How Often Should You Clean Your Appliances?
Cleaning is quite the chore. Well, unless you’re one of the rare people who finds the answers to all of life’s questions whilst you furiously mop the floor. For most of us, however, it’s just something that we accept that we need to do – whether it’s wiping down surfaces, scrubbing floors or de-dirtying dishes. Thankfully, we have a lot of appliances that help us achieve this – such as washing machines and dishwashers. But, because of this, we can sometimes forget that our appliances don’t necessarily clean themselves during these processes. Not to worry, as we’re here to remind you of the appliances that you should clean, how you should do this and how often you should clean them.
It could be argued that washing machines could be, strangely, one of the least cleaned home appliances in homes up and down the country. Why? Well, we tend to think of them as cleaners themselves. After all, if your clothes are lovely, soft and clean, then it’s because the washing machine is a metaphorical flowerbed of softness and delight, right? But what if we told you that it can be home to salmonella? Germs love washing machines and an un-washed washing machine can become a breeding and stomping ground for all sorts of nasties.
Now there’s no doubting that a hot wash of your clothes does help the innards of your machine, but you should still run a monthly empty load with hot water and a mug’s worth of distilled white vinegar. The vinegar will sanitize the machine – getting rid of Jeremy the Germfather and his troublesome pals. For front-loading machines, make sure to leave the door open between washes. This allows air to get in and stops it from becoming an appetising environment for germs.
Much like washing machines, dishwashers can also suffer from the perception of being clean because they clean other things. While, again, regular washing of dishes helps the dishwasher keep itself clean, it can easily become home to chunks of food and debris from your dishes – turning the water grimy and dirty, and eventually leading to blockages. When that happens, Jeremy the Germfather and his gang of misfits will happily jump ship from your washing machine to your dishwasher.
To stop them in their tracks – and keep your dishwasher in good working order – put some distilled white vinegar into a mug or a cup (dishwasher-safe, of course), placing it on the highest shelf of an empty dishwasher. Put it through a full hot water cycle to allow the vinegar to get to work. If your machine is still a bit smelly after this, place a cup of baking soda on the bottom shelf and run it on a half-cycle of hot water. After this is done, simply keep your dishwasher door open for a few hours and you should have a sparkly, smell-free cubbyhole of cleanliness. The Germfather’s cleanliness extortion racket will have been ran out of town by The Soapranos.
Our last appliance on today’s list is the robust refrigerator. Often home to the likes of Annie the Apple or Clive the Cod, fridges are a source of nutrients and nourishment. But because it’s where we store our food (or, in our case, an unhealthy obsession with giving everything a human name), fridges need to be kept clean to avoid making us ill. You’ll want to remove everything from your fridge and wipe it down every 3-4 months. This is also a good way to easily check when something has gone out of date – either by sight or by smell.
Wipe the shelves down with a simple solution made up of a jugful of hot water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. When it comes to putting everything back in, make sure to place cans of juice, alcohol or fruit juice on your top shelf, whereas the bottom should contain perishables such as meat, fish and dairy products. This is because the bottom of a fridge is often the coldest area, and the top tends to be warmer. The middle shelf/shelves should be home to items that require a constant temperature – such as butter, eggs and jarred things. Fruit and veg should be placed in the drawers, while condiments belong on the shelf on the door.
So there you have it – some tips to keep some of your biggest (and most expensive) home appliances clean and well maintained. Following these tips can help reduce the chances of needing your appliances repaired, by the likes of our lot at Repair Aid, and it’ll keep you and your family healthy.
As for The Germfather? Well, it’s not personal, Jeremy. It’s strictly business.