- Regularly descale all your machines which heat water as mineral deposits affect performance and appliance lifespan. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, kettles, coffee machines and steam irons.
- Mineral deposits are greater and so need more cleaning if you live in a hard water area – 60% of us do – so check the kind of water you have.
- You can descale using specific chemical products or traditional methods such as lemon or vinegar.
- Read your manual for recommendations of what to use and how to descale.
Fridges and Freezers
- Install fridges and freezers in a dry, well-ventilated room. Most refrigerators should not be installed in direct sunlight or near a heat source such as a radiator.
- Regularly defrost your freezer if it is not “frost-free.”
- On frost-free models clean the rear of your fridge compartment and check that the drainage hole is clear.
- Descale your kettle regularly, especially if you live in a hard water area. Limescale build-up will reduce the efficiency of the heating element.
- Only boil as much water as you need. This will ensure the heating element is only used for the amount of water needed.
- Leave the door of your machine open after use if you want to help moisture escape and to prevent damp smells.
- Keep the soap dispensers clean. Occasionally remove the detergent drawer and clean it using hot water and an old toothbrush.
- Check and clean the filter from time to time.
- A few times a year, run a maintenance cycle – see the instruction booklet for details.
- Only attempt to open the washing machine mid-cycle if your instruction manual specifies you can – some new machines allow you to open to add that stray sock – as on most machines the programme finishes with a cooling cycle designed to reduce both the temperature and the amount of creasing.
- After using your iron, unplug it and empty the water reservoir to allow residual heat from the iron to dry it out. Set the iron in a safe place while it cools then store it upright in a cool, dry place.
- Descale your iron frequently as directed in instructions.
Ovens and Hobs
- Clean your oven regularly when cool. Some models have cleaning cycles that burn off dirt.
- Wipe glass and ceramic electric hobs clean after each use. Manufacturers supply tools and products for burnt on stains, to avoid scratches.
- Clean gas hob grates, drip pans, and burner caps with warm soapy water .
- Cleaning the grease filters in your cookers heads every two months allows better air flow. Most aluminium grease filters are dishwasher safe.
- Cleaning grease build-up around the fan will help even distribution of heat and increase efficiency.
- You can prevent an unnecessary repair to your pump by cleaning your filter regularly. It’s an easy job – just take out bottom tray, lift the cylindrical filter out and wash it in warm water.
- Clean the spray arms. These can get blocked with food like rice and sweetcorn. It’s another easy job and means you won’t need to replace the spray arms. Simply pull the low tray out and lift the two spray arms out to clean.
- Depending on the hardness of water in your area, you may need to top up on dishwasher salt and rinse aid treatments monthly. Your machine will probably tell you when you need to do this. Follow your manual instructions for replenishing these products.
- After refilling salt, always run a short water rinse to avoid corrosion from any salt spillage.
- Install the machine in a dry, well-ventilated room.
- Clean the filter of fluff, lint and any other debris after every use.
- Periodically clear the vent tubes of any accumulation of fluff or lint.
- Keep vents on a standalone microwave clear.
- Don’t put metal dishes directly onto the turntable.
- Clean after each use. Wipe with a clean soapy sponge, rinse, and dry. Remember to wipe the door seal and frame.
Food waste disposers
- Scrub the rubber splash guard occasionally with a long brush and hot soapy water.
- Never pour oil or grease into the disposer. Instead, collect fats in a container and then throw the container into the dustbin.
- Don’t try to grind large amounts of food at one time.
- Run water down the drain for several seconds after grinding is complete, to flush waste and keep debris from settling.
- Save and grind used lemons and other citrus fruit peels to freshen up and disinfect the disposer naturally.
- Empty or change vacuum cleaner bags often. The appliance will lose suction power if they are full.
- Clean the floor brush/roller to make sure it has no blockages or restrictions.
- Check your filter and replace when necessary. A blocked filter reduces effectiveness.