How to Clean Appliances

By Laura Parker
July 13, 2023


From fridges to toasters and everything in between, appliances just get grimey. Here are our top tips for cleaning appliances, both big and small.

Best Cleaners for Appliances


You’ve got plenty of options when choosing a cleaner for your appliances, from name brand products to at-home solutions. If you’re going the homemade route, you’ll want to make sure you have:

  • Baking Soda

  • Vinegar

  • Dishwashing Liquid


How to Clean Small Appliances


Your kitchen is probably full of small appliances, but that doesn’t mean cleaning them needs to be a chore. Our guide will give you the best advice to keep everything in your kitchen sparkling clean. 


Blender. Make sure you’re rinsing out your blender after every use. To make cleaning easy, pour warm water and a small amount of dish soap into the blender and run for about 30 seconds. Disassemble the blender and thoroughly rinse all of its parts, including the lid and blade attachments. Then wipe or air dry. Now your blender should be spot-free and ready to use the moment you need it. 


Toaster. Ideally, you should be cleaning your toaster every time you use it. Just unplug the appliance, turn it upside down, and shake it over your trashcan or sink to get rid of any crumbs that can easily burn. Empty and clean the toaster’s trap door as well. Once a week, unplug your toaster and use a cloth lightly wetted with soapy water to wipe down the outside and inside of the toaster, avoiding the heating coils, and allow it to air dry. 


Microwave. Splatter stains can make your microwave one of the messier appliances in your kitchen. To get rid of them, heat a bowl of water in the microwave until it starts to boil. The steam this releases should loosen any cooked-on stains, making them easy to wipe away with a clean cloth. 


Coffee Maker. After every use, make sure to clean your coffee pot itself and any other removable elements. The pot can be hand washed in warm, soapy water. For a thorough cleaning that removes mineral buildup and bacteria, fill the reservoir with equal parts distilled white vinegar and water and let sit for about an hour. Then run a brewing cycle. To get rid of any remaining vinegar, run two full brew cycles with plain water. 

Panini Press or Waffle Maker. It’s a good idea to clean your panini press or waffle maker after every use, since burnt food matter and grease can quickly build up. You can use tongs to grasp wet paper towels and wipe away any pieces of food or grease. Once the appliance is cool, wipe down the cooking surface with warm water and a small amount of dish soap. Don’t forget to clean the outside surfaces as well! Rinse with a wet cloth and dry. 


Tips for Cleaning Large Appliances


Refrigerator. Refrigerators can quickly fill up with odors and minor spills that can make even the nicest food feel unappetizing. Keep a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water on hand to quickly wipe up any spills as they occur. On top of that, you’ll want to regularly deep clean your refrigerator once every 1-2 months. Remove all your food and any detachable segments, including the drawers, and clean thoroughly with a scrubbing sponge and a solution of water, white vinegar, and a small amount of dish soap. 


Stovetop. The best way to keep a stovetop clean is to give it a good wipe down with an all-purpose cleaner after every use. If you’re dealing with old stains, spray liberally with an all-purpose cleaner and let sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe away with a scrubbing sponge. For baked-on debris, soften with an all-purpose cleaner and scrape away with a plastic scraper. Finally, wipe the stovetop down with a clean cloth. 


Oven. If turning your oven on makes your kitchen smoky and fills it with a burning odor, it’s time to give your oven a clean. To start, fill a shallow pan with water and leave it in the oven at 230 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. This will help loosen any grime in the oven. Next, turn the oven off and allow it to cool. Once you can safely touch the inside of the oven, take your cleaner — dish soap works well, as does a solution of baking soda, water, and vinegar — and use a scrubbing sponge to clean the oven. Wipe clean with a wet towel, and dry with a separate towel if you notice any remaining liquid. 


Dishwasher. Without regular cleaning, a dishwasher can play host to foul odors and other grime. Fortunately, your dishwasher is one of the easier appliances to clean. To get started, fill a cup with undiluted white vinegar and place it in the dishwasher’s top rack. Run the empty dishwasher on its hottest setting to sanitize the appliance. 


For a truly deep clean, feel free to scrub the insides of the dishwasher with a scrubbing sponge or toothbrush. Remove the racks and any other detachable segments and wash them in the sink. If you notice any calcium deposits or mineral build-up, spraying them with a white vinegar solution and letting it sit for ten to fifteen minutes can make them easy to scrub away. 


Cleaning Appliances FAQs


What is the best cleaner to use on stainless steel appliances? 

There are plenty of ways to remove smudges and fingerprints from your stainless steel appliances. Branded products can work wonders, and you can also use a glass cleaner that doesn’t contain ammonia. White vinegar can help with water spots, and rubbing alcohol can get rid of fingerprints and other greasy smudges.


What is a natural cleaner for stainless steel? 

One of the best cleaners for stainless steel appliances and surfaces is a natural one. Spraying white vinegar onto your stainless steel and wiping dry with a clean cloth can quickly remove all sorts of smudges and marks. For best results, make sure to wipe in the direction of the grain. 


Does vinegar dissolve grease? 


Thanks to its acidity, vinegar can help cut through grease. For better results, though, you should use standard dish soap or rubbing alcohol, both of which are chemically designed to dissolve grease. 


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