Appliance Clean Out!

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A valuable part of spring cleaning is that we force ourselves to examine aspects of our home that we may not always see. Our kitchen appliances can be our most-used yet most underserved household friends. We employ our fridge, our dishwasher, and our garbage disposal more than we even realize and neglect to clean them more than we’d like to admit. So, let's give them some well-deserved love! You don’t have to block out your schedule for an entire day - or even a whole afternoon - all it takes is a few simple steps, and you'll have sparkling clean appliances.

Refrigerator:

The fridge is the most time-consuming appliance to clean. You need to CLEAR IT ALL OUT. Take every single item out. If you’ve convinced yourself that you can clean “around” things, you can’t! As painful as it may seem, remove everything, and I promise you will have a better and easier clean - and better organization afterward!

Clean out the old & expired. Move items close to expiring to the front, so you can be sure to use them, and organize the remaining items by categories.

Get creative with the items you’ve had sitting around, instead of tossing. Let me know if you’re stuck on something and I will happily give you some suggestions!

Once everything is removed, wipe out the entire fridge with hot soap and water. Yes, it is just that simple. Some people will argue about which cleaning solutions to use (bleach vs. not, etc.) but I always opt for the classic soap and water with a great sponge. You may have to scrub - but you don’t risk harming any plastic or glass.

For the disposal & sink:

Though I think we’re all slightly accustomed to the belief that once food takes a trip down the disposal, it’s out of sight and out of mind. While this is technically true, this is a kitchen appliance that we should never disregard. Even though the garbage is disposed of, residues can build up and cause some stinky odors.

Firstly, the rubber rim of the disposal itself can still trap some residue. Remove the rim, grab an old sponge and give that a scrub.

When it comes to digging a little deeper (down at the blades), use citrus and ice! Send some chunks of lemon or orange down the drain with a few ice cubes and flip that switch.

The lemons and ice will clean the blades and leave a sweet lingering scent.

For the dishwasher:

The dishwasher is my most neglected appliance when it comes to cleaning, and it's done in three easy steps!

Step 1: Clear the drain. Remove the bottom dish rack. Inspect the dishwasher drain, removing any gunk or food caught there. Doing so will improve drainage, increase cleaning efficiency and prevent damage to the dishwasher.

Step 2: Put vinegar in the dishwasher. Start with an empty dishwasher. Place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of the machine. Run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. This will wash away grease and grime and remove musty odors, too.

Step 3: Baking soda rinse. Sprinkle one cup of baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher. Run a short, hot water cycle. The dishwasher will be fresh-smelling and have a brightened, stain-free interior.