How To Clean Kitchen Appliances

Even if you are careful to keep your kitchen tidy, some of the kitchen appliances require an annual deep-clean to reduce bacteria, run well and smell good. Once a year it’s a good idea to dedicate some time to really cleaning out your refrigerator, oven range and dishwasher. This helps keep your home tidy, and can help extend the life of your appliances.

Modern kitchen interior with stainless steel appliances in a luxury house.

Cleaning the Refrigerator and Freezer

Your refrigerator requires regular cleaning to keep it from becoming messy, but about once a year it needs a deep cleaning.

To be safe, and to save energy, first turn off the power at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Empty the contents of the refrigerator into a cooler or coolers. This is a good opportunity to throw away expired food. Remove the shelves and any drawers or bins. Use warm soapy water and a sponge to scrub both the top and the bottom of each shelf. Rise and pat dry. Do the same for the drawers or bins. Some spots may be difficult to clean and require a little soaking in warm water or some baking soda on the sponge.

Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator with an all purpose cleaner and a soft cloth.

To clean the grill and coils you may have to move the refrigerator away from the wall. Use a vacuum hose with a long, thin attachment to clean the grills. Change to a brush attachment to clean the coils.

Use warm soapy water to wipe down the gaskets that seal the doors. Return the drawers and bins to their original places. Use a damp cloth to wipe down any sticky spots on bottles or jars as you put the food back into the refrigerator.

Cleaning Your Oven or Range

If you have a self-cleaning oven, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember, most manufacturers will recommend that you remove oven racks prior to running the self-cleaning cycle. If your oven is not self cleaning, it is a good idea to turn off the gas supply to the oven before cleaning it. Remove the oven racks and then wipe the interior with a damp cloth. Debris that doesn’t come right off can be removed with a paste of baking soda and water. Some lemon juice might also help with stubborn spots.

Place the racks in a very sturdy garbage bag. Contractor bags are the least likely to be punctured and are available at hardware stores. Add ¼ cup of ammonia (also available at hardware stores if you don’t keep it on hand). Seal the bag, leave it outdoors or in the garage overnight. Rinse and dry the oven racks before reinstalling.

Depending on how much attention your burner rings and drip pans need you can wipe them down with an all-purpose cleaner, give them a scrub with a baking soda paste, or put them into the contractor bag with the oven racks overnight. Debris that remains after your first pass at cleaning can be removed with a toothbrush. Whichever method you choose for cleaning burner rings and drip pans, they need to be rinsed and dried before reinstalling.

If possible, move the oven away from the wall so that you can vacuum any debris from the floor underneath it.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Make a mixture of warm water and dish detergent.
Remove the racks. Use the soapy water to wipe down the interior of the dishwasher. Make sure to clean the wheels on the dishracks. A small scrub brush or toothbrush might help. Put the racks back in place and run one cleaning cycle with the dishwasher empty and white vinegar instead of dishwasher powder or tabs.

Use the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner hose to remove dust and debris from the grill slats at the bottom of the dishwasher. Use the soapy water and a soft cloth to wipe down the outside of the dishwasher. Dry the door with a clean cloth.