March 23, 2018

Quiz: Are you abusing your appliances?

Are you abusing your appliances?
Are you abusing your appliances?

You use your appliances every day—but are you misusing them in a way that either gives poor results or shortens the life of the appliance? Take our quiz to see if you’re helping or hurting your appliances. 

How often do you change the water filter in your refrigerator?

A.     As soon as the Replace light goes on.

B.     Once or twice a year.

C.     When the flow of water from the dispenser drops to a trickle.

D.     Huh. Didn’t know I was supposed to do that.

How do you prep your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher?

A.     I scrape or rinse off large chunks of food.

B.     Depends how busy I am. Sometimes I scrape, sometimes I don’t.

C.     I wash off all the food—the dishwasher is pretty much just rinsing off clean dishes.

D.     I leave bones and food chunks on the dishes.

How often do you drain your water heater?

A.      Once a year.

B.      I try to get to it every couple of years or so.

C.      When I run out of hot water 2 minutes into my shower.

D.      You can drain a water heater?

How do you keep spills from building up on the bottom of your oven?

A.      I use the right-size cooking container to avoid spills. And I clean the oven often.

B.      I clean the oven when the bottom looks like cooled lava flow.

C.      I clean the oven when smoke from built-up grease sets off the smoke alarm.

D.      I line the bottom with aluminum foil so I never have to clean the oven.

How often do you refill the rinse-aid dispenser on your dishwasher?

A.      When the level is low.

B.      When my dishes start spotting.

C.      Once or twice a year.

D.      I don’t bother using rinse aid.

How much HE detergent do you use in your HE washer?

A.      I use a tablespoon, more or less. It depends on the size of the laundry load.

B.      I eye the size of the load and use the amount I think it needs.

C.      I fill the detergent bottle cap to the brim for every load, no matter what size the load is.

D.      I don’t use HE detergent. I use plenty of regular detergent so I get really clean clothes.

How often do you clean the lint filter or screen in your dryer?

A.      Every load.

B.      Every few loads.

C.      It’s part of my regular spring cleaning.

D.      There’s a lint screen?

How often do you microwave food wrapped in aluminum foil? 

A.      Never, I always use microwave-safe cookware and utensils.

B.      I left the foil on a baked potato once. Scared the daylights out of me.

C.      When I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to unwrap it.

D.      Whenever I’m in the mood for a good fireworks show.

Add up your score

Give yourself 4 points for each A answer, 3 for each B answer, 2 for each C answer and 1 for each D answer. Add up your score to see how much you know about using and caring for your appliances.

  • 30-32 points—Well done! You treat your appliances with all the love they need to keep working hard for you.

  • 21-29 points—Your appliances are probably working okay, but there may be a few things you could do better.

  • 14-20 points—There’s definitely room for improvement. You’re making your appliances work harder than necessary.

  • 8-13 points—We have a message from your appliances: “Read your owner’s manuals. Please.” Just enter the model number in the search bar at the top of this page to look up the model—if we have the manual, you can download it from the model page.

Here’s what to learn from this quiz

Refrigerator water filter replacement. Eventually, fridge filters clog with the gunk they trap, so change the refrigerator filter when the light goes on, or as often recommended in the manual if there’s no light. You can set up automatic filter reordering through Sears PartsDirect, and shipping is free.  

Dishwasher pre-rinse. Modern dishwashers just need the big food chunks removed; you waste water if you rinse them clean before washing. Get 7 tips on how to best use your dishwasher.

Water heater draining. Sediment builds up inside the water heater tank. This water heater video shows how to drain it. 

Oven spills. Lining the oven floor with aluminum foil is a fire hazard. Check out our oven articles for more advice.   

Rinse aid. You don’t have to use it, but your dishes will be cleaner if you do.

Dryer lint screen cleaning. Lint clogs can cause serious problems with dryers, including overheating and fires. Prevent clogs with these easy dryer maintenance tips.   

Microwave use. Microwaves bounce off aluminum foil. Check out more microwave don’ts.

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Choose a symptom to see related dishwasher repairs.

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