Kitchen Cleaning: Dishwasher, Freezer, Oven, Refrigerator, Sinks

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Check out our easy solutions for cleaning your kitchen. If you have any great tips, please post your own comments below!

It is lucky to keep a jar of pennies in the kitchen.


  • Remove a heavy film buildup caused by hard-water minerals by adding vinegar to the empty dishwasher after it fills with water at the start of its first cycle. Do this only if the appliance manual suggests it is okay.


  • Turn off and unplug the freezer.
  • Remove food and let the freezer defrost.
  • Wash the inside with a warm-water solution of mild detergent or baking soda (2 tablespoons of baking soda mixed with 1 quart of warm water.) Rinse and wipe it as dry as possible. Vacuum the dust off the condenser coils.

Garbage Disposal

  • Before leaving your home for several days, check to be sure all wastes have been flushed out of the disposal to avoid creating odors. If odors occur, remove them by running orange or lemon peels or ice cubes through the disposal.

Oven and Stove

  • To prevent messy oven cleanups, put a sheet of aluminum foil on the floor of the oven, but do not allow the foil to touch the heating element. Although this may slightly affect the browning of food, the foil can be easily disposed of when soiled.
  • For a spill in the oven, sprinkle salt on the spill while the oven is still warm. If the spill is completely dry, wet it lightly before sprinkling the salt. When the oven cools down, scrape away the spill and wash the area with a combination of baking soda and vinegar.
  • Slow grease buildup in your oven by dampening your cleaning rag with vinegar and water before wiping out your oven.


  • Turn off and unplug refrigerator.
  • Remove all food and removable interior parts.
  • To clean exterior and interior walls, dissolve 2 tablespoons baking soda in 1 quart warm water and wipe all surfaces.
  • For stubborn spots, rub with a baking soda paste.
  • Be sure to rinse with a clean, wet cloth.
  • To clean interior fixtures, such as vegetable bins and shelves, wash in hot, soapy water, rinse well and dry.
  • Fresh lemon juice in the rinse water removes soap film.

Sink (Porcelain Enamel)

  • Do not leave acid foods on the sink surface for a long time. Many sinks made before 1964 were not acid-resistant, and even acid-resistant porcelain enamel can be stained by acid foods, such as lemons and other citrus fruits, cranberries, vinegar, and salad dressing.
  • Use perforated rubber or plastic mats to protect sinks from damage.
  • Use a baking soda paste or vinegar on stains, then wipe clean.

Sink (Stainless Steel)

  • Use perforated rubber or plastic mats in the sink to cut down on scratching and marking by pans and tableware.
  • Wash the sink with a solution of liquid hand-dishwashing detergent and water or a solution of baking soda and water.
  • Rinse and polish dry with paper towels or a soft cloth.
  • Never use scouring powders or steel wool because they will scratch stainless steel.
  • Another way to clean and polish stainless steel is simply to wipe it clean with a cloth moistened with undiluted white or cider vinegar. You can also use vinegar to remove heat stains on stainless steel cutlery and pans, or remove streaks and heat stains by rubbing with club soda or olive oil.
About The Author

Heidi Stonehill

Heidi Stonehill is the executive editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, where she focuses much of her time on managing content development for the Almanac’s line of calendars. Read More from Heidi Stonehill

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