Cleaning your household appliances regularly will help them to last longer and work more efficiently. But how often should you carry out important cleaning tasks and what exactly needs doing to maintain your machines?
To help you, we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist of the most important cleaning and maintenance tasks. We’ve even got some guidelines as to how often they should be carried out too.
- Wipe down the front of your washing machine, fridge and dishwasher as necessary to keep them gleaming.
- Wipe down your oven door to get rid of any grease or food splashes. Grease is a lot harder to remove once it has burnt on.
- Check your washing machine filter and give it a rinse if necessary to remove any fluff or debris that has built up inside it.
- Similarly, check your dishwasher filter and remove any food particles that are caught in it.
- Wipe down dishwasher and washing machine door seals, being sure to get into the crevices where mould and bacteria can breed.
- Sweep any crumbs out of your oven and clean the oven walls and trays if necessary. Avoid spraying any cleaning products onto the grill or fan oven element though. Doing so can cause damage (not to mention a horrible burning smell when you next use your appliance).
- Clean out the crumb tray in your toaster (or shake excess crumbs out of your appliance if there’s no removable tray). A pastry brush can help get rid of hard to shift bread crumbs.
- Wipe the outside of your microwave if required, but make sure the cloth you’re using isn’t too damp. An excessively damp cloth can short circuit the electronic control pad.
- Wipe down your fridge to keep it hygienic and fresh smelling. If you’ve spilled something it’s always a good idea to tackle the clean up job straight away where possible.
- Run a washing machine cleaner through your appliance using a hot wash. (This is especially important if you live in a hard water area as regular cleaning with a cleaner that’s effective against limescale will prolong the life of your machine.) For more detailed information on how to stop limescale and mould build up in your washing machine see our video:
- Dishwashers also need cleaning and descaling monthly to work at their best.
- Check for lint build ups in your tumble dryer vent hose (for tumble dryers that vent air outside) and inside the lint filter housing. Vacuum out any lint you find.
- Check your cooker hood filter. Clean and replace as necessary.
- If your vacuum seems to be loosing suction, check the filter and either clean it or replace it to ensure more efficient vacuuming.
- Those that live in a hard water area will need to descale their kettle about once a month to stop limescale deposits building up excessively.
- Keep freezers efficient with a regular monthly defrost. You can either turn off your appliance and allow excess ice to melt or clear it with an ice scraper. Don’t forget to put down an old towel to catch the drips!
Tasks for Every Use
- Leave the dispenser drawer and door open after a wash so that your washing machine can dry out. That way bacteria and mould are less likely to form and cause smells.
- Leave the dishwasher door ajar after using too, for the same reason.
- Remove lint from your tumble dryer lint filter.
- If you have a condenser tumble dryer, empty the water container after every couple of uses.
- Give your hob a wipe down as soon as there’s a spillage on it. You’ll be saving yourself a job in the long run, as burnt on food takes a lot of elbow grease to shift.
- Wipe any microwave spills straight away before they can harden and rinse the turntable plate as required. Don’t forget to check the roof of the microwave for food splashes.
- Empty the bin of your bagless vacuum after every use to stop bacteria causing smells. Vacuum cleaner bags should be changed when the bag is about three quarters full.
Whilst some people may prefer to carry out the above chores more or less frequently, as long as you have a good checklist of appliance cleaning and maintenance tasks, you’ll be helping your appliances work well for years to come. You can find the dedicated cleaning and maintenance products you need all in one place on our site.