Create A New Year’s Appliance Cleaning Routine
The holidays are a time for fun, family, and food. Whether you’ve been hosting a few close friends or enjoying a quiet celebration with your immediate family, chances are that you’ve been doing a little more cooking and cleaning than you might normally do. And that may mean that your appliances have been working a little harder to wash clothes and linens, clean your dishes and help you prepare your favorite festive dishes. Now that the holidays are over, however, it’s time to clean house — and that includes your appliances.
Most people know that it’s good to wipe down the outside of their dishwasher and keep their cooktop clean. However, it takes the help of a specialized type of product to deep clean some appliances and keep them working hard for you. Appliances such as the dishwasher, disposal, washer, dryer, stove, and many others, should be cleaned regularly to help ensure efficiency and performance. That way, they’re ready to take on both everyday duties for your next gathering.
Start Your New Cleaning Routine With Kitchen Appliance Care
The first area to assess is the kitchen. It is sometimes labeled as one of the home’s dirtiest rooms, so it deserves undivided attention. Surfaces frequently touched by food, hands, and utensils become germ vectors and cause grease and more to be transferred to other places in the house. Also, the appliances in this area of the home have been subjected to holiday cooking and dishwashing and are probably in need of some cleaning and care.
The New Year is a great time to deep clean appliances like your range, dishwasher, and garbage disposal, as well as the areas around these appliances. Affresh® products complete the job while caring for these diligent appliances. This type of routine appliance care ensures that your machines look like new while taking on your everyday routine.
Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Tips: Ranges and Cooktops
The majority of holiday kitchen activity probably takes place at your range or cooktop. No matter what traditional recipes you enjoy, all of that cooking may leave behind a sticky residue, stubborn grease, and caked-on stains that can be a challenge to remove. It often requires a sponge and stove cleaner, and some soaking may be necessary for dried-on foods. Fortunately, all it takes is a few simple steps to clean a glass stovetop, and prepackaged cleaning kits will give you everything you need to help your stovetop look like new.
Read More: How to Clean a Glass Stove
Most modern ovens have a self-cleaning mode that utilizes high heat or steam to lift cooked-on residue from the bottom of your oven. This comes as a relief because manual cleaning requires tons of elbow grease and time consumption. In addition to the extra tools used, it is simply not a pleasurable task. As opposed to the oven’s self-cleaning feature, this gigantic task is not so back-breaking after all. Once the cleaning cycle is done, wait for the oven to cool completely and wipe away any ash that may be left.
Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Tips: Refrigerators
The refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances in most homes. It is accessed multiple times a day, making it susceptible to germs on inside and outside surfaces. Besides all of the delicious leftovers from the holidays, it also stores fruits, vegetables, dairy, and other perishable items. That’s why it’s essential to clean your fridge regularly — experts recommend doing so every 3 to 4 months.
While each refrigerator is a little different, the process for deep cleaning this appliance is basically the same:
- Turn off the power to your refrigerator
- Remove all food and place it in coolers
- Remove all shelves
- Wash shelves in warm, soapy water and dry completely
- Carefully wipe down the rubber seal around the interior of the door
- Wipe down the interior walls and floor of your refrigerator with warm, soapy water
- Change your refrigerator’s water filter (if applicable)
- Replace shelves and plug refrigerator back in
The exterior of your refrigerator can also get grimy thanks to fingerprints, food splashes, and various “mystery” stains. Using a microfiber cloth and soapy water or a specialized cleaner, such as stainless steel appliance cleaners, can usually get the job done.
Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Tips: Garbage Disposals
Between food scraps, grease residue, and a dirty dishwasher, your garbage disposal deals with a lot during the holidays. Keeping this appliance as clean as possible is vital — the residue that gets stuck on blades and in the crevices can trap foul-smelling bacteria. That’s why most experts recommend cleaning your garbage disposal monthly.
If you don’t have affresh® cleaners handy, the following home remedies can help clean your disposal.
- Baking Soda
- First, turn off the disposal and disconnect the power supply
- Reach through the sink opening and clean the underside of the splash baffle and inside the upper lip of the grind chamber with a scouring pad
- Place a stopper in the sink opening and fill the sink halfway with warm water
- Lastly, mix ¼ cup baking soda and water
- Turn the disposal on, remove the stopper from the sink simultaneously to wash away loose particles.
- Citrus peelings – to combat a bad garbage disposal smell, grind citrus peelings in disposal regularly for a fresh fruity scent.
- Always run cold water with your disposal
- Allow water to run for at least 15 seconds after grinding is complete
Need a more convenient solution? Disposal cleaner tablets offer an all-in-one option specially formulated to remove odor-causing residues with a powerful foam.
Read More: How to Deep Clean a Garbage Disposal.
Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Tips: Coffee Makers
Just like any other appliance, your coffeemaker should be added to your appliance care and cleaning routine. This counts double for hard water areas since just a few weeks of daily use can cause minerals to accumulate in hoses, pumps, and water reservoirs. Frequent cleaning can also prevent bacteria from breeding in the brew basket area. Luckily, this is a simple fix. Use your coffeemaker’s self-cleaning function if available, or take advantage of coffeemaker cleaning tablets that combat mineral buildup.
Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Tips: Dishwasher
The dishwasher is one of those appliances where water, food residue, and detergent gather. This goes double during the holidays, when your dishwasher may be used multiple times a day. And while some dishwashers do have self-cleaning functions, there’s a popular misconception that dishwashers clean themselves with every cycle. That can’t be further from the truth! Over time, a buildup of bacteria, limescale, and miscellaneous residue can layer itself on filters and in crevices.
While weekly cleaning of the filter is a good start, most dishwasher manuals advise running a full cleaning cycle about once a month. Specialized dishwasher cleaning tablets are important for this appliance care process since they are formulated to clear away limescale and mineral buildup leftover from hard water. Best of all, these tablets mean less work for you and will do the job whether or not you have dishes in the machine. Simply insert the tablet, set your cleaning cycle, and walk away.
Read More: How to Clean a Dishwasher.
Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Tips: Ice Machines
Ice machines can be a haven for hard water and mineral buildup, leaving a strange taste behind. That’s why it’s essential to use the right cleaning routine, techniques, and products to keep your ice machine as sanitary as possible. Many manufacturers recommend cleaning the system as often as every 9 months. Consider additional cleanings before, during, and after the holidays to account for increased use.
Facilitating a deep clean of the ice machine requires the removal of all contents from the device. And unlike some other appliances, you should forgo DIY cleaning solutions. Instead, opt for conventional ice machine cleaners to ensure that your ice machine gets a specialized clean. You can then enjoy a clean machine and great-tasting ice.
Laundry Room Appliance Cleaning Routine
The hectic nature of the holidays can wreak havoc on your laundry room. Routines can get disrupted, and sometimes making space for guests means turning this part of your home into a temporary storage closet. Now that the holidays are over, it’s a great time to reassess and reorganize this area so you can keep taking care of your family’s favorite outfits. Also, take some time to clean your laundry appliances, so you help reduce odors, buildup, and more.
Laundry Appliance Cleaning Tips: Washing Machines
After washing tablecloths, comforters, sheets, and extra loads of clothes, your washer should get a post-holiday break. Contrary to popular belief, washers are not self-cleaning — in fact, detergent and soil buildup over time can lead to odor-causing residue. Both top load and front load washers should be cleaned once a month or after every 30 cycles, whatever comes first.
While you can run a self-clean cycle with bleach to disinfect your washing machine, most manufacturers recommend using washing machine cleaning tablets as part of your regular appliance care routine. These tablets use time-release ingredients to deep clean your laundry appliance and help remove buildup. Also, don’t forget to wipe down the machine’s exterior with a damp rag to keep it free of detergent, dirt, and more.
Read more: How to Clean Your Washer.
Laundry Appliance Cleaning Tips: Dryers
Hosting the holiday gatherings took a toll on this machine, and now it’s time to ensure it will last for many other holidays to come. First, be sure to clean your dryer’s lint trap after every cycle. Excessive dryer lint not only impacts your appliance’s ability to dry clothes but is also a major fire hazard in your home. Also, take time to carefully clean your dryer vent — the metal tube that goes from your dryer to the wall — every year. (If your dryer vent is difficult to access, seek the help of a professional.)
After removing lint, take some time to check both the lint screen and dryer drum for residue from fabric softener or dryer sheets. Both can leave a transparent film on dryer surfaces, so it is essential to wipe inside the dryer drum with a damp cloth and mild cleanser. Leave the door open to air dry. Once this task is completed, wipe down the outside of your dryer with warm water and a microfiber cloth or disposable machine cleaning wipes.
Add affresh® To Your Appliance Cleaning Routine
Keeping your appliances clean is an essential part of routine maintenance. That’s why affresh® offers products that help you keep your kitchen and laundry appliances fresh both inside and out. Explore our complete collection of laundry appliance cleaners and kitchen appliance cleaners so you can find the right product for your needs.