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How to Clean Your Major Appliances

by Reyna Thomas

When was the last time you gave your large appliances a deep cleaning? Cleaning your major appliances isn't just for aesthetics, but it also helps to maintain them and keep them working properly longer. Fortunately, achieving clean appliances only takes a bit of work and a little know-how. Cleaning appliances might seem like a long afternoon task, but with our help, you can have clean, fresh, and functioning appliances in no time!

Cleaning a Dishwasher

A dishwasher's function is to clean, but that doesn't mean it never needs cleaning. In reality, you should clean your dishwasher on a regular basis, just like you would your refrigerator or sink. Our simple tips for cleaning a dishwasher help prevent lingering smells and combat filth buildup.

First, start with an empty dishwasher, then fill a dishwasher-safe cup with vinegar. Place the cup on the top rack of the empty dishwasher. Next, run the dishwasher on the hottest, longest cycle. This will sanitize and loosen food and soap scum.

To clean a dishwasher fully, don't forget to clean the tops and sides of the door, then remove all the attachments and removable pieces and scrub them thoroughly. Finally, use the vinegar cleaning approach described above to remove any hard water deposits, substituting lemon juice for vinegar.

woman cleaning dishwasher

Cleaning a Refrigerator

The area behind your refrigerator is probably the dirtiest in your home. It's a gathering point for dust, filth, and a slew of other things that have accumulated behind it.

To clean, remove the refrigerator and mop up any spills. Then vacuum the refrigerator coils behind or beneath your refrigerator to reduce stress on the motor and extend its life.

Replace any loose door gaskets with a tighter seal to save energy use. Wipe down gaskets with warm, soapy water once a month; rinse and dry. The surfaces of your refrigerator can be cleaned and shined with a little soapy water or an equal parts solution of water and white vinegar. Wipe off shelves and crispers on a weekly basis or anytime a spill occurs.

Cleaning Laundry Machines

You may not think about cleaning the machine that cleans your clothes, but guess what? It needs to be cleaned. A clean washing machine should be at the top of your wish list because it helps your clothes come out cleaner and fresher.

Wipe off the outside of your washing machine on a regular basis, and give the inside a thorough cleaning every six months. Don't worry; this biannual cleaning is simple: there are only three steps to it, and the washing machine handles most of the heavy work.

hand in blue gloves cleaning washing machine with cloth

First, pour two cups of vinegar into the machine drum and run the longest cycle at the hottest temperature. After the cycle is complete, mix 1/4 cup vinegar with a quart of warm water. Use a sponge dipped in the mixture to wipe down the inside of the machine, the soap dispenser (if you can remove it, soak it in the vinegar and water before scrubbing), and the rubber seal if you have a front loader. Lastly, run another cycle without vinegar or detergent.

Cleaning your dryer on a regular basis helps your clothes dry faster and can also protect your home from serious damage. Clothes dryers are the source of many home fires, mainly to a failure to clean the dryer properly. Before each load, make sure you clean the lint screen or filter and the lint trap (the space where the filter goes). You can find specialty dryer brushes at home centers that bend to get into the trap compartment. Clean the dryer's vent hose and pipe every year or so to keep the machine functioning efficiently, which can be done with the help of a vent cleaning professional.

man cleaning dryer vent in home

Cleaning Stainless-Steel Appliances

Stainless-Steel finishes are a great lifesaver from having to clean hard messes. However, that doesn't prevent them from being dirty. There are prone to things like watermarks, fingerprints, and smudges that can be quite distracting and accumulate quickly. Here's how to clean stainless-steel appliances and remove those marks before they drive you insane!

  • For water spots: Bring distilled white vinegar to a boil. For 30 minutes, place a vinegar-soaked cloth on the water site. Scrub with the grain after adding baking soda. Wipe the surface clean and dry.
  • For fingerprints: Wipe with a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol.
  • For smudges/shine: Rub the surface with a soft cloth and a few drops of lemon oil.

a stainless-steel oven being cleaned

Your home appliances last longer and are more hygienic when cleaned regularly. So grab your supplies, and start deep cleaning! If you've found your appliances are beyond the need for cleaning, Downeast Home Appliance Center is here to help! With our large collection of top home appliances like refrigerators, laundry pairs, dishwashers, and more, you can give your home the upgrade it needs! If you need more help, just give us a call or stop in today!