Repairing kitchen appliances is expensive. HomeAdvisor found that, on average, it costs $174 to repair kitchen appliances. Most repair technicians charge $50-150 an hour, plus a service charge of $50-100 to show up. Add in parts and emergency fees, and the bill becomes larger.
The good news is that you can easily extend your kitchen appliances’ life. The trick is to know when to clean them.
We asked experts to share their signs that it is time to clean your kitchen appliances.
If you see food going bad before it’s supposed to, it is time to clean your refrigerator.
Steven Hill, Founder of DIY Gazette, explains, “If you notice that your fruits and vegetables are wilting or that your meat is starting to spoil sooner than it should, it’s probably because your fridge is dirty. What happens is that dirt and grime can build up on the shelves and in the drawers, and this can cause food to rot more quickly.”
Allison Harrison, co-owner of Goodbee Plumbing, says, “People often forget that your garbage disposal is an appliance and requires regular cleaning to work properly and to prevent your kitchen from smelling.”
“To clean your disposal, you first want to ensure you turn off the power and remove any trapped particles. Next, clean the interior disposal using dish soap, and then use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or citrus peels to keep it smelling fresh and provide a deeper clean. Plus, if you not only want to clean but want to sharpen your blades, pour some ice cubes or rock salt down and let the blades run until all the ice is gone. I sometimes even make ice cubes using white vinegar to sharpen as I clean and make the process faster!”
Allison adds, “You should ideally clean your garbage disposal 1-2 times per month or as needed to improve performance, relieve clogs, fix unusual noises, etc.”
One of the most significant clues that your oven needs cleaning is that your oven takes longer to preheat.
Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home, shares, “It’s easy for food to drip or spill and dry onto the bottom of the oven, causing issues down the line. If you notice that it’s taking longer to preheat or it doesn’t work as well as it should, it may need a good scrub.”
The main thing to keep an eye out for is the sealing ring (rubber gasket), which is probably the best indicator that you need to clean your Instant Pot.
According to Jenna Moran, Founder, CEO, and Creative Director, Whimsy and Spice,”if the sealing ring starts collecting aromas from the food you have been cooking, it is time to clean the appliance.”
The unpleasant smell will infuse any new meals you create with the pot, allowing them to pick up the odor and ruin the food!
Jenna adds, “Another telltale sign that you should clean an Instant Pot is whether it is cooking the food correctly. While you may think that your Instant Pot has a functioning issue if your food starts to turn out undercooked, it is most likely because you haven’t cleaned the sealing ring.
This is because old food stuck to the ring will prevent the Instant Pot from pressuring properly, so it can’t build up the heat and steam it needs to cook your food fully.”
Cleaning your Instant Pot will fix this.
It’s easy to tell when it’s time to clean a microwave, according to anonymous blogger DadIsFIRE. “As a landlord with more than two decades of real estate experience, I have seen many disgusting kitchens. The microwave is often the most neglected. The insides get splattered with grease, spills, and everything cooked over the years. It ends up looking like an abstract painting.”
It’s easy to clean a microwave. How to Clean A Microwave in 5 Minutes! No Scrubbing
Dishwashers are often overlooked when cleaning. Many people assume dishwashers clean themselves, but that is hardly the case.
Jason Vishnefskem, president of Santa Barbara Chocolate Company advises letting your nose tell you when it’s time to clean your dishwasher. “When the odor is weird or when the dishes are slightly foggy after use are the usual signs that your dishwasher needs its routine cleaning.
There are a few obvious signs that a coffee maker demands attention. One is that your coffee pot is starting to stain. Another is the sound of the coffee maker.
Arne Preuss, the founder of Coffeeness, explains, “you should pay attention to how your coffee maker sounds as it’s brewing. When those gentle, reassuring gurglings turn into loud pops and rumblings, it’s a sign that too much limescale has built up inside. Not only will your machine struggle to brew, but the coffee will taste bitter and unbalanced. Fortunately, descaling a coffee maker with white vinegar and water will solve the problem.”
In most cases, the best way to know if it is time to clean a kitchen appliance is to follow your senses. If something stinks, looks gross, tastes a bit off, doesn’t sound normal, or feels greasy, it’s time to clean it.
Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.