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Appliance care might not be a top of mind concern for most people, but it should be! Good news though: a little effort goes a long way. In this FAQ series, we explore proper home appliance maintenance care starting with the kitchen! 

Your kitchen stovetop can take quite a beating, and it’s easy to guess wrong regarding proper care. As always, the manufacturer’s maintenance manual is the last word, but we’ve compiled a general guide on how to care for your stovetop with some basic principles that can help anyone stay on track, like 

Know Your Type

It’s important to determine what kind of stove you have. While electric vs. gas is a common way to think about stovetops, maintenance and upkeep varies a bit more than that. Electric stovetops can have exposed coil burners or a smooth top, which requires different care. 

There are pros and cons to each. For care, exposed burners on either a gas or electric stove present additional parts to clean but are often more durable than a smooth-top, which both wipes down and scratches easier.

Get Back to Basics

Luckily, the best thing you can do to keep your stovetop in good working order is to prevent stains and be smart about cleaning build up, which is easy to do no matter what type of stove you’re working with.

  • Prevent boil-overs: Use pots and pans with deep enough sides to prevent boil-overs and splattering. Preventing spills minimizes cleanup work and helps prolong the life of your stovetop.
  • Clean as you go: A damp sponge or paper towel will take care of most spills. So get in the habit of wiping down your stovetop after every use-your stove will gleam like new for decades, and you’ll save yourself plenty of scrubbing
  • Scrub smarter, not harder: With a spill that has dried out and cooked for a while, use a sponge with a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water, a 50-50 solution of vinegar and warm water, or an all-purpose cleaner. Avoid abrasive powders as they can easily create tiny scratches in your stove top surface, which future spills can grip, making them even harder to remove.
  • Mind the little things: In addition to an after-use wipe down, periodically give your stove parts a more extensive cleaning. Remove control-panel knobs (usually by pulling straight out) and clean around the knobs’ bases. Wash the knobs in hot, soapy water, rinse, and dry before replacing them.

Get Specific

Complete your stovetop care routine with these type-specific tips.

  • Clean under the hood: If you don’t have a sealed cooktop, food and grease can fall under exposed burners and out of sight. It can be easy to miss, but thankfully it’s also easy to clean. See your owner’s manual instructions for safely lifting the top, then clean with a sponge and warm, soapy water or a 50-50 solution of vinegar and warm water before rinsing with clean water and a sponge.
  • Smooth-tops: Keep a clean stovetop surface to avoid scratches, and keep bottoms of pans clean so they don’t transfer food residue that will bake onto the glass.
  • Gas burners: Keep it clean between the burner and burner cap so the gas flows through the burner channels smoothly. Burner grates are often cast iron, which can be safely cleaned using several approaches based on how dirty they are and your comfort level using different chemicals.
  • Electric coil stovetop: Clean the inner bowls regularly, and never line them with tin foil – it can reflect the heat back on to the element and cause it to blow out. 

If you have any questions regarding what your Arizona Platinum Home Warranty requires to maintain coverage, reach out to any of our friendly Account Managers here.

The kitchen is, often, the heart of the home.  Most people spend a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking and preparing meals for themselves or their families.  The stovetop and oven are used frequently and, sometimes. messes are made.  It is very important to regularly clean your stovetop but you may be wondering if you are properly cleaning or if you should be doing more.  Just think about how often you use your stovetop.  Did you make some eggs this morning, or maybe cook some lunch for your kids, and then whip up a delicious dinner in the evening?  Dirt, food and grime can build up very quickly and not only is it unsightly, but it is also not the most hygienic space to cook your food.  Before cleaning your stovetop, it is important to note that if you have a gas cook top, it is important to ensure the gas taps are turned off.  Many stove tops, such as enamel, can simply be cleaned with warm soapy water.   It is best to avoid harsh cleaners whenever possible as they can sometimes damage the finish on a stove top.  Most grids and burners can be removed and then soaked in warm soapy water to remove any build up.  If you feel like soap and water are not getting the job done, there are many cleaning products designed specifically for cleaning glass and ceramic stove tops.  Additionally, there are special scarpers designed specifically for glass stove tops that can help remove particularly stubborn build up but it is imperative that you only used scrapers and cleaners designed for glass and ceramic stove tops to avoid damage.  Another important cleaning note is, do not forget the range hood.  If you have ever had a little too much steam or smoke when cooking, you have probably turned on the vent fan.  The vent fan is very handy at sucking up the unwanted steam and smoke and removing it, and there is a filter that prevents grease build up in the vent hood.  But, the filter accumulates the grease and needs to be regularly cleaned.  Depending on the frequency of cooking, clean your filters every few months to prevent major build up.  With regularly cleaning of your stove top, you can avoid major build ups that lead to hours and hours of painstaking cleaning and possibly, damage to your appliance.  With regular cleaning, your stove top should provide many years of good service to you and your family.]]>

The refrigerator is one of the most used appliances in our home.  We rely on it to keep our food cold and safe, the food that feeds our families.  Often, we forget that our refrigerator needs maintenance in order to continue to run well and to extend its lifespan.  The last thing anyone wants is a refrigerator full of food that suddenly breaks. There are some basic and relatively easy ways to maintain your refrigerator and keep it up and running.  The first thing you will want to do is to keep the inside clean.  You should promptly clean any spills and do general cleaning once per month.  With soap and water wipe down all the shelves and drawers. Next, you will want to ensure that the coils are clean.  Every three months, vacuum the fan and condenser coils.  This will help keep air running smoothly and will allow your refrigerator to be more energy efficient.  You will also want to clean and inspect the door seals. When door seals become cracked or broken they allow cold air to escape and can compromise the quality of the food and is not energy efficient.  Check the door seals every month and if they seem dirty clean them with soapy water and if you notice damaged seals, you can purchase replacement door seals.   Also, most refrigerators have a drain hole and drip pan that removes condensation but food particles can also wind up in the drip pan. You should regularly clean the drip pan with soap and water.  It is also important that you regularly change your water filter according to instructions.  If you continue to use a water filter for longer than instructed water is often even dirtier than before it went through the filter. Lastly, you should check to ensure that your refrigerator is level.  When a refrigerator is not level doors may not open and close properly and they may not seal correctly.  Not only does this put the quality of food at risk but it is not energy efficient.  Place a level on the top of the refrigerator, if it is not level adjust the feet of your refrigerator until it is. Schedule regularly cleanings in your calendar or put a reminder in your phone.  Appliances are expensive and you want them to last as long as possible and you want them to function properly.  By regularly maintaining your refrigerator your refrigerator will run properly and keep your food safe and the lifespan of your refrigerator will be extended.]]>