Oftentimes, we don’t see how important the kitchen is until it stops functioning properly. A clogged sink can lead to a massive pileup of dirty dishes. A malfunctioning garbage disposal can force you to throw away organic waste elsewhere. Even something as minor as a broken pantry door can lead to pest infestations. Minor problems in such a vital room as the kitchen can lead to major inconveniences.
That said, it is all the more important to keep your kitchen in the best shape possible—and the best way to do that is by avoiding the habits that cause damage to it in the first place, such as:
- Treating your sink like a garbage can
No matter how “un-cloggable” your sink may seem, there is no excuse to treat it like a garbage can. Sooner or later, your sink will clog and require drain cleaning services to make it functional again. Even if you have a dishwasher, you still need a sink to wash your produce and meat. And until you get rid of the blockage in the kitchen sink, you will be forced to wash your food items elsewhere.
Luckily, this problem is easily preventable if you don’t have a garbage disposal. Simply avoid letting solids go down your kitchen sink by installing a drain strainer or removing food residue from plates before putting them in the sink. And even if you have a garbage disposal, you shouldn’t be throwing any and all food down the drain to keep in good shape.
- Overloading your dishwasher
Putting as many dishes as possible into the dishwasher may seem like a great idea to save time, water, and energy—but in doing so, you may be shortening your appliance’s lifespan. That said, avoid overloading your dishwasher to keep it in its best shape for as long as possible. And if you need extra motivation to kick your overloading habit, know that the average cost of a built-in dishwasher is around $300 to $1,000.
Furthermore, putting too many things into the dishwasher at once can make it less efficient in cleaning all the food residue off your dishes, which means that you may still end up with dirty plates after the cycle, defeating the purpose of saving money altogether.
- Countertop-damaging habits
Countertops are some of the most expensive components of a kitchen, especially if they are made out of top-notch materials like marble or quartz. Although any type of countertops will deteriorate over time, you don’t need to speed up the process with bad kitchen habits.
There are too many ways that you can damage your kitchen countertops, so let’s lump them together into one category. Here are the bad habits that are likely ruining your counters:
- Using your countertops as a cutting surface
- Cleaning your countertops with chemical-based cleaners
- Putting hot pots or pans directly onto the countertop surface
- Allowing spills and stains to sit for too long
- Placing excessive weight on top
- Not cleaning up acidic foods as soon as possible
- Letting water (especially hard water) accumulate
- Using the same spot over and over again
- Using hot water in your garbage disposal
Stay away from “garbage disposal tips” that tell you to pour hot water down your garbage disposal. Hot water melts grease and fat, which results in clogged drains as well as mechanical damage. Use cold water instead, and if there is an accumulation of grease, it’s easier to remove since the cold water will have solidified it.
- Overfilling the refrigerator and freezer
Placing too much food in your refrigerator and freezer can reduce its efficiency over time. Moreover, if there is not enough space for cold air to travel, your food items may not receive proper cooling, which can lead to early spoilage and cross-contamination.
To avoid this habit, always consider the space you have left in your refrigerator and freezer when shopping for food. This way, all of your food items can be properly cooled or frozen while in storage. If you have a big family and need space for large amounts of food, consider buying another refrigerator or a chest freezer (which you can keep in your garage or basement).
When something breaks or wears away too quickly in the kitchen, it’s usually a result of our habits. Unfortunately, you may not notice that you’re doing something wrong until it’s too late. With that in mind, be proactive in avoiding these bad kitchen habits to keep all of its components in the best shape possible—which, in turn, can help you avoid paying for expensive repairs and replacements.