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Daily News

Get Your Kitchen Appliances Ready
For The Holidays - Inside And Out

Nov 12, 2003
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Inside Your Range/Oven

Don't run the self-cleaning cycle less than one week before a major cooking event, such as a big holiday meal. Ovens often fail during and just after a self-cleaning cycle. You may need time for a repair if this happens to you.

Before starting the self-cleaning cycle, loosen large particles in the oven with a damp rag and a plastic spatula. The oven temperature reaches 800 to 900 degrees during self-cleaning, and the oven door will remain locked for several hours afterward. If the door does not open, do not force it.

Open a window in the kitchen or run an externally vented exhaust fan while self-cleaning - the process produces smoke and fumes. Also, some gas ovens produce elevated levels of carbon monoxide during cleaning.

If your gas oven is slow to light and the temperature is inaccurate, the igniter may not be opening the gas valve properly. Even though the igniter may glow red, it must reach a certain temperature to be effective. This problem may indicate you need to replace the igniter.

If either the bake or broil heating element on your electric oven burns out, replace it now in time for holiday cooking. Normally, a bake or broil heating element can be replaced from the inside of the oven. There's usually no need to pull the oven away from the wall or to take off any complicated panels. Be sure to unplug the oven and get necessary help.

Outside Your Range/Oven

Spruce up your range top with new drip pans and burners. They're inexpensive and can make an old stove look new again.

You can clean any porcelain stovetop or glass range/oven control panel with a non-abrasive cleanser or glass cleaner. (Some "cream type" cleansers have tiny abrasive particles in them, which can damage your stovetop or control panel.)

Inside Your Refrigerator

It's good time to clean refrigerator door seals so they don't stick to the door frame and tear. Use an old toothbrush and a little dish soap and water to clean the nooks and crannies. Use a bit of diluted bleach to clean away mold or mildew.

To reduce odors inside your refrigerator and freezer, be sure to cover all foods well and put onions, garlic and other strong smelling foods in sealed bags.

Outside Your Refrigerator

Most frost-free refrigerators have a set of coils underneath - the condenser. These coils must remain clean for efficient cooling, so it is recommended that you clean them once a year, or more often if you have pets that shed. Use a condenser brush for this chore.

Inside Your Dishwasher

If your dishwasher isn't getting dishes as clean as it should, there may not be enough water entering the machine during the fill cycle. After the dishwasher fills, check inside to see if there is water covering the entire bottom of the dishwasher floor. If not, you may need to replace the water inlet valve.

Repair worn dishwasher rack tines to prevent rust pieces from ruining the pump. First, clean the rusted spots on the dishwasher rack with household sandpaper to make the repair last much longer. Or, replace the dishwasher racks.

Outside Your Dishwasher

Exterior cleaning is easy - wipe it down with a damp sponge and a little dish detergent.

This information is provided by RepairClinic.com, offering appliance repair advice and parts for do-it-yourself homeowners.

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