Tips for inexpensively repairing and maintaining your home appliances

Appliances: Repairing and Maintaining

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Buying Energy Use Kitchen Appliances Major Appliances Product Reviews Small Appliances

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Home Repair and Maintenance: Air Conditioners Home Repair and Maintenance: Laundry Home Repair and Maintenance: Radiators and Furnaces Home Repair and Maintenance: Water Heaters A-Z Library Topics
Repair or Replace Washing Machine

TDS Reader Contributors

Our nine-year-old Maytag washer appears to need a new pump. DH could do the repair and a quick Google search revealed that I can order one for around $100, but I'm wondering if my machine's too old to be spending that much on. Have any of you had much luck with DIY repairs on washing machines? Should I put the money toward a new one down the road and just let this one play out?

Maintain and Save

Tricia Goss

Repairing or replacing major appliances can really put a hole in your budget. Preventative maintenance can keep your appliances running as well as possible for as long as possible. Here are helpful hints for ten major appliances to get you started.

Dishwasher Maintenance

Audrey M. Smith

The next time you find yourself reaching for the telephone to call a dishwasher repairman because the dishes are coming out dirtier than they went in, stop. For sparkling clean dishes load after load, a dishwasher needs monthly cleaning.

Ink Spots in My Dryer

TDS Reader Contributors

My daughter washed and dried an ink pen and now the ink is in the barrel of my dryer. I have tried hairspray, rubbing alcohol, a product called Oops (designed to get out tar and other hard to remove stains), which have helped some. Is there anything else you might suggest?

Repair Report

Christine Cristiano

Most homeowners know that an annual furnace cleaning will prolong the life of their furnace, improve efficiency and reduce emergency repairs. Furnace preventative maintenance plans are designed to cover the costs for most parts and labor repair charges for your furnace.

How Do I Work This?

TDS Reader Contributors

I have been very successful at getting instructions/manuals for several items on eBay! If you search for a product name on eBay, you're very likely to discover that someone is selling the product for which you need instructions.

Dryer Disaster

TDS Reader Contributors

Tips on how to remove ink spots from a dryer. A product called "Goo-Gone" is very good for helping clean off the mess from inside your dryer and many other surfaces as well. Alcohol is very good for cleaning ink from a dryer drum. "Cheap" hair spray is also good.

Clothes Washer Maintenance

Meg G.

The repairman gave me several tips that will not only save you the cost of a repairman, but will save you energy, detergent, and clothes replacement costs as well. Perform a monthly or bimonthly cleaning of your machine. Run an empty load with a full water level on a hot wash/rinse cycle through the machine. Add a cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda while agitating.

Changing Appliance Colors

TDS Reader Contributors

How can I change the color of my refrigerator without buying a new one? I would like to change it to black. It's a great refrigerator; however, it clashes with the rest of my decor. Help!

Rusty Dishwasher Racks

TDS Reader Contributors

Does anyone know of a way to keep the racks from rusting and/or a way to recoat them safely without the huge expense? To recoat rusty dishwasher racks, buy liquid electrical tape in the color you want at the local recreational vehicle supply store and coat the rack with it. It dries to form a hard but flexible coating.

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