woman cleaning the inside of a microwave
Photo: Oktay Ortakcioglu/Getty Images
« »

Do Basic Appliance Maintenance and Cleaning

If all of your appliances are in good working order, take some time to do some basic cleaning and yearly maintenance.

Clean the condenser coils. They're usually located on the bottom, back, or top of the refrigerator. Unplug the fridge, then use a coil brush to remove dust and dirt.

Wipe down the entire interior and door gaskets with 2 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in one quart of water. Then rinse with water. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the gasket at the hinge side to keep it pliable.

To clean the water and ice dispenser, soak the spill shelf for 30 minutes in undiluted vinegar. The area behind the glass cradle can be wiped clean with vinegar water or a mild soap and water solution. The ice chute can be cleaned with mild soap and water and a soft cloth.

To clean stainless-steel tubs, remove all dishes and utensils, do not add detergent, and select the potscrubber cycle. Start the dishwasher and allow it to run 15 to 20 minutes (until it gets to the main wash). Open the door and pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. Close door and allow the dishwasher to complete the cycle. To clean plastic tubs, use a citric acid wash: Fill the detergent cup with 3 to 4 ounces of citric acid crystals and close the cup. Run through a normal wash cycle, and follow up with another wash cycle using dishwasher detergent.

For caked-on foods, heat one cup of water on full power for three minutes. The heat and steam help to soften the food. Let it stand for five minutes before wiping it clean. Use a non-abrasive scrubbing pad and mild dish washing liquid on stubborn stains. For stainless steel microwave interiors, use a soapy plastic scouring pad.
Ask TOH users about Kitchen

Contribute to This Story Below