How to clean common kitchen appliances, tools, and utensils

John Kopischke
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How to clean kitchen surfaces

All kitchen appliances and utensils can be cleaned using the same method, regardless of the material they are made of. Your goal should be to prevent future bacterial and fungal growth and eliminate smell. To do this, you need to clean things twice: once to activate the sanitizing agents you’ve added and a second time to remove food residue.

Whatever you clean, start by giving it a cold rinse with hot water. Even once food has been cleaned away, there can still be residual oils pretty much any surface. You’ll be surprised how clean this little extra step will make your kitchen look and feel!

Let’s start with the surfaces and utensils you use everyday.

The most important thing to do is to ensure they are clean. To do this, wash all surfaces with hot water. You can add a disinfectant, some vinegar, or even salt to the water to make it more pleasant. Make sure you get all of the surfaces and in all the crevices. I usually use white vinegar or lemon juice.

How to clean a coffee maker

Use vinegar and water to clean your coffee maker. Just follow these easy steps.

Turn off and unplug your coffee maker. Use your favorite all-natural cleaner; a simple mixture of vinegar and water will work. Pour the mixture into the water reservoir. Make sure to fill up the water as much as you can to wash the inside of the reservoir. Turn the coffee maker on. It will begin to brew and wash the inside of the reservoir. When the brewing process is finished, turn the coffee maker off. Wait for a few hours until the vinegar water mixture has cooled off. Pour the vinegar mixture into your sink. Use a wet and soapy sponge to get any residue off the coffee pot. Rinse with clean water.

To keep your coffee maker clean, run a cleaning cycle at least once a week.

How to clean a microwave

Polish a microwave regularly to avoid problems. This is because a potent combination of heat, moisture, and cooking oil can build up on the inside of microwave ovens that keep smoking long after you’ve finished cooking.

You can use the following steps to clean it:

Spray a cup of water into the microwave and then immediately cover it with a microwave-safe bowl. Shut the door and cook on high for a couple of minutes. This should create steam, which will help to loosen any dried food on the inside of the microwave. Use a sponge or soft cloth to wipe it down. Open the door and let it cool off. Use a cotton swab or paper towel and apply a thin layer of vinegar to the interior. Close the door and run it on high for about a minute to loosen any burned-on residue.

How to clean an oven

The only way to truly clean your oven is by using a specialized cleaner as the inside of the oven usually has a smooth metal/black coating and is impossible to clean with typical cleaning supplies or methods.

However, if you do not use the oven often or if you have an older oven. You can lightly wipe down the interior with a sponge and some cool water to remove light stains and dust. Always use cool water and a clean sponge or dish rag to avoid scratching the surface.

If you do use the oven regularly, then you should know that you should also avoid cleaning the interior with any cleaning liquid. Instead, you should just wipe the surface down with a hot water and a piece of cloth to clean the grime and grease.

How to clean a blender

Disassemble the blender and remove any screws within it. Remove the blender blade and pour a cup of vinegar and a teaspoon of lemon juice into the blender container. Place the lid on top of the container and turn the blender on and blend for 30 seconds. Turn it off, wait one minute and remove the lid. The blades will be clean. Thoroughly rinse out your blender and your container with warm water. Make sure that you rinsed out all of the vinegar and lemon juice.

How to clean a cast iron skillet

You can safely wash a cast iron skillet in the dishwasher, but scrubbing it after it is fully dry is going to get it cleaner than letting the dishwasher do all the work for you.

Your best bet is to use hot, soapy water and a sponge.

However, if your cast iron skillet is gunky or has a lot of stuck-on food stuck to it from using it to make a meal, it is better to soak it overnight in water, and then scrub it with extra hot, soapy water and a sponge when you are ready to clean it. Or, to make it easier, you can fill it with water and leave it to soak on the stovetop.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure your cast iron skillet is hot enough for the water to evaporate, so you don’t risk exposing it to moisture that can get trapped and damage the pan’s coating.

After cleaning your cast iron skillet, don’t put it in your dishwasher. This can cause the skillet to rust. You should also dry it off with a cloth, as water can get trapped and rust it. Make sure to dry the skillet completely and apply a thin coat of oil to it before storing it.

How to clean a toaster

For the toaster, it’s a good idea to continue cooking the toast at the same time that you wipe off the exterior. This way, you’re not sitting around waiting for the toast to finish while it cools.

Wrap an old cloth or paper towel around the toaster handle to allow you to pull it out without burning your fingers.

Mix one part white vinegar and two parts water in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the inside of the toaster until it’s damp, being careful not to spray the heating coils. Let sit for a few minutes so the vinegar can break up any residue. Use a damp, clean sponge to scrub off the residue. Do not use any type of abrasive sponge or pad as this can scratch the interior coating.

To dry, first wipe with a clean, damp, dry towel. Then leave the toaster open to dry overnight.

Use a toothbrush to reach hidden areas and crevices.

You can add a touch of baking soda to the vinegar-water mix to help with stains.

How to clean a wood cutting board

Depending on how much you cook, you may have a few cutting boards. Obviously, it’s good to have a separate cutting board for raw meats to avoid cross contamination. You should also have one for your raw or fresh produce, such as a vegetable cutting board. For that matter, most people use at least two cutting boards.

However, if you have only one cutting board, be especially careful. This means that it’s extra important to clean your wood cutting board very well and often.

How often you clean your cutting board is really about how often you use it, whether it’s food prep or the board you use to put things on for storage. In any case, it’s a good idea to give your wood cutting board a thorough cleaning at least once a week. Use warm, soapy water and make sure to scrub all parts well. You may also want to soak it in a bleach solution.

After you’ve washed and thoroughly rinsed the board, you should let it air dry. Don’t place it on a towel because that can add to the risk of cross-contamination if your cutting board isn’t completely dry and you’re not careful.

How to clean a dishwasher

If you are someone who loaded up the dishwasher and didnt run it for a while, then you are in luck! The good news is there is an easy fix to get your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean. Here are a few quick tips to get your dishwasher smelling like a flower garden once again.

Check for any food particles stuck on the edges of the racks. Use a sponge to wipe gently. Rinse and allow all items to air dry. Run the dishwasher without the normal detergent. This will clean it inside and out and also remove any smells. Load it up with white vinegar and set it to run on a normal cycle with no heat. Run some lemon scented dish-washing tablets to infuse the dishwasher with some freshness. It also helps give it a squeaky clean. After running a cycle, clean out the drain with a little baking powder and water mixture. Then run it through again with some white vinegar. Air dry, and store a bowl of white vinegar in your top cupboard (while using a dishwasher you may want to store the bowl in a pot filled with water on the counter to leave it standing).