Stainless appliances

Durable, reliable appliances don’t just make a homeowner’s life easier. They also increase the resale value of your home.

So how do you know if you should repair or bite the bullet and replace? And how do you counter the extra wear and tear that can negatively impact appliance longevity in our tropical climate?


Average life of appliances

Here are average lifespans for many of your home’s major appliances, according to

         Washing machine: 5 to 15 years

         Dryer: 13 years

         Refrigerator: 9 to 13 years

         Range: 10 to 18 years

         Dishwasher: 9 years

         Microwave: 9 years


Repair or Replace?

If one of your major appliances breaks, how do you know when it is cost effective to repair and when is it smarter to replace?

It is important to keep in mind that average life span is just an average - some appliances will last longer and some will fail sooner. According to Lowe’s, if the appliance won’t turn on at all, or if you’re continuously having the same part fixed, it may be time for a replacement.

Here are some guidelines for when to repair and when to replace, according to Consumer Reports based on the age of the appliance:

*     Washing machine: repair at 5-7, replace at 8

*     Dryer: repair at 5-7 years, replace at 8 years

*     Refrigerator (built-in or side by side): repair at 6-8, replace after 8 years

*     Refrigerator (top freezer): repair at 5-7, replace at 8

*     Range (Gas): repair at 4-5, replace at 6-8

*     Range (Electric): report at 3-4, replace at 5-8

*     Dishwasher: repair at 4-5 years, replace at 6-8 years

*     Microwave: repair at 3-4 years, replace at 5-8 years


That sea air….

Our beautiful coastal climate affords us windward breezes and year-round beach weather. But being near the ocean also means there is more water and salt in the air. Salt itself does not cause rusting but it does accelerate the rusting process.

Here are some ways to reduce rusting on your appliances:

*     Use the heated dry setting of your dishwasher to speed up drying time.

*     Take damp clothes out of the washing machine immediately after washing to reduce rusting to protect the metal in the washing machine drum.

*     Replace appliance water filters regularly as they help remove naturally occurring water minerals that can corrode components.

*     Wipe the surfaces of your appliances with a soft, nonabrasive cloth. Make sure the cloth is clean so that residue doesn’t scratch the surface.

*     Use an appliance polish and follow all package directions.

*     On stainless steel appliances, don’t use cleaners that contain chlorides. Cleaners containing alcohol, ammonia or mineral spirits can also damage the protective layer. Instead, to maintain the appliance’s luster, use a mild soap/dish detergent and warm water solution to clean fingers prints, dust, etc. Make sure to dry it completely!


Removing the rust

To remove rust from stainless steel appliances, GE recommends using a cloth or soft bristle brush with baking soda and water solution. Rub the stain in the direction of the grain until the stain is removed and then rinse with clean water and a soft cloth. Then apply a stainless steel cleaner.

You can also use a product such as Bar Keeper’s Friend (liquid cleaner ONLY, which is free of grit) and rub in the direction of the metal grain with a damp soft sponge.

If using Bar Keeper's Friend, use only the liquid cleanser (free of grit) and be sure rub in the direction of the metal grain lines with a damp soft sponge



Photo courtesy GE appliances: