If you're tired of constantly replacing small appliances such as toasters, kettles and hairdryers, here are some simple tips to help them last longer.
Make your toaster last longer
- Make sure to clear out the crumb tray regularly - not only will this help to prevent fires, but it will also keep the thermostat more regular, resulting in tastier toast.
Make your hairdryer last longer
- Store your hairdyer (or straighteners, curling tongs and other hair styling equipment) carefully, without wrapping the cord tightly around it. While it might look neat, this tight binding can damage the cable - use loose loops instead.
- Remove the air vent and gently sweep away any fluff and dust with an old toothbrush to stop it getting clogged and overheating.
Make your vacuum cleaner last longer
- Empty or change the bag (depending on the model you own) before it gets full - it's a bore, but it will help it run better.
- Check the bristles for any hair, thread or other debris that may be stopping them from turning properly.
- Treat it gently - no yanking it around the house or tugging hard on the plug...no matter how much you hate hoovering!
Make your kettle last longer
- Boiling only the amount of water you need each time you make a cuppa will prolong the life of your kettle.
- Remove limescale by filling your kettle with equal parts vinegar and water, and leaving it to soak for an hour before rinsing.
Make your iron last longer
- Regularly clean the steamplate. You can sometimes use a paste of baking soda and water to do this, but it's worth checking the manufacturer's recommendations for your model. Otherwise there are specialist products you can buy.
- Force steam through the vents on your steamplate every so often to keep them clear of mineral build-up.
- If you live in a hard water area and fill your iron from the tap, you might want to consider using a mixture of distilled and tap water instead.
Safety tips for your appliance
- Follow the care and installation instructions and keep the booklet safe
- Note the serial number and date of purchase in the booklet for easy reference
- Register your new and old appliances at www.registermyappliance.org.uk so that manufacturers know where to find you if a safety repair is needed
- For a clean bill of health, check your older appliances against the recall listing
- Don’t use extension leads or adaptors for large appliances. They should be plugged directly into a wall-mounted socket outlet.
- Fit at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home and place one near your kitchen as a priority. Don’t forget to test them frequently.