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5 Best Tips To Keep Your Appliances Working Their Best From Tiktok’s Most Popular Appliance Repair Tech

by Holyn Thigpen

IF YOU’VE GOT appliance questions, Renae DuHaime’s got answers. And the appliance repair tech–turned–social-media superstar will be your new best friend/home guru. DuHaime has been fixing washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and other appliances in Southington, CT, where she lives, for the past six years. In 2020, she brought her wealth of wisdom—and hilarious delivery—to Tiktok (@renduh) where her response video explaining why another TikTok user’s freshly washed towels were still smelly (see “Use Less ‘Laundry Sauce,’” below) went viral. Since then, DuHaime has used her platform to dispel viral disinformation (do not wash potatoes in your dishwasher!), drop obscure appliance knowledge (did you know the Samsung washing machine song is actually a Franz Schubert composition?), and inspire women to pursue careers in repair (right now, they make up just 4.8 percent of the workforce).

Here are some of this sage’s top tips and tricks.

1. RTFM, or Read the Frickin’ Manual: When it comes to appliance repairs, the magic really is in the fine print. “Literally every single day, I have at least one person who
waited around for me to come out to their appointment, only for me to say, ‘Hey, you could’ve learned this from the manual,’’’ DuHaime says. If you don’t have a physical
manual handy, they’re almost always available online. Just make sure to specify the correct year and model in your search, as these factors can make a big difference.

2. Clean Your Dang Microwave: The plastic in microwaves is fire-resistant (thank goodness), but this also means it’s especially susceptible to wear and tear from oils and greasy foods. If you’re not treating your microwave to some regular TLC, you may have an imminent breakdown on your hands.

3. Use Less “Laundry Sauce”: Two tablespoons is DuHaime’s magic rule for detergent. “People are very, very used to how their parents taught them to do laundry grow-
ing up, and those were completely different machines,” DuHaime explains. Almost all washing machines made in the last 15 years are HE (high efficiency), and most detergents are now more concentrated to match. Using too much can
create problem-causing buildup.

@renduh #stitch with @kraftykayjaye I might be able to help with your towels! #Laundry #LaundryTok #clean #CleanTok #detergent #2tablespoons #2TbspDetergent ♬ original sound – Renae

4. Fabric Softener Is Not Your Friend: In fact, DuHaime says, fabric softener makes clothes a legit fire hazard. “It doesn’t actually make your clothes softer, it just coats
them,” DuHaime says. “It can also reduce the absorbency of a lot of different fabrics, and that buildup in your clothing can also irritate—or create—skin conditions.”

5. There Is, in Fact, a “Right” Way to Load Your Dish-washer: As DuHaime explains, almost every dishwasher has a motor at the bottom that pumps water up through spinning spray arms. For shiny, clean dishes, face your plates toward the center of the washer, make sure cups are face-down, and always remember to scrape large food pieces off your dishes before loading. – Holyn Thigpen

@renduh How to Load a Dishwasher 101, featuring my clear dishwasher service door! ? #LearnOnTikTok #dishwasher #HowStuffWorks #ApplianceRepair #WomenInTrades #Tradeswoman #CleanTok #cleaning #CleaningHack #CleaningHacks #machine #DishwasherHack #DishwasherPods #cleaning101 ♬ Vulf’s Back Pocket Regroove – Moods

Top photo by Renae DuHaime

This article originally appeared in BUST’s Winter 2023 Print Edition. Subscribe today!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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