If the Appliance Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It. Here’s How
We know that maintaining your rental units can be a costly and time-consuming process. Yet, you don’t want to compromise on maintenance, because that can lead to bigger expenses down the road.
But one area where you can make significant savings is in the upkeep of your appliances.
So, instead of swapping out that old, tired-looking piece of equipment, bring them back to life with a bit of TLC.
This guide will show you how to save on turnover and maintenance costs by simply cleaning instead of replacing appliances.
Make an Appliance Inventory List
Before anything else, you have to keep track of the appliances in your rental property.
You should track the appliances and keep a schedule for maintenance, purchase, inspection, and warranty dates for each appliance.
Before a tenant moves in or out, conduct a thorough inspection of the appliances in the rental unit. Document their condition by taking photographs and noting any wear and tear. This way, you can gauge whether they need to be replaced, or if a little elbow grease will suffice.
While there’s a tenant in your rental unit, you can assist your tenant in maintaining your appliances (this will also lessen your problems to begin with). So, providing a simple step-by-step guide on cleaning procedures is a good idea. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Empty the contents and remove any removable parts, such as shelves, bins, and drawers for easier access and cleaning.
- Use the solution of baking soda and water to clean the interior surfaces, then rinse with a damp cloth.
- Do the same for the removable parts, allowing them to air dry before reassembling.
- Wipe down the exterior with mild detergent and a damp cloth, ensuring a streak-free finish by drying off with a clean, dry cloth.
When you need to take things into your own hands, here are more detailed ways you can clean common appliances to maintain them and extend their lifetime:
Ovens and Stove Tops
A clean oven and stove top will improve your rental unit’s appeal and help potential tenants envision themselves cooking up a storm. Here’s how to achieve that:
- If your oven has a self-cleaning feature, allow it to run its cycle before manually cleaning any leftover debris.
- Remove any grime and burned-on food using baking soda and water paste. Use a soft-bristled brush to dislodge buildup gently.
- Clean stovetop grates and burner caps with a similar solution if they’re removable, and use a cloth and mild detergent for non-removable parts.
- Use mild detergent or glass cleaner on glass-top ovens and metal surfaces for the exterior.
This is just scratching the surface but you can also deep clean your stove tops to bring it back to its tip-top shape.
Maintain the Refrigerator
Besides keeping the exterior clean, maintaining the inside can greatly help with the performance. Here’s how you can clean the refrigerator and how often you should do it.
- Defrost your freezer at least once a year. A buildup of ice can lead to decreased efficiency and higher electricity bills.
- Clean the refrigerator coils by unplugging the unit, using a coil brush or vacuum to remove dirt and dust, and wiping the coils gently with a damp cloth. This should be done every six months or so.
If you can bring back the performance of a refrigerator, then there’s definitely no reason to spend a couple hundred bucks to replace it—new isn’t always better.
Keep the Dishwasher Sparkling
Besides keeping the efficiency of your dishwasher, cleaning it will prevent the buildup of germs and ensure the sanitation of the tenants.
- Clean the dishwasher filter monthly. Remove the filter, rinse with warm water, and use a soft brush to scrub off any debris.
- Run an empty dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar on the top rack. This will help remove any lingering odors and residues.
The interior of a dishwasher is crucial, but it wouldn’t hurt to buff up the exterior, too. This will help make your rental unit appealing to potential tenants.
Take Care of the Washing Machine
Yes, washing machines are meant to clean your clothes, but the machines need some cleaning, too.
- Run an empty cycle with hot water and add a cup of white vinegar or washing machine cleaner. This will help remove detergent buildup, and any lingering odors, and prevent bacteria growth.
- Clean the lint filter after each use. This allows the dryer to work more efficiently and reduces the risk of fire.
Repeat this every time you have a turnover, and ask your tenants to do it quarterly.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Taking the time and effort to care for your appliances can genuinely pay off.
By cleaning and maintaining them, you’ll not only be able to extend their lifespans but may even prevent repair costs later on down the road. Sure, devoting some energy toward looking after your gadgets can take more work in the present, but the long-term benefits of doing so are definitely worth it.
The best part of cleaning your appliances? It saves you a lot of money in the long run.
Do you need help managing your investment properties? Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your properties better.