There’s nothing better than a fresh pot of coffee to brighten your sleep-ridden eyes and recharge your energy for the day ahead. And there’s nothing worse than raising the porcelain mug to your lips, only for a bitter, gritty sensation to invade your taste buds. When was the last time you cleaned your Keurig? We use kitchen appliances and household items daily, which makes it all the more important to keep them in tip-top shape. Of course, there’s the obligatory counter wipe down, but little do you know, there’s bacteria building up in neglected, unassuming nooks and crannies.
Dust and grime prevent disinfectant from reaching dangerous pathogens just below the surface, according to the owner of Bio-One Gainesville, Chris Burns. He said above and below handles where we close doors or drawers are his favorite spots to look regularly during COVID-19 cleanings. So, invest in rubber gloves, an all-purpose cleaner and a new sponge, because it’s time to reset your home.
Problem: A refrigerator might be the most important kitchen appliance. Its temperature makes it the perfect playground for mold and bacteria. It stores all of your foods, so keep it clean!
Polished: Clean the interior and exterior regularly. Aim for weekly wipe-downs of both the interior and exterior, then give it a deep clean every month with hot water and baking soda. Store a baking soda box to keep odor under control.
Problem: A dirty toaster becomes a fire hazard. Protect your home by cleaning the appliance regularly.
Polished: Most toasters have slide-out drawers that catch crumbs. Unplug the toaster, dump any debris in the trash, then wash and dry the trays thoroughly. If there’s no tray, try tipping your toaster upside down and give it a few shakes to clear out any remaining crumbs.
PHONES & ELECTRONICS
Problem: Remember the 2012 University of Arizona report that said cellphones are 10 times dirtier than toilet seats? Enough said.
Polished: Run a wet microfiber towel over the device to lift surface dirt. For a deeper clean, wipe with an anti-bacterial cloth.
Problem: Everyday food spills and splatters create unfriendly smells and unsanitary conditions.
Polished: Wipe down about once a week and clean any spills as soon as they happen. Heat up a water, vinegar and lemon mix for a few minutes. Its steam loosens any leftover food, making it easier to wipe down. Soak the turntable in dish soap and wash with a sponge. And don’t miss the touch pad!
Problem: Whether it be toothbrush cups or electronic toothbrush chargers, both build up gunk.
Polished: Run the toothbrush cup through the dishwasher or clean with dish soap every few days. Lay the toothbrush on a washcloth and only use the stand or charger as needed. Use a microfiber towel with baking soda to clean off the toothbrush handle.
Problem: An unclean coffee machine can make for stained parts and bacteria breeding grounds.
Polished: Every day, dump out leftover coffee, remove the filter and rinse the carafe to prevent stains. Deep clean about once a month with vinegar and water, depending on the coffee maker.
Problem: Does your oven emit a burning smell or trigger the fire alarm? There’s likely traces of fallen food left at the bottom. And oven knobs get cross- contaminated during cooking!
Polished: Look for food remnants on the oven floor, sides and grates after each use. Place a baking sheet at the bottom to catch crumbs. Most ovens have a self- clean button, so deep clean it every six months using this heat setting to loosen up debris. Clean what’s left with baking soda, vinegar and soapy water.
Problem: Designed as a place to leave and clean dishes, people often forget the appliance itself needs cleaning every other day. The sink and its surrounding areas are one of the most crucial places to clean.
Polished: Avoid leaving dishes in the sink for too long. Use a wet sponge and a little dose of baking soda to wipe the sink and leave it looking brand new.
Problem: Washing machines can be breeding grounds for salmonella and other germs.
Polished: Once a month, run an empty load with hot water and about a cup of distilled white vinegar to wipe out any germs missed by a normal clothing run. Leave the door open between washes to let the machine’s interior dry.