It’s time to spring clean your hard-working kitchen appliances, get rid of grime and leave them sparkling. Out with the old, smelly, and greasy, and in with the new, fresh and gleaming.
Yes, there are all manner of commercial cleaners on the market, but many of them use harsh chemicals that end up going down the drain. Besides, professional cleaners don’t use a different product for every job. I know a few that swear by plain old dishwashing liquid for practically everything. The trick they say, is to work it into a lather that will cut through the grease, then wipe with a clean, dry microfibre cloth. Here are some more good tips.
To clean the dishwasher: Wipe down the inside surfaces with warm soapy water on a weekly basis. Remove and scrub out the filter on a monthly basis. Hot tip: do not consistently use the low-energy “eco” cycle because it isn’t hot enough to dissolve the soap and detergent that builds up. The fix? Run an empty dishwasher through the hottest and longest cycle once a month.
To clean the fridge: First, take everything out, and sort it all into groups – breakfast foods, chilli sauces, pickles, etc. Wipe everything clean, and toss anything that has been sitting at the back for two years. Remember, it’s a fridge, not a freezer.
Remove the shelves and give them a good wash with hot soapy water. Wipe down the interior surfaces using hot soapy water, and wipe dry with paper towels. Return the shelves, return the food and place an open box of bicarb soda in the middle of the fridge to absorb odours (write the date on the side of the box, and replace every three months).
To clean the oven: First lay out some newspaper on the floor to catch any bibs and bobs. Remove the oven racks and sweep out any loose debris from the last 30 lasagnes you baked in there. Use an old toothbrush to loosen crumbs from around the door and vacuum them up with the smallest nozzle of your cleaner.
Mix half a cup of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) with a few spoonfuls of water to make a spreadable paste, and apply (wearing rubber gloves) to any black baked-on-grease surfaces. Leave overnight for the bicarb to dissolve the grease. The following day, dampen a non-abrasive kitchen sponge with white vinegar and use to wipe clean all surfaces. Wipe the oven down with paper towels and leave to dry before returning the racks to the oven.
To clean glass oven doors, wash with warm soapy water or spray with a glass cleaner (for example, Windex) then wipe clean with paper towels. Also, note that a regular wipe-down is a better idea than an annual spring clean, but you probably knew that already.
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