The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Getting the most from your Appliances

These days the thought of having to buy a new washing machine or oven could mean virtual bankruptcy for many of us. We dread coming in from work to water all over the kitchen floor, knowing that a big bill is pretty much inevitable. The appliances we have in our home are, for the most part, essential. Yes we could live without the dishwasher – but the washing machine or the fridge?

So looking after your appliances is a great skill to know. You could stretch the life of your appliances by up to 30% just by taking some simple steps and investing a little bit of your time.

Washing Machines

  • Check your inlet filters: never heard of these? They are mesh coverings over the water inlet of your machine. They catch any debris in the water and should be checked at least every year.
  • Clean the waste filters at least every week as they filter out the dirt and debris from your clothes and become clogged easily. If they clog your machine will drain slowly.
  • Change the door seal from time to time if they become worn. You may need a professional to change them – but it is cheaper than buying a new machine.
  • Clean out the liquid trays regularly. If they become clogged the machine will not be using the liquid or powder properly, giving you badly washed clothes.


  • Clean filters at least every week and after a really dirty wash. Replacement parts can usually be found if the filter has become damaged.
  • Run the machine while empty with a specialist limescale remover regularly. Even simple vinegar will work well with if done often.
  • Top up the salt weekly to prevent limescale deposits which will make your dishes dull and clog up your pipes.
  • Check the spray arms for blockages and clean them out with a needle or similar.
  • Most of the internals of a dishwasher can be replaced. Baskets, wheels, seals and elements are all available from the manufacturer.


  • Empty and clean your fridge often – weekly if possible. Remove the baskets and shelves and clean everything carefully.
  • Check the plug hole at the back of the fridge and make sure it is clear during your weekly clean.
  • Vacuum the coils at the back at least twice a year. This will mean it runs efficiently and will prevent too much heat building up which could cause fires.
  • Replace seals if they become brittle or mouldy.
  • It is usually possible to replace drawers and shelves from the manufacturer website.


  • Clean your cooker of all spills at least daily or whenever used. The inside should be cleaned monthly with an oven cleaner. This means the shelves and trays too.
  • Take care when cleaning not to get cleaner on the seal – this will shorten their life.
  • Dis-assemble the door as far as possible and clean between the glass for a thorough cleaning.
  • Once again spares are readily available from the manufacturer and replacing parts is better than buying new. This includes knobs, seals, glass, shelves and so on.

A bit of time and effort can mean the difference between an appliance lasting as long as it ought to or you having to buy new. Chances are you have better things to do with your money.