Are your appliances ready for the holidays? Make sure your fridge, oven, and dishwasher are at peak performances level before guests arrive.
The holidays are right around the corner, and whether you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the masses, throwing a festive holiday bash or hosting a houseful of relatives, your appliances are going to get a workout. Here are some tips for prepping and cleaning appliances before the hordes descend.
1. Clean out your refrigerator.
Before doing your holiday grocery shopping, make room for all of the extra food you’re going to prepare, and the leftovers. Rule of thumb: Anything you can’t identify or any condiment that’s more than a year old into the trash.
2. Set your freezer to party mode.
This will produce more ice than usual. You’ll need it for all of your mother-in-law’s Manhattans.
3. Have you cleaned your fridge’s coils yet this year?
We’re supposed to do it every six months, but do we? Take 15 minutes and either dust or vacuum the coils (make sure you unplug the fridge first). This will ensure it’s running properly and efficiently.
4. Replace your refrigerator water filter
Is your fridge filter past its prime? Refrigerator manufacturers recommend changing the water filter very six months, or sooner if the water or ice starts to taste or smell funny, or if water flows more slowly from the dispenser.
5. Clean your dishwasher.
It sounds like an unnecessary thing to do — cleaning the appliance that cleans your dishes. But according to Mike Showalter, a repair expert for Sears, “using an approved dishwasher cleaner will remove stains on the tub, clean mineral buildup in the wash system and the tub, and help with odors.”
He adds, “Some dishwashers have removable filters that need to be cleaned regularly.” So check out the section on routine maintenance in the owner’s manual to keep your dishwasher in good working condition.
6. Disinfect your kitchen sink.
There’s more E. coli and other nasty bacteria in your kitchen sink than in your toilet bowl, according to multiple health experts. Lovely! Disinfect it (now that you know this, you’ll be doing it daily, won’t you?) with either one part rubbing alcohol to one part water, or bleach and water, and let the solution run down the drain.
7. Self-clean the oven.
Pick a cool day, set it and forget it. Just make sure you didn’t leave last night’s pizza in the oven before you do.
8. Also self-clean the washing machine.
If your washer has a self-clean cycle, now’s the time to run it. If not, check out this easy tutorial to give your washing machine a deep clean.
9. Test if your oven’s temperature is properly set.
Here’s a simple trick to do that: Get a basic cake mix and bake it exactly according to the directions on the box. If it’s not done in the time allotted, your oven’s temp is off.
10. Eyeball the hoses on your washer.
Make sure there are no tears or cracks. The last thing you need is a flood in the basement five minutes before guests arrive.
If your appliances need a little extra attention – or if you want them checked out before a problem arises – schedule an appliance checkup.