3 pro secrets for maintaining kitchen appliances

November 18, 2015

Calling in a professional to fix your appliances is not only inconvenient, it can also get very expensive. The following guidelines will show you how to do some basic repairs yourself.

3 pro secrets for maintaining kitchen appliances

1. Lubricate your icemaker

Finicky automatic icemakers keep many an appliance repairperson in business. If your freezer's icemaker has ground to a halt, try this simple cure before you spend a bundle on a repair call:

  • Remove the ice cube tray and dump out any ice.
  • Buff the tray with a dishtowel until it's perfectly dry.
  • Then give the inside of the tray a light squirt of cooking oil spray. A common reason that icemakers quit producing is that the tray clings to the new ice cubes and can't dump them out.
  • The cooking spray will prevent this bond and will lend no taste whatsoever to your ice.

2. Unclog your dishwasher

Professionals get a good chuckle when you tell them that your dishwasher isn't cleaning as well as it used to. That's because homeowners have a good shot at fixing this problem themselves with this easy, three-minute procedure:

  • Look at the top of the spray arms inside your dishwasher (there are usually two, one at the bottom and one under the upper rack). If mineral deposit or other debris is closing off the holes along the top of the spray arms, they won't clean anymore.
  • Unfasten the clips or screws holding the spray arms in place and put the spray arms in your sink.
  • Unbend a paper clip, insert the end of this stiff wire into each spray hole, and move it around to dislodge the blockage.

3. Clear a clogged drain tube

It's one of the most common things that go wrong with a fridge. In a typical two-door unit with the freezer at the top, there is a drain tube running from the freezer compartment to an evaporation tray underneath the fridge.

You'll find the drain hole on the floor of the freezer compartment, near the back. Its purpose is to drain the runoff that develops when your unit periodically melts its frost to keep itself, as advertised, frost-free.

The problem is that algae spores often develop in the tube, blocking it. This causes water to back up on the floor of the freezer, usually forming ice.

The solution is simple:

  • Use a turkey baster to force fresh water through it to flush it out. You may have to turn off the fridge to let the ice melt first.
  • The water will run into the tray under the fridge, so empty it.
  • Then pour five millilitres (one teaspoon) of ammonia or chlorine bleach into the tube to prevent a recurrence of the algae spores. See — you just saved the cost of a hefty repair bill.
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