Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from American Home Shield. All opinions are strictly my own.
Your kitchen appliances and the plumbing systems that run them are probably some of the most important parts of your kitchen, and you almost forget how hard they are working for you, every day. From your trusty dishwasher that manages to clean up effortlessly from your dinner parties, to your microwave and garbage disposal that have witnessed way too many mishaps than you care to mention. Your kitchen appliances and plumbing systems need to be maintained to stay working and dependable. I’ve partnered with American Home Shield, the nation’s leading home warranty company, to show you how easy it is to maintain your kitchen appliances and systems that continually work hard, so you won’t be caught without them!
The Best Ways to Care for your Plumbing and Kitchen Appliances:
Here is something to consider from an AHS contractor:
“We get a lot of calls every year to fix problems that in many cases can easily be avoided just by following the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines and having regular service on the major appliances, ” said Devin Williams, President of Greenway Home Services, a top-rated AHS contractor. “That being said, if you plan on attempting the more advanced DIY maintenance tasks, it’s crucial to follow the instructions for that specific system or appliance to a T. Most of our calls come from people attempting to fix an appliance themselves with no knowledge or research on their specific model.”
Will your Microwave Remain Convenient for Years to Come?
Your late night movie popcorn or your mid-day microwave meal may make life easier now, but if you don’t maintain it you could be surely inconvenienced in the future.
Keeping your Microwave Clean Can Elongate its Life:
While most of us try to clean our microwaves from the occasional splatter of spaghetti sauce on the interior, we probably don’t clean it half as often as we should. And did you know food burns can cause damage to your microwave? Try these microwave maintenance tips to keep your food safe and your appliance running smoothly:
- Placing your Microwave for Efficiency: Many homeowners don’t realize placing their unit amongst a cluttered countertop or in between other appliances can make the microwave work harder. When choosing a place for your microwave, ensure it has good airflow and ventilation around the unit. Keep dishtowels, cookbooks, dishes and other appliances away from the sides of your microwave.
- Microwave Safety Tips: To keep you and your family safe, do not microwave anything other than food or liquids. Consider using the microwaves pre-set times for specific foods already programmed into your appliance. The manufacturer has chosen these times based on the model, wattage, size, etc… and you could elongate your microwave’s life by helping it run more efficiently.
- Microwave Heating: Use a paper towel or cover your food with a microwave-safe lid before heating. Wipe up spills and splatters shortly after using your microwave.
- Microwave No-No’s: Only place food and non-metallic cooking dishes inside your microwave. Even though you may want to dry a small piece of clothing quickly it could spark and cause a flame and damage your microwave.
- Microwave Cleaning: Let’s face it, it’s often hard to keep up with cleaning every spill that happens in your microwave. When you can, use a mild solution such as baking soda and vinegar to clean the interior of your unit. If you have to remove hard food stains and burn marks put the solution in a spray bottle and let the solution soak before wiping it clean.
Take a look at this microwave cleaning tutorial video from American Home Shield:
Your Garbage Disposal Maintenance is Easier than you think:
If your household is anything like mine, your disposal likely “eats” way too many items that aren’t really supposed to go down it! From eggshells to ice cubes, these foods can actually harm your garbage disposal and could cause it to malfunction. Take a look at these easy ways to keep your garbage disposal in good working condition:
- Your Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Have Blades: While most homeowners think they can sharpen the blades of their disposal this is actually a myth. In fact, the impellers are blunt and therefore placing ice cubes or other hard items into the disposal will hurt it.
- Keep your Disposal Clean by Eliminating Oils and Fats: I remember when I was a kid and watching my grandmother pour bacon grease down the drain and it was no problem… but of course, she didn’t have a garbage disposal either! With our modern kitchen appliances and systems, a garbage disposal can’t handle oils, fats, and grease poured into it. These fats can congeal around the impellers as well as clog the pipes and sewer system.
- Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t a Trash Compactor: Make sure you and your family only put small and soft food remnants into your garbage disposal. Keep bones, seeds, fruit pits, popcorn kernels and other hard foods out of your disposal. If you’re cleaning up from a dinner party, scrape all the bones and other hard foods into a plastic bag and throw it away, rather than in your garbage disposal.
- Treat your Disposal with Care: Even though you and your family have decided that your disposal is for all the leftovers of your entire refrigerator, remember it should only handle biodegradable foods. Use cold water to flush foods and prevent the pipes from overheating.
Now that we’re on the topic of plumbing, do you know how to maintain your kitchen sink pipes? While your garbage disposal plays a big part in the system, here are a few ways to keep clogs and drainage problems from your dishwasher to a minimum.
How to Care for your Dishwasher and Drainage Pipes:
Before you place another baked-on brownie battered cake pan into your dishwasher, take a look at these tips to ensure your dishwasher will last for years:
- Wash off Food Completely: One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when loading their dishwasher is assuming there is a “garbage disposal” in it. Rinse off as much food debris as possible before loading dishes and utensils. If you hear irregular sounds while its running, stop the dishwasher because it may cause more damage to let it run.
- Make Sure Your Dishwasher is Draining Properly: If you open your dishwasher door after it’s completed washing and you see standing water, you may have a drainage issue. Turn on your garbage disposal and ensure all food has been flushed out of the sink. An air gap in the drainage hose can also cause water to backup into the dishwasher.
- Clear out Food Remnants Regularly: Inspect the bottom of your dishwasher to ensure larger pieces of food don’t block the water drainage out of your unit.
- Change Your Dishwasher Filter per Your Manufacturer’s Directions: Who knew there was a filter in your dishwasher? Refer to your owners’ manual or go online and search your make and model dishwasher to find electronic manuals you can download.
Take a look at this video from American Home Shield for dishwasher maintenance tips:
As you continue to use your kitchen appliances, remember the hard-working systems that are going on behind the scenes! From your microwave and garbage disposal to your dishwasher and drainage system, use these maintenance tips to help keep them running smoothly. If at any time your appliances seem like a job that is too big to handle, consider hiring a professional to come look at your appliances. American Home Shield has a national contractor network made up of nearly 15,000 independent home service contractors and more than 45,000 service technicians. They have a library of videos, articles, and DIY information to help, but know when it’s too much and you need to call the professionals. With these helpful tips, your kitchen appliances should continue to run as a part of your family home.
For more kitchen tips and ideas on Stagetecture, take a look through our archives.