Common household items can suffer from the wear and tear of everyday use, but a few simple cleaning tricks will help keep them in good condition and extend their lifespan, saving you money and angst in the long run.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Dryer: Make sure to empty the dryer’s lint trap on a regular basis. Keeping this often forgotten area lint-free will increase the efficiency of a standard tumble dryer by allowing warm, moist air to flow freely out of the appliance as clothing dries.

Additionally, keep in mind that some brands of dryer sheets can leave an invisible film on the lint trap. To test yours, run water through it – if it holds water, it’s suffering from build-up. If this is the case, scrub it with a stiff brush and soapy water every six months.

Carpet: Vacuum at least once a week to remove the dust and debris that settles in carpet fibers on a regular basis. If you have shedding pets, or family members who suffer from allergies, you may need to vacuum more frequently.

BISSELL, the floor care experts, recommends you deep clean your carpet at least twice per year to remove the dirt, stains and allergens vacuums can leave behind. To learn more about DIY deep cleaning, including both portable and upright deep cleaners, and professional deep cleaning formulas containing Scotchgard(tm) Protection* to prevent future stains, visit www.bissell.com.

Shower Head: If the water pressure in your shower is less than ideal, chances are your shower head is suffering from mineral deposits that inevitably accumulate over time. To promote better water flow, remove the shower head from the wall, if possible, and soak in white vinegar for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly in the sink, reattach to wall and turn on the water to observe your shower head working at its best again.

If you can’t remove the shower head from the wall, bring the solution directly to the problem: slip a rubber band tightly over the shower head, fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and submerge the shower head until all holes are covered. Secure in place with the rubber band and soak 15 to 20 minutes before removing.

Refrigerator: Commonly overlooked, the refrigerator’s condenser coils – often located in the back on older units and beneath the doors on newer models – are instrumental in allowing the appliance to cool properly. Since dust, grime and pet hair can build up on the coils, it’s important to clean them twice a year to ensure your refrigerator is running as efficiently as possible. To do this, unplug the unit for safety, then locate the condenser coils. Vacuum them with the wand attachment of your vacuum, going back over any stubborn areas with a stiff brush if needed. If there’s still grime left, you can use a rag and warm, soapy water, but make sure to let the coils dry completely before plugging the unit in again.

Once they’re on your radar, these simple cleaning tips are easy to incorporate into your routine. With a little time and upkeep, you’ll find the items you use on a daily basis are in better shape than ever before.

*Scotchgard is a trademark of 3M.

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Military Press

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