How to Safely Clean Appliances

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How to Safely Clean Appliances
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Walking into a clean kitchen can really improve your mood. But when life gets busy, making those appliances sparkle isn't always a top priority. Want to take back your kitchen before grease, grime and sticky fingerprints take over? Here are some time and money saving tips to get it done using items you have at home.

Oven
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Oven

If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, combine baking soda and seltzer water and paint it on the sides and bottom of the oven. "Once you have the baking soda on, spray it with white vinegar," says Leslie Reichert, aka The Cleaning Coach, a nationally recognized green cleaning expert. "Let it set overnight and spray every 30 minutes until you go to bed. Then, just wipe it off in the morning."

Leslie Reichert: The Cleaning Coach

Dishwasher
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Dishwasher

Run your dishwasher through its normal cycle, but instead of using detergent, use white vinegar or lemon juice. For tough stains, combine lemon juice with salt and gently scrub.

Refrigerator
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Refrigerator

Pull everything out of your refrigerator and throw out anything that's expired. Once the fridge is empty, apply baking soda to a damp microfiber cloth and wipe everything down. This neutralizes odors, nixes simple spills and removes stains.

Microwave
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Microwave

"Fill a microwave-safe cup with lemon juice and heat until it boils. The acid in the juice's steam will work to remove the grime on the sides of the microwave," explains Reichert. Afterward, wipe everything down with a clean, damp cloth.

Leslie Reichert: The Cleaning Coach

Toaster
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Toaster

While standing over your sink or a trash bag, turn your toaster upside down and gently shake to remove crumbs. Next, open the bottom up and shake again. "Make sure it's unplugged and don't go near the heating unit," advises Reichert. Wipe down with a cloth that's been lightly sprayed with vinegar.

Leslie Reichert: The Cleaning Coach

Toaster Oven
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Toaster Oven

Create a paste with baking soda and vinegar and apply to your unplugged toaster oven's burn spots. Let the paste set for 20 to 30 minutes and then wipe down the interior and exterior with a wet cloth. Use a scrubber for any stubborn spots.

Food Processor/Blender
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Food Processor/Blender

"All the pieces of the food processor can go into the dishwasher except the base," notes Reichert. "You can wipe the base with a microfiber cloth and white vinegar." She recommends using a toothbrush to remove gunk in small crevices. Then, wipe down the base with hot water and let it dry.

Leslie Reichert: The Cleaning Coach

Coffee Maker
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Coffee Maker

Pour vinegar into the water dispenser of your coffee maker and let it run through two to three times. Repeat, this time using water. Let it complete the cycle at least twice, or until water comes out clear. Wash the coffee pot either in the dishwasher or by hand with soap and water.

Electric Can Opener
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Electric Can Opener

"A wet toothbrush dipped in baking soda will work around the moving pieces of an electric can opener," notes Reichert. After you've finished scrubbing, wipe down with a damp, microfiber cloth, using care around the cutting area.

Leslie Reichert: The Cleaning Coach

Washing Machine
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Washing Machine

Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the tub (or detergent dispenser) of your washing machine and run on the hottest setting for a full cycle. After, remove the bleach/fabric softener dispensers and wash with soap and water in the sink. Wipe down the outside with a damp cloth, making sure to clean under the lid to remove built-up soap and dust. Leave the lid open to dry to prevent mildew.

Dryer
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Dryer

Lightly spritz white vinegar onto a microfiber cloth and wipe down the exterior and interior of your dryer. "You can put the dryer filter in the dishwasher to remove the oil," Reichert says. She recommends washing the lint drawer regularly, as oil builds up and can cause a fire due to restricted air flow.

Leslie Reichert: The Cleaning Coach

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