By Jennifer Noonan
Using Hot Water in Your Garbage Disposal
It may seem counterintuitive, but hot water is no good for cleaning kitchen scraps from the sink. When running the garbage disposal to grind up food, use cold water instead. Hot water melts grease and fat, which only leads to clogged drains and mechanical damage.
Leaving Coins in Your Pockets
Check all your pockets for bills and coins carefully before putting pants in the washer. Loose coins can damage the drum and may work themselves into nooks and crannies, causing a jam—and an expensive repair. All the more reason to pinch your pennies.
Overfilling the Freezer
It’s true that a full freezer works more efficiently than an empty one. But there can be too much of a good thing. Overfilling the freezer can block air vents, restrict the flow of cold air, and overtax your refrigerator’s condenser, which could lead to a burn out.
Overloading the Washing Machine
It’s tempting to stuff the washing machine to the brim, especially when the laundry piles up. But don’t. An overloaded washing machine puts undo stress on the bearings, throws the drum out of alignment, and can lead to an appliance repair call.
Leaving Spills in the Oven
Spills are a natural by-product of cooking. But anything spilled in your oven needs to be cleaned up right away, or it may damage the heating coils. Tip: Line your oven rack (not the oven bottom) with foil, so spills are quickly and easily removed.
Letting Lint Build Up in Your Dryer
Remember to clear the lint trap in your clothes dryer after every single load. If you don’t, the efficiency of your machine will be drastically reduced. And it’s a safety issue, as well. Lint that gets clogged in the vent pipe can start a fire, and nobody wants that.
Using Soap to Clean Your Gas Range Burners
Avoid cleaning the burners of your gas range with soap. It can lead to corrosion. It can also clog the lighting hole, causing your burners to have a slow ignition, or fail to ignite at all. Read your manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
Using Cast Iron on Your Ceramic Range
The bottom of a cast iron pan is rough, which makes it easy to scratch your smooth ceramic cooktop. So, avoid using cast iron cookware that isn’t coated. With all pots and pans, be sure not to drag them on and off the stove top, but rather pick them up and lift them to and from the burners.
Sharp Objects in the Dishwasher
Avoid putting sharp objects in the dishwasher. If you must wash knives in the dishwasher, put them in a cutlery basket with the sharp ends pointing up to avoid dinging the racks. Any nicks in the vinyl coating of the racks will lead to rust, which will stain your dishes until you replace that dishwasher.