If your fridge, microwave or washer could sit on Santa’s lap, what would they ask for this Christmas? If your fridge, microwave or washer could sit on Santa’s lap, what would they ask for this Christmas?
A good hearty cleaning and maintenance.
While hosting parties and guests may be fun for you, it isn’t so fun for your appliances. That’s why it’s so important to give all your major appliances some love before the holiday hits.
But between shopping, cooking and general house cleaning, you probably don’t have time for yet another item on your to-do list.
However, this one’s worth it. Cleaning and maintaining your household appliances will help them last longer and stay effective throughout their life.
The last thing you want is for your oven to stop working in the middle of that Christmas ham, or for your washer to give out the moment your in-laws arrive for a week-long visit.
Cleaning your appliances is also important to keep bacteria buildup, mold and grime from crashing your next party.
Don’t let a broken-down freezer or dirty dishwasher be the Grinch who steals this Christmas. Here’s our breakdown of how to clean the appliances that’ll be working overtime this holiday season.
Stay Frigid with a Clean Fridge & Freezer
You won’t be gobbling up that Thanksgiving turkey you stuck in the freezer a week ago if it starts thawing too early thanks to a broken fridge.
Even if your fridge isn’t at risk of a total meltdown, you could be preventing your fridge and freezer from running efficiently and getting as cold as possible if you haven’t cleaned them recently.
Cleaning out the inside of your fridge and freezer can help them work better. This is because a well-kept fridge or freezer doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cold, which means less wear on the parts.
Cleanliness is also important for ensuring that your kitchen is sanitary.
How to clean your refrigerator coils:
- Locate the coils on your fridge (usually in the back or on the bottom or top of your fridge.)
- If you can’t find the coils, call the manufacturer of your fridge or search online to see how to access them on your specific model. On some modern or high-end designs, you may need the help of a professional to reach the coils.
- Be sure to unplug the fridge before you pull it away from the wall to prevent the possibility of getting shocked.
- You can use a long-wired brush on the coils or a vacuum hose to remove dust, pet hair, dirt, or whatever else you may find.
How to clean the inside of your freezer:
- Defrost the freezer by turning the power off at the circuit breaker
- You’ll have to move any food to another location for the time being, so it’s good to do this when the icebox is looking a little low), then wipe it out with a surface cleaner or a homemade solution of baking soda and hot water.
Pro-tip: You can use that same cleaning solution on the inside of your fridge, too. Just empty out the fridge and scrub away — you don’t need to worry about unplugging it or defrosting like you do with the freezer.
Keep Your Oven Efficient & Your Stovetop Hot
Your oven and stovetop are ground zero for the holidays.
Whether you’re hosting friends and family or baking cookies to take to a party, your holiday cooking depends on your oven and stove.
You want to make sure these appliances are running in prime condition before you pile on the extra load of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years cooking.
This time of year can be stressful on your wallet, which is why it’s so important to give these appliances a proper cleaning before the holidays roll around.
A thorough cleaning help your oven and stovetop run more efficiently, which means lower utility bills and a lower risk of costly maintenance and repairs.
How to clean your oven:
- Get rid of burnt-on grease by dabbing a damp cloth into baking soda and wiping down the oven’s interior.
- Leave a thick layer of baking soda paste on the surface for 5 minutes.
- Spray with white vinegar and wipe clean.
How to clean your stovetop:
- Combine a tablespoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of salt, then add a tablespoon of water and mix into a paste.
- Using a rag or spare cloth, apply the paste to the stovetop and scrub until clean.
Zap the Gunk from Your Microwave
Your microwave can be your saving grace when life gets busy. Whether you’re throwing in a microwave dinner before your kid’s Christmas pageant or heating up leftover ham, your microwave is the key to cooking on-the-go.
But when you spend a lot of time on the go, you may not give the inside of your microwave the attention it needs.
When you use your microwave a lot, food splatter can end up pasted on the interior walls. This can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can then infect the food you put into the microwave.
How to clean your microwave:
- Put a cup of water with a tablespoon of white vinegar or slices of lemon or other citrus in the microwave.
- Run the microwave for about 3 minutes or until the cleaning concoction is boiling, then turn it off.
- Important: let the water cool for 10-15 minutes before opening the microwave door.
- Open the door and wipe down the inside of the microwave with a sponge — the dried food stuck to the insides should come off easily.
Pro tip: To keep gunk from building up in the microwave, cover your food with a damp paper towel or get a microwave food cover.
Your Dishwasher Isn’t as Clean as You Think
Unless you want to spend Christmas hunched over a sink of dirty dishes, you need your dishwasher in working order to make life easy over the holidays.
But all those extra meals and guests and the table could mean more grit and gunk going in and out of the dishwasher.
And despite the help of dish soap, bacteria can build up and fester in the nooks and crannies of your dishwasher.
Give your dishwasher a thorough cleaning before the holidays hit to make sure it’s ready to do the heavy lifting once your guests arrive.
How to clean your dishwasher:
- Pick up Dishwasher Magic or another similar product designed to knock out the growth or E.coli, limescale and more.
- Following the instructions on the bottle, apply the cleaner and run a cycle (with the dishwasher empty) to wash away bacteria growth.
Keep Clothes Fresh and Avoid a Fire in Your Laundry Room
The holidays mean more parties, school functions and visits with family. And chances are, you’ll probably be breaking out that cocktail dress or ugly sweater you haven’t worn all year.
The last thing you need is the extra stress of a broken washer before a holiday event.
On top of that, you’ll likely be hosting family throughout the season. With extra loads of laundry piling up, you’ll want to make sure your washer and dryer are in holiday shape.
A washing machine has some spots that stay moist in between loads, making it a prime breeding ground for mold.
Your dryer can also become a fire hazard.
Lint is extremely flammable. And when exposed to a flame or a spark due to high levels of dry heat and poor ventilation, you could have a fire on your hands. That would put a real hamper damper on your Yuletide celebration!
Plus, without link buildup blocking your filter, your dryer will run more efficiently.
How to clean your washing machine:
- Use a rag and hot soapy water to wipe down the rubber lining on the inside of the door. You can also use mildew cleaner if you find mold or grime buildup.
- Remove and scrub the detergent dispensers.
- Put a cup of bleach and a cup of baking soda in the washer, and run an empty cycle on the hot water setting.
- Add some dishwasher detergent or a washing machine cleaner for an extra cleaning boost.
- If needed, repeat with another wash cycle.
How to clean your dyer:
- Making your dryer safe and efficient is all about keeping the lint trap clean.
- Remove lint and wipe down the filter with a dry rag.
- Use your vacuum with the hose attachment to get the lint trap super clean.
- Once the lint is all out, clean the trap with hot soapy water. Wipe down and dry then put back in place.
Now that you’ve got the appliances covered, there are a few other systems in your house you might want to have checked out before winter hits.
One of these is your water heater and your HVAC system. Both of these should be maintained once a year by a professional.
A properly kept water heater will provide consistent water pressure, run more efficiently and ensure your water stays clean.
As for your HVAC, you don’t want your heater breaking down when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Regular maintenance will make sure your heater runs reliably, cleanly, and efficiently all winter long.
If you need help cleaning your appliances or the rest of your house before the holidays hit, look no further than the home cleaning pros at GSC. Learn more about our cleaning services and set up an appointment today >