Nothing spoils a good time faster than an emergency visit to your home from a plumber, who is going to charge holiday rates. Make sure your family is in for a no-surprise Thanksgiving this year. The Friday after Thanksgiving sees a 50% increase in service calls. Give your plumber the day off and Get Your Home Holiday Ready with our checklist.
Your Garbage Disposal
According to Roto-Rooter, the most common service call during Thanksgiving is for kitchen sink drains and garbage disposals. We’ve gathered the top 4 garbage disposal “Don’ts”:
1. Don’t put meat, poultry skin, or bones into your garbage disposal.
2. Don’t put celery, fruit, and potato peels into your garbage disposal; these fibrous foods will not break down properly.
3. Don’t pour fats and oils down the drains as they might solidify in the pipes.
4. Don’t put pasta or rice into the garbage disposal as they expand in water and can restrict flow.
Your dishwasher – that underappreciated appliance that works overtime without complaint during the holidays, then has the nerve to go on strike when it’s needed the most. Here are a few tips to keep your dishwasher content performing at its peak:
1. Clean the trap – remove the filter located under the bottom rack of your dishwasher. Hand wash in warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Clean the area where the filter goes in the dishwasher before putting the filter back in place. Make sure all pieces are securely “locked” in place.
2. Clean the seal – this is the rubber gasket around the door of your dishwasher. Use a soft, damp towel to wipe away the gunk around the edges. Wipe down the interior walls of the dishwasher, and clean around the soap door.
3. Deodorize – to help loosen and clean out old food particles, pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your empty dishwasher and run it on a “normal” cycle.
4. Don’t overload – give your plates some elbow room so that water and detergent could move freely about your dishwasher.
Test Your Oven Temp
1. Use an oven-safe thermometer on the center rack of your oven and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat your oven for 20 minutes.
3. Take a temperature reading.
4. Continue to take readings every 20 minutes for the next two hours. An oven will cycle on and off to maintain its temperature. Find average temp by adding all readings together – divide the total number by the number of readings you took.
Your average should be around the original temperature you set – 3,500 (sum of numbers from readings) / 10 (number of readings taken) = 350°F. If your oven’s average temperature is incorrect after you test it, adjust the oven dial to match the internal temperature.
Dirt, grease, and dust also find its way to your refrigerator’s condenser coils. Pull your fridge away from the wall to get access to the coils along the back of the appliance. Vacuum the coils with your vacuum cleaner using its brush attachment.
While you’re at it, vacuum dust from the refrigerator’s front lower grille. If your unit has a drip pan and a drain, clean this as well.
Bathroom Plumbing Tips
Toilet stoppages are a top reason plumbers are busy during the holidays. Extra house guests will result in more water and waste moving through your drains. To help prevent that unwanted plumber visit:
1. Ask your guests not to flush cotton balls, cotton swabs, or any make-up or scrub pads down the toilet. These items do not dissolve and may result in a clogged drain.
2. Give your drains time to do their job – space out shower time between your overnight guests.
Clean your oven
1. Remove the racks and soak them in dishwashing liquid for two hours. Then scrub, rinse, and dry.
2. While you let your oven racks soak, you can easily make a cleaning paste by mixing a few spoonfuls of baking soda with water in a bowl.
3. Spread the paste inside the oven and let it sit overnight. The paste will turn brown overnight.
4. After the paste sits overnight, use a wet rag to wipe out a majority of the paste. Spray vinegar over the leftover paste residue. Vinegar will react with the baking soda by fizzing and loosening debris to make it easier to remove. This paste can also be used to remove stains from your oven window.
5. Use a wet rag to wipe it all away.
6. Once the inside of the oven has been wiped down, turn your oven on to a low temp setting. Heat your oven for about 20 minutes and allow it to dry.
Burner Grates & Caps
While your oven is cold, remove its caps and grates. Some grates can be loaded in the dishwasher, be sure to check your use and care guide before loading. Cooked/burned on soils can be soaked before adding to the dishwasher.
Caps can NOT go into the dishwasher but can be cleaned with a non-abrasive plastic scrubbing pad and a mildly abrasive cleaner.