Helpful Appliances Guide


Refrigerator: Keep it clean so you have sanitary food and the door gaskets work properly. Don’t overfill the fridge or freezer so the door won’t shut.

Electric Stove: Use chrome drip pans beneath the burners and don’t block the air updraft hole with foil.  Keep the stove clean and don’t stack things on top of it.  Always turn on the fan when cooking!

Gas Stove: Definitely don’t pile things on a gas stove. If a burner turns on accidentally it could catch fire.  Don’t line the oven with foil. It is dangerous in a gas stove.  Always turn on the fan when cooking!  Wipe all spills off when it cools down.

Dishwasher: Load it correctly and don’t overload it. Be sure utensils don’t fall into the bottom. Keep the drain in the bottom clean of debris.  Use as little soap as possible and don’t use gel packs because of the soft water in Whatcom County.  If you get excessive bubbling, that is the reason.  You need hot water to clean dishes. If your hot water has run out, don’t start the dishwasher.

Microwave Oven: Keep it very clean!  Food particles will cook harder and harder each time you use it. Cover the food with a paper plate or towel to prevent splattering. Never use metal or foil in the microwave!

Garbage Disposal: Don’t put anything down the disposal you wouldn’t eat.  This includes large seeds and peels. Even celery fibers can be a problem. Keep utensils out of it. Don’t start the motor until you’re sure there is nothing hard in the disposal. Run lots of cold water while running the disposal. Don’t put GREASE or oils down the garbage disposal.  A small bit of citrus peel will freshen the smell and ice cubes can clean and sharpen the blades. Run it every time you finish doing dishes to keep food from gathering down there.


Washing Machine: Top-Loading or front loading, don’t run it when you aren’t home. If a hose comes loosened you will not know it’s flooding. Use the water level designed for the number of garments you are washing.  Space items evenly around a top loader tub to prevent unbalancing the machine. If this happens, stop the machine and rearrange the load. Restart it on Spin cycle. Don’t overload the machine.  Front loaders need less soap. If the window is full of white suds, you’ve added too much. Gentle and delicate cycles have slower spin and clothes will be more damp than other cycles.

Dryer:  One washer load equals one dryer load. Don’t overload. Clean the lint screen every single load and every so often, use a stiff brush and water to clean it off.  If your dryer starts to dry slowly or has excessive lint, check the vent pipe for blockages.  It can be a serious fire danger.