Refrigerators and other Appliances: Cleaning electronic appliances the right way can make them work better, last longer, and run more efficiently, saving you money on energy bills.
Make a simple, inexpensive homemade stainless steel cleaner. Fill a spray bottle with 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar, and mix together. Spray stainless steel fixtures and appliances with the solution, and wipe clean (with the grain—wiping stainless steel in circular motions can cause streaks) with a microfiber cloth or paper towels.
Polish stainless steel with olive oil. Use olive oil to remove water spots and fingerprints from stainless steel surfaces. Apply a nickel-sized amount of olive oil on a paper towel, and wipe with the grain, left to right. Wipe the entire appliance in long, sweeping motions along the grain, then buff with a microfiber cloth to remove excess oil and make it shine.
Quick Ways to Deep Clean Your Refrigerator
Instead of feeling overwhelmed at the thought of emptying your fridge to give it a thorough cleaning, use these tips to get the chore done in a flash!
Clean one section at a time. If you plan to clean the whole fridge at once, start at the top, and work down. If you prefer to remove all your food to clean, store perishables in a cooler with ice to keep them fresh and cool while you work. If you have only a few minutes, just clean one shelf or section a day.
Pretreat sticky surfaces. Spray sticky, grimy surfaces with all-purpose spray. For dried-on spills, place a wet microfiber cloth on the area. Let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe clean.
Disinfect raw meat and poultry messes. When cleaning spills from raw meat or poultry, wipe up the spill, then clean the area with hot water. Disinfect with a spray of hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and wipe dry.
Remove shelves and drawers to clean them more thoroughly. Take out all removable components, and hand-wash with warm, soapy water. Dry well before putting them back in the fridge.
Remove the vent cover on the bottom of the fridge, and clean in warm, soapy water. Dry well, and replace. Vacuum under and behind the fridge, using attachments to clean in cracks and crevices. Keeping these areas clean will help your fridge run more efficiently and last longer. Replace the vent cover once it’s completely dry.
Check the drip pan. Some refrigerators have a removable drip pan underneath to collect condensation. If your fridge has a drip pan, you’ll find it behind the grille above the condenser coils. Remove the drip pan, clean with soap and water, and dry well before replacing.
Clean hard-to-reach areas with cotton swabs. As you run a damp microfiber cloth in all the cracks and crevices around door seals and handles, keep an eye out for any areas you can’t access properly. Use cotton swabs to reach those spots.
Dry the interior thoroughly with a microfiber cloth. Use a clean, dry cloth to completely dry the refrigerator shelves to prevent dust from sticking to moist surfaces.
Put paper towels or cloths in the bottom of crisper drawers. Store large, sturdy produce, such as celery, peppers, and fruit, in crisper drawers lined with dry kitchen cloths or paper towels to remove moisture and help prevent spoiling. Replace towels weekly.
Keep your fridge smelling fresh with a homemade deodorizer.
2 cups baking soda
20–30 drops lemon essential oil
1-pint Mason jar or baking soda box
- Mix the baking soda and essential oil in a 1-pint Mason jar or baking soda box. Start with 20 drops of the essential oil, and add more as needed.
- Store the mixture uncovered in the refrigerator to freshen and absorb odors. Each batch should last approximately 1–2 months.
Make your home smell great without toxic synthetic fragrances. Boil a small pot of water, and add some sweet-smelling fragrances such as a few drops of vanilla extract or essential oil, cinnamon sticks, and orange peels to freshen your home naturally.
Deep clean your oven without harsh chemicals. Remove even the toughest baked-on food without hard scrubbing with this DIY scouring paste.
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup liquid dish soap
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Scrub sponge and cleaning cloths or paper towels
- First, wipe down the oven with warm, soapy water. Use a scrub sponge to clean away easy-to-remove dirt and debris.
- Next, mix the ingredients in a bowl to form a thick paste, and apply the cleaning solution to baked-on grease and grime inside your oven. Let it sit for 1–2 hours, then wipe clean with a sponge. Continuously dip the sponge in the soapy water to keep it clean as you wipe out the oven.
- Once all the grime is scrubbed away, make a final wipe with a clean, damp cloth or paper towels, followed by clean, dry cloths.
Clean oven racks in your bathtub. Since oven racks are so big, it’s difficult to soak them in the sink to remove baked-on messes. Take them to the bathtub, where you can soak and clean the entire racks at once, which will save you loads of time and effort! Carefully put the racks in the bathtub, and sprinkle liberally with baking soda. Spray with water until the baking soda forms a thick paste, then let them sit for about 20 minutes. Scrub them with a sponge, and rinse clean. Air-dry the racks completely before putting them back in the oven.
Use washing soda to remove burned-on food from burner pans. Add 1/2 cup of washing soda to 1 gallon of hot water. Soak burner pans for at least 30 minutes. For really stubborn grease, sprinkle washing soda on a sponge, and scrub it directly on the grease.
Wipe off greasy buildup from your stovetop and range hood with cooking oil. Rub a dab of olive oil or coconut oil over greasy surfaces to quickly loosen grease and grime, then wipe clean with kitchen spray and a cloth. This method removes sticky, oily buildup much easier than using soap!
Clean stove burners safely and quickly. Allow burners to cool completely before cleaning. Remove the burners from the stovetop, and use a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water to wipe away grease and light messes from burner coils. Be careful not to get any electrical components wet, and never submerge burners in water or other liquids. For tougher messes, make a paste with a 2:1 ratio of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the burner, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe away residue.
Use baking soda as a scrub-free stovetop cleaner. Sprinkle cooked-on messes with baking soda, and spray with water or DIY kitchen spray. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then wipe clean. Stains should lift right up. Repeat on stubborn messes.
Clean oven spills with salt. If food boils over in your oven, immediately sprinkle it with salt. Once the oven cools, you can easily wipe up the mess.
Boil your range hood filter to melt away dirt and grease effortlessly. Take a pot big enough to hold at least half of your filter, fill it with water, and bring it to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda very slowly to keep it from fizzing. Add your filter, and boil it for about 5 minutes or until the grease loosens from the filter. Depending on how large your filter is, you may have to boil half of it at a time. Remove the filter from the pot, and rinse under hot water until the water runs clean. Repeat if the filter is still greasy. Prop up the filter to airdry, then place it back in the range hood.
Deodorize your dishwasher with vinegar. Put one or two small bowls right-side up on the top rack of the dishwasher. Fill the bowls with white vinegar, and run dishwasher as usual with no other dishes in it. To remove soap scum, wipe with a scrub sponge or microfiber cloth immediately after the cycle ends. The hot water will have loosened buildup, making it much easier to clean.
Turn on your blender to clean tough messes easily. Fill your blender with warm, soapy water, and turn it on to clean without scrubbing. Rinse well, then air-dry.
Save time and money with homemade dishwasher tablets. These DIY dishwasher tablets are easy on your wallet and will help you save time with grab-andgo convenience. If you prefer to use dishwasher powder, simply omit the water, and add 1 tablespoon of powder to every load.
1 cup baking soda
1 cup washing soda
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup citric acid (a powder available at the grocery store in the canning aisle, at health food stores, or online)
1/2 cup to 1 cup water
40–50 drops essential oil (optional; consider lemon, orange, and lemongrass)
Ice cube trays or square silicon molds
- In a glass or stainless steel bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Add the water gradually, starting with 1/2 cup, waiting for the fizzing to die down before adding more to form a dry paste. Stir very well to combine. Add a little more water if the powder is still too crumbly to stick together.
- Add your favorite essential oils, if desired, for fragrance and a little extra cleaning power.
- Spoon the mixture into each compartment of an ice cube tray or square silicon mold, and press firmly into the tray to form a tablet. Try to use ice cube trays that will make tablets small enough to fit in your dishwasher’s soap dispenser. This recipe makes approximately 20–24 tablets, depending on the size of the ice cube tray, so you’ll probably need two trays.
- To use, put one tablet in the dispenser, and run the wash cycle as usual. If the tablet is too large, just toss it on the top rack of your dishwasher.
Prevent messes in your toaster oven with aluminum foil. Line your toaster tray with foil, so you’ll have to replace only the foil instead of scrubbing cooked-on messes.
Scrub the dishwasher filter with a toothbrush to keep it functional and extend the life of your dishwasher. Remove the bottom rack from your dishwasher to access the filter on the floor of the unit. Remove the filter, and wipe off larger food particles into the trash can with a paper towel or cloth. Wash the filter in soapy water, and scrub gently with a toothbrush to remove stuck-on food. Do this once a month to keep your dishwasher in top condition.
Steam clean your microwave to remove stuck-on foods effortlessly. Mix 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a few drops of essential oil to mask the vinegar smell, if desired. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, and let it sit another 2–3 minutes to allow the steam to work. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth or sponge. The dirt and food should come off easily.
Remove coffee bean oils from your coffee grinder with rice. Grind a handful of uncooked white rice in your coffee grinder. Repeat, if necessary, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth or paper towels. Don’t want to use up your rice? You can also use soft white bread for this job.
Brush away toaster crumbs with a paintbrush. To clean the toaster, unplug it for safety, then remove the crumb tray. Empty the crumb tray in the trash, and set aside. Turn the toaster upside down over the trash can to dislodge the crumbs inside. Use a clean, dry paintbrush to brush away any remaining crumbs. Clean the outside of the toaster with soapy water and a microfiber cloth or toothbrush, taking care not to get the appliance too wet to harm electrical components. Wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth, and polish the outside with some white vinegar on a clean cloth to make it shine.
Deep clean your coffee maker with vinegar. Fill the water chamber with equal parts white vinegar and water, and run the machine until all the liquid goes through. Repeat at least 2 more times with plain water. Make sure the taste of vinegar is completely gone from the machine before using normally. Wash your coffee maker at least once a month to ensure your coffee tastes fresh. You can use this method to clean your Keurig coffee maker too!
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