Despite our best efforts to keep our cooking and cleaning spaces spotless, we’ve inevitably experienced a stuck-on mess on the stove or spill-over in the oven one time or another. Whether cheese has bubbled and melted off your pizza dough, or a fresh-baked berry pie starts to ooze all over the baking dish and spills onto the oven grates, it can leave your appliances and kitchen in complete disarray.
Keeping your home and high-traffic areas clean doesn’t require any fancy degree, it’s a matter of knowing where and how to clean. Just because something looks clean on the surface doesn’t mean it’s actually clean enough to eat off of. It’s important to properly kill bacteria and viruses in places that are germ hotspots, and especially in your kitchen. Next time you give your home a deep clean, don’t bother breaking out the hazmat suit, instead, check out a few of the cleaning options available in household kitchen and laundry appliances.
A self-clean cycle on your oven is one of the most helpful time-saving appliance features. The oven uses the natural heat it produces to clean the oven with higher-than-normal cooking temperatures. Some ovens can heat to around 880 degrees during the cleaning cycle. At this high of a temperature, any type of spill or food debris inside the appliance will begin to decompose, leaving a small amount of ash you can easily wipe away with a wet cloth.
The time it takes to clean can depend on how much you’re trying to clean, but one to three hours is typically a safe bet. Depending on your oven model, you might want to consider removing the racks beforehand if they are not self-clean appropriate. A stainless steel rack could become damaged during the cleaning process.
Self-Clean Ovens with Steam
You guessed it—the same oven cleaning principal with the power of steam. A steam clean cycle allows you to quickly do-away with minor food spills at much lower temperatures compared to the standard self-clean cycle. You start by pouring one cup of water into the bottom of the oven—making sure your oven is already cooled down. Then close the door and select the steam clean setting. This will run for around 30 minutes to break up and loosen any leftover grease and grim remaining in the oven. Once the cycle has run all the way through, wipe out any extra moisture with a cloth.
The good thing about steam cleaning is that it uses a lower temperature and doesn’t include any harsh chemicals to thoroughly clean. All your pans and oven racks can remain in the oven during the cleaning process. If some difficult stains or spills have been baked on multiple times, try using an oven cleaner in addition to running one of the cleaning cycles. A natural solution of vinegar and baking soda should get the job done.
Washers and Dryers with Sanitize and Allergen Cycles
You may not realize it, but your everyday attire carries germs, bacteria, dust, and allergens with you everywhere you go. Whether it’s dress clothes for work, athletic wear for the gym, or something casual for a night out on the town, the fabrics and materials you wear are tiny little germ traps. No cotton, polyester, or denim material is immune to allergens or bacteria—these irritants can be especially harmful to severe allergy sufferers. And during this ongoing COVID pandemic, it is critical to wash and change your clothing more frequently.
If your washing machine features a sanitizing cycle, take full advantage. It runs at a higher temperature compared to a regular wash cycle, which will help reduce any residual bacteria living inside your machine. A sanitize cycle will run somewhere between 150-170 degrees, and the hot water circulating throughout the machine creates friction to help scrub and wash away any stains or allergens left behind on your clothing. This hot water cycle is designed to eliminate germs without damaging any of your delicate materials.
And if your washing machine doesn’t offer a sanitize feature, then you better not forget the detergent. Plenty of warm soapy water will help cling to your fabrics to wick away any dust or stains you just can’t seem to get rid of.
Dishwashers with Sanitize Cycle
We’ve discussed keeping your kitchen and laundry surfaces clean, but what about the plates and cookware you eat off? Your dishwasher takes on the responsibility of properly cleaning all plates, utensils, glassware, stemware, pots, pans, baking sheets—the list goes on. Everything that goes in needs to come out spotless and clear of bacteria. With items that go into your food, they require a little extra care when it comes to cleaning.
The same way you want to keep a clean washing machine, routine maintenance of your dishwasher is equally important. Check the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher for any leftover debris or stuck-on food particles. Keep an eye on the spray arms as well—a buildup of any kind can affect the power and cleaning performance of your appliance.
If your dishwasher model has a specific self-clean option, you’re in luck. If not, no reason for concern—simply run a sanitize cycle to get rid of any odor and clean the interior of the dishwasher.
And don’t forget the baking soda and vinegar technique. You can easily remove the bottom rack to access the drain and remove any food remnants. Then, take your baking soda and sprinkle about one cup across the bottom of the appliance and run the hot water or sanitize cycle.
It seems simple enough, but keeping your surfaces and appliances clean is the best way to ensure a clean home. And if you need any help finding new appliances with high-level cleaning features, give us a call or stop by our store to shop our entire collection of cooking and cleaning appliances. The key to a happy home starts with a clean home.