Increasing the Lifespan of your Electrical Appliances

The Lifespan of an Electrical Appliance is Directly Related to Its Cleanliness

Appliances are intended to be long-term purchases whether you have lots of disposable income or not because they are large, stationary objects in the home that are difficult to remove and replace. Just like any machine with working parts, they will eventually breakdown, but proper maintenance can make breakdowns less frequent and extend the lifespan of your electrical appliance.


The refrigerator is taken for granted until it stops working, and there are many things that can go wrong with a fridge and wreak havoc on a person’s day…or week. Ice makers, freezers, and refrigerators can all stop working. While an ice maker breaking only results in the inconvenience of breaking out some ice trays, freezers can lead to a huge amount of food loss, and refrigerators lead to the indoor use of coolers. Let’s face it. Anything breaking on a refrigerator is a huge pain and inconvenience, and it can cost a lot to fix or replace it.

Cleanliness is the biggest factor when it comes to increasing the lifespan of a refrigerator. The simple act of cleaning the gaskets once in a while can keep them flexible and keep the seal on the door. At least once a year, the condenser coil on the back or under the fridge should be cleaned to keep them efficient at removing heat from the appliance. This should be done more frequently if there are pets in the house. While you’re down there, clean the condenser fan and clean dust from the general area. If frost accumulates in the freezer, it should be defrosted completely.


Doing the dishes by hand can be cathartic, and famous monks have written about doing the dishes in a way that makes it sound desirable. In reality, most of us feel very inconvenienced by a broken dishwasher, and it is considered a need instead of a luxury despite having able hands.

Again, a clean dishwasher is a working dishwasher. The door has a similar gasket to a refrigerator and should be cleaned periodically. There is also a trap at the bottom of the dishwasher that catches food particles and can become clogged with dried soap and food. Cleaning this trap makes the dishwasher work better, and dishes will be cleaner. The arms that spray water can become clogged and should be cleaned out once in a while. This can be done by soaking them in warm vinegar water. Tight clogs can be removed with a pipe cleaner.

One other thing to consider is how the dishwasher is filled. Overfilling a dishwasher can damage gaskets and make the appliance less effective. Under-filling it can lead to balance issues. Be reasonable when using a dishwasher, and use it how it is intended to be used.


Contrary to what many college students believe, microwaves are not the only way to cook food. When the oven breaks down in the average home, cooks are left with that as their only option, and microwaves simply don’t work as well as ovens and stovetops. Prevent the reliance on microwaved dinners and cheap, pre-cooked food that only requires heating by properly maintaining your stove.

The cleaning theme is not removed from stove maintenance, and a clean oven not only increases safety but results in better dishes. Some ovens are self-cleaning, but the operator still needs to instruct the stove to self-clean.

Another important feature of cooktops is that they are in working condition. Cracked coils or flat-tops can be fire hazards, and gas stovetops should be in working order in order to maintain safety.

Pro Tip: When cleaning knobs, don’t remove the knobs, or if you do, don’t spray underneath them. This can ruin electrical wiring and disable the stove. When cleaning, unplug the stove to avoid the risk of electrocution.

Washer and Dryer:

Washers and dryers are considered staple appliances in a home, and one rarely sees clotheslines anymore (although clothesline-dried sheets are the best!). However, washers and dryers are often kept in laundry rooms, and laundry rooms are often filled with lint from lint traps and dust…because dusting the washer is not a top priority.

Due to safety issues, dusting these appliances should be a top priority. Although most dryer fires are contained within the dryer, those that burn down houses typically are surrounded by piles of laundry and dust bunnies. Dryers should be clean, and so should the area surrounding the dryer.

To maintain the lifespan of the washer, proper loading is key. If loads are constantly unbalanced, and the washer is suffering jolting and rocking movements, it is more likely to break down. Similarly to the dishwasher, be reasonable when loading your washer. If you have a blanket that is too big for your super-capacity washer, don’t stuff it in a force the washer to do its worst. Take it to the laundromat! It will get cleaner in a larger washer anyway.

Keep it Clean!

There are multiple electrical appliances that can have their lifespans extended by proper maintenance, and we won’t list every one today. However, there is a clear theme that emerges when looking at the most common household electrical appliances: if you want them to last, keep them clean. It is also good to look at the recommendations in the user’s manual for the appliance. With the smart technologies that are being added to these devices, there may be software updates or other maintenance options that one can only imagine. Sometimes, the store where the item was purchased will offer maintenance packages, so you don’t have to think about it. But if you want your appliances to last, you have to keep them maintained.

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