Household appliances are a part of our daily lives. Used well, they let you complete your household tasks more efficiently and free you up to do other things. Should they falter though, they become the bane of your life. But, they don’t have to be.
When you keep your household items correctly used and properly maintained, they will last longer and go on and on and on like an Energizer bunny. And it’s actually more bang for your buck as you don’t have to fork out more money for repairs or replacement. We manage to learn some tips and tricks from the experts at Bosch on how to extend the lifespan of some common household appliances.
Some say a diamond is a woman’s best friend. In my case, an oven is my best friend – in the kitchen, at least. Cooking basically gets a lot easier with an oven. I simply put everything in one dish and off into the oven it goes. While waiting, I can pretty much go about with my own tasks at home. But because I use my oven so frequently, it’s inevitable that drippings and oil splatters occur along the way.
It’s important to keep the oven clean for safety reasons. Leftover grease can ignite and cause fires or oven damage, if not taken care of. Also, an oven covered in grease takes more energy to heat and the heat distribution may not be even too.
It is noteworthy that you should not use any normal cleaning agents to clean the oven. During a Bosch demo service visit at my home, Stanley, the service staff from Bosch, recommended the Bosch range of Cleaning and Care products and accessories, which have been formulated to remove tough stains safely. For example, the Bosch Oven Cleaning Gel works best for spot-cleaning while the Cleaning Gel Spray is good for regular cleaning. The products are non-caustic and chemical-free, giving peace of mind to anyone who might have concerns.
Stanley also showed me the different functions of my Bosch oven. In the past, I have kept using the same generic functions as I couldn’t decipher what the symbols on my oven are. It certainly helps to have professional Bosch personnel to solve the mysteries for me!
I only discovered the beauty of an induction cooktop in recent years. It is so easy to clean compared to a gas cooktop. That said, I have also seen and heard horror stories of badly maintained induction cooktops.
Induction cooktops have a glass-ceramic surface. If not careful, the surface can suffer from abrasion. And if spills are not cleaned up and left on, stains would actually lodge themselves on the cooktop surface.
To clean the induction cooker, always switch it off first and make sure the surface is cooled down before cleaning. Things like sharp tools, abrasive cloth and steel wool should never be used on induction cooktops. Likewise, chlorine-based bleaching agents and ammonia are a no-no as they can permanently stain the cooktop.
It would be advisable to use specialised cooktop cleaners, such as the Bosch Hood and Hob Cleaning Kit. Packing everything that is needed to clean glass ceramic cooktops, the kit comprises a bottle of Cleaning Powder, Conditioning Cloths, and one Ceramic Hob Maintenance Pack. There is a special glass scraper device in the maintenance pack that can amazingly scrape off hardened residue without scratching the ceramic cooktop surface a bit.
The fridge is something many of us take for granted. Until it breaks down, that is. Trust me, I speak from experience. I had problems with my freezer during the strict lockdown period last year and had to wait a couple of days for the repairman.
As I found out, the freezer needs regular defrosting. In the past, I had mistakenly thought that having ice build-up in the freezer would make my food colder. On the contrary, ice build-up will lower the efficiency of the freezer. So every six months or so, switch off your fridge to do a proper defrosting and thorough cleaning of your fridge. Let the ice melt away and the freezer is good to go again.
And ever notice water pooling at the bottom of your fridge? Fret not – you don’t have to start dialling for the handyman yet. More often than not, water build-up in your fridge is an indication of a blocked drainage hole, which is located at the back wall inside the fridge. The blockage is usually due to mould, food or simply general gunk building up over time. The drainage hole is where water condensation in the fridge is supposed to filter out so if the hole is blocked, water pools at the bottom of the fridge instead. Fixing it can be as simple as using a cotton bud to clear away the gunk around the drainage hole.
Another hardworking household appliance that we often take for granted is the washing machine. I never knew a washing machine needs some TLC too until the Bosch demo service visit.
Stanley advised that a washing machine should be descaled once a year. He added that the water in Singapore is not so hard, otherwise one would need to descale the washing machine more frequently. Long-time limescale build-will wear down certain parts of the washing machine, such as the heating element, and replacing the parts will be a costly affair. So don’t skimp on descaling your washing machine.
Thankfully, Bosch’s Washing Machine Cleaning Kit takes the guesswork out of maintaining the well-being of a washing machine. The kit comes with one bottle of descaler and one bottle of machine cleaner. To use either, I simply have to pour the contents into the drum and run the washing machine using the 60°C laundry programme without pre-wash. It couldn’t get any easier.
I also found out from Stanley that after every wash, the door and the detergent drawer should be opened for at least 60 minutes. Keeping the door closed may lead to an odour within the drum and also cause the boot gasket to become mouldy.
Bear in mind that your household appliances are an investment. Take the time and effort to maintain and clean them regularly and you will find that it pays off for a long time to come.
Bosch care services start from S$112 for technical servicing and S$112 for demo services (inclusive of two Cleaning and Care items). For more information on care services for Bosch products, visit https://www.bosch-home.com.sg/.