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Our electrical appliances provide us all with a quality of life which is unparalleled. It is becoming difficult to imagine our everyday life without our home appliances. Like any technological or industrial wonder, our electrical appliances are not without their shortcomings, one of which is a limited lifespan. In order for us to make the most of our different electrical helpers, and make sure they are performing optimally, there is a need for safeguarding, maintaining, and tending to them when necessary.
The most common issues with home appliances have a great deal to do with their level of cleanliness, or lack thereof. Because these are machines which we use on a regular basis, they need to be maintained properly, and that means cleaning them. In this article, we will discuss the process of cleaning appliances large and small. Furthermore, every appliances comes with a user manual and in that manual there are often cleaning instructions. It would be best to adhere to those instructions.
Please note that the electric grid can be dangerous. Remember to unplug any and all electrical devices before cleaning them. Whether you use liquids or not, it is best to stay cautious by simply unplugging it for a few minutes.
The oven gathers large quantities of dirt and grease. We use it in a variety of ways: we roast, bake, and cook all kinds of foods and ingredients. In high temperatures, liquids and solids alike tend to let out fumes and cause pieces of food to get stuck in different places. Many times, you can see the smoke and smell the scent of burned grease, which is often what accumulates at the bottom of the oven.
The oven may be functioning properly, but the grease and grime which are inside of it may begin to cause problems before long. In extreme cases, the dirt could actually start affecting the taste and quality of the food, and become – according to some studies – a real health risk.
Nowadays, many cooking ovens come equipped with a powerful self-cleaning mechanism. The temperatures often become so high, that the oven seals itself shut to avoid causing serious injury. When the cleaning process is complete, the oven door becomes usable once again. This method is the easiest there is. Press a button and wait. Beware that there isn’t anything in the oven when you turn on self-cleaning more – this is a sure way to burn down your house!
If your oven has no internal mechanism, you will need to do it the old fashioned way. Ideally, it would be best to clean the oven after each use, but this is usually not the case. Most of us don’t have the time or patience to clean the oven regularly, which means that by the time you do come around to cleaning it, there is a nice thick layer of grease and grime.
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Alright, first of all – prevention maintenance. How do we prevent those amounts of grease and dirt from accumulating? Well, you can use trays, cooking sheets, and aluminum foil. Placing them at the bottom of the oven, as well as in the pan itself, can be very useful in preventing the dirt from taking up too much space. Once used, remove it and throw it away. Oftentimes, you will be able to re-use a cooking sheet or piece of aluminum foil.
Cleaning products are come in many shapes and sizes, and you can purchase them in any supermarket (or health food store, for the environmentally friendlies among us). Some classic cleaning products can be found in most homes: vinegar, rough salt, baking soda, and others. Alternatively, you have your “industrial” products, such as grease removers which have chemicals that break it down, and make it easier to clean.
As far as cleaning is concerned, it is always better to do it sooner rather than later. As soon as a stain dries and solidifies, it becomes significantly harder to get it out. A fresh stain can be covered with salt immediately, and this will contribute to an easy cleanup. Baking soda can many times be used for older stains. Pour on baking soda, and cover the stain with a moist towel. After several hours, clean using a dish scrubber.
Vinegar is also an excellent substance for tackling stubborn grease stain. Pre-heat the oven to 100C°, mix three-quarters vinegar with one quarter boiling water, and carefully pour the mixture over the stains. Shut off the oven, close the door, and let the stuff go to work for 20-30 minutes. After that, you can open the door, get the liquids into one area and remove them, then make sure you wipe down the oven.
If you do choose to go with the store-bought items, make sure you follow their instructions carefully.
Our stoves work hard, and they sometimes get hit hard. Every time you cook something, some of it ends up on your stove. In many cases, the after-stains stay there for a long time and because there is an open flame on top of the stove, unlike with other devices, stains can burn themselves into a certain spot and stay there.
There is also good news though! Much like an oven, stove stains can be cleaned, whether through using household items or special store-bought products. To clean the stove in the natural way, you’ll need salt, vinegar, and baking soda. In both cases, by the way, it is best to work with single-use gloves, but this is not a necessity unless you are sensitive to these kinds of products.
Remove the stove’s covers and its burner grates, and pour salt, vinegar (white is better in this case), and baking soda. Scrub those three into the stove’s surface, noticing how it turns into a kind of paste. Let the paste sit there for about 10-15 minutes, and then use a damp cloth to remove any dirt. Note that using a harsh scrubber could potentially scratch your stove, so a cloth is recommended. If you can afford it, leave that paste sitting on the stains for the night, and then clean the stove in the morning. Leaving it overnight, or at least for a few hours, can seriously help removing the tougher stains.
Again, make sure to follow the individual product’s instructions carefully.
Before anything, the fridge is definitely one appliance that you must disconnect from the electricity. Unlike the previous two appliances, this is one where the electricity is much more apparent, and this is why it is so vital to disconnect it. In some cases, the fridge will need a few hours to thaw. This is necessary in more extreme cases, but many times you won’t need to defrost the refrigerator. If that sounds like something you need to do, make sure you have coolers to keep your food cold while you clean.
Once defrosted, you’ll simply need water, soap, and a soft towel to properly clean out the fridge. Many times, the inside of your refrigerator will be made of a kind of plastic, and using harsh detergents and substances could cause it harm. Make sure to test any product first, before using it on the entire fridge. This is a good idea whether it’s just soap and water, or a special fridge cleaner.
Many choose to take everything out of the refrigerator and using a high pressure garden hose to wash it down. This is effective, but also a little dangerous. Water could end up in the fridge’s electrical circuits, and that spells trouble once the power is back up and running. Regardless of the chosen method, make sure to thoroughly dry the fridge before plugging it back in. It could take up to several hours sometimes, but don’t let that deter you – It certainly beats frying those circuits!
If you are only looking to clean the shelves and drawers of your refrigerator, just use a damp towel and warm water. It is always best to avoid using chemicals and similar things on the fridge, since it’s where we store our food. Ideally, it should be free of any potentially-harmful elements or substances.
Much like modern cooking ovens, freezers often have an automatic cleaning mechanism which prevents the accumulation of ice and frost. Since these freezers require no defrosting, they can be cleaned a lot easier. Remove the contents of the freezer, clean with water, vinegar, baking soda, and then remove any dirt. Make sure it is dry, and then return your items back into the freezer. Basically, use a few cups of water, some vinegar, and a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it, and use as needed.
If the freezer is filled with ice, it needs to be disconnected and cleaned out properly. Like the fridge, this is a process which can take several hours, so make sure to use coolers packed with ice to maintain the desired temperatures. Remember to check that the freezer is dry before plugging it back in. If the freezer and fridge are one unit, it’s best to kill two birds with one stone by cleaning out both while unplugged. It may take a bit longer to complete the task, but this will ensure the proper function of both your refrigerator and freezer.
Microwave Oven Cleaning
The microwave oven entails one of the simplest cleaning processes there are. Take a tall glass of water, or place water in a bowl fit for a microwave. Put it in the middle of the microwave, and turn it on. Let the water evaporate for several minutes, and this will take care of most of the dirty areas. If some stains are more stubborn, consult your user manual. If you don’t have the manual, just remember, it’s always best to avoid harsh cleaners laden with chemicals. A sponge or hand towel will get the job done, whether it is on the surface of the microwave’s plate or its walls, nooks, and crannies.
Regular maintenance and cleaning of your electrical appliances will ensure their ongoing productivity. Obviously, none of us can foresee the future, and sure, some issues have nothing to do with a device’s cleanliness. However, keeping your electrical products clean is a big help in preventing issues, and once you get into the habit of cleaning them, you will find that it becomes easier to perform. Even if cleanliness can’t prevent many internal electrical issues, it certainly doesn’t hurt the appliance’s optimal performance.