There’s something to be said about that old joke, Hey, is your refrigerator running? Then you better go catch it. One of the hardest working appliances in the home, it’s the unseen that gets forgotten and neglected, and when the temp inside is less than cool, we fall in to panic mode. Today, I’m going to share with you cost effective tips to keep your refrigerator in top working order, along with an oven maintenance tip and some pantry editing tips.
When a refrigerator is on the fritz, there’s two main reasons: the coils are full of dust and need to be vacuumed, and the gasket could be becoming unattached and a new one needs to be fitted on. Before you pick up the phone to call a refrigerator repair man, you can fix these things yourself. I’ve written about vacuuming out the coils before, and I’m now in need of practicing what I preach because our refrigerator just copped a tude, all on our negligent behalf. The gasket, which is the rubber seal that goes around the refrigerator door, had a gap in the seal and needed to be replaced. Short on time, it was taped, which is the wrong thing to do. Find your make and model of your fridge and order a new gasket. You can find them on Amazon and they’re usually less than $100. Installation directions will be included with the gasket.
Though I do try and vacuum the coils every six months, it appears that I lost track of time. Ours were pretty filthy. Coupled by the fact that we have a hairy dog and an all around abundance of foot traffic, all of that lint, hair and misc kitchen whatevs ended up on the coils. Here is how you vacuum the coils. Remove the bottom vent of your fridge with a screw driver. With the wand of the vacuum, vacuum under the fridge the best you can. Take a long skinny brush, like this one, and brush up and around the coils to remove the lint and dust. Repeat with the vacuum. Some refrigerators, the coils are on the back. It all depends on the model. I still recommend performing these refrigerator maintenance chores every six months, and the fall is the perfect time to start. If your refrigerator still is not cooling after these two maintenance tips, then at this point I would recommend calling a professional. The compressor may be on the fritz or freon may need to be added.
Time to clean the oven. I know, I know, soooo laborious. I’m with you. My most despised chore, it’s a hard core task. I’ve tried the gamut of oven cleaning products and techniques, and Easy Off is my favorite. Works great, and makes the cleaning process a little easier. Even with a self cleaning oven, you still need to get in there and finish up the job. With Thanksgiving and the holidays coming up, the oven is going to be working in over drive. Get it clean now, and then I recommend cleaning it again in January. My oven is something I try to clean at least every other month, depending on how much I use it and how many splatters are on the walls and the door. Also, keeping your oven clean keeps those oven fires from happening. Very important to keep the ole baker clean.
And while we’re doing fall home keeping in the kitchen, it’s the perfect time to edit your pantry, and make sure you’ve got all of the essentials you need to carry you through winter. Throw out spices that are older than six months and replenish with new. Put all pastas in jars or sealed containers to keep them fresh and free of unwanted pests, and organize your pantry so you know what you have and everything is easy to find. Since everyone in the family is in and out of the pantry multiple times a day, it can get pretty disheveled. Par for the course no matter the size of the family, but keeping the pantry orderly will save time and certainly money. You’ll be able to see what you have and what you need.
So, is your refrigerator running? Well help it along and vacuum out those coils! And while you’re at it, clean that oven.