7 Tips for Cleaning Your Appliances

Your appliances help your home run like a well-oiled machine. But without the proper cleaning and maintenance, they can make your life more complicated. When thinking about the most helpful cleaning tips around the house, we often center our efforts on open, high-foot-traffic areas. However, spending some time cleaning your appliances will have your home feeling fresher than ever.

7 Tips for Cleaning Your Appliances

1. Cleaning Your Refrigerator

Your refrigerator is the lifeblood of your food supply. A clean refrigerator equates to fresher food and a healthier household. Start by clearing the shelves and bins so you can access the tough-to-reach spots and corners. Wipe everything down with soap and warm water or try an equal-parts mixture of vinegar and water as a cleaning solution. This is also a good time to reorganize your refrigerator to cut down on food waste.

2. How to Clean Your Microwave

One simple cleaning hack can have your microwave looking brand new. Fill a microwave-safe bowl or container with water and heat it up until it starts to boil. Turn off the microwave and let the heated water sit for at least five minutes, then safely remove it. By heating up the water, the food particles caked on the walls of your microwave will be much easier to wipe away. To eliminate germs, disinfect your microwave’s handle and buttons.

3. Espresso Machine / Coffee Maker

If your coffee maker is kaput, your whole morning routine gets thrown off. Whether you use a stovetop coffee maker, French press, espresso machine, or a good old coffee pot, performing regular maintenance will decrease bacteria and mold growth. Periodically separate the removable parts of your coffee maker and wash them thoroughly with warm soap and water. If you have a coffee press, run the parts through the dishwasher occasionally to prevent buildup in the mesh.


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4. Dishwasher Cleaning Tips

If your dishwasher isn’t clean, your dishes won’t be either. Get it in pristine condition with a few simple cleaning tips. After cleaning all food scraps and gunk from the drain, wipe down the gaskets with warm soapy water. Though there are a variety of dishwasher cleaning products available, you can give your appliance a thorough deep cleaning with vinegar and baking soda. Fill a dishwasher safe container with one to two cups of vinegar and place it in the top rack. Run a cycle without dishwasher detergent nor other dishes. Once the cycle is complete, sprinkle roughly a cup of baking soda along the bottom rack and run another cycle.

5. How to Clean Your Stove Top

No matter how tidy you are as you cook your stove top will collect debris and buildup from splattering oil, butter, and food particles. Throw on some rubber gloves and get ready to give it some elbow grease. Soaking food buildup with warm water will break it down and make cleanup easier. Use a hard plastic scraper to get your stove top totally clean. If your burners are removable, remove them and soak them in water to get them sparkling clean.

6. Cleaning Your Washing Machine

Seeing stains in your freshly washed loads of laundry? It’s time to give your washing machine some TLC. Fortunately, your washing machine can do most of the cleaning work itself. Add a little vinegar to the drum and run a cycle on your machine’s hottest setting. Many newer models come with self-cleaning features and higher energy efficiency ratings to save water on each load.

7. Dryer Cleaning Tips

Don’t forget about your dryer, too! Dryer maintenance is largely a matter of cleaning out the lint traps regularly (after each use) and vacuuming the mesh. Without proper maintenance, your dryer can get clogged, leaving your washed clothes damp. And if enough dryer lint builds up, it could start a fire.

For more helpful cleaning tips, read our blog post on commonly missed cleaning spots throughout your home:

6 Commonly Missed Cleaning Spots


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5 Pet-Friendly House Cleaning Tips

Pets make a house a home. But as much as you love your furry friends, they do add a few entries to your list of chores. Keeping your home clean requires a bit of extra work, and some methods of upkeep are more pet-friendly than others. The following tips will help you keep your house clean and your pets happy.

5 Pet-Friendly House Cleaning Tips

1. Safely Clean Up Accidents

When pet owners buy a home, they proceed knowing full well that pet accidents and messes are bound to happen. Cleaning up messes quickly is important for keeping your home clean, but it will also remove the scent, so your pets don’t come back to that same area with the same intentions. When shopping around, look for cleaning products that are safe for animals and don’t contain any toxic chemicals.

2. Deep Clean to Reduce Smells

Pets have a knack for leaving a scent behind. Every pet owner knows the feeling of going through their normal cleaning routine to extinguish the pet smell from their home, only for it to linger after they’re done. To really get your home smelling fresh again, you’ll need to target your pets’ favorite areas as well as the commonly missed cleaning spots throughout your home like underneath furniture, along the baseboards, etc. You’ll be surprised at how much dirt and fur you find in these places.


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3. Clean Pet Toys Regularly

Your pets’ toys are magnets for dirt, fur, drool, and other unwanted substances. It’s a homeowner’s nightmare to imagine spending hours cleaning your home top to bottom, only for a muddy ball your pets have been chewing on to roll across the carpet. Cleaning toys regularly is also healthier for your pets as it helps to reduce the spread of germs. If your pets’ toys are dishwasher safe, pop them in the dishwasher every once in a while to get them squeaky clean.

4. Keep the Air Clean

Even after you’ve exhausted all your cleaning efforts on the surfaces throughout your home, pet fur and dander can still travel through the air. It’s important to clean the air in your home, especially if members of your household have allergies. Consider investing in an air purifier, which will filter air particles to remove dust and odors, giving everyone in your home—pets included—cleaner air to enjoy.

5. The Importance of Well-Groomed Pets

In the context of a clean, pet-friendly home, there’s one surface that’s more important than any—your pets themselves. Every pet owner has their routine; whether that’s regularly maintaining their cat’s litter box, wiping off the dog’s paws in the mudroom before letting them inside, regular baths and brushing, or keeping nails trimmed to avoid furniture and carpet damage, these are the boxes that must be checked to keep your home clean. For all your cleaning efforts, if your pets are still messy, then the spaces in your home will follow suit.

Read the following blog post for more information on maintaining a pet-friendly home as you look to sell:

Selling a Home with Pets


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6 Commonly Missed Cleaning Spots

It’s easy to get into a routine when cleaning your home season after season, year after year. While simply going over the same spots may make your home feel cleaner, at the same time, it allows the neglected areas to become dirtier. Here are six commonly missed spots around the home that, once given the attention they deserve, will help make your home feel completely clean.

6 Commonly Missed Cleaning Spots

1. Underneath & Behind Furniture

Dirt and dust love to hide in tough-to-reach, tucked-away spots like behind your nightstand, under your bed frame, and on the underside of your tables, chairs, and couches. Cleaning these areas may require some heavy lifting and rearranging but it’s worth your while. If enough dust and grime have accumulated over the years that your vacuum can’t remove the buildup, try using a washcloth to loosen the sediment.

2. Vents and Fans

Vents and fans not only collect dust, but they also distribute it around your home. Ceiling fans are one of the hardest spots in your home to reach, so you may need to use a ladder and an extended duster to clean them. Clean your vent grates with a dusting brush or a wire brush depending on the thickness of the buildup. If your home has central air, remember to replace your air filters periodically. A clean ventilation system is key to protecting your home’s air quality.

3. Bathroom Surfaces

We all know the feeling of picking up a rarely used shampoo bottle in the shower to discover a grimy ring underneath it. Wipe off your bottles and surfaces in the shower to keep it sparkling clean. Scrub away the debris from your shower head and soak it in a mixture of water and white vinegar to cleanse the device and to prevent a buildup of mineral deposits. To reach behind the toilet, you may need knee pads and an extended cleaning tool. Use a disinfectant-water mixture to prevent the spread of germs. Tackling chores like these will help make your bathroom feel brand new in no time.


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4. Switches & Handles

Light switches, door handles, drawer pulls, and knobs are all hotbeds for germs and dirt and can easily be forgotten while cleaning your home. Take a two-step approach to cleaning these high-touch surfaces: first clean, then disinfect. Cleaning will get rid of contaminants, while disinfecting targets pathogens. The combination of the two will help make your home feel cleaner while reducing the spread of germs. Other high-touch surfaces such as keyboards, phones, tablets, and other devices require regular cleaning as well.

5. Appliances

It’s easy to think of your appliances strictly as devices that help your home stay clean and organized, but they are magnets for dirt and gunk, too. After cleaning out the refrigerator and scrubbing down the shelves, find the coils and clean them of debris with a vacuum or a brush. The floor underneath your refrigerator can be a seriously grimy spot, so a quick mop of that area is worth your while. Give your dishwasher a good cleanse to prevent mold buildup and bad odors. Remember to clean out the filter occasionally with soap and water. Cleaning your appliances routinely can help avoid repairs and can even extend their life expectancy.

6. Baseboards

Baseboards are the perfect settling point for dirt and dust. The space between your walls and floors is an easy trap for buildup, and upon closer inspection, you’ll find some combination of scuffs, dust, food remnants and scratch marks. To thoroughly clean your baseboards, you may need to move your furniture away from the walls but be careful not to scratch the floor or damage the baseboards. Wipe away the dust before cleaning the surface. Use either a mix of soap and water, water and vinegar, or the proper wood cleaner for wooden baseboards. 

For more information on cleaning your home, seasonal maintenance, and more, visit the Living section of our blog.

Windermere Blog – Living

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