Most of us are spending more time at home just now, so this could be the chance to get on top of those kitchen cleaning jobs we tend to put off.
Our cooking appliances get daily use. Keeping them clean will not only help with hygiene, but will keep them working efficiently, and even extend their life span.
A couple of weeks ago, cleaning products were in short supply on supermarket shelves. But rapid restocking means that you should now be able to buy what you need to help make your kitchen spick and span.
Read on for some top tips on cleaning your oven, hob, microwave, kettle and toaster.
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Cleaning an oven
Cleaning the oven is top of nobody’s wish list, but paying it a bit of regular attention will keep the job from being one you dread.
Always turn off your oven at the mains before starting to clean.
- Cleaning the inside: There’s a wide choice of oven cleaning products for this task, but they often use harsh chemicals. Alternatively, experiment with natural products such as vinegar, lemon juice or baking soda. Head to our free advice page for full details on how to clean your oven.
- Cleaning the glass door: If you can’t see through your oven door, start by using a glass scraper followed by a soft sponge. Scourers can cause tiny scratches in the glass that weaken it. If the glass is removable, do this very carefully, as a knock could put a hairline fracture in it, which may lead to shattering in the future.
- Cleaning the metal shelves: Remove and soak in warm, soapy water. If your sink isn’t big enough, you could use a bin bag.
Stop your oven getting needlessly grimy in the first place by using a lid on bubbling dishes or placing a tray underneath to catch stray drips.
If you’re in the market for a new oven, and want one that self-cleans, check out our reviews of pyrolytic ovens.
Cleaning a hob
A simple wipe-over may be all a flat, touch-control induction hob needs to keep it grime-free. But if you have a gas hob, or end up with burnt-on cooking spills, then more effort will be needed.
- Clean your hob as soon as it’s cool enough. Leave it for longer and you’ll need to apply much more elbow grease.
- If your electric ceramic or induction hob is heavily soiled, use a hob scraper before applying a cream cleaner with a damp cloth.
- For gas hobs, remove the pan supports and clean them in warm, soapy water. Use a small brush – a toothbrush is ideal – to get into those awkward nooks and crannies around the burners.
Cleaning your microwave
A quick way of loosening splatters of dried-on food from the innards of your microwave is as follows:
- Put a bowl of water, mixed with a couple of spoonfuls of white vinegar, or some lemon juice into the microwave.
- Heat on high power for a few minutes, the leave for a few minutes to cool.
- Remove the bowl and wipe over the top, bottom and walls with a damp sponge.
- Remove the plate and clean it separately by hand, or in the dishwasher.
How to descale a kettle
As household gadgets go, kettles are notoriously unreliable. Our latest survey shows more than 20% will break down within the first couple of years.
The best way of increasing longevity is regular maintenance.
Descaling should be top of the list, especially if you live in a hard water area. Limescale is the cause of many different kettle faults and you could even void your warranty if you don’t descale.
- Descale every six months or so.
- Check your manual to see if the manufacturer recommends a specific way to descale. Descaling tablets/solutions are available, or try a more natural home remedy using distilled vinegar or lemon.
- Take out the limescale filter and carefully rinse it under the tap to remove clogged limescale. They’re delicate and can break if they get too much hard deposit on them.
- Keep the handle, lid and switches clean with a regular wipe over.
Cleaning your toaster
On average, people replace their toaster once every three years, but a well-looked after toaster should give longer service.
Regularly do these three tasks to help your toaster stand the test of time:
- Unplug your toaster, then remove, empty and wipe the crumb tray.
- Turn it upside down and let excess crumbs drop out.
- Wipe down the exterior. Don’t use cream cleaners as they can be abrasive. If your toaster is made of stainless steel, use an e-cloth to leave a fingerprint-free finish
Cleaning your cleaning appliances
It’s not just cooking appliances that are prone to build up of gunk. Don’t neglect to clean the appliances that help you clean.
Washing machine: Problems with a smelly washing machine? Find out what easy fixes to try yourself.
Vacuum cleaner: If it’s not picking up in the way it used to, it may just be a case of unclogging a filter. Head to how to fix a vacuum cleaner that’s lost suction for tips to tackle this.
Dishwasher: Plates lost their sparkle, or an unwanted whiff coming from your dishwasher? Go to our top six tips on how to clean your dishwasher.