How Often You Should Really Be Cleaning Your Small Kitchen Appliances

For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of the home and consequently, one of the busiest areas. Whether you are a master chef or just get by when it comes to cooking, the various small appliances we use quickly end up messy. Though it may seem time-consuming, the key to keeping your small appliances clean is to wipe them down after each use, and with a few tips, it can be easier than you may think.

Small appliances like coffee makers and toasters are usually kept out on kitchen countertops because we use them often. Some are always out, like microwaves. Others, such as blenders and food processors, are often kept in cabinets until they are used. Of course, what gets left out and what gets stored away differs in every kitchen. Sometimes the appliances that are stored away get cleaned before another use while the ones left out build up grease and grime. That actually makes cleaning them more difficult and time-consuming, and leaving grease on surfaces can result in hard-to-remove stains.

Small appliances need prompt and regular cleaning

The key to sparkling appliances lies in understanding their individual cleaning needs. Some things in your home should be cleaned daily, some require only a quick wipe-down after each use, and others can be cleaned every few weeks. The worst thing you can do is allow the mess to build up and end up sticky, grimy, and stuck, which can also attract insects.

Wipe down the exterior of your toaster after each use and remove the crumb tray regularly. Remove coffee grounds from your coffee maker after using. Rinse blender blades and the pitcher immediately after use, then wash them thoroughly. For things that get covered in food residue like grills, waffle makers, and air fryers, thoroughly clean the surfaces with soap and water after every use to prevent grease and grime from building. You can also soak any removable parts while you eat so they are easier to clean afterward.

For food processors, wash the bowl, lid, and blades after each use, paying special attention to rinsing the blades. With stand mixers, wash the mixing bowls and beaters after each use, and wipe down the base regularly. With microwaves, wipe up spills immediately and deep clean monthly with a lemon-water or vinegar-water mix. For both coffee makers and electric kettles, descale every few months using equal parts water and white vinegar.

Make daily kitchen appliance cleaning a habit

Building a habit of cleaning your small appliances after each use takes some effort, so it helps to enlist the other members of your household to do the same. There are other strategies you can use to make it easier and more sustainable, too. First off, one of the best ways to clean your kitchen is to make it quick and easy by focusing on basic cleaning after each use. Start small and don't try to overhaul your cleaning routine overnight. Instead, pick one or two appliances you use frequently and focus on cleaning them after each use. Once that becomes ingrained, add another appliance to the mix. Then make it convenient and keep cleaning supplies readily available near your appliances. Have a designated spot for sponges, dish soap, and a spray bottle filled with vinegar solution.

It also helps to pair cleaning with another regular activity. For example, combine cleaning appliances with another routine task you already do in the kitchen, like waiting for water to boil or while food cooks or cools. This way instead of adding extra time cleaning, you are saving time by integrating it into your existing workflow. You can also play some music or listen to a podcast while cleaning up. Remember, when you clean as you go while cooking, you not only prevent messes from accumulating you also make the final cleanup easier.