3 Important 15-Minute Fixes Around the Home


When you think of home improvement you may envision additions or renovations that can take weeks. However, there are plenty of small jobs around the house that take just a few minutes, and they can really make a difference in the enjoyment of your home.

In your day to day, there are features of your home that see heavy use. You rely on the appliances and systems in your home to make life easier. With just a few minutes of time, you can ensure that they keep performing well, and doing the jobs you need them to do.

#1. Ice Maker Maintenance

Particularly in the summer months, the ice maker is a great convenience. To keep this feature running as it should, take a little time and give it some TLC. These steps can prevent clumping, dirty ice, and breakdowns. The only tools you need are a sponge, cloth and some white vinegar.

Clumping usually has one of two causes: either there is not enough food in the freezer or you’re not using much ice. In either case, the fix is simple. Keep your freezer about ¾ full for optimal airflow, and try turning the ice maker on and off as needed.

A dingy tint to your ice cubes is not only ugly, it’s unhealthy. Dirty ice comes from dirty water. Even in freezing conditions, mold and bacteria can grow from the food kept in your freezer. Wipe down your ice maker with vinegar to remove impurities and keep it running clean. Here are the steps for giving that ice maker the cleaning of its life.

  • Turn off the ice maker. Most ice machines have an arm that moves up and down to turn the ice maker off. If you’re having trouble locating the switch or arm, refer to the unit’s manual.
  • Remove the bin from the freezer. Slide out the bin, remove the ice from the bin and let it melt in the sink.
  • Soak your sponge in a mixture of ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup warm water, and scrub the entire bin. Run warm water over it until the vinegar smell has gone away.
  • Dry the bin with a cloth before returning it to the freezer so it won’t freeze in place, then turn the ice maker back on.

The job takes less than 30 minutes, and helps your sparkling ice maker to work like a champ. While you’re at it, take a close look at the unit to avoid breakdowns.

Remove any open containers or spoiled food. Check that small objects do not block the vents. It’s also a great idea to inspect the water line for blockages. Minerals can build up over time, and cause your unit to work much harder than it needs to. Just visually inspect the line, and if you find evidence of blockage, check the manual to find out about clearing it. Change the water dispenser and ice maker filter about once every 6 months.

#2. Clean Your Front-Loading Washer

Front-load washers are a wonderful appliance that’s kind to your most delicate clothes, but can also handle your toughest laundry jobs.

Spending a just a few minutes each month with your washer can keep it sparkling clean and running at top performance.

  • Clean the drain pump filter and clean any rubber gaskets or door seals.
  • Wipe down the washer drum with a mix of warm water and vinegar.
  • Clean out the detergent dispenser by pouring in two cups of heated vinegar (warmed up in the microwave) and let it sit for ten minutes.
  • Residue from liquid fabric softener can build up too so use a damp rag and hot water to keep your fabric softener dispensers clean.
  • Run an empty load on the hottest setting to disinfect the drum and remove any traces of vinegar.

#3. Address Your Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is one of those kitchen tools that we rarely think about but use most every day. It can be truly inconvenient when the disposal jams or stops working for whatever reason. Fortunately, addressing these issues can be a very quick job. Here are the basic steps.

If the unit is jammed, try pressing the reset button on the bottom of the disposer, under your sink.  If resetting doesn’t work, you’ll need to look more closely.

Be sure to turn of the unit before you proceed. You can unplug the unit, or turn off the circuit breaker that powers it.

Using tongs or pliers, see if you can turn the blades. If they move, plug the disposer back in and try it. Still no action?  Unplug the unit again and proceed.

Use a flashlight to check for debris in the drain, and remove anything you find with your tongs. Run hot water down the drain for about 30 seconds to clear it, and test the unit again.

If you’re still not getting anywhere, you will need an Allen wrench for the next step. Use this to unjam the blades. Fit the wrench into the hex hole on the bottom of the unit and twist it back and forth. In most cases, that will do the trick.

Little Issues Turned Big Disasters

Taking the time to maintain your home can prevent the costly nightmares that come from failing systems and appliances. But, even the best maintenance intentions can go ary without the right help. That’s where Glasshouse comes in! Let our team of home maintenance professionals take care of all your home maintenance so you don’t have to. Learn more by connecting today!