20 SPRING CLEANING TIPS FOR YOUR APPLIANCES

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Do you think about your appliances during spring cleaning?  We do!

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then simple cleaning and maintenance may keep our service crew away.

We always recommend to follow the use and care guides provided by the manufacturer, but here are 20 tips to think about when cleaning this spring.

OVENS

#1 – Stains on the interior glass of the oven door can be cleaned with a thick paste made from baking soda and water. Apply the paste to stains on the glass, let set, then scrape off.

#2 – Never place foil on the bottom of an oven. The foil can permanently damage the oven surface and the damage is not covered under warranty.

#3 -Check to see if your oven has a self-clean cycle. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and run the self-clean cycle twice before the warranty expires. If anything should need to be repaired, it will still be covered by the warranty.

#4 – When the oven is no longer under warranty, run the self-clean cycle at least once annually. Do not run the self-clean feature before hosting a holiday gathering. If something should happen, you would not want the gathering to be affected.

#5 – Remove all oven racks before running the self-clean. Clean the racks by hand.

#6 – Perform a burn off process before using any new wall oven, range oven or warming drawer. The heat will remove any remaining residue from manufacturing.

COOKTOPS & RANGETOPS

#7 – Soak cooktop and range top grates in a container of white vinegar. Wrapping them in a towel soaked in white vinegar for 24 hours also works.

#8 – It’s all about timing with spills or drips on range tops, cooktops and in ovens.  Let the stain cool before cleaning but do not let it completely cool. Waiting too long may allow it to become a permanent spot or stain.

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REFRIGERATORS

#9 – Regularly change the water filter. Check the use and care guide for the correct part number and frequency.

#10 – Regularly clean the condenser. This keeps the refrigerator from overheating and keeps it running efficiently. Older ones can be cleaned by using a vacuum and brush. Newer ones require a vacuum and a blower. A good rule of thumb is to check the condenser every six months. If you have pets that shed, then cut the time in half for each pet. So if you have three or more shedding pets, check the condenser every month.

WASHERS & DRYERS

#11 – Many washers today are high efficiency machines and require high efficiency detergent. You generally need to use no more than two tablespoons of the detergent per load. Use less if the detergent is concentrated. Check to see if your washer has a clean cycle to help prevent mold and mildew. It is a good rule of thumb to run the clean cycle once a month.

#12 – Check your dryer vents yearly. Thoroughly clean the vents at least every five years. Check it more often if the line is longer than six to eight feet, or bends repeatedly during its path to the outside cap.

DISHWASHERS

#13 – See if your dishwasher has a removable screen filter in the sump. It should be removed and cleaned regularly.

#14 – Use Glisten or Affresh once each month to remove food, detergent and mineral buildup.

VENT HOODS

#15 – Many vent hoods have removable grease screens that can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the hood.

#16 – Over the range microwaves have filters and screens on the bottom that should be cleaned or changed regularly.

ICE MACHINES

#17 – Regularly change the water filter. Check the use and care guide for the correct part number and frequency.

#18 – Use the manufacturer’s instructions to clean the ice machine at least every six months. If you need to turn the ice machine off, take the proper steps to prevent mold and mildew.  Once it grows in your ice machine, it is very difficult to remove. To help prevent mold and mildew from forming, remove all ice and water from the reservoir. Leave the door open until the interior of the machine completely dries.

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CLEANING SURFACES

#19 – Carefully clean the water and ice dispenser in the door of a refrigerator with a diluted bleach solution.  Apply the solution to the plastic surface to prevent mold and mildew.

#20 – Never clean an exterior stainless steel appliance surface with a product containing bleach or chlorine. Permanent staining or marks will occur.

YOUR OVEN IS CHANGING IN A WAY YOU MAY NOT NOTICE

Oven Temperatures Bekins

We have to be flexible about so many aspects of our lives and if you have an old oven, you can add that appliance to the list too.

Did you know that oven temperatures can naturally change about one degree each year?

 

OVEN CONFUSION

Our service technicians occasionally receive calls from people who have recently replaced their oven. Since they are accustomed to their old one (that became off temperature through the years) customers now worry that the new appliance is not cooking food the way it should.

When it comes to your favorite recipes, temperature and timing can be a large factor.  You may have been slowly adjusting your times or temperatures over the years without realizing the temperature change.  For example, a 25 year old oven could have been off by 25 degrees or more.

Before you throw in the towel and call for service on your new purchase, try the yellow cake mix test. Simply buy a box of yellow cake mix from the store and follow the instructions on the box exactly. If it cooks properly, there is nothing wrong with the oven and your best option is to just adjust your old recipes.

 

patience is the key

When preheating, allow for at least 20 minutes.  Our service technicians recommend 30 minutes for the best results.  Many ovens now alert you when they reach the desired temperature, but you may want to continue to let it preheat.  If you try to cook your recipe too soon, the interior metal cavity and racks are not at temperature and will absorb the heat continually until it reaches the set temperature.  We want to make sure the heat works primarily to cook your food.

 

your best options

If you cook your favorite family recipe and the directions do not work to perfection, it is time to do one of two things:

#1 – If you have a new oven, it is time to adjust the recipe to the correct times and temperatures.

#2 – If you are working with an old oven, stop by one of our Bekins locations for a variety of the very best name brands that will cook your favorite family recipe to perfection.