Spring Cleaning

The 1 Thing You Need to Do So Your Appliances Will Run Better than Ever

published Apr 19, 2024
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Apartment Therapy’s Spring Cleaning Cure is a free 10-day program that’ll help you achieve a tidier home. Chat live in the comments with Executive Lifestyle Director, Charli Penn, today from 12 to 1 p.m. EDT to get all your questions answered.

For all the hard work our appliances do — whether they brew our morning coffee, heat our leftovers, clean our dishes, or dry our clothes — they need some care to keep up the great work. Without it, they can often fall into disrepair or stop performing optimally. 

That’s why today we’re going to clean your “most-loved,” aka most-used, appliance.

Day 5: Clean your most-used appliance.

Pick your most-used appliance (or one that really needs some love), big or small, and dedicate today’s assignment to cleaning it. Here are some options to consider.

Cooktop 

Get your cooktop sparkling-clean. You should be regularly wiping it down to pick up any spills and splatters and giving it a more thorough cleaning every so often. If you have a glass stovetop, you’ll need some household items to get it clean, and you want to be mindful of removing debris before you start cleaning to avoid scratches. For gas stoves, it’s important to remove the grates — and clean them separately — to get underneath and clean the surface. And for those with electric stove burners, you’ll want to be extra careful not to get the electrical connections wet and to gently clean them.

Oven

Give your oven the deep clean it needs to remove any gunk and grease buildup inside. Ovens should be cleaned every three months or so, depending on how often you use it. Most times, you can just create a simple DIY cleaning paste of baking soda and water to get your oven clean. And for any lingering residue, use vinegar. You can also go with a store-bought oven cleaner if you prefer. Don’t forget to clean the oven racks, too!

Dishwasher

Your dishwasher requires regular cleaning — here are some signs that it needs one ASAP! — and experts recommend using a dishwasher cleaner or at least every three months. Vinegar is great to use weekly to naturally disinfect your dishwasher. Be sure to wipe down the seals and exterior, and don’t forget to clean the dishwasher filter, too.

Washer and/or Dryer

It’s important not to wait too long to clean your washer or dryer — they should receive some level of care at least monthly — as it’ll not only impact the longevity of the machine, but also the quality of the items you put in them.

  • For washers: Depending on the type of washer you have (top-load or front-load), you may have to take extra steps to clean it. For instance, a top-load washer is more prone to getting mold or mildew buildup, so be on the lookout for it. A front-load washer’s door seals and gaskets will need regular cleaning. For both, be sure to clean the inside, along with any of the compartments, as well as the outside. Consider purchasing a washing machine cleaner, like this Lemi Shine one, that you can easily throw in on a regular or self-cleaning cycle, or clean with vinegar
  • For dryers: Take out the lint filter and give it a rinse with warm water. Make sure it’s dry before putting it back inside. Also, it’s important to remove lint from the lint filter before every load. Take the time to inspect the dryer exhaust on the outside of your home to make sure there’s no debris or blockage. Additionally, the dryer vent needs to be cleaned at least once a year. Using a dryer vent cleaning kit, like this award-winning one, can help you keep it clean; however, for a deeper clean, if you’re unsure how to get this done, or if you have a longer vent tube, you’ll want to get this professionally cleaned.

Small Appliances

Small appliances you use regularly need some care, too! Here are some you can clean: the coffee maker, toaster, air fryer, microwave, or toaster oven.

PRO TIP: To remove gunk off your cooktop safely (without scratching it!), consider getting a plastic scraper. It’s also useful at removing stuck-on food on pots and pans. 

Have questions about cleaning your appliances or about spring cleaning in general? Submit your questions in the comment section and Executive Lifestyle Director, Charli Penn, will answer them on April 19 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. EDT.

More Ways to Participate in the Spring Cleaning Cure

The Cure Program is a tradition here at Apartment Therapy — it happens every January, April, and September. Click here to learn more about the year-round program and when to sign up.