How to Keep Your Small Appliances Clean

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You probably have several small appliances on your kitchen counter. Chances are, you wipe them off and dust them from time to time, but it’s also important to periodically give them a thorough cleaning to keep bacteria and dirt from getting into your food. Most of those gadgets have a handle or some type of buttons on the front panel that you touch frequently and these can also carry germs.

Now, more than ever, you should focus on killing those pesky germs so that you and your family stay healthy. Let’s take a look at how you should clean those appliances.

How to Keep Your Small Appliances Clean


  • After every use, unplug the toaster, open the trap door over a sink or garbage can, and shake out the crumbs.
  • Once per week, give it a more thorough cleaning. Unplug it, and let it cool down if you’ve just used it. Then dip a soft cloth in hot water, along with a couple drops of liquid dish soap, and scrub the outside of the toaster. To clean the inside, grab a clean toothbrush you’ve dipped in the same hot, sudsy water and carefully brush crumbs from the inside, making sure to stay away from the heating elements. Rinse the soap using the same approach and let it dry before using.

Blenders and Food Processors

  • After each use, rinse the unit thoroughly with warm water. Fill it about half full with hot water and add a couple of drops of liquid dish soap. Cover and run for about 20 seconds and then rinse well.
  • Once a week, after unplugging the appliance, carefully remove the blades and the lid parts and soak them in hot water and dish soap. Rinse well and dry carefully. Clean the base exterior with a soft cloth and warm soapy water. Rinse out the cloth and remove the soap from the base and dry with a dry cloth. For hard-to-reach crevices, use a toothbrush.

Portable or Stand Mixers

  • Always soak the beaters in soapy water after each use and rinse well. Or, put them in your dishwasher.
  • Making sure the appliance is unplugged, wash the outside with a cloth that has been soaked in soapy water. Then rinse the cloth, remove the soap from the mixer, and then dry with another cloth. Again, use a toothbrush for difficult areas.

Coffee Makers

  • Drip coffee makers – To clean drip coffee makers, clean the brew basket and carafe with soapy water. Rinse and dry both pieces. Wipe and dry the hot plate after it has cooled. Periodically, you should also run the unit with a solution of half white vinegar and half water to remove mineral deposits. Be sure to run water through the appliance another couple times to remove the vinegar taste.
  • Keurig and other pod coffee makers – The folks at 11th Street Coffee know a thing or two about Keurig coffee makers. In fact, they’ve offered some great suggestions for how to clean a Keurig. After unplugging the machine, take apart all removable pieces, such as the water reservoir, the mug stand and the lid, and soak them in soapy water. Rinse and dry the parts. With a clean cloth, wipe down the exterior of the unit. Use a toothbrush, if necessary. Put all the pieces back in place and plug the machine into the socket. Using the solution of half vinegar and half water, fill the reservoir. Without inserting a K-cup, start the machine like you would for a cup of coffee. Empty the mug and continue this process until the reservoir is empty. Next, repeat this entire sequence with a full reservoir of water to remove the taste of vinegar.

Following these simple steps will keep your small appliances shiny clean and keep your kitchen looking and smelling fresh.

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, wen she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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