9 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Appliances

All major appliances are subject to general wear and tear, and that means they will eventually break down and need to be replaced. But we don’t have to help them along. The way you use your appliances today has a big impact on whether they'll work tomorrow. Nix these bad habits from your daily routine and start adding years to your appliances lives now.

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  1. Using Hot Water in Your Garbage Disposal


    It may seem counterintuitive, but hot water is no good for cleaning kitchen scraps from the sink. When running the garbage disposal to grind up food, use cold water instead. Hot water melts grease and fat, which only leads to clogged drains and mechanical damage.

    Related: 9 Ideas to Steal from Real People's Kitchens


  2. Leaving Coins in Your Pockets


    Check all your pockets for bills and coins carefully before putting pants in the washer. Loose coins can damage the drum and may work themselves into nooks and crannies, causing a jam—and an expensive repair. All the more reason to pinch your pennies.

    Related: 9 Smart Hacks for Laundry Day

    Flickr via Mike Schmid

  3. Overfilling the Freezer


    It’s true that a full freezer works more efficiently than an empty one. But there can be too much of a good thing. Overfilling the freezer can block air vents, restrict the flow of cold air, and overtax your refrigerator’s condenser, which could lead to a burn out.

    Related: 10 Ingredients for a Cutting-Edge Kitchen

    Flickr via aJ Gazmen

  4. Overloading the Washing Machine


    It’s tempting to stuff the washing machine to the brim, especially when the laundry piles up. But don’t. An overloaded washing machine puts undo stress on the bearings, throws the drum out of alignment, and can lead to an appliance repair call.

    Related: 8 Low-Cost Upgrades for a Hassle-Free Laundry Room


  5. Leaving Spills in the Oven


    Spills are a natural by-product of cooking. But anything spilled in your oven needs to be cleaned up right away, or it may damage the heating coils. Tip: Line your oven rack (not the oven bottom) with foil, so spills are quickly and easily removed.

    Related: 7 Surprising Pantry Items Naturally Clean and Freshen Your Home


  6. Letting Lint Build Up in Your Dryer


    Remember to clear the lint trap in your clothes dryer after every single load. If you don’t, the efficiency of your machine will be drastically reduced. And it’s a safety issue, as well. Lint that gets clogged in the vent pipe can start a fire, and nobody wants that.

    Related: How to Make Any Room Into a Laundry Room


  7. Using Soap to Clean Your Gas Range Burners


    Avoid cleaning the burners of your gas range with soap. It can lead to corrosion. It can also clog the lighting hole, causing your burners to have a slow ignition, or fail to ignite at all. Read your manual and follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning.

    Related: 12 Ways to Clean House with Citrus


  8. Sharp Objects in the Dishwasher


    Avoid putting sharp objects in the dishwasher. If you must wash knives in the dishwasher, put them in a cutlery basket with the sharp ends pointing up to avoid dinging the racks. Any nicks in the vinyl coating of the racks will lead to rust, which will stain your dishes until you replace that dishwasher.

    Related: Over a Dozen Things You Didn't Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher


  9. Using Cast Iron on Your Ceramic Range


    The bottom of a cast iron pan is rough, which makes it easy to scratch your smooth ceramic cooktop. So, avoid using cast iron cookware that isn’t coated. With all pots and pans, be sure not to drag them on and off the stove top, but rather pick them up and lift them to and from the burners.

    Related: Spreading Out - 14 Ways to Get More Counter Space


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