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Island elements can be hard on appliances. All the things we love about living in the Caribbean — salty air, consistently warm temperatures, humidity that keeps our skin soft, open air entertaining — can shorten the lives of anything with moving parts. And since appliances can be expensive to replace, it’s worth it to invest in basic maintenance and repairs to make them last as long as possible.

7 tips for maintaining your appliances on island

Chris recently saved two dishwashers at one of our under contract properties.

Chris Sublett of Sublett Appliance Service offers these tips for basic upkeep of your appliances.

  1. Refrigerator Gasket – A weak refrigerator gasket can mean that your refrigerator is actually pulling warm air in. Not cool! Prevent your refrigerator gaskets from getting brittle and cracked. Never use bleach to clean them, even if they appear to be moldy. Warm soapy water will do the trick. You may even condition them with a thin layer of Vaseline.
  2. Refrigerator Coils – Clean coils mean better airflow, which allows your fridge to operate more efficiently. Clean the outside coils every six months, especially if you have pets. Simply remove the grate below the door and use the hose attachment of your vacuum to clean out any hair and debris.
  3. Freezer Efficiency – As if keeping food frozen in 80+ degrees year-round isn’t job enough, if your freezer isn’t full, it’s working extra hard to keep the inside air cold. Fill the excess space to help keep the entire freezer cold. It can be as simple as keeping old juice or water bottles filled with water in the empty space. Once your freezer is filled, it won’t need to work as hard to keep cold. And you can use the frozen bottles in your cooler the next time you head to the beach!
  4. Outdoor Washer/Dryer – If your washer and dryer live outdoors, they’re definitely more exposed to the elements. Keep them covered to keep moisture out. Covering them can be as simple as a tarp with some magnets, bricks or bungee cords. Or you can buy a washer/dryer cover from Home Depot or Amazon.
  5. Stainless Steel – We’ve all seen what our salty air can do to metal surfaces – rust! Keep a light coating of WD-40 on stainless steel surfaces to prevent moisture from creating rust. Use a paper towel to apply the protective barrier once every six months.
  6. Snowbirds Unplug – Do you head off island for the summer? Every modern appliance has some type of computer inside, so unplug or turn off breakers when you leave for the summer to protect appliances from possible power surges. Unplugging will also extend the life of your refrigerator because it will not be trying to stay cold during the hottest months of the year.
  7. Natural Soaps – St. Croix’s pristine waters and natural beauty are our greatest assets. Choose biodegradable laundry and dish soap to help protect our oceans from chemicals that damage our coral reefs and sea life. Gallow’s Bay Hardware has biodegradable soap options in the cleaning aisle.

Our Coldwell Banker St. Croix Reality and St. Croix for Rent team works with Chris to help make sure our client punch lists are completed on time and on budget. Sublett Appliance Service works on all brands of all major household appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, stoves, ovens, range hoods, microwaves, garbage disposals, trash compactors, washers and dryers. Chris has 13 years of experience repairing appliances stateside and on St. Croix.

Call or text Chris at 340-227-9001. Follow him on Facebook: