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A Kitchen Appliance Maintenance Checklist to Avoid Costly Repairs

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Oct 05, 2015

Consistent kitchen appliance maintenance can save a lot of money for a little time. Use this checklist to make your kitchen investments last as long as possible.

You wake up on a typical Monday morning, go through your usual routine, and start a pot of coffee. As you sit down with your steaming cup and check your emails for the day, the refrigerator starts to make a low, humming noise. You don’t know why it’s happening, but one thing strikes you right away: it sounds like money draining out of your bank account.

Consistent kitchen appliance maintenance can save you the hassle of unexpected repair costs. It’s much easier to keep up with these appliances than you’d expect. The key is to treat these expensive items as investments–you want to maintain them for as long as possible, getting the most out of your purchase.

Believe it or not, kitchen appliance maintenance is a lot easier than you may think. The common denominator for maintaining your most expensive appliances is simply the act of cleaning them efficiently and consistently.

We’ve put together a checklist for maintaining your three most expensive kitchen appliances: refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven/stovetop. Everything needs to be replaced eventually, and some repairs are out of your control, but you can use this checklist to make sure your appliances don’t break down due to lack of attention.

The Pekin Insurance kitchen appliance maintenance checklist

Below we’ve listed the essential upkeep checklist for three of the most expensive kitchen appliance investments: refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven/stovetop.



  • If your fridge has an ice maker, clean out the bin every month to protect from blocks of ice forming at the bottom.
  • Remove any debris from the freezer vents and keep them unobstructed.
  • Readjust temperature settings for fridge and freezer efficiency. Freezer should stay at 0 degrees; fridge should stay between 35 to 40 degrees.

Every three months:

  • Scrub clean the door gaskets (inside liners) to keep cool air in. If gaskets are sticky and pulled out of place, extra stress will be put on the motor to keep the inside cool.
  • Clean condenser coils at the bottom or behind the unit. These can quickly become dirty if you live with shedding pets or children.
  • Clean the condenser fan. This fan is essential to air circulation and can become clogged with dust and debris over time.



  • Remove racks and soak them in hot water and vinegar. The vinegar will remove any lasting stains or molds.
  • Wipe down the inside of the unit with warm soapy water or light detergent. Make sure to focus on the corners and near the door where mildew buildups are common.
  • Wipe the inside of the door, especially along the gaskets. If the gaskets become grimy and deteriorate, the door will not shut properly.

Every three months:

  • Disassemble the floor of the dishwasher and clean around the filter. Soak the washing arm in hot water and vinegar.
  • Carefully remove debris from and around the filter. These can clog and block waste water from draining.



  • For an electric stovetop, remove knobs and carefully wipe around the holes. Allowing any water to drop in could short-circuit the wiring.
  • For a gas stovetop, remove surface burners and grates and soak them in warm soapy water. Scrub away debris after having soaked for several minutes and return after dry.

Every three months:

  • Clean the inside of the oven with soapy water or light detergent. Remove racks and soak them in soapy water, too. (Be sure to unplug your oven before wiping down with water!)
  • If using a self-cleaning feature, be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions closely and to not leave the house until finished.

Consistent kitchen appliance maintenance can save a lot of money for a little time.

After going through the checklist above, you might be thinking: that’s nothing hard! Yes, we agree. However, most households do not think to maintain their kitchen appliances until something goes wrong like food jammed in your dishwasher filter, refrigerator gaskets slipped out of place because of grime, or old spills in the oven or under the stovetop catching fire. These are all issues stemming from lack of kitchen appliance maintenance. Do yourself a favor and keep up with the cleaning!

Even the most prepared homeowners face unforeseen costs when it comes to disasters, emergencies, and repairs. Upgrade your homeowners policy to include a variety of extras, including the cost to replace home equipment for just pennies a day.


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