A Spring Cleaning Reminder

By Terri Smith, Eastern Maine Appliance

While it’s great to clean the curtains and window panes this time of year, paying attention to your large household appliances can save you money and keep you safe! Preventative maintenance can reduce the need for costly repairs, increase the efficiency of these major household investments, and help catch problems before serious harm can occur to you, your family, and your home.

For all appliances using electricity, be sure to check the electrical cords, as a build-up of dust and dirt, fraying, and separation from the cord end can all cause your appliance to shut down,  be less efficient, and/or be very unsafe. Vacuum around, under, and behind appliances; it’s amazing how much dust can accumulate over the course of a year, particularly if you have furry little family members! Clean refrigerator coils. Check all water and dryer vent hoses. Also inspect gaskets – the flexible product used to seal in heat, cold, or water around doors – particularly in dishwashers, refrigerators, front load washers, and dryers. If you feel heat or cold escaping, or see water seeping, some immediate attention is warranted.

Not having a variety of cleaning supplies in your home is no excuse not to clean your appliances – both inside and out.  Much of the gunk and odors you may find remove easily with a vinegar (1 tablespoon) and water (2 cups) solution.  You can also use 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda for each quart of water.  An old toothbrush and a microfiber cloth can be two of your most valuable tools. Be sure to clean these well between uses. Stainless steel exterior appliances don’t usually require special products either. Just don’t use products containing chlorine because they can damage the finish.

And remember, if all else fails, read the directions! Each appliance comes with an owner’s manual with all manner of tips on how to keep that major investment running at its optimum.


So, include attention to your household appliances as part of your spring cleaning ritual. They, your wallet, and your peace of mind will thank you.