Kitchen Appliance Maintenance Tips, Part 1

A Welcoming Washroom

How to solve common problems with kitchen appliances and keep them in working order? Follow these care and maintenance tips:


Keeping the drain pan clean

In automatically defrosted models, built-up water from the melting frost flows out a drain in the floor of the freezer and into a pan at the freezer’s base, where it evaporates. Food particles and ice build-up can be carried along, clogging the drain and causing odors. Clean the drain regularly by following these steps:

●      Force hot water through the drain.

●      If the solution will not go through the drain line, it may be clogged with ice or food and you may have to clear it with hot water for the ice and a small wire for the food.

●      Empty the pan and wash it.


Cook faster & save money

Foods cook faster at a lower temperature if you use pots and pans with flat bottoms and tight-fitting lids. Pans that are bigger or smaller than the heating coil waste energy. You can also save money by using toaster ovens, slow cookers and electric skillets instead of larger ovens and stoves.


Increase Dishwasher Life

When using the dishwasher, always run the hot water in the sink first for a while to ensure you have hot water running through the pipes. This can do two things for you. It will allow you to flush the garbage disposal and make sure the water is over 140 degrees. Water must surpass 140 degrees to correctly dissolve soap and animal fats. Your dishes will come out cleaner and without calcium deposit build-up if you run an empty dishwasher with some cleaner made specifically for dishwashers, such as Dishwasher Magic. Use according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Just Hums-Won’t Turn

This can have two causes — either the motor is bad or the disposer is jammed. If you feel the disposer is jammed, proceed in the following fashion. Most disposers have an opening on the bottom in the center that you can put an Allen wrench into to unjam it.  Make sure the disposer is unplugged or turned off at the circuit breaker panel first.  After you insert the Allen wrench into the slot, move it both clockwise and counterclockwise to see if you can unjam it.  Pull out whatever was jamming it from the top before testing it out.  If you are unable to unjam it, or it is not jammed and the motor is bad, then the disposer may need to be replaced.  If the disposer doesn’t even hum,  be sure the reset button on the bottom is pushed in.

–Contributed by Mark Miller, communications director,

In the market for a new kitchen appliance? Find out what you need to know before you buy on the Atlanta Home Improvement website.


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