Cleaning Small Appliances

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2006

The small appliances you keep in your kitchen are an indicator of who you are as a cook, and the kinds of cooking and baking that most entice you. Like major appliances, small appliances can also be investments that endure, as long as they are well cared for and maintained. Watching out for maintenance details will help keep your small appliances in working order.

General Tips
1. Unplug and cool appliances before cleaning.

2. If you use a spray cleaner, do not spray directly onto appliances.

3. Don't allow any moisture to come in contact with electrical parts.

Coffee Maker (Auto Drip)
1. Wipe exterior with warm, sudsy water; rinse and dry.

2. Place carafe in top rack of dishwasher to avoid melting the plastic handle.

3. Never rinse a hot coffee pot with cold water.

4. When brewing becomes sluggish, fill the carafe with equal parts water and white vinegar. Pour into reservoir and turn it on. When several cups have run through, turn machine off and let sit for an hour. Turn machine back on and let it run through. Run clean water through machine a few times.

Coffee Grinder
1. Pulverize bread or uncooked white rice in grinder. They will pick up any lingering coffee (or spices, if a spice grinder).

2. If you cook a lot, invest in two grinders -- one for coffee and one for spices.

Standing Electric Mixer
1. Always wipe down the mixer each time you use it and periodically between uses.

2. Wash beaters by hand unless they are stainless. (Automatic dishwashers can discolor brushed aluminum.)

3. Wipe the base with a damp cloth or sponge.

4. If the vent is clogged, loosen the dirt with a toothpick.

1. Unplug the toaster once it has cooled.

2. Carry it to the sink and pull down crumb tray, letting crumbs fall in sink (or turn upside down).

3. Wipe crumb tray with a damp cloth, and shut.

4. Wipe the exterior with a soft cloth dampened with mild dishwashing liquid (use nonammoniated cleaner for chrome surfaces).

This technique was adapted from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook."


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