How to Clean and Maintain Your Appliances

photo credit: bbrad2

Most appliances don’t come cheap so it is very important to clean and maintain them properly. The following tips will help you clean and maintain your coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator.

Coffee Maker

If you use your coffee make over and over without ever cleaning it,  your coffee will eventually start to taste bitter and gross. To avoid this, you have a few options. You can try using a commercial cleaner, or just use vinegar. Commercial cleaners are made specifically for coffee makers and shouldn’t leave a residue or aftertaste.

If you go the vinegar route, which is much cheaper, all you have to do is put one part vinegar and one part water into your coffee maker and run it through. You can use the same water a few times over, but you should definitely run clean water through the machine before you make coffee to rinse it clean. For best results, you should try to clean your coffee maker once a month.


Cleaning your microwave may be a little scary, depending on how much you use it and how regularly you clean it. If you’ve got lots of baked-on food in there that won’t come off with a sponge and some soapy water, try this: Fill a microwave safe bowl with about 2 cups of water and some lemon juice. You can also slice a lemon in half–put one half in the water and squeeze a little juice in there as well. Put it all in the microwave until it boils and then let it sit for a few minutes. Once you’ve waited, open it up and wipe it down. The steam from the water should have loosened everything up so that it’s a piece of cake to wipe up.


Cleaning the interior of your refrigerator is a fairly basic thing to do. Most refrigerators have removable drawers and shelves for easy cleaning. All you have to do is take the shelves and drawers out and wipe them off with soap and water, make sure you dry them off before you replace them. If that isn’t enough, try using a baking soda and water paste to help scrub off those tough spills.

There are also a few things that you should do in order to keep your refrigerator running well. You may not know it, but most refrigerators have something called a drip pan that should be cleaned whenever you defrost or clean your refrigerator. To locate the drip pan, you can check your owner’s manual, or remove the grill from the front bottom of the refrigerator and use a flashlight to find it. Once you find it, you may want to put some gloves on because they tend to get a little moldy and gross. Using bleach would be a good idea to make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned, if you have any questions, you should refer to the owner’s manual.

Every couple of months you should also vacuum the refrigerator coils. They can either be located at the back or underneath the refrigerator. If they are underneath, you could do it the same time you clean your drip pan because you will have to remove the grill at the bottom of the machine. If the coils on your refrigerator are on the back, unplug the refrigerator and move it away from the wall. All you want to do is get the dust out of there. This will reduce the amount of energy it takes to run the refrigerator–the dirt and dust makes a refrigerator have to work harder to stay cold.

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  1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being “too clean”. If you are out in public, you will be subjected to plenty of bugs to keep your immune system active. What you are referring to is probably the advice that you should not use antibacterial soaps on a daily basis. There are many soaps of different varieties, and other products as well that are marketed as “antibacterial”. In general, this is not a good idea because
    1) the antibacterial products may only kill bacteria that are beneficial to you, which can allow disease causing bacteria, yeast and fungus to grow; 2) the antibacterial formulas are generally more drying to your skin which can cause damage that will increase your risk of infection; and 3) antibacterial soaps can create “resistant” bacteria so when you really need to use that type of soap it won’t be effective. So, just don’t use any soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc. that you use for personal hygiene or for hand washing dishes that are labeled as “antibacterial”. Other than that—clean away!