How to Clean & Maintain Your Kitchen Appliances

By Lyle Weischwill | Mar. 22, 2023 6:19 am PST

During spring cleaning season, don’t neglect your kitchen appliances. Cleaning and maintaining your refrigerator, stove and dishwasher will help them work better and last longer.

You can choose to clean and maintain your kitchen appliances yourself, or you can have Sears perform the appliance cleaning and maintenance for you. Each appliance section below includes a DIY cleaning and maintenance video, followed by a description of the professional Clean & Maintain service offered by Sears.

Decide which option is best for you. Even if you decide to perform the cleaning and maintenance yourself, it’s a good idea to have your kitchen appliances professionally serviced at least once every 2 years to keep them in top shape and lasting longer. Bundle all of your kitchen appliance maintenance and a Sears Tech will service all 3 appliances for one low price in a single visit.

Refrigerator Cleaning & Maintenance

Spills can build up inside your refrigerator. At least once a year, you’ll need to pull everything out and wipe down the shelves and walls to remove stains. Clean the cabinet and doors according to the directions in your owner’s manual. Use stainless steel cleaner to clean and polish the doors if you have a stainless steel fridge.

How to Maintain Your Refrigerator Yourself

This video shows you how to clean and maintain your fridge on your own.

Professional Refrigerator Clean & Maintain Service by Sears

For some of us, it’s best to leave refrigerator maintenance to the pros. During Refrigerator Cleaning & Maintenance Service, the tech will:

  • Clean the condenser coils. The refrigerator’s cooling system won’t work efficiently if condenser coils are dirty. That translates into higher energy bills and more wear and tear on the compressor because it has to run longer to cool the refrigerator. The Sears technician will clean the condenser coils to help keep them working properly.
  • Check and adjust temperature controls and air dampers. Maintaining the proper temperature inside the refrigerator and freezer compartments helps minimize food spoilage. The technician will measure temperatures inside the refrigerator and freezer compartments and adjust the settings if necessary. The technician also will let you know if the temperature control system isn’t working properly and needs repair.
  • Test the automatic defrost system. If the defrost system isn’t working properly, frost buildup on evaporator fins will block airflow and the refrigerator and freezer won’t cool properly. The technician makes sure that this system works properly to help keep your refrigerator from experiencing cooling problems.
  • Check and clean the defrost drain system. The water that drips off the evaporator fins during the defrost process drains through a tube and into a pan next to the compressor. If the drain tube gets clogged, water will drip inside the refrigerator or freezer compartment. To prevent that from happening, the drain tube will be checked and clogs cleared. The Sears technician also will check the drain pan and clean if needed. It’s possible for pests or rodents to get into the drain pan and cause a stink, so this check helps avoid surprise odors, not to mention saving you from having to remove a dead rodent.
  • Check, clean and adjust door seals. Loose or dirty door seals can allow warm, moist air to leak into the refrigerator and/or freezer section, causing dairy products to spoil quickly in the fridge or frost to form on food in the freezer. The compressor has to run longer to cool the refrigerator and freezer when air leaks through door seals, meaning – you guessed it – higher energy bills. The technician will check, clean and adjust seals as necessary.
  • Level the fridge cabinet. Refrigerator doors won’t close all the way if the cabinet isn’t properly leveled, letting warm air into the fridge and causing cooling problems. A Sears technician will make sure the cabinet is level during the appliance check.

Image of a Sears Tech performing appliance maintenance

  • Check the water filter date. Refrigerator water filters should be changed every 6 to 12 months. Failing to replace the water filter regularly can expose you and your family to unsafe and poor tasting drinking water and ice. A water filter that’s past its prime also can cause diminished water flow through the water dispenser, leading to smaller ice cubes because water doesn’t fully fill the ice maker tray. Our Sears technician will check your water filter and let you know if it needs changing.
  • Check the ice maker and dispenser system. If your refrigerator has an ice maker and dispenser system, the technician will check for proper ice operation and water flow. Because an ice cube can get stuck in the ice dispenser door (which would cause cooling problems in the freezer), the technician will check the ice chute and ice dispenser door for stuck cubes. Additionally, the tech will test ice maker operation and the ice level detection device for the ice storage bin.

Dishwasher Cleaning & Maintenance

Follow the steps in this video to clean and maintain your dishwasher.

When you have a Sears Technician perform Dishwasher Clean & Maintain Service, you’ll see the tech perform these steps to thoroughly check, maintain and clean the appliance.

  • Check the electronic control board and sensors. The electronic control board is the “brains” or motherboard of the dishwasher; it starts and stops all the dishwasher’s functions — filling, washing, drying and draining. It receives a signal from the control panel when you select a button and displays the cycle status, time and other information on the control panel. The control board also receives signals from temperature sensors, water level sensors and water quality sensors to help control the dishwashing cycle. Electronic control board and sensors not operating properly can lead heating failures, damage to the dishwasher or dishes from overheated water/air, dishes that don’t get clean, water leaks that could damage kitchen cabinets or flooring or excess water/energy use.
  • Check incoming water supply temperature. This aspect of dishwasher operation is actually controlled by the water heater in your home. The technician will check incoming water temperature for the dishwasher and advise you about proper water heater settings for the dishwasher. Water that’s not hot enough can lead to longer than normal cycle times or dishes that won’t get clean.
  • Examine and clean pumps and spray arms. The technician will check the wash and drain pumps for proper operation and leaks. Failure of either pump prevents dishes from getting clean during the wash cycle. Leaks from a pump can cause expensive damage to kitchen cabinets and flooring. Spray arms that are cracked or clogged by food debris and hard water deposits don’t distribute water properly for cleaning dishes. The technician will check and clean spray arms and recommend spray arm replacement if damaged. The tech also will recommend the best cleaner for cleaning your dishwasher to remove hard water deposits and food debris, as well as keeping your dishwasher smelling fresh.
  • Test the detergent and rinse aid dispenser. Because dishes won’t get clean if the dispenser doesn’t open when it’s meant to, the technician will check for proper detergent and rinse aid dispenser operation.
  • Check the control panel. You may not know when an infrequently used button on your dishwasher control panel isn’t working properly. A faulty control panel button can eventually cause the dishwasher to stop operating. The service technician will check all control panel buttons for proper operation during dishwasher cleaning and maintenance.
  • Test the heating element. The heating element is mounted on the bottom of the dishwasher tub and heats the water during the wash and rinse portions of the cycle. Raising the water temperature improves cleaning, and in some situations, sanitation. Dishes won’t get clean and/or dry properly if the heating element fails. During this check, the technician inspects the condition and operation of the heating element.
  • Check and clean dishwasher door gaskets. Door gaskets, also called door seals, prevent water from leaking out of the dishwasher, possibly damaging kitchen flooring and cabinets. Your Sears technician will check for loose, damaged or dirty door gaskets.
  • Clean removable water filters. Many dishwashers have removable water filters that screen out debris, broken glass and food particles from recirculated wash water during the dishwashing cycle. Failing to clean these filters can cause the dishwasher to redeposit food debris on the dishes during the wash and rinse cycles. The technician will clean these filters during dishwasher maintenance and instruct you on regular cleaning of the removable filters.

Having your dishwasher professionally cleaned and maintained will help ensure that your dishes always come out clean. Professional maintenance also helps prevent unexpected breakdowns and helps your dishwasher last longer.

Range Maintenance & Cleaning

Keeping a gas range in top shape is essential to your household’s safety. And, everyone’s happy when the cooking appliances are working properly.

Follow the steps shown in this video to clean and maintain a gas stove.

Some of the steps for cleaning and maintaining an electric stove are similar to the steps for the gas stove. For example, checking the oven door gasket is the same for both types of ovens is the same.

Cleaning the cooktop on an electric stove is much different and can be somewhat challenging. Follow the tips in this article/video to clean the ceramic glass cooktop if you have an electric stove: How to clean a glass cooktop video.

Even if you perform the above range cleaning and maintenance, it’s best to have a Sears Technician professionally maintain and clean your range annually. During the annual professional stove maintenance and cleaning, the tech will perform these essential steps.

  • Check control operation. Range controls are checked for accurate temperature control of the oven and stovetop burners. Faulty controls can cause the range to waste energy when overheating occurs.
  • Examine oven door alignment and clean the oven door gasket. A loose door gasket or bent door hinges can prevent the oven door from sealing, allowing heat to escape during baking. You’ll wind up paying higher energy bills because the burner ignites more often and stays burning longer to heat the oven. The technician adjusts and cleans the oven door gasket to make sure it seals the oven door properly.
  • Test oven self-cleaning operation. On ranges that have self-cleaning ovens, the service technician checks the control and oven door lock to make sure it stays closed during the self-cleaning cycle. During the self-cleaning operation, oven heats to extremely high temperatures to burn spills and residue inside the oven to ash. To prevent fires, the oven door must remain closed and locked during self-cleaning. If you were to open the door during self-cleaning, a sudden rush of air into the extremely hot oven can cause a serious fire.
  • Check and clean the stovetop burners. The technician cleans and checks electric elements to make sure they’re operating properly and safely. A short circuit in an electric stovetop burner can cause a serious electrocution risk. An element on a glass-top range that overheats can damage the glass top. On a gas range, the technician cleans checks and adjusts the surface burners. A dirty surface burner can fail to ignite – posing a serious safety risk.
  • Check oven burners or elements. The technician examines and adjusts oven burners in a gas range or electric elements in an electric range. Gas oven burners that aren’t adjusted correctly can fail to heat the oven properly and may emit excessive carbon monoxide. Electric elements that aren’t heating correctly will fail to heat the oven properly. A shorted electric element also can pose a serious electrocution risk.
  • Inspect readily accessible electrical wiring. The technician will check the wiring on gas and electric ranges, for insulation damage, proper grounding and secure connections. Damaged wiring or wiring that’s not secure can cause an electrocution risk. The ground connection dissipates an electrical short to prevent you from getting an electric shock if a loose wire touches metal in the range.
  • Level the range and check the anti-tip device. The technician levels the range to reduce the risk that a pot or pan will accidentally slide off a gas surface burner. Leveling also helps items bake properly in the oven. The anti-tip device is an essential bracket that prevents the range from tipping forward when you open the oven door and extend an oven rack out of the range with a dish on the rack.

Remember, bundle the Sears Clean & Maintain services so a technician can take care of all of your kitchen appliances during one convenient visit – and you save money on the deal. For even more savings, add your laundry appliances to the bundle to professionally service all of your home appliances at once.

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