Reach Out to Your Appliances and Take Care of Them:Part 2

Problems can  arise from the use of too much detergent in your washing machine. Clothes can become stiff and the life of your machine can be shortened. Excess soap can also cause mildew and mold to build up.

Too much soap is also a problem for dishwashers. Check the label  and remember that there is no need to fill up the soap container in the dishwasher.

To get the most of your dishwasher there is a recommended way to load in the dirty dishes. You might not agree with these recommendations, but if Consumer Reports says so, its good enough for me.

•    Large items should be placed where they will not block water and detergent from reaching all the dishes. Try the back and the sides of the machine for better results.

•    Try and figure out which side of your dishes are dirtier, and point that side towards the center, the source of the water spray.

•    The silverware should be placed in the slots designed for them, mixing the spoons, forks and knives so that they don’t nest and stick together, making them more difficult to clean.

You can love your dryer more, also, according to the experts. First of all, go easy on those cute little dryer towels which are used to reduce static and create softer results. Only use one at a time. Adding several can cause then to gum up the dryer, since they liquefy when hot. You can get a real ‘tar and feather’ effect which can damage your dryer.

Removing the lint from the filter after each run is crucial, but you should also be getting the lint out of the machine that makes its way under the lint filter. You can pick up a tool in a hardware store for just such a function. A truly radical suggestion which will definitely increase the life of your dryer is to not use it. The sun is perfectly capable of drying your clothes, and needs just about no maintenance at all. Your dryer will thank you for the vacation.


Rachel Forsythe has a B.A. in English Literature and worked as an editor for a local weekly news magazine. She is now a stay-at-home mom, raising three younger boys and two older daughters. Her favorite activities are hiking, reading, traveling, bike riding, skiing in the winter and surfing in the summer. She also loves to cook. Be in touch with Rachel at Rachel[at]

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