Using Common Household Appliances
I would like to suggest the following steps before you start:
- You should read each instruction manual first to make sure that you understand how to operate the appliance. If you don’t understand how to use the appliance, it will be even more difficult explaining to your helper how to use it.
- Concentrate on how each appliance should be properly operated and the Do’s and Don’ts that have been emphasized in the manuals
- Position both of you in front of the appliance that you are teaching. ALWAYS USE SIMPLE TERMS AND WORDS in your explanation. Don’t rush.
- Walk her through the details bit by bit and one appliance at a time. Be sure to point out all the important features and what the appliance can and cannot do.
- It is important to run through your instructions more than once. Don’t just ask her to repeat what you just said. Instead, ask her simple questions to ensure that she understands and remembers well.
- Watch her use of that appliance and correct errors, if any, or praise her for her understanding and careful use.
If this is your helper’s first domestic job and English is not her mother tongue, spread out this learning process over a longer period of time (one appliance at a time), concentrating on those appliances which she needs to operate right away. Always re-visit your instructions a few weeks later, checking on her progress. This will indicate to you how well you have communicated with her.
If your helper is experienced, it is still important to ask her to demonstrate her ability. Correct her as she demonstrates. Not all appliances are the same. This step also helps you to understand how she works and what she knows. It certainly shows your interest in your home, possessions and in her.
Listed below are some common household appliances. The list below is not exhaustive. Be sure to indicate which of your home appliances your helper is not allowed to use or touch till perhaps later on.
- Vacuum cleaner
- Washing machine
- Rice cooker
- Coffee Percolator
- Clothes Drier
- Microwave oven
- Convection Oven
- Chopper blender
- Cake mixer
- Food processor
- Electric steamer
Simple regular maintenance of some parts of electrical appliances. This can be done semi-annually. It was only recently that I realized that certain types of electrical appliances like the refrigerator, washing machines and driers require some regular maintenance. For instance, I had a LG twin door fridge that required regular vacuuming of the compressor at the back of the fridge so it has to be pulled out for this to be done otherwise the compressor will overheat and may even burn. When the soap and softener dispenser of your washing machine is caked up with undissolved soap or drier up softener, this has to be cleaned up. Check with your manufacturer.