MAKE KITCHEN APPLIANCES LAST LONGER
- Clean the condenser coil with a vacuum cleaner or brush several times a year, unless otherwise directed by the manufacturer (some new models have coils that don’t need to be cleaned). The refrigerator will operate more efficiently, cutting your electric bill.
- Regularly clean beneath the appliance — accumulated dirt and dust can interfere with air circulation.
- Wipe down inside shelves, drawers, and racks weekly. Throw out all outdated food to prevent odors. Keep an open box of baking soda on a shelf to absorb smells. Remember that food will not be maintained at a proper temperature if the refrigerator is crammed to the gills or the door is constantly being opened.
Freezer, non-self-defrosting (chest and upright)
- Defrost when frost buildup is around a quarter inch thick. (If frost continues to build, the motor has to run more often, burning more energy.)
- Clean and deodorize the inside regularly with a mixture of four tablespoons baking soda and one quart warm water. Wash, rinse, and wipe dry. If there’s a stain, sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub. Do not use abrasive cleaners.
- Do not keep in a garage or on a porch — the cooling system will not operate properly.
- Clean regularly with a commercial oven cleaner. This is important because baked-on grease can catch fire and may cause the thermostat to malfunction. Turn on a vent or open a window to get rid of cleaning fumes. Never spray cleaning compounds near heating elements, electronic connections, or a hot, unprotected oven light (it may shatter).
- Self-clean the oven before it becomes heavily soiled. (Heavy soil requires longer cleaning cycles and produces more smoke.) Before self-cleaning, clean the oven window and areas around the door seal (but not the gasket) with a damp nonabrasive plastic scrubbing pad.
Glass ceramic electric cooktop
- Wipe with a clean damp sponge after each use to prevent food residue from building up. To keep the surface looking new, scrub with a blue nonscratch pad once a week even if you don’t see any spills. Follow with an application of cooktop cleaning cream.
- Clean all the grates, drip pans, and burner caps with warm soapy water and a nonabrasive plastic scrubbing pad.
- Check the filter regularly and clean, if necessary, following the method recommended in the owner’s manual. The filter is usually located underneath the lower spray arm.
- Make sure the water is hot enough to clean the dishes properly; the water heater should be set to at least 120°F.
- Run lots of cold water whenever you use it to thoroughly flush away food waste and to prevent backup or clogging of the plumbing.
- Grind citrus-fruit rinds to freshen and deodorize. Then run lots of cold water.
- Occasionally scrub the rubber splash guard with a long brush and hot soapy water.
- Never pour grease directly into the disposer; it could solidify and block the plumbing.
- Clean after each use. Leftover food spills can affect an oven’s cooking time. Wipe with a clean soapy sponge, rinse, and dry. Remember to wipe the door seal and frame.
- Remove odors with a solution of several teaspoons of baking soda and one cup of water, placed in a one-quart microwave-safe measuring cup. Turn microwave on High for five minutes. Caution: Let stand until cool before removing the cup.
- Clean the control panel with a damp sponge. Never spray any cleaning solution directly on the panel — it could seep underneath and cause a malfunction.
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