For screen reader problems with this website, please call712-546-43127 1 2 5 4 6 4 3 1 2Standard carrier rates apply to texts.

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Saturday 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM, Sunday Closed.

No More Worries: How to Get Your Appliances Vacation-Ready

by Ann Ferguson

Whoop! You're packed and ready to take off on that well-deserved vacation. But hang on a second — is your house as ready for your departure as you are? More specifically, are your appliances prepped for "vacation mode" while you're off having fun?

While it's great to imagine them throwing a little 'Home Alone' party, it's important to maintain them before you leave. Not doing so might welcome you home to a smelly kitchen, a flooded laundry room, or an inflated energy bill — and nobody wants that post-vacation surprise!

So, let's dive into how you can get your appliances vacation-ready, saving you from potential headaches when you return. Shall we?

Refrigerator & Freezer: Your Cool Companions

Woman cautiously sniffing salad from the refrigerator

If you thought of unplugging your fridge and freezer before heading off, think again — you don't have to go that far. They just need a few adjustments!

  • Got a vacation mode? Switch it on. This feature helps conserve energy while maintaining essential functions.
  • Turn off the ice maker to prevent unwanted freezing incidents.
  • Make sure you switch off the water line. You don't want to come home to an impromptu indoor pool!
  • Say goodbye to food that might spoil. Nobody likes a science experiment gone wrong in their fridge.
  • Check the coils on the back or top. Are they clean? If not, a quick dust-off can prevent potential overheating.
  • Empty fridge? Fill it with a few gallon jugs of water. This helps it maintain its temperature more efficiently.

And voila! Your fridge and freezer are now vacation ready. Remember, a little preparation now can prevent a lot of cleanup later.

Dishwasher: Farewell to Fungi

When you're off enjoying your vacation, the last thing you want is for bacteria to brew in your dishwasher! Mold and mildew could turn your reliable appliance into a fungal nightmare. Thankfully, with these measures, you won't have to worry about that:

  • Run a cleaning cycle. A good wash with a quality cleaner will scrub away potential problems.
  • Make sure your dishwasher is completely drained. You don't want stagnant water inviting unwanted guests.
  • Empty it of any dishes. Your return shouldn't be greeted with a stinky surprise.
  • Keep the door slightly open. This allows any remaining moisture to evaporate, preventing mildew growth.

Voila! Now your dishwasher is as ready for your vacation as you are!

Washer & Dryer: Your Laundry Lifesavers

Closeup of the water valves connected to the washer

Heading out on vacation? Don't forget to see to your washer and dryer before you go! That way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises like accidental flooding, fires, or that cringe-worthy musty smell. So, get proactive with this checklist:

  • Unplug both appliances from their power sources.
  • Turn off the water supply to the washer. This prevents any surprise leaks.
  • Inspect the fill hoses for signs of wear like rust, corrosion, bulges, or blisters. Replace if necessary.
  • Give your dryer's lint trap a good clean; it can be a real fire hazard when you get back from your trip if you’ve forgotten to clean it out!
  • If you have a gas dryer, don't forget to turn off the valve to the gas line.
  • Leave the doors to both machines slightly open to let air circulate, stopping musty smells in their tracks.

With these steps, your washer and dryer can take a breather, just like you.

Cooking Appliances: Your Meal Makers

Your cooking appliances — whether gas or electric — are pretty low-maintenance when it comes to vacation prep. While you might be tempted to turn off the gas or unplug it, you don't have to go to any of these extremes; they'll be fine without it. But if you need to triple-check everything is okay before you leave, you can try these measures:

  • Ensure all burners are switched off. Double, even triple-check if needed. Better safe than sorry!
  • Make sure the oven is turned off too.
  • Do a quick clean of food residues to prevent attracting uninvited guests (yes, we're talking about pests).

Once you've ticked these off your list, your cooking appliances are ready for your vacation, and so are you!

Don't Forget Your Garbage Disposal

Closeup of water running down the garbage disposal

Now you might think that the garbage disposal doesn't need much thought, but you'd be wrong! Maintaining the disposal before you go on vacation can prevent unwanted odors and potential critters! So, to avoid that, give these measures a try:

  • Run the disposal for 1 to 2 minutes to remove any remaining food debris. If there's still food lurking, add a bit more time.
  • Flush it with cool water, then run the disposal again. After that, hit it with a second flush of tap water.
  • For an extra-deep clean, toss in half a cup of baking soda and a cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then run the disposal. Finish it off by rinsing with hot water.

With these steps, your garbage disposal is vacation-ready, and your kitchen will be fresh and odor-free when you return!

Other Appliance Care

A covered grill on the deck

Your holiday preparation list may already be lengthy, but these extra steps can prevent potential appliance mishaps. While you might be keen to hit the road, sparing a few more minutes for these appliances can save you from future headaches:

  • Trash Compactor: To avoid unwanted pests, clear out the trash and give the compactor a good clean.
  • Water Heater: You won't use hot water while you're away, so why not turn the heater down or switch it off? It's an easy way to save on energy costs.
  • Appliances Unplugged: Even when they're off, some appliances are still drawing power. So, before you leave, unplug things like your microwave, toaster, coffee maker, and any clocks you won't need.
  • Grills: If you have a grill, make sure it's clean and covered before you head out. And if it runs on gas, disconnect the hose and check that the tanks are tightly sealed to prevent any surprises.

Home Sweet (and Neat) Home

Returning from vacation should be about sifting through photos, not appliance issues. And if you've followed our guide, you're on the right track! But sometimes appliances can be as unpredictable as the weather!

So, if you notice any odd appliance behavior after your trip, don't hesitate to take it to our expert service team at Culligan of Le Mars! We'll have your home humming smoothly in no time, so drop in or give us a call!

We hope you have safe travels!