What You Should Know About Maintaining Your Kitchen Appliances

Cleaning
Small Projects and Repairs
By Dikran Seferian October 01, 2021

Whether it's for heating a frozen dinner, brewing coffee, or toasting a slice of bread, your kitchen is a hub for household appliances. Some of this equipment comes in handy more often than others, while a select few are in constant use. However, the more we use them, the more maintenance they will normally require. Every now and then, you may notice some subtle signs that your equipment needs a check-up to reclaim its tip-top shape. By taking some basic DIY measures on a regular basis, you can significantly prolong the life of your kitchen appliances.

Refrigerator and Freezer Cleanup

Every now and then, consider cleaning your fridge inside out. Keeping your fridge in good condition greatly reduces the risk of having to repair it later on. One of the most effective maintenance measures you can take that many homeowners don’t know is to brush the coils of your fridge. The most common issue you may ever have with your refrigerator actually has to do with a buildup of dirt and other substances in the coils. These are either located on the front or on the back of your fridge. In the latter case, simply pull the fridge forward in order to access them. However, if your fridge has a toe guard on the bottom front, the coils will be in the front. Make sure to unplug the refrigerator before carrying on. 

To clean the coils, remove the guard and insert a coil brush all the way in, giving it a good scrub. Next, pull the brush out and vacuum it thoroughly. Vacuum the coils as well to get rid of any remaining debris. You may also have to clean the coil guard before reattaching it. 

Another part of the fridge that needs your occasional attention is the gasket. This is the air-tight seal along the edges of the fridge door. You may notice some sticky stains on the gasket over time. Allowing these stains to build up would cause the gasket to glue itself to the frame, making it physically challenging to open the fridge. Moreover, pulling harder on the door may actually tear the gasket, resulting in an unpleasant repair bill. You can avoid this by simply cleaning the fridge gasket once in a while with warm water and hand soap. While you’re at it, consider cleaning the frame as well.

Basic Fridge Maintenance Tips Homeowners Should Know

Basic Fridge Maintenance Tips Homeowners Should Know

Speaking of sticky stains, it is easy to forget what you have in the fridge, especially those jars in the back. Every now and then, it would be a good idea to carry out a major inventory check. Remove everything from your fridge, throwing away any expired foods sitting there since who knows when. Once the fridge is empty, thoroughly scrub out all the shelves, walls, and hard-to-reach corners with soap and warm water. Make sure to rewipe with a dry towel before restocking your fridge. Finish up by cleaning its exterior and roof for a brand new look.

As for the freezer, consider emptying the ice bin once a month to prevent frozen chunks from forming; otherwise, you may notice a strange odor coming from the ice. Moreover, to maintain the freezer’s efficiency, make sure to keep it stocked at all times. A busy freezer is more efficient than an empty one. On the other hand, overstocking will hinder air circulation among the contents (the same goes for the fridge).

Why a Full Freezer is Better Than an Empty One

Why a Full Freezer is Better Than an Empty One

Maintaining Your Stovetop, Oven, and Hood

Whether you’re cooking stir-fry or making soup, your stovetop is bound to get a taste of the food. Wiping off stains and residue after you’ve finished preparing meals would prevent any buildup. Neglecting this simple task is an open invitation for bacteria to make their way to your stovetop. Besides hygienic reasons, cleaning your cooktop regularly is also important to prevent the stove burners from eventually malfunctioning. To do so, use a toothbrush to remove any residue that may have accumulated on the igniter.

Sanitation Measures You Need to Take for Your Stovetop

Sanitation Measures You Need to Take for Your Stovetop

Moving on to the oven, you may be surprised by the amount of grime that would build up after a while. All those cakes, lasagnas, and roasts are bound to leave a good deal of grease behind which, combined with dirt and soot, eventually turns to grime. Since grime can be rather stubborn to remove, you can loosen it up by baking a mix of vinegar, water, and baking soda for about 45 minutes. Once the oven cools down, the grime will be much easier to clean off.

How to Control Buildup of Grime

How to Control Buildup of Grime

As for the stove hood, an occasional maintenance task would involve cleaning the filters. Remove the filter from the hood and bathe it in a degreasing agent. Afterwards, rinse it off and leave it to dry before reconnecting it to the hood.

Keeping Your Toaster Clean 

After a few buttered toasts and grilled cheese sandwiches, there comes the time when you need to give your toaster some much-needed care. Once you’ve unplugged your appliance, shake it over the trash can to get rid of crumbs and other bits. With a toothbrush, very gently scrub off any other remnants and that's it. Given how simple the procedure is, consider doing it after each use to maintain proper sanitation. However, every once in a while, it may be a good idea to wash your toaster with soap and warm water. You can make the whole process even easier by opting for a model that comes with a crumb tray. 

Blender Maintenance 

Cleaning the Blender Should Be a Priority

Cleaning the Blender Should Be a Priority

Don’t let that banana strawberry smoothie you just made distract you from having to clean your blender. Rinsing the container with water isn’t enough, either. After you’ve enjoyed your refreshment, fill the carafe (the blender’s container) halfway with warm water and detergent. Make sure the lid is on to prevent a huge mess. At the lowest speed, activate the appliance for a few seconds or until there’s no residue left on the sides of the carafe. Remove the container from the base and rinse it with running water. To clean the base, a damp piece of cloth will do.

A common issue you may come across with blenders is a leak. Oftentimes, it is a rather easy fix. To diagnose the problem, simply unassemble the blades and check for cracks in the sealing ring; replace it if necessary. If the sealing is fine, then there must be something else in the assembly that’s faulty, in which case it’s best to have it all replaced. 

Freshening Up Your Microwave 

Microwaves deserve more attention than we usually give them, especially considering they are the quicker, more preferred option for heating up our meals. Not only is microwave maintenance important for its appearance and longevity, it’s also crucial for food safety. You can make the procedure a lot easier by covering your food with microwave-safe lids that often come with the microwave. To keep your microwave in good condition and to prevent nasty smells from developing, wipe the interior on a regular basis — preferably after each use. To clean off stubborn stains, fill a microwavable bowl with water and a few slices of lemon, and heat it for a couple of minutes. This would essentially loosen the stains, making them easier to wipe off of the inner walls and door. Remove the plate from the roller glide and wipe the surface under it. It would be a good idea to wash the rolling plate in the sink before mounting it back on the glide. 

Common Household Items You Need to Pay Attention to

Common Household Items You Need to Pay Attention to

Cleansing Your Coffee Maker

If your coffee is dripping slower than usual, it may be a sign that it’s in need of maintenance. But whether there’s a sign or not, and whether you have an espresso machine or a regular brewer, you may need to give it a “detox” every now and then. You can basically let the machine do all the work by running a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water through the system. This would essentially get rid of any mineral buildup inside your coffee machine. 

Electric Kettle Care

Electric Kettles Are Bound to Get Dirty Over Time

Electric Kettles Are Bound to Get Dirty Over Time

The electric kettle is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment; you can use it for any situation that may require hot water (besides tea or cocoa). And due to how helpful this kitchen appliance is to us, taking proper care of it is the least we can do.

Over time, you may notice a buildup of sediments on and inside your kettle. To clean your appliance, pour in a solution of water and lemon (or vinegar) and bring it to a boil. Afterwards, rinse with water and give the kettle a good scrubbing. You can clean the outside of the appliance using the same solution as well.

To minimize water sediments from accumulating in your electric kettle, it would help to keep it empty when not in use. And with a bit of sustainable living in mind, consider filling just enough for each particular use to avoid throwing away excess water.

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian