Kitchen appliances should be thoroughly cleaned inside and out at least twice a year to keep dirt and bacteria under control. Below are some of my suggestions, but always consult your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended way to clean your appliances, inside and out.
Remove all of the food from the refrigerator and sort through it. Throw out any expired foods and almost empty food containers.
Now that the refrigerator is empty, remove the drawers and shelves. Be careful when handling glass shelves, especially with wet hands. Wash the shelves and drawers with a mixture of mild soap, lukewarm water and a small amount of baking soda. (The baking soda helps to dissolve grease and dirt and removes odors. )
Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator and freezer before you put the shelves, drawers and food back using the same solution you used to clean the shelves.
Place a coffee cup filled with vinegar in the dishwashing rack and run it through a complete cycle, using the hottest water setting available. If your dishwasher still doesn't smell right, try this: sprinkle a cup of baking soda around the bottom of the tub and again run it through a complete cycle using the hottest water. If your dishwasher has a filter in the bottom, pull it out, rinse it and clean it thoroughly.
Finally, wipe down the outside of the dishwasher using a mild detergent. And, don't forget to clean the top, bottom and side edges of the door.
Remove the glass tray from the microwave and wash it by hand or in the dishwasher. Wipe down the inside of the microwave using a mild dishwashing liquid, general all-purpose cleaner or a mild baking soda solution.
If there is built-up dirt and you're having a hard time removing, try placing a microwave safe bowl containing 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of vinegar in the microwave and boil it for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the microwave and leave the bowl there for 15 minutes with the door closed. Remove the bowl from the microwave and again wipe down the inside. The built-up dirt should be easy to remove now.
Cleaning the stovetop is probably the toughest job in the kitchen.
Start by removing the knobs, grates and burner covers and cleaning them. Wipe the stovetop down to remove any lose dirt. Then wash the whole surface with hot, soapy water using a good dish detergent. If things are really grimy, you might want to try a commercial degreasing product. Just make sure to follow the package directions.
Avoid using abrasives on your stovetop because they can scratch or damage the surface. And, if you have a gas stove, be careful around the gas ports because you can wipe dirt, grease and cleaning solution into the port and the port can get clogged. If this happens, use a toothpick to carefully clean the opening before using the burner.
Finally, wash the walls and the cabinets behind and to the sides of the stove.
Over time, mineral deposits can build up inside your coffeemaker and cause your coffee to taste bitter. This accumulation of mineral deposits may also increase the brewing time of your coffeemaker because the build-up can inhibit the flow of water through the unit.
How long it takes for this build-up to become a problem depends on the quality of the water you're running through the coffeemaker. If you're using tap water and the water in your area is hard, you'll probably want to clean your coffee maker monthly. If you're using bottled or filtered water, you can probably wait 2-3 months between cleanings.
Either way, if your coffee starts tasting bitter or you notice an increase in the time it takes to make a pot, it's time to clean your machine.
To clean your coffeemaker, add enough white vinegar to your coffee pot to come to the half-full mark and then add enough water to fill the pot to the top. Pour this mixture into the water reservoir and turn the coffeemaker on. Once the mixture has run completely through, turn the coffeemaker off and let it cool for about 10 minutes. After this, run the coffeemaker twice with fresh, clean water, making sure to let the machine cool for 10 minutes between brews.
Your coffeemaker should now be clean and deposit-free.
Mary Kenkel helps you find the best for your favorite room in the house! Visit Best in Kitchen today to sign up for our free newsletter. k