Given how advanced technology has become, it’s easy to think that our appliances can do all the cleaning and filtering for us. However, it’s important to note that many home appliances come with filters that require regular cleaning. In fact, neglecting to clean these filters can result in worse quality than if you didn’t have a filter at all. 5 home appliance filters that you should be cleaning regularly.
Adding home appliance filters to your to-do list is an excellent idea as spring cleaning approaches. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, you can space out the tasks or tackle them all at once – it’s up to you! There’s no right or wrong way to do it; do what works best for your schedule.
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1. Dishwasher Filter
Were you aware that your dishwasher has a filter that can be easily removed and cleaned? I was surprised to learn this myself.
All dishwashers are different, so be sure to read your owner’s manual.
Even after running a wash cycle, a persistent odor is one sign that your dishwasher needs cleaning. A musty smell is another sign that your filter is dirty.
You will typically find the filter by pulling the bottom rack out. You should see a cylinder on the bottom of the dishwasher. It should be easy to remove.
Easy Way to Clean Your Dishwasher Filter
- Rinse the filter to remove any loose gunk or food debris.
- Fill the kitchen sink with hot water and dish soap.
- Let the filter soak in the water.
- After the filter sits, use an old toothbrush to gently scrub away any debris that is still hanging on.
- Rinse the filter with clean water.
- Place the filter back in the dishwasher.
How often should you clean your dishwasher filter?
It is important to clean the inside of your dishwasher every couple of months or more frequently for best results. A few care tips, you can sprinkle baking soda on the inside of the door and the bottom of the dishwasher. Additionally, many people suggest using a cup of vinegar and baking soda and running your dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.
Please note that vinegar can be acidic and may harm the seals of your dishwasher, so it is important to use it with caution. We recently posted an article titled “Things to Consider Before Cleaning with Vinegar, ” which you may find helpful. Instead of using vinegar, I use a ¼ cup of Melamagic Heavy-Duty Cleaner in a glass placed in the top basket and sprinkle baking soda on the inside of the door and bottom of the dishwasher. Finally, I run a sanitizing cycle for optimal cleaning.
2. Clothes Dryer Lint Filter
We’ve all been told to clean out our dryer lint trap after every load of laundry we dry. Some new dryers even have reminders for this. It’s because we tend to forget things easily! However, did you know you should take one extra step to maintain a clean filter?
How often should you clean your clothes dryer lint filter?
Even after removing the visible lint between each load of laundry, an invisible amount remains, clogging the filter. To help improve drying time, you should deep clean/wash your lint filter every 6-8 weeks.
Step-By-Step Guide to Clean Your Dryer Lint Filter
- Remove any visible lint from the filter.
- Fill your sink with hot water and a mild soap.
- Put your lint filter in the sink to soak for about 15 minutes.
- Use an old toothbrush or soft brush and gently scrub the filter to remove leftover debris and lint.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Set on a towel to dry completely before returning it to the dryer. You may then begin regular use of the dryer.
- While waiting for the filter to dry, clean out the inside area of the lint trap area.
- Use a vacuum attachment to remove any visible lint.
Tip:For stubborn lint, use a lint brush or an old reusable straw brush cleaner for difficult areas.
Reasons to Clean Your Dryer Lint Filter:
- Keep your electric bills down: Cleaning the dryer lint screen regularly is important for efficient operation. When the screen is clogged with lint, the dryer must work harder, which can lead to higher energy bills. To avoid this, clean the screen often to allow more air to flow out of the exhaust vent.
- Help your dryer last longer: Reducing machine usage decreases wear and tear, increasing longevity and decreasing the need for repairs.
- Dry your clothes faster: Good airflow is critical to drying clothes efficiently. If drying times are increasing, check for a clogged lint filter.
- Reduce the fire risk: Dryers generate high temperatures, and lint is highly flammable. To avoid dryer fires, remove this fire hazard from your laundry room.
Important Tip:It is recommended not to use a dryer fabric sheet to remove lint from the dryer lint filter. This is because it can form a layer from the fabric softener to form over the filter, obstructing the airflow and increasing the fire risk.
3. Vacuum Cleaner Filter
We own a Tineco cordless vacuum and are pretty pleased with its performance. I have noticed that the vacuum starts to drop debris after I turn it off, which indicates that the suction is struggling. This happens because I have neglected to clean the filter for some time. I need to be more proactive about cleaning the filter before it reaches this point.
Many people have upgraded their vacuum cleaners from the old ones that required a replacement bag to the newer models with a canister that can be quickly emptied. These models also include a filter that must be regularly cleaned to maintain performance.
Before cleaning the filter or canister, consult the owner’s manual to ensure it’s washable and that you don’t damage it.
How often should you clean a vacuum filter?
The frequency of cleaning your vacuum filter can vary depending on the usage and the manufacturer’s recommendations. You can quickly tell when to clean the filter as the suction power decreases noticeably. The general recommendation is to clean the filter once a month. However, if you don’t use the vacuum frequently, you can clean it every three months.
Step-By-Step Guide to Clean Your Vacuum Filter
- Always be sure that your vacuum is unplugged before cleaning.
- Empty the canister and removable filter and remove dirt or debris.
- Fill your kitchen sink with hot water and a mild detergent.
- Rinse the filter under running water to remove visible debris, then soak it in hot water.
- If the vacuum cleaner has a removable canister, rinse it and put it in water. If the canister is not removable, wipe it clean with a damp cloth and dry it afterward.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any debris left on the filter.
- Rinse with warm water and place on a clean towel to dry completely before putting it back into your vacuum.
4. Front-Load Washing Machine Filter
I often consider myself a “clean freak,” but I recently found out about some filters that I never knew existed. I knew our stackable washing machine required extra attention to prevent the door seal from developing a musty smell. However, I was unaware that the washing machine also has an outer filter that requires regular cleaning.
It turns out front load washers have a filter to catch and trap lint and other debris. This filter must be cleaned regularly to ensure your washer runs safely and at peak performance. Not doing so can cause your clothes to smell and, over time, cause damage to the machine itself.
Many washing machines have a filter in the front, at the bottom of the appliance, which is easy to access. (This is a washer lint filter.) Always check your manufacturer manual for care directions.
How often should you clean a washing machine filter?
The frequency of cleaning your washing machine filter can vary depending on the usage and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Experts generally recommend cleaning the filter every three months with average use. If you have a large household and use it more often, you may want to consider cleaning it more often.
Step-By-Step Guide to Clean Your Washing Machine Filter
- Remove the filter from the washing machine.
- Gently remove any visible dirt and debris from the filter.
- Clean the filter housing. Use a clean cloth to wipe away debris and ensure that there isn’t any buildup or blockage.
- Fill your kitchen sink or a large bowl with hot water and a mild detergent.
- Place the filter in the bowl for about 15 minutes.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to remove any debris from the filter.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Set on a clean towel to dry.
- Replace the filter, making sure to secure it in the right position. It’s recommended that you run a short cycle to ensure no leakage.
5. Over the Range Microwave Filter
For most people, if something is out of sight, it is out of mind. We often must make a conscious effort or list to keep things clean and working well! Over-the-range microwave filters are no exception. They are often forgotten about.
If you cook a lot on your stovetop, you will need to clean the filters to prevent grease and odors from building up. Always read your manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning.
How often should you clean your over-the-range microwave filter?
This is a recurring theme today, but the frequency of cleaning your over-the-range microwave filter can vary depending on the usage and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Experts generally recommend cleaning the grease filters every three to six months, depending on how often you cook. This will help cut down on the microwave smells.
If you make a disastrous mess while cooking, clean it immediately. Otherwise, it can wait until you are scheduled to clean it.
Step-By-Step Guide to Clean Your Over-the-Range Microwave Filter
- For safety reasons, it’s recommended that you unplug your microwave ovens.
- Depending on your unit, you may need to unscrew the filter; some pop out.
- If it does unscrew, I highly recommend putting the tiny screws in a small baggie so they don’t get lost.
- Fill your sink with hot water and a mild detergent. You can also add baking soda to help break down the grease.
- Often, the filter will have mesh and a foam or charcoal filter. You can either wash that or replace it with a new filter.
- Put the filter in the water to soak for 15 minutes.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub away any leftover debris gently. Be gentle; you do not want to bend the filter, or it will not fit properly back into the microwave.
- Rinse the filter with warm water, place it on a clean, dry towel, and allow it to dry.
- When it is completely dry, reinstall.
Cleaning our home appliances is an important task that is often overlooked. I used to be guilty of neglecting it, but I have now added it to my to-do list. What about you? Did anything on our list today surprise you? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.