Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with housecleaning chores. But imagine staying on top of laundry, dishes and floors without the time-saving appliances we often take for granted. Simple maintenance on your washers and dryers, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners ensures you get the most life out of these indispensable helpers. Read on for a few tips:
Vacuums collect dust. It may sound obvious, but both bag and bagless vacuums need periodic attention to work properly. Once the bag or receptacle is full, running the vacuum cleaner only stresses its motor, grinds dirt more deeply into the carpet, and stirs up dust. Be careful where and what you vacuum, too — damp surfaces and debris with moisture (like food) collect inside the vacuum hose, causing dust to stick and potentially clog the pathway to the holding receptacle. Once inside, damp material can also mold, which may cause a mildew smell when you vacuum later.
Washers and Dryers
Folding, ironing, and putting away laundry are jobs in themselves — monitor your washer and dryer to make sure your entire load doesn’t become “hand wash, line dry only.” If your washing machine setup is older, keep an eye on the hose hookups that supply water. Over time, these can become brittle and potentially leave you with a flooded utility room floor.
It’s a bit more labor intensive, but equally important to maintain your dryer vent. Vents with buildup can result in less efficient operation or cause the dryer’s heating element to burn out — they can even cause fires. You’ll need to disconnect your dryer’s exhaust pipe (always disconnect power first) and then run a specially designed vent brush or vacuum hose through it. Not a Mr. or Ms. Fix-It? Many home repair companies perform this service, too.
If you’re already having a crazy day, running and unloading the dishwasher can feel like a major achievement…but when you have a little more time on your hands, you might consider a quick dishwasher tune-up. If items don’t seem as clean lately, check out the spinning arms in your machine—bits of food stuck in the holes may be the reason why. A toothpick or pair of needle nose pliers should do the trick to remove obstructions (just make sure not to scratch the arms).
If you notice dishes with dried-on water stains, it could be the result of lime buildup in your dishwasher from hard water. Try a few teaspoons of vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice in your dishwasher’s rinse aid compartment, increasing as needed depending on how hard your water is.
No appliance lasts forever, of course. But with any luck yours will lead long, hassle-free lives to tackle yet another spin cycle, jet dry, and lap around the living room. Happy cleaning!
— Submitted by PetalSweet Cleaning, a residential and commercial cleaning company headquartered in Medina.