Tips to keep your appliances running smoothly

A whiffy washing machine? Frozen fridge? Here are some tips and advice on spring cleaning your appliances to keep them in tip-top fashion...

Appliances such as washing machines, fridge freezers, ovens and tumble driers are designed to make our lives easier. 

But if we want to get the best from them we need to help make their lives easier too. Follow these tips for keeping these domestic goddesses in tip-top shape.

Washing machine


Washing machines are serious grafters - how many times does your laundry basket empty and refill every month?

As it's putting in some serious double shifts to keep your brood in clean clobber, the least you can do is show it some TLC. Laundry products firm Ariel advises you to 'clean out your drawers' on a regular basis.

It says you should:"Rinse out any traces of detergent and softener in the dispenser drawer or they could cause blockages that can damage your machine and stop your clothes being properly cleaned."   

Find your washing machine is getting a bit whiffy? Ariel also offers advice on how to keep it smelling sweet. Do this by once a month setting an empty wash for 60 degrees "using a detergent that contains oxygen bleach".

The oven


Cleaning the oven is one of the most dreaded jobs going, one that regularly gets postponed from one week's list to the next to the next. When you consider it involves grease, grime, scrubbing and a sopping wet floor, there's no wonder.

But is has to be done - a blog on the Jamie Oliver website titled great cooking starts with a clean oven explains the importance of tackling this much maligned dirty job.
Aggie MacKenzie of How Clean is Your House shared a couple of tips for tackling the oven with UKTV's Home network. She said you can soften grease and grime by placing a heatproof bowl of water in the oven on a high temperature for half an hour.

And if you want to make your oven-cleaning session green, old-fashioned soda crystals are "a brilliant eco-friendly kitchen cleaner that cut through grease with ease" according to Aggie.

Fridge freezer

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Open your freezer door to dig out the fish fingers and feel as though you're on scrapped Arctic challenge celeb show 71 Degrees North?
Then it's time to defrost it.

Consumer champion Which? says in its fridge freezer care guide that you should defrost the freezer when the ice reaches around 1.5cm thick.

It urges you to keep the door seal clean as mould will "distort the seal's surface and allow cold air to leak out".

Also make sure your fridge thermostat is set to the right temperature. Which? says it should be set to between 1-5 degrees. Your food will spoil if the fridge is any warmer than that, and if it's colder it will start to freeze.

Tumble dryer 


The tumble dryer takes the drama out of drying clothes, but if you don't look after it properly there could be tears before bedtime. There are several jobs you should do to keep your dryer running as it should.

When fluff and dust comes off your clothes it gathers in the lint filter of your dryer. You should clean this regularly, according to the Which? guide on tumble dryer tips and maintenance. It's easy, just take out the filter - usually found at the bottom of the door on the inside of the frame - and empty into the bin. 

If you own a condenser dryer there are a couple more things to add to your to-do list.

The heat exchanger in your dryer turns steam back into water. It gets clogged up with fluff and dirt. Which? says you should regularly remove and clean it by running under a tap or a shower head.

Also, don't forget to empty the water reservoir after each load. 

What are your best spring cleaning tips? Comment below...