How to extend the life of your electrical appliances - including vacuum cleaner, tv sets, ovens, and more (Part 1)

It is important to spend time maintaining and caring for your electrical appliances, to prevent spending more money (and heartaches that come along with it!) in the future.

(image: Platinum)


Empty the dust bag when it is half-full. With a fuller dust bag, the machine has to work harder to push the air through all the collected dust, says technician Amin Sabtu. Clean attachments and brushes after every use to get rid of debris; this keeps the air flow unobstructed and doesn’t slow the machine down, which will otherwise cause the belt or engine to wear out faster. 


Remove stains and grease with a paste made with equal amounts of baking soda and water after each use. Baked-on grease can catch fire and may cause the thermostat to malfunction, says technician Billy Tan. Never spray cleaning solutions near the heating element or on a hot and unprotected oven light – they may shatter. 


Wipe the back of your goggle box with a moist microfibre cloth every week. Dust can cause the TV set to overheat and reduce its lifespan. If you’re going to be away from the telly for more than 30 minutes, switch it off completely, rather than put it on standby mode. This allows the set to cool down, preventing it from overheating.


Clean the filters monthly by washing or wiping them with a damp cloth. Dirty filters impede air flow, forcing the system to use more energy, and making it cool less efficiently. “This is a drain on the system and will shorten its lifespan,” says Amin. 

Once a month, hose down the condenser coils, hidden behind the metal fins on the condenser unit, which is usually placed outside of the home, to get rid of accumulated dust and debris. If you live in an apartment, do this on a rainy day so you don’t incur the wrath of your neighbours on the floors below you. 

In Part 2, we give you tips on caring for your dryer, refrigerator, food processor, and washing machine.

This article was originally published in Simply Her March 2012.