Spring Cleaning…Episode Two

It continues to feel like Spring around here so maybe last week wasn’t a fluke. I actually got some seeds started in the greenhouse yesterday. Might need to bring them inside as it might get a little too cold later this week, but I remain hopeful. Still has been too wet to get the big garden tilled, but it’s looking like the grass will need mowing soon which is a weekly chore and competition between me and my neighbors that I routinely lose. My neighbor to the East is retired and she mows twice a week which I just can’t do. My neighbor to the West has a zero-turn mower which mows twice as fast as my John Deere. In my defense I have twice as much property. But I’m also lazy. But to this week’s Spring Cleaning topic…Appliances. Don’t worry, we’re not covering everything, just the kitchen. And the neat part is these are great chores to involve the kiddos; even the RAD kiddos. There are a lot of easy jobs and even some fun things to do which they will (might!) enjoy. And if it still happens to be raining or if you’re in the part of the country where the huge snowstorm is still blowing through and your Spring is a ways off, will keep you occupied till you can get outside again. Dishwasher

  1. Clean the Interior: To remove buildup, mix two Tablespoons of baking soda with 16 ounces of water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a spray bottle. Spritz the inside of the appliance, the door interior, and the rim. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Dishes coming out grimy? Soak the filter (inside the dishwasher’s base) for an hour in a sinkful of hot water plus a scoop of dish powder. Scrub the mesh with a small brush and rinse. 
  2. Clear the cutlery container: Shake the basket upside down over a trash can to jostle out any debris. Okay, this tip sounded nasty to me because hopefully we all see this stuff in our cutlery containers when we empty them and deal with it then but here it is…
  3. Flush out impurities: When the dishwasher is empty, pour 1/4 cup baking soda into the detergent dispenser and run a rinse cycle on the hottest temperature.
  4. Remove residue: Use a vinegar-dampened cloth to clean out the detergent dispenser and wipe down the spray arms.
Oven Range
  1. Disinfect: If your oven is self-cleaning, follow the manufacturer’s how-to. If it’s not, wipe the interior with a damp cloth. To soften caked on gunk, fill a casserole dish halfway with water, add the juice of 3 lemons plus the rinds, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let cool for 15 minutes, then apply a paste of baking soda and water to all sides with a non-abrasive sponge. Wet the sponge in the lemon water, then scrub. Wipe clean with a damp paper towel.
  2. Vacuum up debris: Pull the unit away from the wall and, using the hose attachment, remove the crumbs and dust from the floor. Push it back in. This is always a scary one!
  3. Scrub the stove top: Apply a paste of equal parts baking soda and dish soap plus a few drops of water. (This is safe on any cooktop, electric or gas-check manufacturer’s instructions on ceramic). Let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe thoroughly with a damp cloth. Buff dry.
  4. Refresh the racks: Place the racks and grates in a plastic garbage bag, spray generously  with a degreasing cleaner (like Simple Green), and tie the bag closed. Let sit for 1 hour, then rinse each piece in a sink filled with hot soapy water.
  5. Wash the exhaust: To degrease the overhead filter, remove it and soak it for 15 minutes in a sink filled with hot water and scoop of OxiClean. Rinse and dry. Next, clean the piece on the wall: Apply a paste of baking soda and dish soap and let sit for 10 minutes. Wipe clean with a soft sponge and buff dry.
  1. Empty it out: Remove all items and toss any that have expired. My boys always loved finding the really nasty things in the way back of our fridge!
  2. Sanitize the drawers: Take them out (shelves too, if detachable) and scrub every side with a sponge dipped in warm, soapy water. Sprinkle baking soda  on any stubborn spots and scrub again. Rinse and pat dry. If your refrigerator has a removable drip pan, soak it for a few minutes in hot, soapy water, scrub with a sponge, then rinse.
  3. Deoderize: Get rid of odors by wiping the inside walls with a microfiber cloth spritzed with an all-purpose cleaner. Wipe again using a paper towel dipped in a bowl of diluted vanilla extract.
  4. Remove dust: Using the brush attachment, vacuum the coils, which may be behind the refrigerator. Wipe down the grille (typically at the base) with a dryer sheet.
  5. Clean the gaskets: Use the soapy water from the shelf-scrubbing to wipe down the refrigerator gaskets (door seals). When they’re dry, apply a bit of petroleum jelly to prevent sticking and tearing.
  6. Restock: Insert the clean shelves and drawers. To avoid gunking them up with anything sticky or dusty, wipe the bottom of each item with a damp towel before putting it back.
I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more satisfying (and calming!) than seeing a clean refrigerator. But for some reason that’s not enough motivation to clean it! But I promise next Spring Cleaning Episode, I will show you a picture of my clean fridge as motivation. Feel free to send me yours! Till next time, Shannon  ]]>