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How to Clean an Oven, Refrigerator, Stove Top, Oven Hood, and Dishwasher the RIGHT WAY!

How to Clean an Oven, Refrigerator, Stove Top, Oven Hood, and Dishwasher the RIGHT WAY!

Are you tired of feeling like you're just winging it when it comes to cleaning your kitchen appliances? Do you suspect that the "right way" to clean things was never really taught to you… or maybe you just weren’t paying attention when your parents tried to teach you as a kid, and you had 1000 things better to do?

Let's face it, when we were younger, cleaning the kitchen was not exactly at the top of anyone’s priority list. We were probably more concerned with playing video games or running off to hang out with our friends. So, when our parents made us help clean the refrigerator or other appliances, we barely listened and half-heartedly scrubbed, never considering that someday we’d be the adults responsible for getting it right and eating out of a stinky fridge if we didn’t.

If you found your way to this page because you are finally ready to pay attention and deal with the consequences of our past lackluster efforts, you’re in luck. Here’s the ultimate guide, written by me, Melissa Homer, an expert with over 20 years of professional cleaning experience.

I'll reveal the tricks of the trade professionals use to deep clean appliances with speed and safety. With these tips, you'll finally know how to clean all your kitchen appliances the RIGHT way, once and for all.

How to Clean Inside an Oven

What supplies do you need?

How do I do it Right?

  1. IDENTIFY: Read the oven label or instruction manual to determine if it is a Self-Cleaning, Manual Cleaning, or Steam-Clean Oven.

    1. Self-Clean: Only use oven cleaner that is safe for self cleaning ovens.

    2. Manual-Clean: Can use a traditional oven cleaner, but I still recommend using self-cleaning oven cleaner, as it’s far safer with less fumes.

    3. Steam-Clean: Use water only and follow only the manufacturer’s instructions.

  2. PROTECT: Spread out a couple trash bags on the floor in front of the oven door and cover with a thick layer of newspaper. Dampen a clean towel with water and set it on the newspaper.

  3. SAFETY: Put on your safety equipment – goggles, rubber gloves, and face mask.

  4. SPRAY: Pull out the racks from inside of the oven and lay them out on a trash bag, spray with all purpose cleaner, and let them soak.

  5. SOAK: In the empty oven, spray the inside walls and inside door with oven cleaner. Be careful not to overspray onto cabinets or floors. Wipe overspray off immediately with the damp towel.

  6. WAIT: Close the oven door, place your safety equipment on the newspaper, and clean the rest of the kitchen, letting the product soak (manual cleaner = 10 min | self-cleaning cleaner = 1 hour).

  7. SCRUB: Scrub the oven racks with your hand pad. Remove the soap by wiping them clean with a microfiber towel dampened with water. Dry them and set them aside.

  8. SCOUR: Put back on your safety equipment and scrub the inside walls and inside door with your hand pad or sponge. If spots remain, spray more cleaner and rub gently with the pumice stone to remove stubborn carbon deposits.

  9. RINSE: Wipe out the inside of the oven and door with microfiber towels dampened with water until the surface is clean. Throw the soiled towels and sponge in the trash bag.

  10. SHINE: Spray a new towel with all purpose cleaner and wipe down the inside to remove any last residue. Replace the cleaned racks and grates.

  11. CAUTION: Do not use towels or pads used inside the oven on any other surface. Use a fresh towel and all purpose cleaner to wipe down the exterior of the oven.

  12. CLEAN UP: Throw the newspaper in the trash bag, then throw your rubber gloves and mask in. Place your goggles in the kit. Use the clean trash bag the grates were placed on to empty the trash.

Professional Tips: Ovens should be cleaned as often as needed, or if something has splattered inside that is causing smoke, but at minimum, every six months. The pumice stick, when used on a damp surface, is a safe lifesaver for inside neglected ovens but a disaster for stovetops, so only use it where it belongs.

MWipes™ Reusable Microfiber Cleaning Wipes

High-quality microfiber that’s good enough to reuse but cheap enough to throw away if you’re cleaning something that won’t launder out safely.

Microfiber Scrubbing Sponge

 
Premium microfiber on one side, non-scratch scrubby fabric on the other, sewn together to last hundreds of washes. Scrub the kitchen, bathrooms, dishes, and more.

16”x16” MW Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber Towel

Plush microfiber is designed to pick up more dirt and leave fewer streaks while lasting over 300+ washes, helping you clean faster.

Windex Multisurface Disinfectant Cleaner

A disinfecting all-purpose cleaner is a must to battle dirt, germs, and streaks. Windex multi-surface is ammonia free, making it safe for most surfaces, including washable paint and finished wood.

Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner

One of the safest yet most effective oven cleaners on the market. Fewer fumes without less power. Longer soak time is a small trade-in for avoiding burns and surface damage.

How to Clean Inside a Refrigerator

What supplies do you need?

How do I do it Right?

  1. TOP DOWN: Start cleaning from the top shelf down to the bins, removing spills and crumbs, and arranging food in an organized manner.

  2. PUSH BACK: Before cleaning each shelf, push the food on the lower shelf back. Then, remove all the food from the shelf you're cleaning and place it on the pushed back lower shelf.

  3. SPRAY & WIPE: Lightly spray your all purpose cleaner on the shelf, side walls, and back wall. Scrub with a scrubber sponge and scrape with the plastic razor as needed. Wipe clean with a microfiber towel.

  4. BOTTOMS UP: Dampen a microfiber towel with your all purpose cleaner and wipe the bottom of each food item before placing it back on its original shelf. Keep labels facing forward.

  5. IDENTIFY SUSPECTS: Throwing out food that is expired (check dates) or rotting as you work.

  6. RINSE & REPEAT: Repeat the method working down the shelves. For the bottom shelf, remove food items and place them on a clean microfiber towel. Work quickly to avoid food getting warm.

  7. CLEAN BINS & BOTTOM: Empty food onto the clean towel, then pull out the bin (if it comes out easily) and spray and wipe inside and outside with your all purpose cleaner. Clean under the bins with the sponge or plastic scraper as needed, then refill and replace the bins.

  8. DELVE INTO DOORS: Use the clean towel to store food while cleaning door shelves. Spray and wipe shelves, wipe bottoms of items, and replace them facing forward.

  9. FREEZER FIXING: Do not clean freezers with food inside, unless you have a cooler to store the food in while you work. Once empty, spray a microfiber towel with your all purpose cleaner and quickly wipe it out. Do not spray the freezer surface to avoid chemical freezing.

  10. SWIPE SEALS: Wipe down the sides and seals of the refrigerator/freezer doors and the front edge of the body of the refrigerator with a microfiber towel sprayed with all purpose cleaner.

  11. FINAL SHINE: Wipe down the front, accessible sides, and top of the refrigerator with a microfiber towel sprayed with all purpose cleaner. Buff to a shine with a dry towel.

Professional Tips: Refrigerators should be cleaned as often as needed, or if something has spilled inside, but at a minimum, every three months. Consider adding a magnetic meal planning weekly calendar to your fridge door to plan meals to use up older ingredients if you find a bunch of expired items while cleaning.

Microfiber Scrubbing Sponge

 
Premium microfiber on one side, non-scratch scrubby fabric on the other, sewn together to last hundreds of washes. Scrub the kitchen, bathrooms, dishes, and more.

16”x16” MW Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber Towel

Plush microfiber is designed to pick up more dirt and leave fewer streaks while lasting over 300+ washes, helping you clean faster.

Windex Multisurface Disinfectant Cleaner

A disinfecting all-purpose cleaner is a must to battle dirt, germs, and streaks. Windex multi-surface is ammonia free, making it safe for most surfaces, including washable paint and finished wood.

Titan Plastic Razor Blade Scraper

Scrape stuck on food, paint, and other stubborn soils without risking cutting yourself or scratching surfaces.

 

How to Clean a Stove Top

What supplies do you need?

How do I do it Right?

  1. IDENTIFY: Determine if the stove top is gas, electric or glass.

    • Gas: Grates and burner tops can be removed and soaked in the sink with hot water & dish soap

    • Electric: Remove and wipe coils. Drip pans can be soaked in the sink with hot water & dish soap

    • Glass: There are no items to be removed. Be cautious not to use heavy abrasives.

    • Stainless Steel: Be cautious never to drag heavy grates on stainless steel. Lift carefully.

  2. PREPARE & PRESPRAY: Remove any large loose debris or food bits with a microfiber towel. Spray stove top down with all purpose cleaner (use degreaser if heavily soiled). Spray grates as well if they cannot be removed and soaked in the sink. Wait at least 10 minutes for cleaning products to soak.
  3. CLEAN CONTROL PANEL: While the stove top soaks, wipe down the back control panel and front doors with your all purpose cleaner and microfiber towel. Remember to wipe the handles and knobs (clean underneath, if they are removable).
  4. SCRUB STAINS: Scour down the stove top with your non-abrasive sponge. If it is stainless steel, only scrub in the direction of the grain. If glass, only use gentle abrasives or cooktop cleansers. If there are any stubborn stains on the glass, use a plastic razor blade to carefully scrape off the debris.
  5. WIPE CLEAN: Dampen a microfiber towel with warm water and wipe down the stove to remove grease and soap residue. Dry surface with a dry microfiber towel.
  6. BURNERS & GRATES: For gas stoves, scrub the burners in warm soapy water. If there are any stubborn stains, you can use a soft-bristled brush. For electric stoves, scrub the drip pans in the sink and wipe down the coils with a damp microfiber towel*.
  7. REASSEMBLE: Dry all burners, grates, and drip pans and return them carefully. Be careful not to scratch stainless steel with heavy grates.
  8. BUFF TO A SHINE: Inspect your work, rubbing down the surface with a dry microfiber towel to work up a nice shine

Professional Tips: Stove tops should be cleaned as often as needed, or if something has splattered on them, but at minimum every two weeks. Never use anything heavily abrasive, like green heavy-duty scouring pads, steel wool pads, or pumice sticks on stovetops.
*Critical Warning: Truly neglected drip pans in electric stovetops can never be scrubbed back to new without endless scouring and potential scratching. It is less expensive than your labor to replace them.

Microfiber Scrubbing Sponge

 
Premium microfiber on one side, non-scratch scrubby fabric on the other, sewn together to last hundreds of washes. Scrub the kitchen, bathrooms, dishes, and more.

16”x16” MW Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber Towel

Plush microfiber is designed to pick up more dirt and leave fewer streaks while lasting over 300+ washes, helping you clean faster.

Windex Multisurface Disinfectant Cleaner

A disinfecting all-purpose cleaner is a must to battle dirt, germs, and streaks. Windex multi-surface is ammonia free, making it safe for most surfaces, including washable paint and finished wood.

Easy Off Specialty Kitchen Cleaner & Degreaser

This degreaser can cut through grease and grime but is surface safe for everyday use on stove tops, counters, oven hoods, microwaves, and more.

Weiman Cooktop Cleaner and Polish

The convenient cream cleanser polished away glass cooktop buildup without any risk of damage to the glass or paint.

Bar Keeper’s Friend

Our favorite gentle yet effective acidic abrasive powder! Tackles hard water minerals and stove-top build-up with ease. Powered by Oxalic Acid and Felspar, it doesn’t scratch and is safe for food contact surfaces when properly rinsed.

Dawn Professional Manual Pot & Pan

The best-kept secret in home cleaning. The Professional formula of Dawn only takes 1oz to make 10 gallons of soapy water, making it the cheapest yet most effective dish soap on the market!

Titan Plastic Razor Blade Scraper

Scrape stuck on food, paint, and other stubborn soils without risking cutting yourself or scratching surfaces.

 

How to Clean an Oven Hood

What supplies do you need?

How do I do it Right?

  1. PREPARE: If not cleaning together with stove top, cover the oven with a drop cloth or trash bag to protect it from dripping grease and soap.

  2. REMOVE FILTERS: Most oven hoods have removable metal mesh filters. Remove the filters and place them in the sink and spray them with degreaser (or hot water and dish soap if lightly soiled). Let them soak for at least 15-20 minutes to loosen the grease.

  3. SPRAY AND SOAK: Spray the interior and exterior of the oven hood with all purpose cleaner or kitchen degreaser. Let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes to dissolve the grease.

  4. SCRUB: Using a scrubbing sponge, gently scrub the interior and exterior of the oven hood. For hard-to-reach areas, use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush. Be careful to rub with the grain if the hood is stainless steel.

  5. RINSE: Rinse the oven hood by wiping it down with a clean microfiber towel dampened with water. Repeat, switching towels as needed, till all grease and soap are removed.

  6. FINISH FILTERS: Scrub the soaked filters with a non-abrasive sponge or small soft bristle brush. Rinse the filters thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining grease and soap.

  7. DRY: Dry the filters with a clean towel or let them air dry completely before reattaching them to the oven hood. Use a clean microfiber cloth to buff the exterior of the oven hood to a shine.

Professional Tips: Oven hoods should be cleaned as often as needed, or if something has splattered on them, but at minimum every three months. Never use anything heavily abrasive, like green heavy-duty scouring pads, or steel wool pads, especially if stainless steel.

Microfiber Scrubbing Sponge

 
Premium microfiber on one side, non-scratch scrubby fabric on the other, sewn together to last hundreds of washes. Scrub the kitchen, bathrooms, dishes, and more.

16”x16” MW Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber Towel

Plush microfiber is designed to pick up more dirt and leave fewer streaks while lasting over 300+ washes, helping you clean faster.

Detail Brush

Whether you’re scrubbing grout lines or the nooks and crannies of an oven hood, a detail brush is a cleaner’s best friend. An old toothbrush will also work in a pinch.

Windex Multisurface Disinfectant Cleaner

A disinfecting all-purpose cleaner is a must to battle dirt, germs, and streaks. Windex multi-surface is ammonia free, making it safe for most surfaces, including washable paint and finished wood.

Easy Off Specialty Kitchen Cleaner & Degreaser

This degreaser can cut through grease and grime but is surface safe for everyday use on stove tops, counters, oven hoods, microwaves, and more.

Dawn Professional Manual Pot & Pan

The best-kept secret in home cleaning. The Professional formula of Dawn only takes 1oz to make 10 gallons of soapy water, making it the cheapest yet most effective dish soap on the market!

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