5 Ways You're Destroying Your Appliances

5 Ways You're Destroying Your Appliances

Taryn Williford
Jan 5, 2011

If you've been a long-time lurker on Unplggd, you've probably read dozens of tips on how to use your household appliances more efficiently. But even armed with all of the "Do's" on owning and operating your laundry machines and kitchen devices, you might still find you're guilty of a few appliance faux-pas. Here are the five most common.

Running metal through the washing machine.
The coins and small metal objects that call your pockets home throughout the day could do some serious damage if they make it through the spin cycle. Damaging the inner drum of your machine will, at best, tear your clothes. At worst? Well, you should probably start shopping for a new washer.
How to avoid it: Check and empty your clothes' pockets before you load the machine.

Not cleaning the lint from your dryer's lint trap.
A massive build-up of fluff on your lint trap kills your dryer's air flow, making it work overtime to get your clothes dry. You're instantly limiting the life of your machine.
How to avoid it: Clean the lint trap after every load.

Using the wrong pans on your glass stove top.
Glass is really volatile at extreme temperatures, so you need to be careful with a glass stove top. If you're using pans with a concave bottom or pans that are too big for the burner, you might be trapping heat below the pan. This could cause your glass stove top to crack or break.
How to avoid it: Use flat-bottomed pans that are only slightly smaller than the burner.

Not cleaning your refrigerator coils.
The coils at the bottom (or side) of your refrigerator have an important role in keeping your fridge cold inside. When they get covered with thick layers of dust, however, they're causing the whole system to work harder. That means a shorter life for your fridge.
How to avoid it: Clean your refrigerator coils a few times each year.

Causing nicks in your dishwasher's coated rack.
The metal racks that hold your dishes up in the dishwasher are coated for a reason: With the metal exposed, your dishwasher is prone to rusting and, therefore, can stain your pretty white plates. Similarly, when your dishes, knives or flatware cause nicks in that coating, rust can begin to form almost immediately.
How to avoid it: Arrange items so they won't damage the dishwasher racks. Run sharp knives through with their points pointing upwards or, better yet, hand-wash them.

(Images: Flickr member maury.mccown licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member deVos licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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