Clean the Machines: Kitchen Edition

Clean the Machines: Kitchen Edition

You faithfully make your bed every day, you never leave dishes in the sink, and your kitchen counters are crumb-free. Good for you! But when was the last time you cleaned your kitchen appliances? I'll admit, I don't do this as often as I should. The fact is, those small appliances that we use every day need regular cleaning to work efficiently. They can become a breeding ground for germs if left unattended for too long. Not good.

I like to get into a groove and do all of my appliances in one session, so I dress the part, start a playlist, and get my clean on!

TIME: 2 hours (plus some overnight stuff)

What You’ll Need

  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Dish Soap
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Leather Cleaner
  • Cheap, white vinegar
  • Baking Soda 
  • Lemons
  • Ice-cubes
  • Empty Spray bottle
  • Gloves (optional)


TOP TIP: Start the night before. Trust us on this one.  

  1. Empty the oven: Take everything out (even the racks). 
  2. Draw a hot dish soap bubble bath for your oven racks and leave them submerged overnight. 
  3. Mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda in a small bowl with a few tablespoons of water. You want it to have a thick consistency, like cream cheese. 
  4. Spread the paste all over the interior surfaces of your oven. The baking soda will turn a brownish color as you rub it in.  
  5. Allow the baking soda mixture to rest for at least 12 hours or overnight. 
  6. Wipe it clean the next day! I start with paper towels because it's super greasy and gross. Once most of the brown muck is gone, I swap over to an All-Purpose cleaner and a cloth or sponge. 
  7. Fill an empty spray bottle halfway with white vinegar. 
  8. Spray the vinegar + cleaner mixture in the oven. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and gently foam. It is strangely satisfying. 
  9. Wipe away the remaining foamy vinegar-baking soda mixture. Repeat until the baking soda residue is gone. 
  10. Replace your oven racks: Give them a good scrub in the tub before putting them back in the oven. You can use the same baking soda paste you made to clean them. FYI: You'll probably need to wash the tub afterward. Sorry!


  1. Start with the obvious: Throw away any old food. 
  2. Take everything out and put it on the counters or dining table while you clean. 
  3. Remove the shelves and veggie bins and wash them carefully in the sink. I use gloves for this bit because they can get slippery when wet. 
  4. While empty, spray the entire fridge interior with All-Purpose cleaner working from the top down.  
  5. Spray the rubber seal around the door and use a cotton bud or a thin cloth to dig out the trapped grime in the grooves.  
  6. Finish with a spritz of glass cleaner to give everything a final polish before putting the food back in. 


  1. Turn it off  
  2. Take the bin to the sink 
  3. I use the old ice cubes to water all my houseplants  
  4. Wash the ice-maker bin with dish soap and water.  
  5. Dry it thoroughly and put it back. Done!


  1. Unplug it, please. 
  2. Remove the tray and shake the whole thing out over the trash or sink. 
  3. Wash the tray with dish soap and warm water. Dry thoroughly! 
  4. Use Glass Cleaner to polish the outside and the cord before putting it back.  


  1. Heat 2 cups of water and half a lemon in a microwave-safe dish, and cook for 3 minutes. 
  2. Leave the doors closed for 5 minutes to let the steam soften any splatters. 
  3. Spray the interior with All-Purpose Cleaner and wipe down with a paper towel or cleaning cloth. 
  4. Close the door and spay and wipe the outside with Glass Cleaner.  


  1. Take the racks out. 
  2. Use a toothpick to clear any gunk from the holes in the spinning arms. 
  3. Wash the water drains and removable the filter (if there is one) with warm, soapy water in the sink.
  4. Spray and wipe the rubber door seal with All-Purpose Cleaner.
  5. Sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda on the bottom, then run the machine on a short hot-water cycle to battle stains and odors. 
  6. Close the door and clean the exterior with Glass Cleaner, especially the control panel and handle.


  1. Fill the carafe with equal parts water and white vinegar. 
  2. Turn it on and run like you would for coffee. 
  3. After several cups, turn it off and let it sit for an hour. 
  4. Then turn it back on to finish the cycle. Follow with clean water to remove any traces of vinegar.


  1. Fill the blender jar almost halfway with ice cubes. 
  2. Add warm water and a small amount of dish soap. 
  3. Now pulse to clean.
  4. Keep adding more warm water until it runs clear. The best part is that the ice helps to sharpen the blades while it cleans! You can also chuck half a lemon to help break down any staining. 
  5. Rinse well and dry. 
  6. Cover the newly sharpened blades with an old washcloth and scrub away any remaining mineral deposits with a stiff natural bristle brush.
  1. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Your blender jar should be sparkling and clear.


  1. Throw a handful of ice cubes + half a cup of white vinegar, lemon cut into quarters down there.
  2. Flip the switch and let it grind. 
  3. Pour some hot water and dish soap down the drain to diminish the vinegar smell.

Once you hit the Garbage Disposal, you've hit Martha-level cleaning status. Time for a break (and maybe some new yoga pants)? 

 Xx, mlk