Every year the UK discards more than 1.4 million tonnes of electronic and electrical waste. That’s 100 times heavier than the Eiffel Tower! Many of these discarded items are perfectly repairable but end up finding their way into landfill. We spoke with online spare parts experts eSpares to get some handy tips for household appliance care – after all, looking after your machines will help to keep them running for longer, saving you money and helping to protect the environment!
Impossible grease in oven doors
If you’ve wiped down both sides of your oven door and you can still see greasy marks, you can clean them by removing the glass door panels. Depending on your cooker model, this can be as simple as sliding the panels out or unclipping the door and then removing them.eSpares Advice Centre has over 9,000 appliance manuals to help determine how to complete the clean.
Zesty microwave clean
Like the idea of removing burnt food or spills from your microwave without scrubbing? Put a bowl of water with cut lemon slices into your microwave and heat them for 1 minute. Now, wipe your microwave clean using a damp cloth. It will smell fresher too!
Bread to the rescue?
If a glass or plate has broken inside your dishwasher, a humble piece of bread can help you clean it up. First, remove larger pieces safely by hand before pressing the bread over the ‘floor’ of the dishwasher where the item broke. The bread picks up the smaller shards and saves you trying to take them out with your hands.
Faulty fridge fiver fix
Cold air from your fridge will escape if the rubber seal around the door gets loose. Check the seal by closing a £5 note in the door. If it falls out, the seal is no longer working as it should. eSpares offer more than 1million spare parts, including fridge seals that are all available online alongside hundreds of ‘how to’ guides on performing repairs – problem solved!
Your freezer needs a blow-dry
Looking to defrost your freezer faster? Try using a hairdryer! Just make sure you place a towel down first to soak up any excess water. A plastic knife may help to scrape the ice off, but avoid using metal utensils as they may dent, scratch or even pierce your freezer walls.
Balance your wobbly washer
A wobbly washing machine is easily rectified. Identify which side of your machine is uneven by gently rocking it back and forth. Tilt the wobbly side up and twist the feet on the bottom to raise or lower that corner as required. Be careful of your hands not getting trapped. This may be easier with a helper – one holding the machine in position and the other adjusting the feet.
Lint can cause fires
Make sure to remove the lint from your tumble dryer filter after every use. Otherwise, the fluff can build up inside your machine and become a fire hazard. Want proof? Collect the removed lint and store it in a jar as handy lighting material the next time you need to get the barbeque going.
Your vacuum needs a trim
The brush roll underneath your vacuum cleaner spins to help pick up dirt from the floor. However, as it turns, hair, thread and fluff can become entangled. Over time this builds up and can stop the roll from spinning freely. Use a seam un-picker or a small pair of nail scissors to free the roller and get your vacuum back up to speed.
Blunt blades for an ugly lawn
Have you noticed that your lawn looks uneven or patchy after being mown? Chances are your mower blades are blunt. While switched off, turn your lawnmower upside down, then check and remove the old blades safely. You have two options, either sharpen the old ones or replace them with a new set. You’ll be able to find all the necessary info in the mower’s user manual. Don’t worry if you’ve accidentally thrown it out, eSpares have over 9,000 on their Advice Centre; along with how to videos.
Stuck screws – the bane of DIY
If the screws in your appliances have been over-tightened, the grooves used to loosen them may be stripped. Removing them may be impossible with a screwdriver alone. Try putting an elastic band between the screw head and your screwdriver for added friction and turn firmly.
While looking after your machines will help to keep them running for longer, even well maintained appliances will eventually break down. However, repairing them when they do is a lot easier than most people think.
What’s more, if the UK repaired just 10% more of its faulty appliances, rather than binning them, we could stop 100,000 tonnes of e-waste from damaging the environment and our wallets each year.
To help stop e-waste, eSpares has launched #FixFirst, an initiative to help the UK perform simple fixes to domestic appliances. As part of this, the company has an Advice Centre full of free-to-access information and guides to help have-a-go-heroes. ‘How to’ videos, fault fix articles and appliance manuals are all available online from eSpares, alongside more than 1 million spare parts.