5 top tips for spring-cleaning your kitchen

Keep every kitchen appliance sparkling clean with this handy guide…

11 Feb 2021

Appliances such as washing machines, fridge freezers, ovens and microwaves are designed to make our lives easier. 

If we want to get the best from them we need to spend a bit of time keeping them in great condition - and what better time to make a start than spring.

Here are some tips to give you the inspiration to get started:

 

Washing your washing machine

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 Your washing machine is probably one of the hardest working appliances you own, so it's worth giving it some TLC. If you use powder detergent, for instance, the dispenser drawer will need to be taken out and cleaned as it can get clogged up with soap residue.

One of the best ways to keep your washing machine ticking over is by running a maintenance wash every month or so. For example, if the inside of the drum becomes smelly, running your machine on a 60º programme with a biological detergent should do the trick.

 

Green cleaning your oven 

Cleaning the oven is a drag, but is has to be done. The best way to tackle the task is to set aside some time to give the oven your undivided attention. Then arm yourself with a bowl of hot soapy water, a sponge, cleaning cloths and rubber gloves and get stuck in. And if you’re looking for a new oven, remember, there are plenty out there with assisted cleaning features to make the task even easier.

Tip: An old toothbrush is useful for removing baked on grime from difficult to reach nooks and crannies.

To avoid those choking fumes associated with chemical oven cleaners and be environmentally friendly, you can clean your oven with just a few household staples. It's cheaper too.

A tried and tested method is to use a mixture of baking soda and salt: set aside a time when you can leave the oven cleaning overnight.

  • Remove the shelves and leave them to soak in some hot soapy water
  • Mix together one cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of table salt and make it into a paste with some water
  • Spread the paste on the glass door and bottom of your oven (include the walls if they're not self cleaning. Leave overnight.
  • Wipe off the baking powder mixture and grime with a damp sponge, rinsing frequently
  • Dry with a soft cloth

Lemon juice and salt is also effective at removing stubborn grease and grime from your oven, while vinegar is excellent for cleaning glass surfaces.

 

Fumigating the fridge freezer

Did you know that your fridge salad drawer can contain as much as 750 times the level of bacteria considered safe, including ecoli, salmonella and listeria? The best way to rid your fridge of germs is to make sure the temperature is set correctly (between 5°C to 3°C) and to regularly clean the interior, including all the storage areas, drawers and shelves. Here's how:

 

Scrubbing stainless steel

Stainless steel has a special coating on it that protects it from rust, scratches and stains. If this coating wears away, the plain steel layer beneath is exposed to damage.  It's become a really popular finish for appliances but it can be tricky to keep looking pristine. It's important not to use harsh chemicals or bleaching agents as they can eat away at the coating.

  • Remove stubborn residues by dabbing them with a little white vinegar. If food or greasy deposits are tricky to shift, leave the vinegar for a few minutes
  • Once the deposits have broken down, re-apply the anti-bacterial spray
  • Wipe the area dry, wiping in the direction of the steel finish

Tip: Avoid wiping in circular motions. This will scrub away the protective film and spread stain residues across the stainless steel surface.

Olive oil is a good gentle cleanser - it removes surface stains by diluting them, and doesn't break down the protective coating on stainless steel appliances. You can also use baby oil.

  • Dab a little oil onto a clean, dry cloth
  • Wipe the oil over the stainless steel surface and leave for several minutes
  • Remove the oily residue with a kitchen towel

Don’t forget to remove your cooker hood filters and give them a clean too! Regular filter cleaning keeps the air in your kitchen as fresh as the cooker hood itself. Here’s how:

 

Cleaning the microwave

 

Just like your oven, your microwave will need a thorough cleaning from time to time, and it's often baked on food and drink splatters up the sides and top of the oven that create the mess. Unfortunately these are the most tricky to get off.

  • Wipe away any loose crumbs with a damp cloth.
  • Partially fill a bowel with plain water and half a lemon. Place it in the microwave and set it to high for about 2 minutes.
  • Once the timer's pinged, remove the bowl from the microwave then dampen a clean cloth in the water (the water will be very hot so wear rubber gloves or wait for it to cool down). Use the cloth to wipe away the grime from the interior of the microwave. It should now come away easily.
  • If you're still left with any stubborn marks, add a bit of plain white vinegar to your cloth.
  • Leave the door of the oven open for a few minutes to air.

Tip: never use harsh chemicals or bleach to clean your microwave.

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