Annoying kitchen disasters will certainly occur, but before you reach
for the phone to call in a repair, examine the situation yourself and see if
you can fix the problem.
According to Murphy's Law, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Your
kitchen is not exempt to this law, and may be more prone to
disasters-especially right after you've paid your monthly bills and your
checking account balance is slim. Annoying kitchen disasters will certainly
occur, but before you reach for the phone to call in a repair, examine the
situation yourself and see if you can fix the problem. Here are a few
solutions to solving (and preventing) kitchen disasters.
If the garbage disposer in your sink should jam, turn off the main power to
the unit panel and grab your disposer wrench, or a broom handle. You can
purchase a disposer wrench at most home stores, but a broom handle works
just as well. Use the wrench or the broom handle to force the cutting wheel
to move-either left or right, until it moves freely. At this point you can
reach in and extract the object that caused the jam.
To avoid jamming your disposer in the future, remember that it isn't a trash
can. It should only be used for small amounts of food that fall into the
sink. Use your garbage can or compost pile for potato peels, lemon rinds
and the like.
If you've ever had something boil over on the stove, you know that your
burners may not light right away or may only light on part of the burner.
Any blockage to the pin-sized holes that ring the burner will prevent the
burner from operating correctly. Use a pin or straightened paperclip to
poke the debris out of the holes so they will light again.
If your dishwasher is not cleaning properly these fixes may help. Clean the
drain screen in your dishwasher to be sure that water circulates freely in
the washer. Use liquid soap (instead of powdered), to ensure that the soap
is used during the cycle and doesn't cake up in the soap holder. Reduce
spots on glasses by using a sheeting agent. You can purchase a sheeting
agent, or simply try tossing in some vinegar before you turn on your washer.
If your refrigerator doesn't seem to be keeping food as cold as usual, check
the coils before calling for repairs. You will find the coils behind a
grill at the bottom or top of the refrigerator. Remove dust and lint from
the coils with the hose attachment from your vacuum cleaner. This is a good
practice to perform on a monthly basis, since it prevents compressor burn
out, which is very expensive to repair.
Anything that can go wrong probably will go wrong eventually. But there's
nothing like a little knowledge and forethought to prepare you for disasters
that you can handle yourself.
Sources: Gary Abrams, The Washington Times