Spring is Here! A Guide to Sprucing Up Your Home Appliances
Well Spring is officially here, it is time for renewal, and as we’re about to be moved out of lockdown let’s show our appliances a little love. After all, everything needs a little maintenance, and it keeps your trusted work horses of the homeworking efficiently for you! Keep checking in all week for tips on how to clean all your different appliances.
Spring Cleaning Methods to Declutter your Home & Soul
Spring is a time for renewal and from Japan to Sweden, or Oosouji to Döstädning, it translates to the same result- a sparkling clean home, that is free from clutter and items that are no longer needed. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with the task at hand, then perhaps one of these cleaning styles might help you break your Spring cleaning down into bite size chunks.
- Oosouji - In Japanese, the term Oosouji means “great cleanliness”. It aims to clear not just the dust but the negative energy of the past.
- Khaneh-tekani - An Iranian practice, that translates as “shaking the house down” and focuses attention on those items that might get overlooked throughout the year, like carpets, furniture & silverware too.
- Döstädning - Translates to “Swedish death cleaning”, whilst it may sound gory the method encourages you to ‘purge’ your home of unnecessary possessions.
- The FlyLady technique - Breaking down your home into zones and small tasks that can be done around the house every week. The small tasks then must only be carried out for 15 minutes at a time!
- The KonMari method - A method championed by Marie Kondo. You must commit yourself to tidying up, then in true minimalist fashion you approach each task category-by-category, rather than room-by-room.
- The Minimalist - Are you brave enough to play #minsgame? Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn’s minimalist game involves you committing in a public forum to rid yourself of clutter. Whatever day of the month it is, you must rid yourself of that number of items. (At the end of a 31-day month you will be alleviated of 496 items).
Now we’ve channelled our inner Mary Poppins, we can focus on the task at hand! Come on, it's time to roll those sleeves up and turn our attention to those appliances.
The Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning
Safety first! In all instances, before you begin cleaning it, ensure your appliance is unplugged from the mains; moreover, that these elements do not get wet in the process.
Our manufacturers build their appliances to last; this is why so many of them offer guarantees of up to 5 years when you purchase a new appliance. However, with a dedicated effort to conduct a little maintenance on them, you can prolong the lifespan of your product even further, keeping it running efficiently, and saving you money.
In all instances, we recommend referring to the manufacturer’s guidelines before spring cleaning any of your home appliances.
Spring Cleaning your Laundry Appliances
If you want your washing to smell like Spring, then it's important to regularly clean your machine. Queen of clean, Lynsey Crombie advises you to pay attention to this work horse of the kitchen, at least every two weeks!
- Clean the detergent drawer. Remove the drawer from the machine and set to work with some cleaner and an old toothbrush. Don’t neglect the cavity and ensure all is dry before replacing the drawer.
- Clean the filter. Yes, it has a filter to protect the pump from general debris, coins and the like. Usually located on the bottom of the machine, behind a hinged cover, (check your user manual if unsure!) Carefully remove the emergency drain tube and place a bowl underneath, unplug and allow any water to drain out. Gently clean the filter and any components with a cloth and replace the filter, plug and cover.
- Clean the drum. Experts advise running an empty, 60 degree wash every couple of months with 500mls of soda crystals. This is proven to kill germs, remove odours and stop soap scum and limescale building up in hard-to-see and reach places!
- Prevent unpleasant odours. Just leave the door ajar! Especially in Summer months, keeping your machine's door slightly open allows air to circulate around the drum, which stops germs breeding and reduces the damp smells. (Alongside, ensure the drain outside is free from debris as smells/odours can feed back into the machine).
- Clean the door seal. The space between the door and the drum, the ultimate breeding ground for excess detergent and dirt! Before and after each wash, just gently wipe the seal with a cloth to ensure your clothes don’t pick up any dirt as you pull them from the machine.
- Use the right detergent - and, the right amount! It’s easy to be mind boggled with the vast array of powders and liquid detergents available on the supermarket shelves today. However, whether it’s non-bio, bio, powder, liquid or a capsule - there is no one size fits all! After 50+ years of testing detergents, Which? recommends selecting your detergent based on your loads’ requirements; Is it heavily soiled? Whites? Coloured items? (See the below image for a handy reference!)
Whether it’s vented or a condenser, your humble tumble dryer requires a little maintenance. This six point checklist should keep the hum of your drum consistent on every laundry day!
- Clean the lint filter. After each and every use! The filter keeps the air flow through your dryer. If flow is restricted, your machine will be less efficient and could be a potential fire hazard too.
- Empty the water tank. If you have a condenser, then alongside the lint filter, ensure you empty the water tank after each and every use too. (If you’ve plumbed yours in, then you’ll never have to worry about this!)
- Clean the heat exchanger. Only applicable if you have a condenser tumble dryer. This handy part of your machine turns the steam from the drum back into water. Over time, amongst the steam and air, fibres can pass through which can clog it up and lead to inefficiency. Once a month or so, remove it safely and run under a tap, pat it dry and return to it’s home.
- Is your hose getting kinky? If you have a vented tumble dryer, ensure your hose isn’t trapped or kinked. The hose on a vented model takes warm and damp air away from the drum, but if it’s kinked it won’t be working very efficiently for you.
- Check air flows. Again, if you have a vented model, ensure that any exterior wall vents are clear from fluff and debris. If air flow is restricted, energy efficiency is impeded.
- Open wide! Now we’ve dealt with the removable parts, let’s take a look inside. Over time, grime and fluff can build up on the drum and ruin lighter clothes. Use a wet cloth to clean the drum and the drying/humidity sensor. (If your model has a drying sensor, it is usually located below the door opening). Keeping the sensor clean ensures accurate drying.
Doing the work of two appliances within the home, alongside regularly cleaning filters, giving your washer dryer a deep clean once a year will ensure it continues to perform efficiently. Here’s our guide on how to maintain your appliance;
- Setting? Intense! Run an empty wash on the hottest setting, when complete, scrub the drum and pat dry. This will kill germs, remove odours and stop soap scum and limescale building up in hard-to-see and reach places! We’d advise you to do this every month.*
- Remove and clean the detergent tray. Ensure this is free from residual detergent by removing (checking with manufacturer’s instructions if necessary) and washing under a tap. Check the cavity, dry the tray and put back.
- Clean lint filters. The lint filters quickly become clogged up with fibres from clothes, ideally these should be cleaned after every use to ensure an unrestricted air flow to the drum.
- Check vent openings. You can use a vent cleaning brush to remove any dirt and debris from the vent itself, the hose or any exterior wall vents.
How to Spring Clean a Dishwasher
Whether it’s a full size or a slimline dishwasher, experts advise to keep it running smoothly, you should be deep cleaning this appliance every 6 months minimum. Plus, cleaning it with natural products like vinegar and bicarbonate of soda work just as well as other more harmful cleaning products.
In six easy steps, we’ll have your dishwasher working like new! Just follow our easy guide to making this trusty workhorse of the kitchen run more efficiently.
- What you’ll need. Ingredients: No, you didn’t read that wrong! Here’s what you’ll need to deep clean your dishwasher; distilled white vinegar, baking soda and warm water. And the tools; toothpick, toothbrush, microfiber cloth & rubber gloves, (it could get messy!)
- Remove utensil holders, racks and filters. Some filters twist off - but some require unscrewing. Please refer to the manufacturers guidelines if you are unsure. Leave them to soak in warm water and 250ml of white distilled vinegar for about half an hour.
- Clear the debris. Now you have a clear view of the inside of your dishwasher, wash down the arms paying particular attention to the corners, filters and water sprays. (If necessary use a toothpick and toothbrush to clear the jets.)
- Time for a hot wash! Fill a dishwasher safe bowl with 350ml of white distilled vinegar and place it at the bottom of the empty dishwasher. Put your machine on a hot, intense cycle. The vinegar breaks down any remaining residue, like food, grease, soap scum, and any other leftover grime.
- And then a quick one! When the hot wash ends, sprinkle a cup of baking soda over the bottom of the dishwasher and run it on a short cycle. The baking soda will remove any stains and make your machine smell as fresh as Spring.
- Final spot check? Wipe down the dishwasher door. We recommend using a product recommended by the manufacturer, or one dependent on the surface material of your dishwasher. (For instance, if it is stainless steel).