While cleaning your household appliances may not be the first task you put on your chores list, it’s just as important as vacuuming and mopping your home. The next time you clean your home, extend your efforts to the following appliances.
Since the purpose of a washing machine is to clean your clothes, it may seem counterintuitive to clean your washing machine as well. However, your washing machine can actually hold different viruses and bacteria, especially if you don’t wash garments with any germicide or bleach. To get rid of germs, run a cycle while the machine is empty, using warm water and one cup of bleach. Do this every week or every other week, based on the frequency of machine use. And, after running each cycle, keep the lid open to prevent mildew from forming.
Not only do microwaves get dirty over time due to food spills, but they also may harbor germs and cause cross-contamination. As one of the most frequently touched parts of the microwave, the door handle, in particular, can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Sanitize it with an antibacterial wipe each time the appliance heats up food. Regularly clean the interior as well by using simple soap and water. A more convenient trick is to pour four cups of water into a microwave-safe bowl and add a cut-up lemon. Put the bowl in the oven for three to five minutes, or until the water boils, and then wipe down the interior with a sponge.
It’s crucial to routinely clean your dishwasher, especially if any bits of food remain after it runs. This keeps the appliance working effectively and eliminates undesired odors. It’s also a good idea to wipe down the exterior weekly and spray white vinegar in the drain to further reduce smells. Even if your dishwasher appears to be free of food debris, its seal may still accumulate mold fungi over time, so be sure to also scrub the seal using a mild bleach solution each week. Once a month, more thoroughly clean the interior by placing a cup of vinegar on the bottom rack and running a cycle at the hottest setting.
In the refrigerator, fungal mold can grow, and listeria can survive on certain foods. That’s why regularly sterilizing your refrigerator is vital to keeping your food in good condition. Scrub the interior with antibacterial wipes once a week as well as each time any food spills. Be sure to wipe every drawer, shelf, and packaged item. In addition, remove any spoiled products, and add a fridge filter to give the appliance a fresher smell. To clean the exterior, wipe it down with the supplies that the manufacturer recommends for the best results.
Although sanitizing each of these appliances on a consistent basis may increase your chores list, doing so ultimately creates a more sanitary and safer environment. This year, up your cleaning game by making these appliances a priority.