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how to clean small kitchen appliances

You keep a nice house. Your cabinets sparkle. The laundry's always done.

But how long has it been since you cleaned your coffee maker - or any other small kitchen appliances? That's what I thought.

Let's face it: It's hard enough to get through your regular cleaning routine without worrying about toasters, microwaves, and electric can openers. 

Here's the cheat sheet for cleaning small appliances. While I can't give you more time, I can provide some cleaning tips.  (After all, you may get around to it one day.)

1. how to clean the toaster.

Unplug and shake out the crumbs over the trash can. Wipe down the exterior with a damp sponge.

2. how to clean the coffee maker.

After each use, rinse the pot and filter in warm, soapy water. Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth.

Once a month, mix a cup of water and a cup of white vinegar and run it through the coffeemaker. Follow with a rinse of clear water.

3. how to clean the waffle iron.

Skip washing the grids of a non-stick waffle iron. Unnecessary! Instead, simply wipe grids after each use with a paper towel, and toss. If waffles stick to the iron, it probably needs to be seasoned again with vegetable oil.

4. how to clean the toaster oven.

Empty the crumb tray after each use. Scrub racks as needed. Wipe the exterior with a sponge.

5. how to clean an electric can opener.

Remove the cutting wheels and soak them in warm soapy water for a few minutes. Next, scrub with an old toothbrush. Wipe the rest of the unit with a damp sponge. For best results, give your appliances the once-over after each use. Simply wait for it to cool, then unplug and wipe it with a damp cloth.

If it's really grungy, wipe with a sponge dipped in soapy water, then rinse-wipe with a wet sponge. Use baking soda in water to gently scrub exterior metal surfaces; window washing solution for plastic or enamel ones. Finally, be sure not to immerse any electrical units or power cords in water.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the products and tools you need to keep everything in your kitchen clean and well-maintained.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.