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4 Tips on appliance care and usage

Myth or Fact? The truth about caring for your appliances.

Here are 4 “Truths” that are widely circulated about appliance care and usage. See if you can guess which ones are factual and which ones are false.

1. You don’t need to bother with replacing the water filter on your refrigerator on the recommended date. Manufacturers push the replacement date up so that they can sell more filters.


There is no doubt that appliance manufacturers like selling add-ons such as refrigerator water filters. However, there is also no evidence that they recommend premature replacement of filters. It’s amazing how many folks think so. The only excuse for not replacing your filter regularly is if you have RO (reverse osmosis) water piped to the refrigerator. In that case, you should consider removing and replacing the filter with the plug that originally came with your refrigerator.

2. It’s not necessary to self-clean your oven whenever you have a spill or smudge that’s bigger than a quarter.


If you have a self-cleaning oven, it’s really a matter of personal preference, and usage patterns how often you should clean it. We don’t do a lot of baking, and our oven stays clean for quite a while. Therefore, my preference is to clean it soon after the holidays. There’s usually enough accumulated grime in the oven at that point to warrant running the self-cleaning cycle.

3. Dishwasher pods are more effective than dishwasher powder.


I’ve fought this, and I’ve not been a fan of detergent pods for several reasons. However, when the appliance manufacturers, the dishwasher detergent companies, AND Consumers’ Union all agree (they never all agree) that pods do a better job, then I need to admit that I’m wrong and throw in the towel. Evidently, because the pods are compressed, the detergent pods break up slowly and detergent gets released throughout the cycle, making pods more effective.

4. If you’re remodeling or replacing your cooktop or range, you should consider a radiant or induction top because the smooth surface gives you extra workspace.


There are many good reasons to have a glass radiant or induction cooking surface, but purchasing either one because you want some extra counter space is a very bad idea.

I read a recommendation to buy a smoothtop for the extra counterspace in a recent Kitchen and Bath magazine article and nearly choked. What a bad idea. If you take good care of your smooth range top or cooktop, the surface can easily last for as long as you keep the appliance. But the top is NOT a replacement for a cutting board, or even good for use as a work surface to sort your canned goods, etc. It’s a durable glass (often Ceran®) surface. If you carelessly scratch up or break your glass top, a replacement top will easily cost well into the hundreds of dollars.

For great appliance advice, the lowest price, and the best availability on major appliances and plumbing fixtures call or visit the pros at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center today.


March 25, 2015
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