Cleaning Kitchen Appliances Checklist

Keep your kitchen appliances sparkling with these quick tips.

Illustration of a house and a tree
Photo: Papercut

Blender, Mixer, and Food Processor

  • Pop off the blades and any other removable parts.

    Soak them in a sink filled with warm water and dishwashing liquid.

  • Hand wash the blender carafe and the food-processor bowl using warm, soapy water.

    Or wash them on the top rack of the dishwasher.

  • Scour the blades.

    A nylon brush should remove any particles caked onto the blades.

  • Dry the pieces thoroughly.

    To prevent rust, dry the blades with a clean towel or cloth.

  • Wipe down the bases with a cloth dampened with water and dishwashing liquid.

    Never submerge them in water, which might damage the machinery of the appliances.

Coffeemaker

  • Remove and wash the filter and the carafe.

    Soak them in warm, soapy water; rinse, then replace them.

  • Descale water deposits.

    Pour two to three cups of water and an equal amount of white vinegar into the water chamber and hit the brew button. Turn the machine off halfway through the cycle and let the solution sit inside the chamber for an hour. Then turn it back on and complete the cycle.

  • Run two cycles of plain water through the machine.

    This ensures that you'll rinse out any leftover vinegar before making your morning brew.

  • Wipe down the outside.

    Use a cloth wet with water and dishwashing liquid.

  • Dry with a clean cloth.

Dishwasher

  • Pull out the racks.

    Wipe down the interior with a cloth and warm, soapy water. Scrub the racks' wheels (where bacteria hide) with a toothbrush.

  • Fill the detergent cup with white vinegar.

    Run an empty cycle to wipe out lime deposits. You can also dump a packet of powdered lemonade into the detergent cup and run the washer empty. The citric acid breaks up stains.

  • Dust the fan slats.

    A vacuum's brush attachment is best.

  • Clean the door.

    If the door is plastic, wipe it with a cloth and all-purpose cleaner. For stainless steel, dampen a cloth with water and dishwashing liquid, wring it out, and wipe the door with the grain.

  • Dry with a clean cloth.

Electric Can Opener

  • Unplug, and remove the cutting wheel and the lid cover.

    Soak them in the sink in warm water and dishwashing liquid.

  • Loosen grit stuck on the pieces.

    Scrub them with a nylon brush or a toothbrush. You can also use baking soda and water to scour the blade.

  • Rinse the pieces with water.

    Then dry them thoroughly—especially the metal cutting wheel—with a clean cloth to avoid rust.

  • Wipe down the base with a cloth dampened with dishwashing liquid and warm water.

    Never immerse the electrical base in water, which could short the fuse.

Microwave

  • Prep for cleaning.

    Place a coffee mug filled with water and a few slices of lemon in the center of the microwave and run the machine on high power for three minutes. Let the lemon water sit inside for three more minutes. The steam will soften food spills, and the lemon aroma will eliminate odors.

  • Clean the interior.

    Wipe down the walls with a cloth soaked in warm, soapy water.

  • Remove the turntable.

    Scrub the wheels with a toothbrush.

  • Clean the exterior.

    Wipe the exterior of plastic machines with a cloth sprayed with all-purpose cleaner, making sure to clean the fan slats. For stainless-steel machines, dip a cloth in water and dishwashing liquid, wring it out, and wipe with the grain.

  • Buff dry with a clean cloth.

Toaster and Toaster Oven

  • Unplug the appliance.

    Empty the crumb tray.

  • Remove the toaster-oven racks.

    Let them sit in warm, soapy water, scrubbing off any charred food with a sponge or a brush.

  • Clean the interior.

    Wipe the toaster oven's inside with a cloth wet with water and dishwashing liquid. Dislodge burned-on food with a toothbrush or an old credit card. Reach into the slots of a regular toaster with a wet pastry brush.

  • Remove the knobs and soak them in soapy water.

    Dry and replace them.

  • Clean the exterior.

    Wipe the outside with a soapy cloth, scrubbing around levers, knobs, and door hinges using a toothbrush. If the exterior is chrome, crumple a ball of aluminum foil (shiny side out) and rub off rust spots.

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