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(BPT) - Today’s typical family home is a buzzing hub of activity where meals are cooked, homework is done and family game nights are contested. In the background of it all: the home appliances that keep life moving along. Focusing on a few maintenance tasks can keep appliances efficient and effective.
Replace vacuum belts periodically to keep your vacuum cleaner running like new, and swap out lawn mowers’ spark plugs once a year to ensure the mower is easy to start. Stock up on extra batteries for cordless vacuums, leaf blowers or other lawn equipment used frequently.
Focus on filtration
Replace vacuum cleaners’ accessories often for best performance. Bags need to be replaced every one to two months, while a new filter is needed every three to six months. Washable filters should be replaced too, as they may begin to lose effectiveness after a couple of washes. For great vacuum performance, use Arm & Hammer vacuum bags and filters to capture allergens, dust and pet hair from surfaces while safely and naturally absorbing odors.
In addition, make sure to replace HVAC filters for better efficiency and higher quality air filtration.
Appliances share one rule: Never, ever let spills or splatters linger. Whether it’s on the stove, in the microwave or in the refrigerator, the longer deposits remain, the harder they are to clean. Keeping these appliances clean will mean that a deeper scrubbing is only needed occasionally.
* Refrigerators – Twice a year, pull out the refrigerator to clean behind and under it. Mop the floor and use a vacuum to remove dust from the coils in back. This will decrease the stress put on the motor and can prolong the life of the refrigerator. Use soapy water to clean shelves, and a damp cloth to remove fingerprints from the front or sides.
* Dishwashers – About once a month, check and clean the drain and wipe down the door seals and spray arm.
* Oven – Embrace the self-cleaning option on the oven to do the heavy lifting whenever it’s needed. Wipe down the inside of the door and creases to ensure there aren’t crumbs accumulating. Soak burners, knobs, racks and hood vents twice a year to keep them free of grime.
* Microwave – Clean the rotating microwave plate weekly in the dishwasher. When needed, put a bowl of water with lemons in the microwave and run it for three minutes, then let stand for five minutes before wiping down the inside.
* Washing machine – Always wipe out the machine to ensure there is no water left sitting in it. For a deeper clean, run the washer with bleach in the dispenser, pause the machine and let the bleach mixture settle for an hour, then complete the cycle before wiping it out.
* Coffee maker – Hand wash the filter tray, exposed areas and crevices weekly, and run water with a bit of vinegar through — without coffee — to clean the inner mechanisms.
* Safety first – Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in the home to keep families safe — but they need new batteries to ensure equipment is working as it should. Every six months, change the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, and make sure fire extinguishers are still in place and not expired.
Arm & Hammer bags and filters are available at Walmart and Walmart.com.