Give these appliances some TLC to kill germs, boost performance
By not cleaning your appliances, you are not just allowing germs to thrive, but you are also affecting the machines’ performance.
Clean it monthly to prevent a buildup of germs and maintain its efficiency. Pour distilled white vinegar into a dishwasher-safe cup (such as a two-cup Pyrex measuring cup), and place the cup upright on an empty dishwasher’s top rack. Run a full cycle, using the hot-water setting. Next, deodorize the machine by sprinkling a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the tub and running the dishwasher on a halfcycle with hot water. After, leave it open for a few hours to air it out.
Give it a thorough cleaning once a month. Hard-water minerals can build up in its inner workings, which can not only affect the taste of your joe but slow its brew time. Fill the reservoir with equal parts vinegar and water and place a paper filter in the machine’s basket. Brew the solution halfway. Turn off the machine and let it sit for 30 minutes. Turn it back on and finish brewing. Pour out the solution, replace the filter and run clean water through the machine two more times.
Remove everything from your refrigerator quarterly so you can wipe down the inside. Toss anything past its prime. Wipe and deodorize shelves with a solution of warm water and baking soda (1 tablespoon baking soda in 1 quart of warm water). If you can, pull the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum dust and dirt that has collected.
When you go to refill your refrigerator, don’t overstuff it. You need room to let cool air circulate, which will keep food at a safe temperature.
When you restock, keep items such as soda, beer and pasteurized fruit juices on the top shelf. This is not the coldest place in your fridge, so you want to avoid storing items such as milk that spoil easily there.
On the middle shelf, store items that require a consistent temperature, including eggs, butter and jarred foods such as tomato sauce.
On the bottom shelf, store items that spoil easily, such as dairy products and raw meat. Store condiments such as ketchup, jams, salad dressings, mustard and pickles on the door. These items can withstand higher temperatures.
Store vegetables in the drawer labelled “high humidity,” and store fruit in the “low-humidity” drawer, sometimes called the crisper.
Fill a microwave-safe cup or bowl with about one cup of water. Add several slices of lemon or several tablespoons of white vinegar. Place the cup inside and run the microwave on high for three minutes or until the water is very hot and the window is covered in steam. Open the door and wipe down the interior with a clean cloth. I do this about once a month, but I suggest doing it more frequently if you regularly heat up soup, melt butter or warm anything uncovered that has the potential to splatter.