“The best Mother’s Day gifts often come with just a little elbow grease and thoughtfulness,” said Chris Hall, president of RepairClinic.com. “We’ve learned from our own moms and wives that sometimes simple fixes around the house are much more appreciated than expensive gifts.”
Here are 10 easy care and repair tasks you can do to save your mother money, keep her appliances and outdoor power equipment running like new for longer and even protect her from danger.
1. Lower her energy bill with a quick refrigerator-coils brush off.
Coils, located on the back or beneath the refrigerator (depending on the model), are what make the refrigerator cold by removing heat. They’re also dust, dirt and pet hair magnets. The coils have to work harder to release the heat if layers of dirt form. The result? Higher energy bills! Reduce your mom’s next bill by unplugging the refrigerator and using a long-handled, bristled, condenser brush to clean off the coils.
2. Keep her safe from a fire by removing dryer lint.
Dryers cause thousands of major house fires every year in the U.S. due to lint buildup. A dryers’ venting system should be cleaned out from inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap at least once a year. Also, if your mother’s venting is white and vinyl, replace it immediately with an aluminum equivalent. White vinyl no longer meets national fire code standards in the US.
3. Make her lawn greener with sharper mower blades.
Sharpen or replace her lawn mower’s blades. Dull mower blades tear, rather than cut the grass, and the result is a lawn with a common white/yellow hue at the surface. Sharp blades provide a proper cut for a more vibrant green appearance. While you’re at it, you could mow her lawn and show off your good work.
4. Keep her dishes clear and clean with a simple dishwasher check.
If your mom complains about a funny odor inside of her dishwasher, clean out the bottom inside under the door. There may be mold growth where the water cannot reach. Many dishwashers also have filters that require a thorough clean out or replacement from time to time, depending on the model.
5. Make her microwave oven sparkle with a simple wipe down.
If your mother is like ours, food particles on the inside of a microwave are a major annoyance. They can also cause burns on the microwave walls because the particles absorb energy. You can use warm water and a non-abrasive sponge to remove them. A microwave oven cleaner can also help loosen particles that are really stuck.
Non-electronic microwave parts like door latches, glass trays and their associated parts are inexpensive and easy to replace.
6. Give her lawn a manicure with new trimmer line.
If your mother has a string trimmer, replace the standard round line with string that has a three, four or six-sided profile. This provides a faster, cleaner and noticeably more professional cut than the standard round shape.
7. Inspect her washing machine to avoid a laundry-room flood.
Take a close look at the hose on your mom’s washer. If there are cracks or blisters, it could burst soon. If the fittings are corroded or rusty, it’s already leaking. Replace right away. Use stainless steel hoses for additional peace of mind.
8. Reduce her energy bill by cleaning out her range.
Check her range’s drip bowls or pans. If they’re dirty and can’t be cleaned, it’s best to replace them because the shiny surface helps to radiate heat back to the pot or pan which increases their efficiency.
If she has a self-cleaning oven, avoid using spray oven cleaners, as they can damage or destroy the special coatings on the walls and floor of the oven that make the self-cleaning function operate properly.
9. Freshen up her garbage disposal.
If your mother complains of an odor near her garbage disposer, pour a mixture consisting of one gallon of water and one half cup of liquid bleach down the disposer. Let sit for 10 minutes and then run the faucet for a minute.
10. Prevent a summer AC breakdown.
Central air conditioners should be cleaned annually to keep them operating properly. Borrow your mother’s garden hose and gently wash out leaves, grass, dirt and other debris from between the coils. Window air conditioner units require a bit more care. After removing the unit from the window, you’ll need to disassemble it in order to thoroughly clean out its coils and fan. You should also check and clean or replace the air filter.
RepairClinic.com® makes fixing things easy for millions of people. Since its founding in 1999, it’s been America’s most popular, trusted online store with replacement parts for major household appliances and outdoor power equipment. Free repair resources including guides and more than 500 how-to videos empower people to fix their appliances on their own. Its how-to repair videos have been viewed more 6,000,000 times. One million parts for 130 brands are stocked at its 86,000-square-foot facility in Canton, Michigan. Do-it-yourselfers also appreciate its generous, no-hassle 365 Days. Period. ™ return policy. In-stock parts are guaranteed to ship the same business day. Visit RepairClinic.com for more information.