How to Clean the Appliances in Your Kitchen

Your kitchen appliances can be hundreds of dollars and you use them everyday. To keep them clean and in good working order, take a look at these tips.

Microwave

If you have food buildup or stains in your microwave try this tip. In a glass measuring cup put one cup water and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Place in the unit and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Wait 5 minutes before removing. Then use a dishtowel or sponge to wipe out the interior of the microwave. The steam from the water should soften any caked on food and the baking soda should remove any lingering smells within the microwave.

Coffee Maker

Residue oils from coffee stains on a coffee pot can cause coffee to have a slightly bitter taste. The best way to clean your coffee pot is after every use with warm water. Soap can leave a residue, but if you want to use something to lift stains use baking soda.

The actual coffee maker needs to be cleaned regularly too. In addition to coffee stains, hard water can leave mineral deposits in the water tanks. To clean the actual coffee maker, use white vinegar. Run a pot of white vinegar through your coffee pot without a filter or coffee. Then run several pots of clean water through the coffee pot. The acidity of the vinegar will dissolve any mineral deposits and stains on your coffee maker. The smell of the hot vinegar will be pungent, so plan on doing this on a warm day where you can open the windows. If you use your coffee maker everyday, plan on cleaning it once a month.

Stovetop

While some appliances can wait a week or more for cleaning, a stovetop should be cleaned after every use. Even the most minor spill can become permanent with added heat over time. Acidic foods such as tomatoes can stain your stovetop permanently.

To clean your stovetop first remove the drip pans. This will allow you to clean anything that has traveled under the drip pans. Use warm soapy water to wipe any exposed surfaces. This should include not only the actual stovetop but the knobs and the hood, where grease often collects. If there are any spots that cannot be removed by soap and water, make a paste of baking soda and water. The baking soda should cut any grease and act as a mild abrasive. Do not use anything truly abrasive on your stovetop, it can cause scratches that over time can make your appliance more difficult to clean.

Refrigerator

A proactive approach is best to keep your refrigerator clean. Wipe up any spills immediately after they happen, and do not forget to wipe underneath anything near the spill. This is important because the recommended temperature for a refrigerator, 40 degrees Fahrenheit, is not cold enough to prevent the growth of all bacteria.

Plan on doing a quick clean of your refrigerator each time you go shopping. Remove the items off of every shelf and wipe it down with soapy water. Be sure to clean out any bins as well. Take this opportunity to remove any out of date food. After you have replaced all of your food, wipe the outside of the refrigerator. Pay particular attention to the handles and the door seal.

Your refrigerator will also require a deep clean every two to three months. Pull out all of the food in your refrigerator and place it in a cooler. Then turn off your refrigerator. You might also want to remove the bulb that lights the interior, because they have a tendency to burn out. Remove all of the shelves and bins in the refrigerator and clean with hot soapy water. Next, clean the interior of the refrigerator with a solution of �¼ cup baking soda and one quart warm water. It will help deodorize and brighten the interior.

Freezer

Cleaning a freezer annually will keep the interior clean and reduce food smells. To clean your freezer properly, remove the food and place it in coolers or in your refrigerator. Also remove the shelves in the freezer so you can easily clean the interior. Turn off your freezer before beginning to clean it.

Once you remove all of the moisture from the interior of the freezer, wash out the interior with dishwashing soap and water. Use a paste of baking soda and water to remove any stubborn stains. Repeat the cleaning process on the freezer shelves you have removed. Vacuum any debris off the condenser coils before replacing shelves and food.

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