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How to Clean Your Appliances

Updated on July 24, 2020
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Rebecca loves sharing what she knows about alternative medicine, health, frugal living, fun, animals, and how to live a better life!

Don't let your appliances turn into this!

Why Clean Your appliances?

It seems like a no brainer that you should clean your appliances. Just as with any machine, they need some minor maintenance to keep them running efficiently. I only recently cleaned a dishwasher that sat for nearly 8 years, it was a mess. I needed to replace parts and give it a thorough cleaning, but once that was done it started back up like a champion. Seems a bit funny to clean a dishwasher but they need to be cleaned.

You clean your appliances to keep them in good operational order. It's not difficult to do and only needs done once a month or longer depending on use.

What will you need to clean your appliances?

These are mostly suggestions, and depending on the finish of your appliance you may need different cleaners to avoid visual damage.

  1. Washcloths
  2. Magic erasers
  3. Soap & water
  4. Baking soda
  5. White vinegar
  6. Bleach
  7. Specialty cleaners, such as those made for stainless steel
  8. A little bit of elbow grease

Step 1

Step 1. Always clean the interior and exterior of appliances with soap and water. Remove any dirt, grime, or debris that has accumulated on surfaces you can see. Then do the same for interior surfaces.

Magic erasers are amazing for any type of appliance, they will easily remove years of grime with a few swipes. You won't have to scrub for hours to get caked-on dirt removed. If you have stainless steel appliances as I do, be sure to find a cleaner that will not damage the finish. I use Stainless Steel Magic (which apparently they don't make anymore), or mineral spirits. But you can find an excellent cleaner with the link provided. And as for Magic erasers, you can get generic ones at the Dollar Tree that work just as well as Mr. Clean.

Remove shelves and give them a good old scrub with soap and water. Diluted bleach water will give them a nice clean scent, but be sure to wear gloves. Replace once finished.

Clean any filters as directed by your manufacturer. If you're not sure how, locate the model number on the appliance and find the manual online. Youtube videos are great for this too. Replace the filters if needed. Filters are really important, so if you have not cleaned them for a while be sure to take your time and do a good job. You'll find all sorts of scary things in those sometimes.

The Refrigerator

Still remodeling our kitchen but I love our refrigerator!
Still remodeling our kitchen but I love our refrigerator!
Dollar Tree baskets and mats for organization.
Dollar Tree baskets and mats for organization.
Can't fit much more in here!
Can't fit much more in here!

The Refrigerator

The Refrigerator is probably the worst appliance to clean. This is the most time-consuming. Especially if you have a large family. Keeping it clean and not overstuffed will allow better airflow to keep your food cold and fresh.

Since you're going to clean it out, you may want to consider the fridge organization at the same time. Any type of container such as those to hold eggs, butter, cans of soda, or beer will help with future cleanouts, and keep things easily accessible. Placemats are nice for shelf liners also. All of these things can be found at any home store or The Dollar Tree.

Fridge maintenance is easy, just the most dreaded because it takes time. For this, you are going to need those chemicals, lots of elbow grease and time. Clean it out, clean, and replace filters.

Our GE Adora Potscrubber

This appliance is almost 10 years old!
This appliance is almost 10 years old!

The Dishwasher

Just like with the refrigerator, you're going to want to clean off any caked on dirt or grime from the exterior and interior surfaces. Remove the racks, spray arms, baskets and clean those too, you may only need to do that yearly if even that much.

Make sure you clean the filters, this is really important, so take your time and do it properly. Also, if you are savvy enough clean the drain hose. It's not difficult to do but you'll need some minor tools to detach it. Be sure to cut off the main power supply first and turn off the water.

Once this is all done, racks returned, and the power and water have been restored, load 1 cup of white vinegar into the top rack in a dishwasher safe container, and sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda into the base of the dishwasher. Run it empty with these two items on the hottest setting you can. It will sparkle and shine as you've never seen! It will also get rid of any musty old stench! You should only need to do this once or twice a year depending on how often you use the appliance.

Dishwasher tips

  1. Never stuff the dishwasher so much that the spray arms jam
  2. Always use dishwasher safe utensils, pots, etc...
  3. Never run half full, it's just not efficient
  4. Only clean with vinegar once a year or so. Vinegar is highly acidic and should not be used all the time.
  5. Make sure your garbage disposal is clean to keep the drain line running free of clogs.

The Washer and Dryer

The Washer Machine

Same as the others, wipe off any exterior dirt or grime, and clean off any visible dirt in the drum. Inspect the water inlet hoses for wear, leaks, or holes. Clear the drain line and sink of any clogs.

Pour one cup of white vinegar into the drum of the washer machine and run on the hottest setting you have. I'm not sure load size matters, I've always run it on the smallest size to conserve water.

You won't even feel like your cleaning this appliance because like a coffee pot, it's just a matter of running a cycle with some cleaner in it.

With the washer and dryer, the most important thing you can do to prolong life is to keep items out of it that will stain, damage, clog or puncture the machine and always clean the filters! You should be cleaning the lint from your dryer with every use!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Rebecca


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