What’s Hiding in Your Appliances?
It’s not spring yet, but it’s not too early to start your spring cleaning. You may not realize that your appliances could be harboring a lot of nasty molds, bacteria, and even salmonella. These microscopic “bugs” can cause you all sorts of problems from illness to breathing issues.
Your appliances are typically in areas that have moisture (think dishwasher and washing machine). Moisture promotes the growth of mold and mildew. Here are some tips on how to keep these “bugs” at bay.
In your dishwasher:
- Check your filters for debris. Make sure that there are no chunks of food in the bottom of the dishwasher.
- Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack of your dishwasher and run the cycle without anything else in it.
- A cycle of baking soda after cleaning will freshen and eliminate the vinegar smell. About one cup should work.
In your washing machine:
- Toss in ½ cup of white vinegar and about 3 cups of baking soda-for front loaders, ¼ cup of white vinegar for top loaders and turn on hot water. Newer machines have the cleaning cycle that you should use.
- To keep your washer clean longer, leave the door open. This allows the machine to dry out and helps prevent the “bugs” from growing.
For your oven:
- Use a mix of white vinegar and water and wipe down the inside of your oven. Unless you have a major overflow in your oven, you probably don’t need to run the self-cleaning option on it often. Try the white vinegar/water first.
For your refrigerator:
- Place a box of baking soda in the freezer and refrigerator to keep the smells down.
- Wipe up spills using white vinegar and water (I keep a small spray bottle at hand).
- Periodically, take out the shelves, drawers and wash in soapy water.
- Make sure that all foods are covered securely-food that isn’t covered properly or not covered at all can promote smells and mold growth in your refrigerator.
You can see that using white vinegar, water and baking soda are low cost alternatives to the professional cleaning agents that are out there. Just remember that cleaning with caustic cleaners is not a good idea. Use the simple methods that I described or purchase one of the prepared cleaners that is available.
Keeping your appliances clean is not only good for your appliances, but good for your health too.