13 Bad Habits That Shorten the Life of Your Appliances

5 min


Most modern homes have a number of appliances that facilitate and expedite commonplace activities. Stoves and ovens allow food to be cooked, and appliances like dishwashers and garbage disposals facilitate cleanup.

In exchange, we clean and maintain these devices so that they always function as intended. However, many of us have poor habits that may be causing our appliances to break down prematurely.

These bad habits are unintentional. They are actions taken out of haste or tiredness, without considering the potential damage they may cause to control boards, gaskets, and other appliance parts.

If you want to make sure your appliances are in good working order when you need them, you should avoid the following actions and make an effort to change your problematic routines.

Use of Hot Water in Garbage Disposal

In spite of common belief, hot water should not be used to remove food debris from the sink. Put cold water in the sink instead of the garbage disposal when you want to grind food. Grease and fat melt in hot water, which can clog drains and cause mechanical damage to a garbage disposal.


Overfilling the Freezer

While it’s true that a well-stocked freezer will perform better than one that’s half empty, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Overfilling the freezer can cause problems with the airflow and the condenser of your fridge.


Overloading the Washing Machine

When the laundry piles up, it can be tempting to try to fit everything into the washing machine. Overloading the washer causes unnecessary friction, which can wear out the bearings and throw the drum out of alignment, necessitating a service call.


Leaving Spills in the Oven

The kitchen is a messy place because of the inevitable spills. If something is spilled in the oven, you should clean it up right away because it could cause expensive damage to the heating coils.

Pro tip: Place a silicone oven liner on the bottom rack of the oven to catch spills. This makes oven cleaning easier and faster.


Allowing Lint to Accumulate in the Dryer

Always remember to empty the lint trap after using the dryer. If you don’t, the performance and security of your machine will suffer. If the vent pipe gets clogged up with lint, it could start a fire.


Clean your gas stove burners with soap

You shouldn’t use soap on the gas range’s burners. Doing so can cause rust and block the hole for lighting, which can make your burners light slowly or not at all.

Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and then spread it thinly over the burners and caps. Once the paste has had time to do its job (around 15-30 minutes), you can scrub it off with a toothbrush or a scrub brush. If you want to learn more about how to clean your device, check out the included manual.


Putting Sharp Objects in the Dishwasher

The dishwasher is not the place for sharp objects. Even if you put the knives in a cutlery basket with the sharp ends facing up, you can still damage the blades and racks. If the vinyl coating on the racks gets scratched, rust forms, and the dishes remain stained until the dishwasher is replaced.


Using Cast Iron on a Ceramic Cooktop

A cast-iron pan’s bottom is rough and can easily scratch a shiny ceramic stove. Because of this, uncoated cast-iron cookware should be avoided. It’s important to remember to lift all pots and pans to and from the stovetop rather than dragging them.


Allowing Grime to Collect on the Fridge Gasket

There is a rubber gasket around the periphery of the door to keep the cold air in. After being closed, the gasket ensures that the door is completely airtight. However, dirt and grime can accumulate on the gasket over time and prevent the door from closing properly. Since cold air can escape through the poor seal, the refrigerator has to work harder to make up for the loss in cooling capacity.

Over time, the stress will wear out the compressor, necessitating expensive maintenance. Rather than waiting for the worst to happen, you should prepare for it now. Instead, periodically clean the rubber gasket with warm water and soap.


Mistreating the Microwave Door

When your hands are full and you need to close the microwave quickly, it’s tempting to slam the door, pull it open while the microwave is on, or even push it shut with your elbow. Damage to the door’s latch mechanism from repeated rough closings, and the possible tripping of a safety fuse if the door is yanked open while the appliance is in use, are both consequences of being too rough with the door’s closing and opening motions.

If you want to save money by not having to replace the microwave so soon, you should take things easy and plan ahead. When closing a door, it’s best to put your stuff down first rather than to use your elbows. Don’t open the microwave before it’s done cooking. If you can be patient, you can extend the life of your appliance.


Using Scouring Pads to Clean Your Air Fryer

Air fryer components must be cleaned after each use to prevent food from tasting funny, the appliance from not working properly, and even fires. To avoid scratching the racks, basket, or other parts of the air fryer, never use abrasive metal scouring pads for cleanup. It’s possible that the abrasive metal could scratch the protective layer, allowing rust to set in and doing permanent damage.

Instead, soak the dirty racks and basket in warm, soapy water for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wipe away any food residue with a sponge, cloth, or soft brush. Make sure to clean the air fryer and dry off the parts before storing it.


Forgetting to empty the vacuum

The time and effort saved by using a vacuum to clean the floors, carpets, upholstery, and curtains in your home is substantial. The machines’ only real drawback is that you’ll have to empty the bin or vacuum bag on a regular basis.

The suction and efficiency of the appliance can suffer if it is not emptied on a regular basis. Over time, the motor will overheat if this maintenance is neglected. A clogged filter is another efficiency-robbing culprit, so while you’re at it, give that thing a good cleaning and swap out the filter. Do not fall for the trap of paying for vacuum repairs when a simple bag or filter replacement will do the trick.


Leaving Coins in Your Pockets

Before you throw your pants into the washing machine, make sure you’ve emptied every pocket of cash and spare change. Loose coins can get caught in the drum and get stuck, leading to a jam and a costly repair bill.


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