There are some new strategies to clean your home with natural products which you probably already have stocked in your refrigerator or kitchen cabinets. Here are some household appliances that we use on a daily basis with great tips to help keep them looking shiny and tidy!

1. Toaster
Slices of toast pop out, but crumbs stay in! Unplug your toaster and hold it over a trash can. Pull out the crumb tray and shake out the crumbs. If it is removable, wash it with soap and water, or wipe it with a damp wash cloth. If the toaster does not have a tray, then turn the toaster upside down and shake.

Quick Tip: Use vinegar and a soft cloth to shine the outside of a stainless steel toaster. If it is chrome, take some aluminum foil and roll it up into a ball, and gently scrub away any rusty spots.

2. Microwave
 MicrowaveCredit: Wikimedia Commons
Whether you are popping in a TV dinner, or heating up last night’s spaghetti and meatballs, the microwave has become one of the most popular and useful household items. However, it can be difficult to keep it looking clean, especially when grease and other substances build up around the surface. An easy and quick way to clean your microwave is to heat up one cup of water in a microwave – safe dish on high for three minutes. Then, leave the microwave door closed for about five minutes so that steam can build up inside the microwave. Finally, open the door and wipe away all of the dirt and splattered food with a sponge or soft cloth.

Quick Tip: Use lemon juice or vinegar to get rid of odors that may be coming from the microwave. Simply mix one half cup of lemon juice into the water before you heat it up. This is sure to leave your microwave not only looking clean, but smelling fresh!

3. Ice Maker

In order to safely and efficiently clean your ice maker, first make sure to take the bin out of the refrigerator and to the sink. Melt the ice, and then pour a mixture of two tablespoons of baking soda for every quart of warm water into the bin. Wash and dry it thoroughly before placing it back inside the refrigerator.

Quick Tip: Change your refrigerator’s water filter if it is more than six months old. Also, do not let ice sit in the bin for a long time, because it can tend to pick up food odors. Be sure to empty and clean the bin at least once a month, so the machine can make fresh ice cubes.

4. Computer Keyboard

KeyboardCredit: Wikimedia Commons

If you ever get the chance to take a good look at your computer keyboard, you will notice the large amount of dirt and dust that gets caught in between the keys. The best way to clean between those small spaces is to use compressed air in short bursts. All you have to do is a buy a can of compressed air at your closest office supply store, and it will be sure to remove dust, crumbs, and grime from your keyboard within seconds! After spraying the front of the keyboard with the compressed air, turn the keyboard over and gently shake out any remaining dirt. Finish by wiping the keys with a cloth dampened with a solution of a drop of mild dish washing liquid and one quart of water.

Quick Tip: For the best results, angle the compressed air can sideways, so that the dust is blowing away from the keyboard, and not further into it. Also, never spray liquids (even water) directly onto the keyboard because the liquids can severely damage your keyboard and computer, instead, use a slightly dampened cloth.

5. Computer Screen

Now that all of those crumbs have been safely taken out of the keyboard, let’s talk about ways to keep the computer monitor looking clean and shiny. First, make sure to turn off the computer. Then, focus some light onto the computer screen so that you can see all of the smudges more clearly. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe dust off of the screen, and then dampen the cloth with a spray specifically designed for LCD and plasma monitors. Repeat this process until all of the smudges and fingerprints are fully erased. You can also use a mixture of water and vinegar instead of the cleaning spray, which will save you a few bucks!

Quick Tip: Clean the computer screen only when it is cool, because heat can cause permanent streaks on the monitor when it is wiped.

6. Remote Control

Hand-held gadgets such as remote controls get touched frequently, and in most households, by many different people. To easily get rid of germs on your remote control, simply dip a soft cloth into rubbing alcohol and squeeze the cloth so that it is damp, but not dripping, and wipe down the gadget completely. Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, so you don’t have to worry about the liquid ruining the functioning of the device.

Quick Tip: Use a sanitizing wipe! These also work wonders on other household items such as telephones and door knobs to wipe away germs and bacteria.[1]

7. Vacuum

VacuumCredit: Wikimedia Commons

Not surprisingly, your vacuum gets dusty. Use a soft, damp cloth (dipped in soapy water) to wipe the exterior of the vacuum and all of its attachments. If it has a bin, empty and rinse the bin with plain water only, then let it dry completely. Use a dry cloth of brush to clear lint build up from the inside of the vacuum, because the interior of the machine should never get wet.
Quick Tip: Use scissors to cut and remove fibers, thread, and hair tangled and wound around the bar of the vacuum. Also, make sure not to let the bin or the bag get more than three – quarters full. Check it regularly, and empty it as needed to maintain optimum suction.

8. Blender/Coffee Maker

To get blender sparkling clean, pour one half cup of water and one half cup of baking soda into the machine, cover it, and turn it on. Then, wash the parts with warm, soapy water. To clean your coffee maker, fill the carafe with equal parts water and white vinegar. Pour the liquid into the reservoir and turn on the machine. After several sups, turn it off and let it sit for an hour. Then turn it back on to finish the cycle. Don’t forget to follow with a few cycles of water, just to remove any traces of vinegar.

Quick Tip: In order to clean a coffee or spice grinder, use uncooked rice to pick up coffee or spice residues.

These tips will help keep your favorite household items looking and smelling fresh throughout the upcoming season, so enjoy and happy spring cleaning!