Spring has sprung! It’s the time of year when flower blossoms begin to appear. The weather offers warmer days and chilly evenings. Everything appears to be fresh and new after a long, cold winter. Spring cleaning is a great way to come out of that winter hibernation, and refresh your household, too. Besides wiping down the window blinds, washing all the linen, and scrubbing the baseboards, you’ll want to take care of the machines you use everyday. Yes, spring cleaning for home appliances is a necessary task, but not as exhausting as it might appear. With these tips, your dishwasher will sparkle, and your garbage disposal will sing. Spring cleaning for home appliances can be completed in just one weekend. That way, you can get your chores done, and still enjoy the warmer temperatures and sunshine outside!
Top-Loading: Wipe down the exterior with warm, soapy water.
Fill the washer with hot water and add 1 quart of bleach. Allow it to agitate, then let it sit for at least an hour. After that, allow it to complete its cycle. Next, do the same thing again, using distilled white vinegar. While it’s soaking, dip a rag into the vinegar/water mixture and wipe down the interior of the machine. Pour vinegar & water mixtures into the dispensers, as well, to flush out any grime and build-up. After an hour, let it complete the cycle.
Front-Loading: Select “clean cycle” or “tub clean” setting on the machine. Add 2 cups of vinegar to the detergent tray and allow it to run the cycle. Fill it a second time with hot water, adding 2 cups of bleach to the tray this time. Allow it to run the cycle again. Run a third cycle with nothing but water. Remove the trays and dispensers and let them soak in warm, soapy water. Pull back the rubber seal around the door and using a bleach/water mixture, scrub it down.
Pull off any knobs AND the lint trap, and let them soak in warm, soapy water.
Clean out the drum, making sure to wipe it down well and get any pennies, stickers or other debris that might have fallen out of pockets.
Remove the vent tube from the back of the unit. Pull out lint and discard as you find it. Use your vacuum to remove excess lint build-up.
Keep vacuuming behind the dryer and around the vent, with an extension. Once it’s clean, reconnect the hose.
Pull out the bottom rack and inspect the bottom. Pull out any debris you find in there – you’ll be surprised at how much gets stuck! To clean your dishwasher, use the shortest cleaning cycle. First, run the washer with 1 cup of vinegar in a bowl, sitting on the top rack. For the next run, sprinkle 1/4 cup baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run a cycle again. Use warm, soapy water to scrub the front of your dishwasher and any knobs that you can pull off.
Disconnect the power by unplugging the disposal. Using a flashlight, identify anything stuck or wound around the blades. Remove them with tongs – never your hands. Pour a dozen ice cubes and about 1/2 cup of rock salt down the drain. Plug it back in, turn on the water, and let the disposal run for about a minute. Next, pour 1 cup of vinegar, followed by 1/2 cup baking soda down the disposal. Let sit for 15 minutes. Run the disposal with running water for another minute. Finally, plug the drain and let the basin fill to 3/4 full. Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Remove the plug and let the water drain while the disposal runs.
Take all of the food out of your fridge. This is a great time to throw away those expired condiments! Pull out the drawers and shelves. Wipe down the inside of the fridge with warm, soapy water. Let the drawers and shelves soak, if needed.
Vacuuming the coils in your refrigerator will help it run efficiently, and keep it clean. The coils will generally be either on the back of the unit, or on top of or below the doors. Take the cover off and use your vacuum to suck up all the hair, dust and debris.
Fill a tub or the sink with warm, soapy water. Remove the knobs, and place them in the soapy bath.
If you have grates, remove them and put them in a zipper-seal bag with 1/4 cup of ammonia. Leave them for at least 8 hours, then wipe down.
Self-cleaning ovens are great, but if you don’t have one, just sprinkle baking soda all over the oven, then spray down with vinegar. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, and then wipe down.
Don’t forget about the little guys, too – your coffee maker and microwave need spring cleaning once a month. Distilled white vinegar is a great option for these tasks. For your coffee maker, just run a solution of equal parts water and vinegar through the machine and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Flush out the vinegar by letting it cycle with plain water at least twice. For the microwave, place 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a bowl with 2 cups of water. Place the bowl in the microwave and let it heat for 3 full minutes. Let sit for 1 minute, then open the door and watch that gunk come right off!
Spring cleaning for home appliances isn’t such a tough task, after all! These simple tips will help you knock out these chores in no time, and keep your machines running efficiently.