Get Ready for Spring With 25 Tips to Clean Appliances

Spring cleaning isn't just about wiping down the windows and making the countertops sparkle. By making sure your appliances are clean, you'll not only make sure they shine, but they'll be working efficiently. Get ready for spring with these 25 tips for cleaning your home's appliances.

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Dishwasher Disinfectant

Your dishwasher’s job is to make sure the dishes and silverware are clean, and sometimes your dishwasher needs cleaning, too. To clean your dishwasher, fill a dishwasher-safe cup with white vinegar and place it in the top rack of the appliance. Set your dishwasher to its longest and hottest cycle and let the vinegar work at loosening up food particles while also sanitizing.

Follow these four steps to a stink-free dishwasher.

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Clean Your Oven Without Chemicals

Get the inside of your oven looking like new without harsh chemicals. After removing any burned-on food bits with a scrub brush, make a paste with baking soda, water and a squirt of dish soap. Apply the paste with a sponge, making sure every area is covered, except for the vents. Let it sit overnight then spray it with equal parts vinegar and water. Give it 15 minutes, then wipe it clean.

Here are more details and pictures that show you how to clean your oven without chemicals.

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Clean your microwave lemon

Lemons for the Microwave

Even if your microwave looks clean, looks can be deceiving. Squeeze some lemon juice into a bowl of warm water, add the lemon rinds and microwave for 5 minutes. The water will start to boil and the steam will loosen dried bits of food. When the timer goes off, carefully remove the hot bowl and use a clean towel to wipe down the inside of the microwave.

Here are 10 unexpected ways to use lemon around the house.

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clean-refrigerator coils

Clean Refrigerator Coils

Keep your refrigerator running in tip-top shape by cleaning the coils. You can clean the coils with a special refrigerator coil cleaning brush that will loosen up any dirt and dust. As you use the brush, vacuum the coils to remove all that gunk.

Avoid costly refrigerator repairs with these tips.

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Try Ketchup for … Cleaning!

Ketchup isn’t just for your burger and fries. Use ketchup to clean your stainless steel appliances. Just slather it on, let it sit (for as long as you can) then wipe it clean and rinse. (It’s the acetic and citric acid in ketchup that make it work as a cleaner!)

Learn how ketchup can help with more of your cleaning tasks.

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Clean Your Glass Cooktop

Glass cooktops can become coated with oil splatters and cooked-on gunk. For a heavy-duty cleaning, spray the surface with white vinegar and sprinkle baking soda on top. Dip a clean towel in hot water and wring out excess water, then place the towel over the vinegar and baking soda for 15 minutes. Then, use a microfiber cloth to wipe away the baking soda and vinegar. Spritz with vinegar again and use a clean cloth to buff out any steaks.

Note: Only clean the cooktop when it’s cool.

Here are more safe cleaning tips for glass cooktops.

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HH Car wax stainless steel appliances
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Use Car Wax for Stainless Steel

Who knew car wax can come in handy in the kitchen? Simply apply a light coat of car wax to stainless steel appliances, allow time to dry and buff clean to resist fingerprints and smudges.

Try these seven brilliant ways to use car wax at home.

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Clean the Glass Oven Door Window

To clean between the outer and inner glass panels of your oven’s window you’ll need to remove the screws that secure the front panel to the oven door frame. You can then clean off the crud with a nylon scrub pad, some degreaser and hot water.

Follow these complete step-by-step directions for how to to clean your oven door’s glass window.

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Clean Refrigerator Seals

Those refrigerator seals can become caked with grime. Grab a toothbrush and remove food particles. If the seal seems a little dried out, rub a little petroleum jelly on it.

These 50 unusual cleaning solutions actually work.

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Remove Water Spots

Some appliances, especially those with a stainless steel or chrome exterior, can become a magnet for water spots. To banish them, bring some distilled white vinegar to a boil. Soak a towel in the solution, wring out excess liquid and place the towel on the water spots for 30 minutes. Then sprinkle some baking soda on the spot and scrub with a cloth. Wipe clean and then dry. This method also works well for small appliances, such as toasters and blenders, plus stainless steel countertops and faucets.

These are the pros and cons of stainless steel kitchen appliances.

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Remove the Crumbs From the Toaster

To remove the crumbs from your toaster or toaster oven, empty the crumb tray(s) then let them sit in soapy water for 15 minutes. If there are bits of charred food, the soapy water will help loosen them up so you can scrape them off. While the tray is soaking, wipe the toaster oven’s inside with a damp cloth and a little dish soap. You can also use a toothbrush to remove any charred food. Dry, replace the tray and then wipe down the outside.

Note: Always unplug small appliances before cleaning them.

Every home cook should own these 10 kitchen safety products.

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Get the Gunk out of the Electric Can Opener

To clean your electric can opener, unplug it and remove the cutting wheel and lid cover and soak them in warm water with a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. You can then use a nylon brush or toothbrush to loosen any food. Rinse the parts thoroughly and wipe dry. Never put the electrical base in water.

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Dryer Sheets for Chrome

If your have any kitchen appliances with a chrome finish, you can use a slightly dampened used dryer sheet to buff off water spouts. This also works for your faucets.

Here are 22 brainy ways to use dryer sheets at home.

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Clean Your Blender, Food Processor and Mixer

To clean your blender, food processor and mixer, make sure they are unplugged and then pop off the blades and any removable parts and soak them in warm water with a little dishwashing liquid. Wash the jar and bowls by hand or on the top shelf of the dishwasher. You can use a nylon brush to remove caked on food. Dry all the pieces thoroughly before putting the appliances back together.

Here’s how to clean a blender in just 30 seconds.

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Do a Dishwasher Deep Clean

If your dishwasher isn’t getting your dishes clean, there’s a good chance you need to clean the filter. If it’s clogged, water can’t make it to the spray arms to clean the dishes in the top rack. Simply pull out the lower rack and remove the filter cover inside the dishwasher. (Check your owner’s manual if you can’t spot the filter.) Then use a wet vacuum to clean off the screen.

Follow these tips to clean your dishwasher’s filter and spray arm.

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clean a washing machine
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Give Your Washing Machine a Good Cleaning

Your washing machine could probably use a good cleaning. To do this, run an empty hot cycle with bleach. This will help kill off any bacteria or mold currently residing in your washing machine.

You don’t think cleaning the washing machine is necessary? Then read this ASAP.

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Freshen a Stinky Fridge

If you have a stinky fridge, disinfect the interior then add newspapers and charcoal to get rid of odors. Those inexpensive charcoal briquettes will get rid of those bad smells!

Here are more details on how to get a stink-free refrigerator.

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Vinegar for the Microwave

If the inside of your microwave could use a deep clean, grab 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, a microwave safe bowl and a damp sponge or microfiber cloth. Place the water and vinegar in the bowl, and microwave on high until the window steams up and the mixture boils. Let the microwave cool for a few minutes, then wipe down.

Follow these 11 tips for a super-clean kitchen.

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Use Salt for Burned-On Food

If you have burned-on food stuck to your stove top, sprinkle it with some coarse salt before it cools completely. Once it’s cool, the food should peel right off.

You can also use salt to clean a cast iron skillet.

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Remove Dryer Lint

Built-up lint inside dryer cabinets causes more than 15,000 fires every year in the U.S. To clean the link out of your dryer, you’ll need a 4-in-1 screwdriver, dryer brush and shop vacuum. Follow this step-by-step guide to remove lint from your dryer.

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Clean Mineral Deposits from Your Iron

Your clothes steam iron can become clogged with mineral deposits. Here’s what to do: First, make sure your iron is cool and unplugged. Mix one 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar with 1 cup distilled water, and pour the mixture into the water reservoir. Use a toothpick to gently remove any white build-up you see in the steam holes. Then plug the iron in and set it to steam, and allow it to heat up for five minutes. Hold the steam button for 30 seconds, do this six times. This will help remove any remaining residue. Then, unplug and let it cool completely before removing the vinegar mixture from the reservoir.

There’s a good chance you are making these 10 laundry mistakes.

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Clean a Coffee Maker

To clean your coffee maker, make a natural cleaning solution with 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent water. Drop in a coffee filter and pour in the water and vinegar solution. Run it through a regular brewing cycle. The acid in the vinegar solution will break down any leftover coffee oils and flush out any built up bacteria and mineral deposits. After the brewing cycle is complete, turn off the machine and let the vinegar and water sit in the coffee pot for 10 to 15 minutes. Dump out the solution, then run clean, fresh water through the brewing process once or twice to flush out any traces of vinegar.

Follow this guide for more on how to clean your coffee maker.

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Gas Stovetops

Sometimes food gets stuck on your gas stove’s burners, causing them to not light. Use a toothbrush to clean off food spills from the igniter. If your gas stove has electronic ignition, it’s a little ceramic nub located either on the stovetop or under the ceramic seal strike plate. Also, make sure that the round ceramic seal strike plate is properly seated on the burner.

Try these gas stove burner repair tips before making a service call.

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Clean Your Electric Toothbrush Handle

If you use an electric toothbrush, you know that the handle can get pretty gross. To clean it, rinse the metal shaft area with warm water to loosen up any gunk, then wipe the entire surface of the handle with a damp cloth. You can also use a cotton swab with a little sanitizer solution to remove excess grime in those hard-to-reach spots or where it is caked on. Then just rinse it with warm water and dry. Never push on the rubber seal around the metal shaft with a sharp object, as this can cause water damage.

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Get a Streak-Free Shine

For everyday cleaning on the outside of appliances, use a microfiber cloth. Clean Mama polishing microfiber cloths can be used on stainless steel appliances, computers, phones and tablets and are machine washable.

Never do these 10 things with a Magic Eraser.

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Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.