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T'is that festive time of year to be merry but if the freezer won't shut, cooker refuses to ignite and the dishwasher is staining your best silverware, Comet's Mr Fix-it can help you avoid a Christmas curse on your kitchen!

Here, Comet, the electrical retailer, brings you its very own Mr Fix-It to pass on his simple solutions to the most common problems experienced with kitchen appliances. Avoid expensive call out charges with his free solutions - leaving you angst free to enjoy Christmas to the max!

Q: Why does my freezer keep on developing an excessive build-up of ice on the door, preventing it from shutting properly?

Step 1: Check that the seal on your freezer door is connecting with the freezer properly by taking a piece of paper and putting it between the freezer cabinet and the door seal. Now shut the door. If the paper is not gripped in place, your door is not sealing properly and will be letting warm air and moisture into the freezer. If this is the case, an engineers should be called.

Step 2: Clean the door seal and make sure there is no ice or other obstruction stopping the door from shutting.

Step 3: Before you defrost your freezer, always follow the instructions found in your freezer instruction manual. There are many different ways of defrosting a freezer depending on the design. Some are auto defrost, semi- defrost or manual defrost.

Others have defrost pipes to drain the defrost water and some have pull out trays or you use the divider to catch the water.

However, many traditional ways of defrosting freezers may cause damage to either yourself, or your freezer, therefore:

- Don't use a sharp, metal object to chip away at frost, as this can be dangerous to you and damage your freezer and will actually take far longer.

- Never use a hairdryer to defrost your freezer. There is risk of electrocution, and directing heat straight into your freezer can cause damage to the cooling system causing the cooling system to expand.

Q: My dishwasher is leaving stains on my silverware, how can I stop it?

Step 1: Don't mix silver plated with stainless steel items in your load as this can cause a reaction leading to staining. If your silver plate items are worn then it is best to hand wash your silver.

Step 2: Always use the pre-rinse facility on your dishwasher, this helps to keep your silverware clean and stops the dry detergent from getting into contact with the silver.

Step 3: Clean large food soils from items before loading them into the dishwasher. Seafood, mayonnaise and fruit are amongst the worst offenders for staining silver. (nb. Some food colourings can permanently stain the internal parts of the machine eg. baskets and door seal).

Step 4: Remove your silver from the dishwasher as soon as you can after the wash has completed.

Q: Why doesn't the ignition on my Gas Cooker work?

Firstly and most importantly, always be very cautious when dealing with a faulty gas cooker and stick to the tips below as touching anything else could be hazardous. It is vital that servicing or repair work on a gas system must be carried out by a CORGI qualified engineer

Step 1: If you have recently cleaned your gas hob the dampness may be preventing the ignition from sparking, leave to dry and if it still doesn't work, try the following.

Step 2: If your ignition is battery operated, replace the battery and that should solve the problem. If it still doesn't work call out an engineer.

Step 3: If your ignition is connected to the mains, plug another appliance in to check if the plug socket is working. If the second appliance works, check the wiring and fuse of the plug attached to the cooker.

Q: What do I do if I smell gas from my cooker?

Step 1: If your gas cooker is off and you smell gas, turn the gas off at the meter and open all the doors and windows.

Step 2: Go outside to call Transco - 0800 111 999 and do not turn on any appliances or lights, put out any naked flames and do not smoke or strike matches. It's crucial that no calls are made inside the house if gas is smelt. If your gas appliance is supplied from LPG gas (bottled gas) turn off the gas supply and contact your LPG gas supplier.

Q: Neither my electric oven, hob or grill are working, what can I do?

Step 1: Check that the electricity is still being supplied to the cooker by looking at the wall switch for your cooker to see if the red light is on.

Step 2: If the light is not on, go to your fuse box and check that the circuit hasn't tripped - if it has try resetting it.

Step 3: If none of the above rectifies the problem call out a qualified engineer who will be able to advise you on the problem and give you a solution.

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