Appliances need cleaning too, and we’re not just talking about wiping up spills and splatters. Soap, dirt and debris from everyday use can accumulate inside and outside your appliance, making it work harder in order to perform and possibly costing your money. Lack of cleaning and maintenance can also lead to a possible early breakdown. Here’s what needs cleaning on your appliance.
Remove the racks from your dishwasher and check them over for chips and cracks in the vinyl coating. Use a Dishwasher Rack Repair Kit to fix any tines on your dishwasher rack to prevent the metal underneath from rusting.
Check your dishwasher spray arms. Use a tooth pick to dislodge any stuck food particles that might be plugging the holes. You can also easily unscrew the spray arms and rinse them off in the sink if need be.
Clean the drain area of your dishwasher. Food, broken glass and sticker tags often accumulate here. Let your dishwasher cool down from use (a nearby hot heating element could cause a burn) and use a damp towel or paper towel to wipe around this area to remove any debris.
If your dishwasher has a filter, remove the parts and clean it in your kitchen sink using warm water and mild soap.
Use a cleaner like affresh to remove hard water deposits, scale, soap and general dirt accumulation inside your dishwasher.
Do not use bleach in your dishwasher if you have a stainless steel interior.
Coils – Clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator using a condenser coil cleaning brush. Dust, dirt and pet hair can accumulate on them, making it harder for your refrigerator to remove heat.
Water Filter –replace your refrigerator water filter every six months.
Oven, stove and range
Clean dirty Drip Pans and Burner Grates – Clean greasy gas burner grates or dark and dirty electric stove drip pans with a heavy duty degreaser. You can use a sealed freezer bag and place the pan or grate inside, pour the cleaner in and mash up the bags with your hands. Let it sit for a while inside the bag and remove it. Use a non-abrasive sponge and warm water to rinse off.
Smooth, glass electric cooktops require special care. Use a single-edge scraper tool to remove cooked-on stains and spills. Soak the remaining spill with an cooktop cleanser specially formulate for smooth cooktops. Use a non-abrasive pad to remove any remaining residue.
Clean the oven – If you choose to use the self-cleaning function on your oven, check your owner’s manual to see if you need to remove the oven racks while using the self-cleaning function. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, it might be best to remove the racks and clean them separately.
After your oven cools down completely, use a damp rag to wipe up any dust left over from the self-cleaning function.
It’s recommended that you use the self-cleaning function more than once a year. A cleaner oven will not produce as much smoke from incinerating spills and splatters. Just do not use the self-cleaning function a week before a big event, as any part that is already weakened, like a heating element, will have a greater chance of breaking before your big event.
Here’s a quick oven cleaning tip from cleaning guru Heloise: “If something spills over while baking, pour table salt on it, and when the oven is cool, you will have a much quicker cleanup.”