The Best Way to Clean Common Kitchen Appliances
Despite the fact that kitchen appliances are used for the preparation of food and/or beverages, they’re often kept in a rather dirty and neglected state. This is surprising considering the fact that these household appliances demand a high standard of cleanliness for hygienic reasons. On the other hand, many homeowners who attempt to clean kitchen appliances end up with shiny surfaces but pockets of bacteria lurking in hidden spaces.
The best way to avoid this and to save time when cleaning these important pieces of machinery is to know which cleaning methods will achieve 100% thorough and satisfactory results. To that end, here are some common kitchen appliances along with guides on how to clean and disinfect them.
Many people stick with periodically cleaning out their coffee pots (a straightforward enough process), but it is important for the entire machine to be cleaned out at least once a month. This is because scale from hard water and rancid coffee oils tend to build up over time, affecting both the taste of the coffee and the longevity of the machine.
Fortunately, cleaning a coffee maker’s internal components is much less complicated than many assume; here’s what you need to do:
- Make a solution of 3 cups white vinegar to 6 cups water (make the solution stronger if the machine has gone a long time without being cleaned).
- Place a filter into the machine as you would when making a new pot of coffee.
- Add the vinegar mix to the water area, and turn the coffee maker on.
- Once the vinegar has run through, let the coffee maker sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Finish off by running plain water through it to remove any remnants of the vinegar.
That’s all there is to it—generally, there’s no need to get in there and scrub as long as you do this regularly. Check out our step by step coffee maker cleaning guide for more information.
One of the reasons why microwaves aren’t cleaned as often as they should be is because the interior is too hot to touch when spills just occur; secondly, we tend to forget or not prioritise microwave cleaning even after the appliance has cooled down. The good news, however, is that cleaning inside a greasy, grimey microwave is as simple as can be!
Check out this effortless microwave cleaning guide below:
- In a microwave-safe bowl, pour equal parts water and white vinegar (1 cup each).
- Place it in the microwave and heat for 5 minutes or until the interior starts to sweat/steam up.
- Take out the bowl and wait until the interior is just about cool enough to touch.
- Use a clean microfibre cloth to wipe down the insides – back, ceiling, sides, and bottom. The grime and grease will have loosened with the steam and hence, may be a bit icky to touch so you might want to use a pair of rubber gloves for this!
- Rinse off the cloth and continue wiping until all interior surfaces are clean. For stubborn grease, simply dip the cloth (after rinsing it) into the bowl and gently scrub away any hard bit or stains.
- Finish off by pouring some rubbing alcohol onto a clean microfibre cloth and wiping the exterior of your microwave. This is a great way to disinfect the door handle/pull of the appliance which typically harbours germs.
Leave the microwave door open for a while and allow the interior to air out. If the smell of vinegar persists, fold up a paper towel, add a few drops of essential oil to it, and wipe down the inside of your microwave.
While some types of bacteria cannot survive in a refrigerator, others thrive in cold temperatures. In fact, some bacteria that grow and live in cold temperatures can cause foodborne illnesses, thus, making refrigerator cleaning that much more necessary. Although it requires some time and effort, it is essential to clean your fridge every 2-3 months.
Here’s a simple step-by-step fridge cleaning guide to follow:
- Turn off the main power supply to your refrigerator and allow it to come down to room temperature. It’s best not to attempt cleaning the fridge while it is running for safety reasons, and well as to conserve energy.
- Take all the items out of the fridge; sort through the contents and dispose of spoilt and/or expired foods.
- Remove the shelves, racks, and drawers. If you have a large enough space to soak and scrub these removable pieces, it is advised to do so in warm, soapy water, otherwise, they can be cleaned under running water with dish soap and a scrubber.
- Spray the interior of your fridge with all-purpose cleaner or make a DIY fridge cleaning solution with equal parts warm water and vinegar. You can add a few drops of lemon extract for a fresh fragrance. Douse the interior (pay extra attention to sticky stains) and leave it to sit for about a minute.
- Use a scrubber to clean interior surfaces from top to bottom. For narrow spaces and stubborn stains, an old toothbrush is very handy.
- After the inside has been scrubbed properly, remove any leftover debris and cleaning solution by wiping it down with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Follow this up by drying the surface with a clean towel for a polished look.
- The fridge exterior can be cleaned in the same manner using the homemade solution or multi-purpose cleaner.
- When the removable components are dry, replace them, turn the appliance on, and restock the fridge.
A stove is easily one of the most frequently greased-up kitchen appliances. Prone to oil splatters, food spills, and burnt-on grease, your stove requires a daily wipe down and weekly cleaning to keep it free of bacteria and looking as good as new! Fortunately, a gas stove top is relatively easy to clean and will take you about 20 minutes to do a thorough job.
- When cool, remove the grates and burners; soak them in a hot mixture of water and vinegar (equal parts).
- Use a handheld cleaning brush and dustpan (or cardboard) to sweep up loose debris from your stove top.
- Make a warm or hot cleaning solution of water and dish soap; pour it into a spray bottle and shake well. Use this to spray the stove top and leave it to sit for 5 minutes.
- Take a non-abrasive scrubber and start cleaning the surface. You can also use a microfibre cloth for this.
- Use paper towels to clean up the stove top after it has been scrubbed, followed by a wipe down with a damp kitchen cloth.
- For the grates and burners, take them out of the cleaning solution and scrub with a wire brush or metal scrubber. Use dish soap if required.
- Rinse off the grates and burners, allow them to dry completely, and then replace them.
Toasters that aren’t cleaned regularly start to smoke ominously, and may even catch on fire; therefore, it’s important to keep them free of debris. Apart from this, stale crumbs left inside the appliance is not a healthy way to make your morning toast for breakfast!
So, let’s get to our simple DIY toaster cleaning guide:
- Unplug the toaster before you begin. Start by removing and emptying the crumb tray.
- Wash the tray with dish soap and water; wipe dry or allow it to air dry on a rack.
- Turn the toaster upside down over a newspaper and shake it from side to side to release crumbs stuck behind the coils (tap on either side to dislodge crumbs).
- Use a clean, dry toothbrush and gently scrub the coil to remove any build-up; turn it over and shake again one final time.
- Dampen a microfibre cloth with vinegar and water to wipe down the exterior of the toaster.
- When dry, replace the crumb tray.
The overall appearance and performance of kitchen appliances are reliant on timely servicing and, of course, regular cleaning! So, to get the most out of your machines, use the simple guides above to clean these common kitchen appliances.
Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.