc.
– 1 to 2 times yearly, remove and clean out the entire exhaust duct line
– Always ensure that the machine is level and on firm footing

Air conditioners (varies by model):
– Replace filters as needed
– Keep openings dust free

Author My First Apartment
Chloe Eaton

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Chloë Elise is a writer and artist living around the world. She spends most of her time writing, painting, tattooing, studying science, learning languages, building websites, making music, and searching for fossils. Find more info at Sima Tattoo, Yakbrother, or her personal portfolio.

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