The 3 common appliance mistakes you need to stop making to avoid unnecessary damage costs

Are you guilty of making these appliance mistakes? It's time to quit bad habits to avoid it costing you in the long run

washing machine with detergent next to it
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Appliances are more often than not extremely simple to use, however sometimes without realising, we can be causing them extensive damage by cutting corners. Whether that's overloading them or simply not being patient enough. 

With all the up-and-coming appliance trends it can be all too easy to forget the basics of maintaining them as we go about our daily routines. And whilst owning a fridge doesn't exactly require a PhD, there are some rather common mistakes most of us won't even realise we're making. 

Like costly common kitchen cleaning mistakes, it's all too easy to make errors when it comes to how we use our everyday appliances. These mistakes repeated over time can lead to rather hefty repair bills and might even lead to your needing replacements. Here are the main three to avoid...

3 common appliance mistakes to avoid 

Matt Ayres, an appliance expert at RDO Kitchens & Appliances shared with us the most common habits people have that slowly destroy household appliances. Here are the top three, your bank balance will thank you later! 

1. Overstocking your fridge

picture of the inside of a heavily stocked fridge

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Aside from knowing how to clean your fridge, there are very few maintenance instructions you really need to know about the appliance. However, Matt reveals that we've all been stocking our fridges wrong and it could be costing you money every week. 

He says, "A good rule of thumb is to keep your fridge at around 75 per cent capacity. When you overload your fridge, it can stop air circulation and make it more difficult to regulate the interior temperature."

This makes the appliance work harder and puts a lot of strain on the compressor and condenser coils which will over time cause a lot of damage. Not only this, overstocking can also lead to more food waste and in worst cases an increased risk of poisoning. 

Fridge cleaning tools

2. Washing towels and bed linen together

towels and lines coming out of the wash

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Whilst you might have mastered how often you should wash your sheets, the way you're washing them might be all wrong. Trying to save money by pairing your towels and your linens together may seem like a good idea but it can cost you more in repairs in the long run. Plus it won't help with your efforts to soften towels.

"Once water is added during a wash, the weight of these items significantly increases, meaning you’re likely exceeding your machine’s recommended weight limit," explains Matt. "Over time, loads that are too heavy can damage to the bearings and drum shaft." 

Matt also points out that towels, sheets and duvet covers also form a single ball when washed together which can bounce around during a wash. This in turn will cause damage to the drum and the internal parts of the machine. 

3. Closing the dishwasher after emptying

women taking out the dishwasher

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With all the common dishwasher mistakes you could make this might be one of the easiest to do. And yet committing this dishwasher sin might mean you have to do your dishwashing cleaning routine more often than you'd prefer. 

"Any appliance that has rubber components like door seals and uses soap and water is prone to mould," says Matt. "Dishwashers are particularly at risk of mould build-up which can be difficult to remove." 

Not only will this mould build-up make the machine look dirty it's also extremely unhygienic too. With this in mind, Matt recommends that once the cycle has ended you should open the door slightly to allow all the warm air to escape. This will prevent any mould build-up whilst also helping the contents dry quicker. 

Aside from these three, there's also an air fryer mistake you may be making. One that will significantly lower the efficiency of your machine. Matt says, "Did you know you should also clean the coils above at least once a month too? It’s easy for dirt to build up inside the hull of the fryer over time, caused by oil, sauce and even bits of food spitting upwards during cooking." 

This can damage the fryer and cause a fire risk. When cleaning your air fryer, Matt suggests avoiding excessive amounts of water or sop and only up a damp sponge to clean the coils once a month. 

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.