We usually have appliances that are wonders of modern technology and we don’t take full advantage of them. Why? Well, because we don’t know how to use them correctly since we believe that using them intuitively is enough.
If this is your case, let us tell you that you’re probably seeing a minimum part of what your precious washer, dryer, dishwasher, oven, extractor hood, cooktop, and refrigerator can offer you. But wait, we haven’t told you the worst part.
If we add to all this the fact that you may have installed them where you thought they would look “nice,” you’re not only affecting the functionality of the kitchen, but you could also be taking away from the useful life of your appliances. In short, you’re probably throwing away the investment you made in them.
And since at we think of you, your appliances, and your investment, we have prepared a list of the DON’T and NEVER and the YES, FREQUENTLY and ALWAYS that will help you use them correctly while you take care of them.
DON’T, and NEVER
This is a list of common mistakes that you should avoid making when you use or install the appliances.
- DON’T install the refrigerator near heat sources. This is a mistake that can be very costly. These appliances should be kept as far away as possible from ovens, microwaves, or cooktops. Also, they should be located in places without direct exposure to sunlight. Exposing the refrigerator to heat will cause the motor to overheat, which could not only damage it but also make the appliance consume more energy than necessary. It’s also important to avoid locating the refrigerator against a wall as all brands recommend leaving a separation of about 5 cm to promote ventilation. Another thing to avoid is introducing hot food into the appliance because this increases energy consumption.
- NEVER heat foods in plastic or foil-wrapped containers in the microwave. On the one hand, heating food in plastic containers in the microwave can be harmful to your health due to the release of toxins when these containers are subjected to high temperatures. The recommendation in this sense is to choose containers compatible with this type of appliance or to prefer glass containers. Food wrapped in aluminum foil or containers made of this material should not be introduced into this appliance either, as this could cause a fire.
- NEVER leave appliances running overnight. It is not advisable to leave the washer, dryer, or dishwasher running at night. Why? Well, because in the event of any overheating, malfunction, or leakage of the device you won’t be able to act quickly. This recommendation also applies to leaving the house when any of these appliances are functioning. (see also 4 foolproof tips to keep your washer in top shape).
YES, FREQUENTLY and ALWAYS
Now, we share a series of recommendations that will help extend the useful life of your appliances.
- YES to full loads, but don’t overload. This is a recommendation that applies to both the washer and the dishwasher. To make the best use of water, detergent, and electricity, it’s advisable to activate both appliances with full loads, without overfilling them. In the case of the washer overloading, it could damage the clothes and the equipment itself. In the case of the dishwasher, since the dishes and glasses are too tightly packed, it’s easy for them to break due to contact pressure. Finally, we’ve two important tips on the use of the dishwasher that perhaps you didn’t know: first, rinse dishes, containers, and cutlery to prevent residues from soiling the entire appliance and the load; and second, avoid introducing pans with Teflon coating, unenameled iron pieces, and plastic or printed plates and glasses, since those may be damaged or lose their beauty during the washing process.
- Clean them FREQUENTLY. This includes all of the appliances: ovens, cooktops, extractor hoods, dishwashers, dryers, and washers, but mostly refrigerators. If the refrigerator has a freezer with frost, it should be defrosted at least once a month, so that the frost that forms near the door doesn’t prevent the same from closing properly. Doing this will prevent an increase of more than 30% in the energy consumption of the appliance. Regarding the extractor hood, check if the filter can be washed in the dishwasher so you can do it once a week and you’ll notice the difference in its performance. (see also How to take care of the extractor hood in 4 steps)
- ALWAYS unplug them. If you are away from home for at least one month, unplug appliances such as washers, dryers, ovens, toasters, and blenders. It’s also very important to unplug appliances when it’s time to clean them. In the case of the refrigerator, unplug it and once it has been cleaned and defrosted, clean the back of the refrigerator with a brush, because dust and dirt increase electricity consumption.
So, as you can see, each appliance has special needs, and knowing them will help you get 100% out of it. (see also How to Use Your Appliances and Save Energy)