Caring for Small Appliances

In order to clean small kitchen appliances, it is important to first read the documentation that comes with the appliance. Many people throw these papers and booklets away without a glance, not realizing that they contain useful (and often important safety-related information!).

If you have lost or thrown away the product documentation, there are other ways to access this information. First, find the product’s model number and any other identifying information.

For many newer products, it is possible to find all the information you need on the company’s website, which is easy to find through an online search. Another great resource is the company’s customer service line.

Until you can remember any safety or damage-related information pertinent to the product you are cleaning, it is highly recommended that you read the appliance’s documentation prior to cleaning it. Accidentally damaging a brand new appliance or injuring yourself is not the best way to learn this lesson.

One great tip for keeping appliances clean is to tidy as you go. When that tomato sauce first splatters onto your mixer, it is still liquid and wipes off easily. But, exposed to air over time, it dries, forming a thin layer that takes a bit of scrubbing to remove. The amount of scrubbing required dependent upon how well the sauce adheres to the surface of the appliance. (Be sure to remember that some appliance finishes can be damaged by overly hard scrubbing.)

Keeping your home clean can start with appliance selection. A smooth, non-porous finish is a real winner when it comes time to clean.

One thing to remember when cleaning small kitchen appliances is that they regularly come into contact with food. Be very careful what cleaning liquids you use near food or appliances that contact food. Additionally, be sure not to forget about cleaning fluids after you’ve sprayed them onto a surface.

Some of the newer appliances are made with stainless steel. The stainless steel requires either regular polishing or a product to protect the surface, as it picks up fingerprints very easily, which leave it looking dirty and smudged.

Be sure to wipe off any liquid -including water- that lands on the surface of the steel, since over time they can cause pitting. Also avoid abrasive cleaners, like steel wool, that can scratch the surface.

There are special cleaners made especially to keep your stainless steel appliances looking their best. Just remember that these formulas may not be appropriate for use with any non-stainless steel surfaces on these same appliances.

Many other surfaces in your kitchen may have cleaners especially suited to keeping them clean. Glass, for example, is best cleaned with glass cleaners, unless instructions claim otherwise. Also, most cleaners now come in antibacterial varieties, although the word is still out on how much is really gained by their use.

Don’t forget to clean your smallest appliances, like coffee-bean grinders; remember, every appliance in your kitchen contributes to the overall look of cleanliness or uncleanliness in your home.

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