Is your home ready for the holidays? More specifically, are your appliances ready to handle the added workload and traffic that comes with major meal prep and a houseful of guests? Before Thanksgiving, Christmas, or another similar celebration, take a look at the pre-holiday appliance maintenance steps you need to take.
1. Establish Stovetop Safety
Scrub spills, stuck-on grease, and anything else off your stovetop before you start your holiday meal prep. You can start by removing drip pans and then clean or replace them depending on their cleanliness level. If you have a gas stove, make sure that the burners are lighting properly. Food, grease, or debris are often the cause of burners that won't light or are slow to light.
If cleaning the top of your stove doesn't do the trick, call a professional to inspect and repair the failing burners. Never attempt to repair or replace gas burners on your own. Natural gas is explosive and poses a serious fire and safety hazard.
2. Fix Oven Issues
A dirty or grease-covered oven can cause smoking and odors — especially during a full day of holiday cooking. Most modern ovens have a self-cleaning feature you can use. Depending on your model, it may use steam, high temperatures, or give you a choice.
What do you need to know about the self-cleaning cycle and your oven? When using the self-cleaning option:
- Remove major debris. Even though your oven can clean itself, it can't scrub off chunky debris. Do this job yourself before starting the self-cleaning cycle.
- Take the oven racks out. Remove the racks and clean them with warm soapy water in the sink.
- Give yourself time. A self-cleaning oven can take several hours to burn off all the grease and debris. It also tends to smell less-than-pleasant. Never start the self-cleaning cycle on the day you need to cook. A steam-cleaning oven typically takes under an hour.
- Ventilate well. A high-temperature burning self-cleaning oven can cause serious smells and fumes. Use your kitchen's exhaust fan and open the windows while cleaning the oven.
- Never use a cleaning product. Both high-temperature and steam-cleaning ovens are built to work on their own. Never add a chemical or natural cleaning product.
If your oven isn't heating, takes too long to heat, or has another issue that gets in the way of your holiday meal plans, schedule appliance services well before the holiday date.
Holiday meals equal heavy dishwashing needs. The increased load requires a properly working dishwasher. Again, if you have a leak, your washer isn't cleaning well, or there is another issue preventing it from working correctly, contact an appliance service professional well before the holiday date.
When the dishwasher is working properly, it's time to clean it. While cleaning an appliance that cleans dishes seems unnecessary, a dirty dishwasher can spread grime, gunk, and bacteria around. Removing mineral buildup can also help your dishwasher clean more efficiently. Follow the manufacturer's directions for cleaning filters and other components of the appliance.
Check the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer before filling your holiday wish list. According to the FDA, you should set the refrigerator to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and keep your freezer at zero degrees Fahrenheit. If either the refrigerator or freezer is too warm, reset the temperature control. Then, give the appliance 24 hours for the temperature change. If it still doesn't feel cool enough, contact an appliance repair specialist for help.
Along with setting the correct temperature, clean the refrigerator. Remove old/expired foods and clean the interior with soapy water. Pay special attention to bins and drawers, removing them to clean them thoroughly.
Do you need an appliance repair before the holidays arrive? Contact CRC Appliance Repair Service for more information.