Hey there, you kitchen aficionado. If you’re like most home cooks, your kitchen appliances are the heart of your home. And while you may scrub down your countertops and sweep the floors, it’s easy to forget about cleaning the workhorses – your refrigerator, oven, blender and more. But keeping your kitchen appliances in tip-top shape isn’t just about esthetics – it’s critical for efficiency, longevity, and safety. Neglecting appliance maintenance is one of the easiest ways to end up with costly repairs or replacements down the line.
The good news is, with just a few minutes of regular care and cleaning, you can keep your appliances humming for years to come. In this article, we’ll walk through the best ways to clean and care for your major kitchen appliances so you can get back to doing what you do best – cooking and baking for friends and family. Let’s dive in and get your kitchen appliances sparkling!
Deep Clean Your Refrigerator
Your fridge works hard to keep your food fresh, so show it some love with a deep clean.
Empty and wipe down shelves
Remove everything from the shelves and drawers and give them a good wipe down with an all-purpose cleaner or a mix of water and white vinegar. Pay extra attention to sticky spills and built-up grime in the corners. Rinse well and dry completely to prevent water spots before putting everything back.
Clean the gaskets
The seals and gaskets around the doors keep cool air in, but they also trap spills and messes. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any stuck-on bits. Once clean, apply a light coat of petroleum jelly or silicone lubricant to keep the gaskets sealing properly.
Scrub the doors and exterior
Spray down the doors inside and out, the handle, and the exterior of the fridge with your cleaning solution of choice. Scrub off fingerprints, splatters, and sticky spots. Rinse and buff dry with a microfiber cloth for a streak-free shine.
Pull out the crisper drawers
Remove the glass and plastic crisper drawers and shelves and wash them in warm, soapy water. Rinse and dry completely before sliding them back into place. This also allows you to clean under and behind them where spills often collect unseen.
Maintain with regular wipe-downs
Do a quick wipe-down of spills and splatters once a week or so to prevent built-up grime. And don’t forget, if your fridge isn’t maintaining temperature properly or making strange noises, it’s a good idea to have an appliance pro take a look. Keeping your refrigerator clean and in working order ensures your food stays fresh and your family stays healthy.
Wipe Down Your Stovetop and Oven
Your stovetop and oven get a serious workout, so it’s important to keep them clean. Burnt-on messes and grease splatters not only look gross but can be a fire hazard. Make wiping them down a weekly habit.
Start with the stovetop. For coil burners, lift up the coils and remove any debris underneath with a damp cloth or sponge. Carefully wipe down the surface of the burners. For a glass cooktop, use a specialized cooktop cleaner or a paste of baking soda and water. Scrub away any stuck-on bits with an abrasive sponge or scrubber. Rinse well with water and dry completely to prevent water spots.
For your oven, take out the racks and soak them in warm, soapy water. Meanwhile, wipe down the oven door and the area around the seal to remove built-up grease and grime. For stuck-on spills in the oven, make a paste from water and either baking soda, salt, or commercial oven cleaner. Apply and let sit before scrubbing off. Rinse and reassemble your oven.
Run the empty oven on high heat for 15-20 minutes to burn off any remaining residue. This is also a good time to check that your oven door seals properly and there are no other issues.
Keeping your stovetop and oven spotless takes a little elbow grease but will ensure safe, efficient cooking and a fresh-smelling kitchen. Staying on top of it means you’ll avoid any major messes or damage down the road. A clean stove and oven—what a treat for any home cook!
Unclog Your Dishwasher
Over time, dishwasher hoses, pumps and drains can get clogged with built-up soap scum, grease and grime. To keep your dishwasher running efficiently and prevent blockages, it’s a good idea to unclog and clean it regularly.
Run a vinegar rinse. Once a month or so, pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the bottom of your empty dishwasher and run it on a hot wash cycle. The vinegar will break up any grease and limescale buildup in the hoses and pump. After the cycle finishes, run another rinse with no vinegar to flush everything out. Your dishes will come out sparkling and your dishwasher will be freshened up.
Check the filters and drains. Pull out your dishwasher’s filter screen and drain catcher and rinse them under running water to remove any debris. Use a toothbrush or scrub brush to clean off any stuck-on particles. Clogged filters and drains prevent water from circulating properly, so cleaning them frequently is important.
Use a commercial dishwasher cleaner. For a deep clean once every 3-6 months, run a cycle with a dishwasher cleaner product, following the directions on the bottle. These products dissolve soap scum and hard water stains and deodorize your dishwasher, leaving it smelling fresh.
Unclog the spray arms. The spinning spray arms distribute water throughout your dishwasher. If the holes in the arms get blocked, your dishes won’t get fully clean. Most spray arms simply lift off, so you can rinse them under running water to clear out any debris. Use a toothpick or paper clip to unclog any stubborn holes. Put the spray arms back on and run an empty hot wash cycle to test that the water is flowing properly again.
By regularly unclogging and cleaning your dishwasher, you’ll prevent odors from building up, keep your dishes coming out sparkling clean, and ensure your dishwasher lasts longer. Simple maintenance and care can go a long way!
Scrub Your Sink and Faucets
Keeping your kitchen sink and faucets clean is an important part of maintaining your appliances and ensuring proper hygiene. Built-up grime and mineral deposits can lead to clogs, leaks and an unpleasant appearance.
Deep Clean Your Sink
For a deep clean of your sink, fill it with equal parts water and white vinegar or a commercial limescale remover. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes so it can break up any stuck-on messes. Use an abrasive sponge or scrubber to loosen caked on debris. For tough stains in corners and along edges, scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse well with water to remove any remaining residue.
Baking soda also works great for scrubbing and deodorizing sinks. Make a paste from baking soda and water and scrub with the paste using a sponge or scrubber. Rinse clean when done. For a natural disinfectant, scrub with lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide and then rinse with water.
Shine Your Faucets
Your faucets get a lot of use, so mineral buildup and water spots are common. Use a microfiber cloth to buff away light spots and fingerprints. For stuck-on messes, make a DIY faucet cleaner from equal parts water and white vinegar or lemon juice. Dip the cloth in the solution and scrub until the faucet is clean and shiny. Rinse well with water and dry with another soft cloth to prevent water spots.
For an easy scrub-free method, fill a sealable plastic bag with the cleaning solution and submerge the faucet end in the bag, securing tightly around the base with a rubber band. Let it soak for at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove and rinse clean with water. The built-up grime will wipe right off.
Keeping your sinks and faucets sparkling clean not only improves the appearance and function of these appliances but also removes bacteria that can build up over time. Developing a regular cleaning routine will help keep your kitchen hygienic and prevent costly repairs down the road. A little elbow grease now goes a long way!
So there you have it, the best ways to keep your kitchen appliances sparkling clean and running like new. By following these simple tips for your major appliances – refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher and small appliances – your kitchen will be fresh, your food will taste better and your appliances will last longer. It may require a bit of time and elbow grease but the rewards of a clean, functional kitchen are well worth it.
Your kitchen is the heart of your home, so give it some love with regular cleaning and maintenance. Keep these tips handy and turn on some music while you scrub, de-grease and freshen up your kitchen space. Before you know it, you’ll have the cleanest, most efficient kitchen on the block and many more home-cooked meals to enjoy with friends and family. Cleaning has never been so rewarding!