How often do you really clean the coils on your fridge? Once a week? Maybe once a month? Or if you are like thousands of others, you have forgotten that your fridge has coils.
Clean everything thoroughly
Your appliances will last a lot longer if you give them a regular cleaning. Once a month, you should break out the hose attachment to your vacuum and get all of the dust, hair, and crumbs out of or off your appliances. Start with the refrigerator it is the most important. Your food needs to stay cool, so always clean the fridge first.
Some models still have the coils located on the back of the appliance, so if you have trouble, enlist help to pull it away from the wall. Using the brush attachment, carefully vacuum away all of the dust. You may need to use a long lint brush to loosen some of the dust and dirt, then vacuum again. You can purchase a kit at some Big Lots stores for less than $5 (USD). If you cannot find them at this store, try you local hardware store and ask for dryer lint/cleaning brushes.
This is one of the most versatile tools you can purchase for cleaning. Not only can you clean your dryer with it, but you can get lint and dust from many other hard to reach areas in your home. If you buy a kit with several lengths of brushes you can have even very small hands help.
Once you have cleaned the coils from your fridge, move to your range. If you do not have a smooth ceramic top range, lift the top and vacuum under it. Remove all food particles and dust. Clean connections with a damp cloth or sponge. Leave the top open to dry. Check the back of the range for dust build-up around electrical connections. You may need to remove the thin metal backing, but this is easily done if you loosen one side, then ease the vacuum nozzle inside. Watch the edges of the metal, it can be sharp.
Be aware that power is OFF
Always use caution when cleaning electrical connections. Do not touch them unless the appliance is unplugged and never use liquid to clean them. A vacuum or compressed air is best for removing dirt from an electrical connection.
Move on to the dishwasher. Inside your dishwasher, you may see buildup on the water seals, heating elements, and other areas. Fill the rinsing agent compartment with pure white vinegar. In the pre-wash compartment, pour borax powder. In the detergent compartment, place plain baking soda. Run through a heavy cycle, such as for pots and pans. If your dishwasher is extremely dirty, use a spray bottle filled with vinegar and cover the inside with a solid coating of vinegar. Proceed as directed above.
Other appliances in your home need once a month cleaning, as well. Your toaster can be cleaned by turning over and opening the hinged panel on the bottom. Use your new lint brushes here! Vacuum if you do not have the lint brushes. Coffee makers should be cleaned with a solution of half vinegar and half water. Commercial scale and lime removers can be used if the coffee maker is too full of mineral deposits for vinegar to remove.
Washing machines can be cleaned in the same manner as dishwashers. Do not add the vinegar until the rinse cycle to avoid a reaction with the baking soda. If you have a fabric softener ball, use it here. Your dryer should be vacuumed in every place that you can possible get the nozzle to. Dryers are known for starting house fires, so please clean yours a minimum of once a month. Each time you use the dryer, clean the dryer screen. This will help keep your dryer running at top efficiency and keep you safer.