We all know that our kitchens get a workout during the holidays! Lots of company. Lots of cooking. Lots of cleaning up. And lots and lots of laundry! Thinking about our appliances is about the last thing we do during this busy season… but it IS important! Today’s  PRACTICALLY SPEAKING is all about keeping our appliances clean and in tip top working order over the holidays!

This post is sponsored by Sears.

One of my secret fears is that my oven breaks down on Thanksgiving morning! With a house full of family no wonder I have nightmares about this! But I’ll have peace of mind this year… here’s what I’m doing to make sure my appliances are all working perfectly!




My dishwasher is to the right of the sink.

Keep dishwashers clean by putting a cup of vinegar in the top rack of the dishwasher and run it through a cycle. It will help it from getting clogged with calcium.

Also make sure you have a good quality dishwasher detergent and if your dishwasher has a place for a rinse agent make sure that it is filled.


If you are like me, your microwave gets lots of use heating things up. Keeping it clean is so important. Again, use a cup of vinegar mixed with water and heat it up till it boils. Let it sit in the microwave for 5 minutes so the steam can do it’s work. Then clean it out with a soft cloth from top to bottom!



Now, this is such a common sense tip… make sure your electric bill is paid and if your oven or stovetop uses gas, make sure your tank is full! Do it not and you will be good to go for the holidays!

Speaking of ovens… is your oven clean? Oh goodness, right now mine is a MESS! I’ll be cleaning it today. Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving or Christmas because it will just get worse and be that much harder to clean. Do it now and then spot clean it after the holidays! I’m cleaning my oven and promising myself to keep it that way!

If you have a smooth stove top keep is sparkling clean. Burnt on particles can really affect performance!

Another thing to do is to make sure your oven temperature is accurate. Oh, this can save you so many headaches! This is best done by a professional (see bottom tip).



Refrigerators should be cleaned so spoiled food and odors are not lurking in it! 

 When it comes to refrigerators, it’s all about the condenser coils! They should be cleaned yearly. YIKES! I don’t do that. But I will now! Again, I’ll be letting a professional do that! Just remember that your refrigerator/freezer runs 24/7 so it needs to be clean and efficient!

Also check the temperatures in your refrigerator. If you have a new refrigerator the temperature can vary in it. Best to consult the manual. Same goes for the freezer!


Cleaning it should be on the top of your to do list! Clean out the laundry, bleach and softener intakes. They often get “gunky”. Wipe down the inside and outside of the appliance!


Clean out that lint trap!!!!! I use a snake made for dryer vent cleaning. We don’t want any fires from dryers this holiday season!



Did you know that 80 % of homeowner’s fail to to maintain their appliances? These are big ticket items that are expensive and should be checked and maintained yearly to extend their lives! 

We should think of our appliances like we think of our cars. Cars need maintenance check ups and so do our appliances to keep them running at their optimal level!  

I’m having all of my appliances maintained this year so they will be in tip top shaped! And it’s very reasonable. Right now Sears has a Kitchen and Laundry Bundle, just in time for the holiday season. It’s only $199.00… that’s a $200.00 savings! 

Here’s a list of what they do….

Oven Maintenance Service

  • Inspect electrical system for proper ground and secure connections.
  • Visually check readily accessible wiring insulation for cracks or peeling.
  • Heat check oven controls for accurate temperatures.
  • Check oven door and door gasket for proper alignment. Make sure gasket is clean and soft.
  • Level range as needed and make sure the anti-tip device is installed.
  • Check and adjust clock/timer as needed.
  • Test self-cleaning lock mechanism.
  • Check electronic controls to ensure proper functions.
  • Check surface/oven burners/ elements.
  • Test gas line and connections for leaks.
  • Check warming drawer operation and alignment.

Refrigerator/Freezer Maintenance Service

  • Clean condenser.
  • Check and properly adjust thermostat, temperature controls, and air dampers.
  • Check the automatic defrost cycle.
  • Check door seals for air leaks.
  • Check defrost evaporation pan and clean if applicable.
  • Check the defrost drain for blockage and leaks.
  • Level cabinet.
  • Check for proper icemaker operation.
  • Check ice dispenser (if applicable) for proper operation.
  • Check water dispenser (if applicable) for proper water flow.
  • Inspect electrical system.

Dishwasher Maintenance Service

  • Check pump and motor shaft for leaks.
  • Clean pump and spray arms. Check water distribution.
  • Check and clean dispenser operation.
  • Check heating element.
  • Ensure correct amount of water enters the dishwasher.
  • Check door gasket to prevent leaks.
  • Level dishwasher as needed.
  • Inspect electrical system.
  • Verify proper water draining.
  • Inspect and clean removable filters.
  • Check electronics controls / buttons for proper function.

Washer Maintenance Service

  • Check the fill cycle and water temperature for wash settings.
  • Ensure correct pump out and spin cycles.
  • Check for excessive noise and vibration during spin cycle.
  • Check timer for correct operation.
  • Inspect belt for wear and adjust tension (belt drive washers).
  • Check motor coupling mechanism for wear (direct drive models).
  • Verify clutch/shifter mechanism is functioning properly.
  • Check for proper spin and agitate speeds.
  • Check door/lid lock for proper alignment and operation.
  • Inspect electrical system for proper ground and secure connections.
  • Check tub and hoses for leaks.
  • Check drain pipe or laundry tub.
  • Inspect motor coupling for wear.
  • Check door boot for leaks.
  • Check level of machine.
  • Verify pedestals and/or stacking kits are properly secured.
  • Check fill and drain hoses for proper connection.
  • Check air dome for debris and pressure hose for secure fit at pressure switch.
  • Inspect door bellow and dispenser areas for buildup; advise on cleaning/maintenance.

Dryer Maintenance Service

  • Check front and rear drum seals.
  • Check the drum belt, idler pulley and support rollers for wear.
  • Check the exhaust system for leaks, kinks, or obstructions.
  • Cycle check the burner for proper ground and secure connections.
  • Inspect electrical systems for proper ground and secure connections.
  • Check thermostat temperatures and verify high heat.
  • Check time for correct cycle operation.
  • Check moisture bar operation and clean the moisture bars.
  • Check gas line and connections for leaks.
  • Check machine component functions by operating dryer through short cycle.
  • Check level of machine.
  • Vacuum inside of dryer

WOW! What a great deal! These are things that you cannot do yourself and it will help your big ticket appliances last longer!

From now on I’m getting a maintenance yearly check up to extend the life of my appliances and keep them running optimally!

It’s good to know that our appliances are in great shape for another year… especially during the Holidays!

To get the same offer I’m getting click HERE, find your local Sears Store and ask them to set up your $199.00 Maintenance Kitchen and Laundry Bundle appointment!

This is the best gift you could give your home this season!

You can also see the great holiday sales going on HERE too!

You might like 10 TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE PERFECT APPLIANCE. I’m looking for a new refrigerator and I have put together lots of tips to help you too!

10-TIPS-FOR-CHOOSING-THE-PERFECT-APPLIANCE-a-helpful-guide-for-wading-through-all-those-appliances-stonegableblog.com_ (1)

Pin ItYou can follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m finding to pin daily HERE!


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  1. KittyLuvr says:

    What a great deal! I am definitely signing up. We think the oven calibration is off and the cost a repair visit would be almost as much so this great deal….Thanks for the info. I didn’t know such as service was even available!

  2. Down here in South Florida it is rarely cold on Christmas but about 20 years ago it was very cold and everyone put their Heaters on. It overloaded the electrical company and we lost power while the turkeys were in the oven! It was the talk of the town for months. ?
    Another dishwasher tip, a friend whose son is an engineer with high end appliance brands says most people use the same setting all the time for dishes so when they change it for, say, Crystal/China rinse or heavy duty pots and pans on the holiday the computer breaks. He suggests using different cycles often to keep the computer in working order.

  3. Hi Yvonne
    What great advice – Thank you for sharing this.
    I never knew you needed to have your appliances serviced once a year.
    The Sears package is so reasonable.

    Have a great Thanksgiving

  4. Love your kitchen….May I ask what material your counter top is made of…it almost looks like soapstone…or is it granite, and if so, what is it called? Very informative article.

  5. Great ideas…I did not know Sears had this program.
    For the outside, I love using Weiman Stainless Wipes. My appliances
    shine and they leave a light smudge resistant coating.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. What a great price for the Sears maintenance bundle – I know from experience that just one service call on one appliance is much more than that amazing bundle price for all appliances!! I am signing up!! Our oven is so hard to keep clean and I think the temperature is incorrect too!! Thanks for the tips Yvonne!!

  7. Nancy Livermon says:

    Your secret fear was my real nightmare several years ago! The day before Thanksgiving I gave my messy oven a good “self cleaning”. It wasn’t until Thanksgiving morning when I had the turkey ready to roast, that I realized my “pre-heated” oven was stone cold!! Yikes! My daughter’s oven saved the day. ***Lesson learned – the self clean operation puts a lot of stress on your oven heating coils. NEVER do it the day before Thanksgiving! ***

  8. Great tips for our appliances Yvonne. Although I can laugh now, a few years ago my dishwasher flooded the kitchen on Christmas Day, which created havoc.

    1. Great story years later, Kerryanne! I bet it was not so funny Christmas day!

  9. Neither of the links that you provided took me to the service bundle–I just got to the Sears site and no combination of words that I put into their search bar would bring it up. Any suggestions? It sounds like a great deal but not much use if I can’t find it. Thanks!

  10. Great tips Yvonne….I have had a Sears Washer and Dryer for 10 years…I keep the service agreement on it…they come out and do a maintenance service on it once a year, in a addition to any problems that occur…they have been great.

  11. Juneann Caughey says:

    What type of black countertop is that in your photo? It’s beautiful

    1. Hi Juneann, The counters are soapstone. We recently had a little fire on the counter from a candle and it did not damage the counter at all.