Electronics can last longer if you follow a few simple tips (Image: Getty Images)
The cost-of-living crisis continues to negatively impact all aspects of life, from rising prices for basic necessities to spending on energy bills – which are expected to remain high despite the lowering of the price cap.
As we are all looking for ways to save money and get the most out of everything, many of us want to avoid breaking a device.
Fortunately, there are ways to extend the life of your washing machine, dishwasher, microwave and other appliances – just by making a few simple checks and changes.
Follow our top tips to keep these common gadgets in tip-top shape….
A common problem that many find with washing machines over time is that laundry is not cleaned effectively, resulting in stains and smelly clothes.
Ian Palmer-Smith, Device Expert at Domestic and General, told metro.co.uk: “This is likely due to the machine being overloaded, making it difficult for the water and detergent to work effectively.” Additionally, using too much detergent can clog the machine, further impacting the machine’s lifespan.”
Try to fill your machine about 80% full. You should be able to put your hand in the drum on your clothing. ‘
If the washing machine smells, there may be a problem (Picture: Getty Images)
Also, reduce the amount of detergent you use and give your washing machine a thorough cleaning every few months to remove any detergent or clothing residue.”
When your dishwasher isn’t cleaning pots and pans properly, it can be tempting to handwash them first – but that can use a lot of water, which can be costly.
Instead, make sure your dishwasher is well-maintained so your dishes come out sparkling clean — and watch out for bad odors and gurgling noises that could indicate a clogged filter.
Dishwashers can clog (Image: Getty Images)
Mr Palmer-Smith says: “To clean the filter, simply remove it from the unit, empty it, rinse it and then scrub it with an old toothbrush.” This catches any food debris and keeps your plates clean every time spotlessly clean!”
Over time, tumble dryers may struggle to get hot enough, or may not heat up at all. This doesn’t always mean that it needs repairing, but rather that it needs cleaning.
“Poor circulation can cause tumble dryers to not heat up properly,” explains Mr. Palmer-Smith, “which is often caused by the buildup of soggy fluff from lint and fibers becoming detached from your clothes as they’re tossed around in them. “ drum of the device.
Tumble dryers need to be cleaned often (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
“Make sure you clean your filter after every cycle as this will help the dryer air circulate fully and dry your clothes effectively.”
“If you have a condenser dryer, it is also important that the condenser box is cleaned. You can do this by removing the box and pouring all the water out of it down your sink.”
Most of us use our stove every day, so we were understandably scared if smoke would come out of it. In most cases, food and grease residue are the cause – and it simply needs to be cleaned.
“If a cleaning has been done recently, the smoke may be due to excess cleaning agent in the oven. “In that case, the best way is to remove the excess cleaner with a vinegar and water solution,” suggests Mr. Palmer-Smith.
A clean will stop smoke from coming out of your oven (Picture: Getty Images)
“Once your oven has been thoroughly cleaned and smoking has stopped, make sure there is at least 3 inches of space between the food and the heating elements.
“Also, do not place food directly on the oven racks as this reduces the time between deep cleanings.”
Fridge-freezers often last a long time – so if you find yourself suddenly not being as cold as it should be, there may be a problem.
The reason for this could be that the door does not close properly – for example because food has gotten stuck in the seal or the fridge freezer is too full.
When your freezer is overstocked, it’s time to sort it out (Picture: Getty Images)
“Food can be removed with a quick clean, but frost build-up means you have to defrost the unit,” explains Mr. Palmer-Smith.
“Avoid overfilling the unit as this can affect the circulation in the fridge-freezer and cause temperature fluctuations. Also, make sure to defrost the unit twice a year to do regular maintenance and avoid repairs. ‘
More: Cost of living
Despite their small size, microwaves need to be cleaned more often than other appliances – as stubborn stains and bad odors can develop.
“After you’ve used your microwave, it’s best to wipe it down with a microfiber cloth to prevent spatter or spills from drying up and becoming difficult to clean up,” says Mr. Palmer-Smith.
Even the microwave can break if not looked after (Source: Getty Images)
“You can also use small amounts of vinegar to clean up food spills.”
“Using baking soda is a great way to remove odors from your microwave.” Simply mix a solution of water and baking soda, place in a large microwave-safe bowl, and heat on full power for 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the solution boil.
MORE: What happens if I can’t pay my utility bills amid a cost-of-living crisis?
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