Guide to Fixing Kitchen Appliances

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Creating Homemade Pot Holders

Layer squares of fabric and old towels; sew them together to make the pot holder.

You can extend the life of your old towels and washcloths by transforming them into pot holders. Homemade pot holders are more durable than store-bought ones.

Tools Needed:

  • Tape measure
  • Straightedge­
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • 8-inch plate
  • Straight pins

Materials Needed:

  • Worn towels or washcloths
  • Scraps of cotton fabric
  • Thread
  • Prefolded bias tape

Time Required: 1/2 to 1 hour per pot holder

Cut squares from the good parts of old towels; 8 inches is a good size, but you can make them larger if you prefer. Use at least two squares for each pot holder. For very thin towels, use three or more squares. Use worn washcloths as they are. For basic pot holders, leave the towel layers exposed. For fancier ones, cut cover squares from scraps or new pieces of cotton fabric in the same size as the towel squares.

For each pot holder, stack two or more towel squares together and place a square of cotton fabric on top and bottom, right sides out. Sew the stacked layers together on a sewing machine, making parallel rows of straight stitching about 1 inch apart, all across the square. Turn the stitched-together square 90 degrees and quilt again at right angles to the first lines of stitching, forming an all-over quilted square pattern. Or, if desired, stitch diagonally to make quilted diamond shapes or use any free-form pattern.

Once the square is fully quilted, trim the edges as needed. Use a straightedge and pencil to square off the edges. For a round pot holder, center an 8-inch plate on the quilted square and trace around it; then carefully cut off the marked corners.

Finish the edges of the pot holder with prefolded bias tape. Start at a corner and place the slightly wider side of the bias tape along the bottom edge of the pot holder, then bring the narrower side up over the raw edges of the fabric. Miter the tape at the corners of the pot holder or ease it around curves; make sure you don’t stretch the tape around corners or curves. Pin or baste the tape into place as you go. Leave 2.5 inches of extra tape at the end of the pot holder.

Starting at the starting corner of the bias tape, stitch carefully over the folded-down bias tape, as close to the inside edge as possible. If your sewing machine has a zigzag stitch, use it. At the end of the pot holder, use the extra 2.5 inches of bias tape to make a loop for hanging the holder. Continue your stitching with a straight stitch all along the extra tape. Then double the tape back and stitch its end to the edge of the pot holder with back-and-forth stitches. The loop should be at the corner of the pot holder.

If you want to know more about improving your kitchen by yourself, you can check out the following links:

  • If you want to create a brand new kitchen, read our article about Designing a Kitchen.
  • If you’re looking for inspiration, A Guide to Kitchen Remodeling Materials might be helpful.
  • If you want to upgrade your current kitchen, take a look at our article on Building Kitchen Improvements.


1. What are some common kitchen equipment problems?

Common kitchen equipment problems include malfunctioning electrical components, leaks, clogs, and broken parts. Many of these issues can be caused by wear and tear from regular use or improper maintenance.

2. Can I repair kitchen equipment myself?

It depends on the specific issue and your level of expertise. Some simpler problems, such as replacing a broken knob or tightening a loose screw, can be handled by a homeowner. However, more complex issues like electrical problems or motor issues should be left to a professional.

3. How do I know if I should repair or replace my kitchen equipment?

If the cost of repairing the equipment is close to or exceeds the cost of buying a new one, it may be more cost-effective to replace it. Additionally, if the equipment is outdated or has been repaired multiple times, it may be time for a replacement.

4. What tools do I need to repair kitchen equipment?

The tools you need will depend on the specific equipment being repaired. However, some common tools include screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, and multimeters.

5. How can I prevent kitchen equipment problems?

Regular maintenance and cleaning can help prevent many common kitchen equipment problems. Additionally, following the manufacturer’s instructions and avoiding misuse can also help prolong the life of your equipment.

6. How often should I have my kitchen equipment serviced?

The frequency of servicing will depend on the specific equipment and how often it is used. However, it is generally recommended to have kitchen equipment serviced at least once a year to ensure it is functioning properly and to catch any potential issues before they become major problems.

7. How can I find a reputable kitchen equipment repair service?

Researching online reviews and asking for recommendations from friends or family members can help you find a reputable repair service. Additionally, make sure the service is licensed and insured, and ask for a written estimate before agreeing to any repairs.

8. How long can I expect my kitchen equipment to last?

The lifespan of kitchen equipment will vary depending on the specific appliance and how often it is used. However, with proper maintenance and care, many kitchen appliances can last up to 10 years or more.

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