36 Mistakes That Shorten the Service Life of Your Home Appliances

8 months ago

All too often, our home appliances break down before their time. The most common reasons are our laziness in regard to reading the manuals and a tendency to treat our gadgets the wrong way. Basically speaking, our attitude towards our little electricity-munching domestic helpers seems to be full of mistakes.

In this article, the staff of Bright Side offers you a selection of highly useful maintenance tips. By following them, you’ll not only ensure that your appliances don’t break down prematurely but will actually manage to extend their working life!

Washing machines

  • Do not place heavy objects on top of your washing machine, and don’t stand on it.
  • When putting clothes in the washing machine, don’t forget to check all the pockets thoroughly. Remove loose change and other objects before starting the wash cycle.
  • Make sure to only use special washing machine detergents and softeners. Hand-washing detergents create too much foam and can cause breakage.
  • Wipe the rubber parts inside the machine after each wash. Remove the dispenser drawer, clean it out, and leave to dry. Do this regularly to prevent the formation of mold.
  • Remove finished loads immediately. Letting heavy damp laundry sit inside the machine for a long time can damage the drum.
  • If your washing machine isn’t fitted with a special self-cleaning cycle option, do it manually (approximately once a month). Run the empty machine on the hottest cycle, plus an extra rinse. Make sure to put some lemon juice, vinegar, or descaling agent into the washing powder dispenser compartment.


  • Your first steps towards proper fridge maintenance need to be taken before it’s even delivered to your home. Ensure that the fridge is transported upright and is not tilted more than 40 degrees. Otherwise, the compressor oil might leak out and damage the whole system.
  • Switching the refrigerator on immediately after it’s been delivered can also cause compressor oil leakage. If you know for a fact that the fridge was not tilted during transportation, wait for four (preferably six) hours before turning it on. When in doubt, better to wait for about 15 hours.

  • Do not put hot dishes into your refrigerator — be sure to let them cool down first.
  • Modern refrigerator models don’t need to undergo complete defrosting twice a year. However, it is still worth giving your fridge a full cleaning now and then, having disconnected it from the socket beforehand.
  • Don’t forget to clean the back of the refrigerator from dust occasionally (it’s best to use a vacuum cleaner). Needless to say, you should unplug the fridge first.

Slow cookers

  • Dirty pans and pans with wet outside surfaces should never be put into slow cookers. Failure to follow this rule will lead to breakage.
  • It is important to wipe the inside surface of your slow cooker’s lid after preparing food to stop unwanted moisture, oily fumes, and leftover food bits from accumulating there.
  • Don’t use the slow cooker pan to rinse grains — this could scratch its inner surface. For the same reason, you should only wash the pan with a soft sponge.
  • Be sure to keep the cooking ingredients below the maximum capacity mark.


  • Always position the dishes the correct way: upside down.
  • Before putting the dishes inside the washer, don’t forget to clean away any food and fat residues by rinsing the dishes in the sink.
  • Peel off any stickers that might be present on your plates and cups as they can clog the filters.
  • When placing the dishes inside the washer, make sure to arrange them in such a way that they don’t touch each other and don’t hinder the rotation of the water sprinkler.
  • Use special dishwashing powders and tablets only. Opting for ordinary dishwashing liquids will lead to malfunctions.
  • It is important to keep cutlery and other small objects from scattering. Placed incorrectly, they can block the washer’s rotating parts.
  • Always put salt and rinser in the dishwasher’s dispenser tray. This will improve the appliance’s performance and prolong its service life.


  • When cooking very lightweight products, it’s best to put a glass of water in the microwave as well. The water will absorb some of the microwave radiation which should provide better results.
  • Try not to put anything on top of the microwave. But if this cannot be avoided, make sure the objects don’t block the appliance’s ventilation grilles.
  • Never activate the microwave when it’s empty. This can easily damage the magnetron (the device that generates microwaves).
  • Avoid placing excessively heavy items in the microwave (you can find information about the appliance’s maximum weight capacity in the manual).
  • Do not use crockery that is not especially suited for microwave ovens: ignoring this warning may result in a fire.
  • Do not heat products longer than necessary.
  • And, last but not least, promptly remove food and grease residues from the appliance’s inner surfaces using soft cleaning aids.


  • Make sure that your toaster never comes into contact with water, and do not use it with wet hands. Keep it away from easily flammable objects, such as curtains.
  • Toasters are suitable for dry bread and pastries. This does not include other types of bread (such as scones with glaze, butter, or cream).
  • If you’re using your toaster every day, it is necessary to clean its insides from crumbs once a week. Don’t forget to remove the plug from the socket before you begin cleaning.


  • Do not use the appliances to shred excessively hot, just-cooked products. You should wait until they have cooled to at least 158-176°F.

  • It is best to ensure that no liquid gets inside the blender’s motor housing. To clean the blender, take a moist cloth and wipe the casing.

  • Don’t leave your submersible blender switched on for too long as this might overheat the motor.

  • It is not recommended to use a blender for shredding dry ingredients, such as crackers.

Illustrated by Astkhik Rakimova for Bright Side
Based on materials from the-village


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