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14 Bad Habits Ruining Your Appliances

As homeowners, we rely on our appliances to make our lives easier. Unfortunately, there are bad habits we might not even be aware of that could be slowly ruining our beloved machines.

Having appliances that last can be as easy as avoiding bad habits. Learn to empty your pockets of coins, clean spills in the oven promptly, and avoid using soap on gas range burners. With these simple tips and tricks, you can maintain the efficiency and longevity of your precious appliances!

14 Bad Habits Ruining Your Appliances

1. Using Hot Water in Your Garbage Disposal

As a homeowner, you want to make sure your appliances last as long as possible. However, some bad habits can lead to appliance destruction faster than you might expect. One of those habits involves your garbage disposal. It’s a handy tool to dispose of food waste, but pouring hot water down the drain after use can lead to damage and repair costs.

The high temperature can cause the blades to dull and even melt some of the components. But don’t worry, there are alternative methods, such as using ice and lemon slices, that will still leave your garbage disposal fresh and functional.

Using Hot Water in Your Garbage Disposal

2. Leaving Coins in Your Pockets

Leaving coins in your pockets before throwing your clothes in the wash may seem harmless, but it can be detrimental to your washing machine. Coins can become lodged in the machine’s drum, leading to scratches, dents, or even punctures.

Over time, these damages can cause your machine to malfunction, leading to costly repairs. Additionally, coins can get stuck in the machine’s drain, disrupting the water flow and washing efficiency. So, before laundry day, make sure to empty your pockets.

Leaving Coins in Your Pockets

3. Overfilling the Freezer

Just like the washing machine, overfilling your freezer can lead to costly damage. While it may seem efficient to pack it to the brim, this practice reduces airflow, causing the appliance to work harder and consume more energy. The extra load can strain the compressor, shortening its lifespan.

Additionally, overpacking can prevent food from freezing evenly, affecting its quality and safety. Try to leave some space between items to allow for adequate air circulation. Making this small change can prolong your freezer’s life and ensure your food remains fresh and safe to eat.

Overfilling the Freezer

4. Overloading the Washing Machine

Overloading your washing machine may seem like a smart way to reduce the number of washing cycles, but it’s a practice that may lead to appliance damage. Overstuffing the drum can cause an imbalance during the spinning process, straining the machine’s motor and bearings.

This premature wear and tear can lead to breakdowns and costly repairs. Additionally, overloading can compromise washing efficiency, leaving your clothes less clean than they should be.

Overloading the Washing Machine

5. Leaving Spills in the Oven

Leaving spills in your oven isn’t just a matter of unsightliness. Over time, these splatters can harden into a crust, which can cause smoke during cooking and potentially affect the taste of your food. Additionally, if spills reach the heating elements, they can cause them to wear out prematurely.

So, remember to clean up spills as soon as your oven cools. This will help maintain the efficiency of your oven, extend its lifespan, and ensure delicious, untainted meals.

Leaving Spills in the Oven

6. Letting Lint Build Up in Your Dryer

Letting lint accumulate in your dryer is another common habit that can lead to premature appliance breakdown. Lint build-up can restrict airflow, causing your dryer to overheat and work less efficiently. This not only shortens the lifespan of your dryer but also poses a serious fire hazard.

Regularly cleaning the lint filter after every load is essential for maintaining the efficiency and safety of your dryer.

Letting Lint Build Up in Your Dryer

7. Using Soap to Clean Your Gas Range Burners

While soap might seem like a go-to cleaner for your gas range burners, it may cause more harm than good. The residue left behind by soap can clog the burner ports, affecting the flame quality and overall performance. Instead, use a soft brush and warm water to gently clean the burners.

For stubborn grime, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can be an effective solution. This simple shift in your cleaning routine can help sustain the efficiency and longevity of your gas range burners.

Using Soap to Clean Your Gas Range Burners

8. Placing Sharp Objects in the Dishwasher

Sharp objects like knives and forks may seem dishwasher-safe, but placing them in there can cause damage. Sharp objects can scratch the interior of your dishwasher, leading to rust over time. Moreover, they may get jostled during the wash cycle, dulling their edges or damaging other utensils.

It’s better to hand wash these items to retain their sharpness and prevent harm to your dishwasher. By making this simple change, you can maintain the effectiveness of your sharp utensils and the longevity of your dishwasher.

Placing Sharp Objects in the Dishwasher

9. Using Cast Iron on Your Ceramic Cooktop

Using cast iron pans on your ceramic cooktop might seem like a good idea, but it can lead to damage. The rough surface of the cast iron can scratch the glass top, causing aesthetic and functional issues. Furthermore, cast iron pans don’t distribute heat evenly, which might result in inefficient cooking and possible damage to the cooktop.

Instead, opt for flat-bottomed pots and pans made of materials such as stainless steel or aluminum, which are more suitable for ceramic cooktops. Making this switch can help maintain your cooktop’s appearance and performance.

Using Cast Iron on Your Ceramic Cooktop

10. Allowing Grime to Linger on the Fridge Gasket

Allowing grime to linger on your fridge’s gasket, the rubber seal around the door can negatively impact its function. Dirt and residue build-up can deteriorate the seal, leading to air leakage, which forces your refrigerator to work harder to maintain a cool temperature, increasing energy consumption.

Regular and gentle cleaning of the gasket with a mild detergent can prevent this damage and maintain your fridge’s efficiency.

Allowing Grime to Linger on the Fridge Gasket

11. Mistreating the Microwave Door

Mistreating the microwave door may seem harmless, but it can lead to serious damage. Slamming the door or frequently opening it while the microwave is in operation can lead to wear and tear on the door’s latch, potentially causing it to break.

This issue may prevent the appliance from working altogether since most microwaves are designed to only operate with a fully secured door. Treat your microwave door with care, opening and closing it gently to prolong the lifespan of your appliance and ensure its consistent performance.

Mistreating the Microwave Door

12. Cleaning Air Fryer Components With Scouring Pads

Cleaning your air fryer components with scouring pads may seem an effective method to remove grime, but it can harm your appliance. Scouring pads can scratch and damage the non-stick coating inside the air fryer basket, affecting its performance and lifespan.

Instead, opt for soft sponges or cloths and mild detergent to clean your air fryer components. Letting them soak in warm, soapy water can also help loosen stubborn food particles. By adopting this cleaning method, you can ensure the durability and efficiency of your air fryer.

Cleaning Air Fryer Components With Scouring Pads

13. Neglecting to Empty the Vacuum

Neglecting to empty your vacuum cleaner regularly can significantly decrease its performance. A full or nearly full vacuum bag or dust compartment can limit the appliance’s suction power, leaving your floors less clean.

Furthermore, the motor may have to work harder to operate effectively, leading to premature wear and tear. Always remember to empty the bag or dust compartment before it hits the maximum fill line. This small but crucial maintenance step will keep your vacuum cleaner running efficiently, prolong its lifespan, and keep your floors spotless.

Neglecting to Empty the Vacuum

14. Using the Wrong Cleaning Products on Your Appliances

Using the wrong cleaning products on your appliances can damage their surfaces and reduce their lifespan. Strong, abrasive chemicals like bleach and ammonia should be avoided as they can corrode metal parts and leave permanent stains.

Instead, opt for mild detergents specifically designed for appliance surfaces, such as stainless steel, glass, or ceramic. With these cleaning products, you can ensure the longevity of your appliances and maintain their aesthetic appeal.

Using the Wrong Cleaning Products on Your Appliances

In conclusion

Taking good care of your appliances does not only revolve around using them for their intended purposes but also includes regular and proper cleaning, avoiding misuse, and conducting routine inspections for any signs of wear.

It’s the small habits, such as leaving spills in the oven or neglecting to clean the lint filter in your dryer, that can add up over time and lead to costly repairs or replacements. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can prolong the lifespan of your appliances, maintain their efficiency, and save on energy costs.

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