Use this step-by-step guide for germ-free major kitchen appliances
Refrigerators and freezers
Both freezers and refrigerators should be cleaned about once a month,
and spills should always be wiped up immediately.
- To clean your refrigerator, turn the control to "off," unplug it, take out all removable parts and clean them with a solution of 3 ounces ammonia or disinfectant cleaner and 3 gallons of water.
- Then, using a soft, white nylon cleaning sponge, wash the interior, and sponge off hardened food.
- Dry the inside with an absorbent cloth.
- Next, allow the freezer to warm up so your cloth won't stick as you wipe down the inside.
- Remember to clean the entire freezer: removable parts, inside walls, door liner and gasket, plastic parts, defrost pan and condenser coils.
The exteriors of refrigerators and freezers need a little special attention:
- Begin with a once-over, using a sponge, cloth or paper towel dampened with same solution as above.
- Wax painted metal surfaces with an appliance wax (or good-quality auto paste wax) at least twice a year to protect them from rust. Apply wax with a clean, soft cloth and avoid plastic parts.
- Vacuum condenser coils when dusty or dirty. Coils may need to be cleaned as often as every other month.
Think of how often you use your stove and clean it accordingly.
- First take the burner pans out and soak them in hot, soapy water while you clean the rest of the stove.
- To clean the top, back and sides of the stove, use a hot water and a curly plastic cleaning pad soaked with cleaning solution.
- Clean the racks with a soapy steel-wool pad.
- Wash the walls and door with warm, soapy water.
- Use a steel-wool pad or plastic scrubbing pad for heavily soiled areas.
- Keep the window clean with warm, soapy water.
- Use foil in the bottom of the oven to catch runovers and spills.
Dishwashers are normally self-cleaning; however, you may want to periodically check the bottom to see if any large particles have not gone through the strainer portion of the module.
- Wipe the edge of the inner door liner to remove any food soil splashes that occurred during loading.
- Get rid of odor. Dishwasher odors are likely related to a chemical (chlorine) odor from the detergent or a food odor from soiled items sitting in it. Try using a different detergent, especially a lemon-scented one, or purchase a fresh package.
- Cleaned the front of the dishwasher with a soft damp cloth and liquid spray cleaner.
Black-fronted and stainless steel models can sometimes be tricky to clean. Try these ideas for success:
- Use a glass cleaner and a soft cloth instead of paper towel to avoid a lint problem.
- Always spray the cleaner onto the cloth; spraying directly onto the appliance surface will cause streaks.
- Use a dust cloth to pick up any lint or small particles left behind by the cleaning cloth.
- If you have to scrub, use a gentle white nylon-backed sponge--the coarser kinds will scratch surfaces.