Today’s high-end appliances take expensive specialty cleaners to keep looking brilliant – or DO they? Leslie Reichert has some green cleaning techniques that work just as well, and you probably have them on hand right now.
Cleaning appliances can be a struggle. Since there is a growing number of cleaning products manufactured specifically for each of the different finishes available today, like stainless steel polish, porcelain scrub and even glass-top stove cleaner, you could buy a dozen different products just to clean your appliances! Instead let me show you some DIY ideas for cleaning appliances. With a few simple ingredients and some microfiber cloths, your appliances can be perfectly maintained for just pennies.
Cleaning the stove
The stove is one of the hardest appliances to clean. Burnt-on food coupled with spattered grease make cleaning this surface a chore. If you have a glass-top stove, try using my “green” scrub. First, use a flat utility blade to scrape off burnt food, taking care not to cut your fingers. Next, sprinkle the scrub powder onto the glass surface. Using a damp sponge, work in circles until all grease and stains are loosened. Finish by wiping the glass-top clean with a damp microfiber cloth.
Green Scrub Recipe
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup table salt
- 1 cup borax
- 8 drops pure essential oil for fragrance
Mix well and place in a shaker container
Cleaning the oven*
Typical oven cleaners contain toxic chemicals and fumes that are very dangerous – potentially damaging your lungs, your skin and even the food you cook in your freshly cleaned oven. Even if you rinse the oven really well, there will still be some off-gassing that happens the next few times you use your oven. Instead, let’s use the power of science to clean your oven. Start by sprinkling some baking soda over the base of the oven. Then fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and lightly spray it over the baking soda. The mixture will start to foam, just like the chemical oven cleaners. This foam will lift off anything stuck on the oven, without using toxic chemicals. Continue to spray the vinegar onto the baking soda frequently, until the foam has done its work. Soon the mess will wipe right off.
*Do not use this method if you have a self-cleaning oven.
Stainless steel appliances
There is a daily fight with fingerprints left on stainless steel appliances, in large part because the people putting the fingerprints ON the appliances are not the ones wiping them off! But stainless steel can actually be cleaned very easily. For daily wiping of fingerprints, use a finely woven microfiber cloth – the same type of cloth your eye doctor gives you for cleaning your eye glasses – to keep your stainless steel looking great. To protect stainless steel from fingerprints in the first place, use a light coat of organic olive oil over the entire appliance. The oil will actually work to repel the oils on your fingers. It will keep your stainless steel looking great for a week or more. After a week, wipe the surface with a microfiber cloth and reapply.
Black appliances look stunning, but just like a black car they show every water spot and piece of dirt. Clean them daily by wiping with a damp, fine woven microfiber cloth. Wipe the entire appliance then let it air dry. The microfiber cloth will remove all dust, dirt and water spots and leave it looking perfect.
Nothing is more beautiful in a kitchen than a granite countertop. Light colored granite with lots of veins, always look clean. Dark brown or black granite, however, seems to highlight streaks and smears. No matter the color avoid typical granite cleaners, which contain oils that make the counters look foggy. Instead, clean the counters and remove bacteria using a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide. If the counters just need a wipe, use plain water with a dry microfiber cloth to restore the surface to a perfect clean look.