Your 3-Ingredient All-Appliance Clean Up Kit

Your 3-Ingredient All-Appliance Clean Up Kit

Taryn Williford
Dec 3, 2010

We're big fans of natural remedies. We'll choose a gallon of orange juice over a teaspoon of cold medicine any day. So it figures that tendency towards all-natural solutions would extend from our bodies to our homes. Our appliance clean up kit is prepared to scrub, disinfect and de-stink even the toughest kitchen tech messes—and it's only three ingredients. Read through to find out what they are—and the 10 appliances you can clean with them.

OK, we lied. We technically keep 4 products on hand to tackle messes in and on our oven, range, refrigerator, dishwasher and garbage disposal: Lemon, baking soda, vinegar and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. (What? That little piece of foam is incredible.)

But you can get along just fine without the Magic Eraser. Here's how:

  • Lemon juice is awesome at dissolving soap scum and hard water deposits, so we love to put some in our dishwasher (about 1/4 cup in the soap dispenser) and run an empty cycle.
  • A whole lemon can be perfect for scrubbing stubborn stains—cut it in half and sprinkle some baking soda on the cut surface to scrub surface stains on your appliances' walls and exteriors.
  • When you're done, grind up the lemon's peel in your garbage disposal to freshen the drain and get rid of that funky smell.

Baking Soda
  • Mix baking soda with lemon or vinegar to create scrubs and pastes that tackle stains (Always mix gingerly—we all know what happens with baking soda and vinegar).
  • Clean your fridge and freezer with dry baking soda sprinkled on a damp cloth. Rinse with clear water.
  • A sprinkle of baking soda, followed by a soak in water, on your grill or grill pan can help get them clean and free of caked-on food.
  • Don't store your box in the cabinet—leave it in the refrigerator where it can help absorb odors.
  • BONUS: Baking soda can put out a grease fire.

  • Vinegar cuts grease. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle to clean and shine your stove top, range hood or any other surface. Basically anywhere you'd use a spray cleaner (But be careful—vinegar is very acidic and can eat away at tile grout and marble surfaces).
  • Vinegar also works great to cut the grease on items like electric griddles before washing them.
  • Run vinegar through your coffee maker instead of water (and without any coffee grinds) to clean coffee stains (And run it again three times with clean water to rinse it out before your morning brew).
  • To loosen caked-on grime when wiping down the microwave, first put a tablespoon of vinegar in a bowl of water and microwave it to a boil.
  • You can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice in an empty dishwasher cycle to rid odors and clean your machine.

(Images: microwave, Flickr user theroamincatholic under license from Creative Commons; lemon, Flickr user master bob under license from Creative Commons; baking soda, Flickr user RowdyKittens under license from Creative Commons; vinegar, Flickr user thelouche under license from Creative Commons)

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