A Landlord’s Guide to Cleaning Appliances
When it comes to cleaning our houses, most of us will concentrate on dusting shelves, vacuuming the carpets and disinfecting the sinks, but we often forget about the appliances we use every day. Making sure appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and stove tops stay clean does more than keep your home looking its best. Cleaning appliances regularly can be essential for keeping them in their best condition and ensuring that they run efficiently, which is particularly important for any landlord looking to extend the life of their investment.
Why Cleaning Appliances Matters
Here’s an example for you: refrigerator condenser coils often become covered with dust and lint. Because of this, they have to work harder to keep your refrigerator running. Unfortunately, this can result in your fridge burning out before its time. When you clean your fridge, you often focus on the aesthetics and smell of the inside and front door, but if you don’t make an effort to clean the condenser coils, your missing a major and important part. A quick and easy suggestion: make a point of giving the coils a quick clean each time you change air filters in one of your units – small efforts regularly can save you big time in the long run.
In the case of washing machines and dishwashers, many people might believe that they don’t have to clean them at all. Yet giving the insides of these appliances a regular cleaning is important for ensuring dirt and other contaminants aren’t lingering in the nooks and crannies. And for appliances you don’t have regular access to, try simply educating your tenants on the need and the benefits of giving them a regular clean (you could even share this article!). You may be surprised by the effort many will put in.
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Cleaning Larger Appliances
It’s easy to figure out how to dust a shelf or clean a window, but cleaning appliances that are a bit larger or more complicated isn’t always so obvious. Fortunately, making the effort doesn’t require a large investment in expensive cleaning solutions and cumbersome, custom machines. Nearly all cleaning can be easily done with items you probably already have around your home — as long as you know what you’re doing. In some cases, bleach can be appropriate. Here are some recommendations for cleaning and sanitizing various surfaces with bleach and water provided by the CDC. However, most of the time, a simple concoction of vinegar and baking soda can do the job of just about any expensive chemical cleanser.
For example, cleaning your top-loading washing machine is a simple matter of running the heaviest load cycle, then filling it with 1 quart of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda before it’s finished. After letting the mixture sit for an hour, finish the cycle and then run another hot-water cycle to rinse. Your washing machine will be clean and free from detergent sludge that can clog it and cost you performance.
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Take the Time to Make the Effort
As a landlord, you know the importance of keeping your property in excellent condition both for attracting renters and preserving your investment long-term. But don’t forget that your appliances deserve some extra attention for all the hard work they do every day, too. Dedicating a little bit of time and energy to preserving your appliances can go a long way in making management easier in the future. And if you’re in need of some extra tips and suggestions, take a look at the following Appliance Cleaning Guide from our friends over at Conn’s Home Plus for some basic info on how to give your hard-working appliances the deep cleaning they need.