4 Kitchen Appliances You Should Clean Monthly, At Least!
Thursday Feb 2nd, 2023
For most people, the only kitchen appliance that gets a regular wipe-down is the stove. Unfortunately, there are many more that deserve our attention. From the dishwasher and refrigerator to the coffee maker and toaster, it's important to give all of our kitchen appliances at least a monthly once-over to keep them clean and operating efficiently. If you're interested in getting a deeper clean, Miller's Well-Kept Services created this list of four kitchen appliances that should be cleaned monthly (at least).
More often than not, the toaster doesn't get much attention until the kitchen starts smelling like burnt toast with every use. Not only is the smell unpleasant, but those enkindled crumbs could cause a house fire. To clean your toaster:
Unplug it from the wall
Use a pastry brush to gently brush away any crumbs clinging to the heating elements
Remove crumb tray
Dump crumbs in garbage
Use soapy water to clean crumb tray
Let crumb tray dry fully and put it back in the toaster
Do not flip your toaster upside down or start walloping the bottom and sides to knock out the crumbs. Doing so can actually break the delicate solder joints and cause electronic components to fail.
To finish the process, wipe down your toaster (still unplugged) with a damp cloth. A stainless steel toaster can generally be cleaned with a store-bought stainless steel cleaning spray.
2. Coffee Maker
If you're one of 53 percent of Americans who drink coffee daily, then your coffee maker is probably in need of some TLC. Without at least a monthly cleaning, hard water minerals can build up, oils from the coffee can create a film in your carafe and brew basket, and mold can grow in the reservoir.
Not only will a regular cleaning keep your coffee maker working for longer, but you'll get to enjoy a significantly better-tasting cup of joe. To get started:
With your coffee pot turned off, wipe down the outside and warming plate
Wash all removable parts with soap and water
Plug your coffee maker back in and fill the reservoir with equal parts white vinegar and water
Place a paper filter into the basket
Put the carafe in place and “brew” the vinegar-water mixture
Pour out the mixture and let the machine sit for an hour
Fill the reservoir with clean water and repeat the brewing process until the smell of vinegar is gone
If you have a Keurig, you can run an equal part vinegar-water mixture through the brewing process. Just know you'll have to run a significant amount of clean water through the system to eliminate the smell of vinegar.
You might think that, because refrigerators are cold, they're not bacteria breading grounds. But, as it turns out, certain bacteria can actually thrive in cold dark places.
To avoid listeriosis, a serious infection caused by the germ Listeria, it’s critical to clean your refrigerator and freezer regularly. Often found in meat “juices,” Listeria can contaminate other food by spilling onto other foods in the fridge. To stay healthy, we recommend following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines:
Use paper towels to avoid transferring germs on a cloth towel
Clean the inside walls and shelves of your refrigerator with warm water and liquid soap
In a spray bottle, mix 1 teaspoon of unscented bleach with 1 quart of water to sanitize
Let mixture stand for 10 minutes
Wipe with a clean paper towel
Cleaning the refrigerator at least monthly is vital, especially when there is a pregnant woman in the house. According to the CDC, when listeriosis occurs during pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death.
For an appliance built to clean, a dishwasher can get surprisingly dirty. To prevent noxious odors and ensure your flatware and silverware are sparkling after every load, clean the interior and exterior of your dishwasher monthly. Start by:
Removing all removable parts and handwash them
Clean dishwasher door and gasket with a one-to-one hot water and vinegar mixture
Remove filter and gently scrub it with soap and water
Put filter back into place
Clean dishwasher drain with one-to-one water and vinegar mixture
Run dishwasher with all parts back into place on the hottest and longest setting
Consider using rubber gloves to protect your hands during this process. This protective gear is especially important if a glass has recently broken in your dishwasher.
If your daily to-do list is already untenable, tackling more monthly chores probably isn't in the cards. To dig into the nitty-gritty of your home, reach out to Miller's Well-Kept Services. We can set up a monthly solution that is tailored to your exact household needs.
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