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The small appliances you keep in your kitchen reveal the kinds of cooking and baking that most entice you. They can be investments that endure, as long as they are well cared for and maintained. In general, you can wipe them down with a cloth dampened with mild dishwashing liquid and water, and dry with a soft cloth or paper towel. Baking soda is also an excellent all-purpose cleanser. Place felt glides underneath countertop appliances to protect them and make them easy to move around.
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Wash the blender jar and cover in warm, soapy water; rinse and dry thoroughly or place in the upper rack of a dishwasher. Wipe the motor base, cutting assembly, gasket, and locking ring clean with a damp cloth; do not submerge in water or place in the dishwasher. For stuck-on residue, pour 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup baking soda into the blender jar and run the blender briefly.
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Wipe exterior with warm, sudsy water; rinse and dry. Place carafe in top rack of dishwasher to avoid melting the plastic handle. 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.
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Coffee or Spice Grinder
Pulverize bread or uncooked white rice, which will pick up any lingering coffee or spices. If you have any residue or aromas left behind by nuts, grind 1 tablespoon baking soda and wipe thoroughly.
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If washing by hand, never use scouring pads or abrasive cleansers, and to avoid cutting yourself, use a nylon brush. If washing in the dishwasher, place the blade and disks in the upper rack. Do not immerse the base in water; clean with a damp cloth using mild dishwashing liquid if necessary.
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Standing Electric Mixer
Wipe down the mixer each time you use it and periodically between uses. Wash beaters by hand unless they are stainless. (Automatic dishwashers can discolor brushed aluminum.) Wipe the base with a damp cloth or sponge. If the vent is clogged, loosen the dirt with a toothpick.
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Unplug the toaster once it has cooled. Carry it to the sink and pull down crumb tray, letting crumbs fall in sink (or turn upside down). Wipe crumb tray with a damp cloth, and shut. Wipe the exterior with a soft cloth dampened with mild dishwashing liquid (use non-ammoniated cleaner for chrome surfaces).
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Brush grids with a soft plastic brush or wipe gently with a paper towel while still warm (but not hot). Don't wash the grids with water or even wipe them with a damp cloth or sponge, or you will remove the layer of seasoning. If the seasoning begins to fade, wash with warm suds, rinse, and wipe dry, and re-season with unsalted butter or canola oil. Clean outside surfaces with a damp sponge or cloth; do not use abrasive cleansers.