If you spend a lot of your free time cooking up concoctions in the kitchen, you probably have an arsenal of appliances that get regular use. The waffle iron gets just as much time as your toaster does. Let’s face it: these things make cooking so much easier.
And if that’s the case, you know the worst part about having kitchen appliances is that they’re tough to clean. Think of all the crumbs that take up residence in every nook and cranny, making it impossible to thoroughly sanitize them. That’s not just an aesthetic problem. Electric appliances can be a source for fires or other dangerous consequences.
If you’ve been trying to figure out how to keep your appliances in mint condition, you’re in the right place. We’re breaking down the most difficult appliances to clean and how you can combat accumulated crumbs and stains.
We’re starting off with the absolute worst appliance for cleanliness: the toaster. Toasters come with a crumb-catcher that you can remove to dispose of the crumbs. But you likely know from experience that those crumb catchers don’t catch much.
So here’s how to beat the system. Before you do anything, make sure the toaster is unplugged to avoid electrocuting yourself or starting a fire. Start by removing the crumb tray and holding your toaster upside down over a garbage can to get rid of as many crumbs as you can. Find a small pastry brush, unused toothbrush, or something similar to brush away the crumbs that are stuck inside the toaster, using every opening to access more crumbs.
Microwaves are the saving grace of every person looking for a quick meal. But when food is heated, it can often cause food splatters and other messes that are hard to clean. You can always clean the surfaces the standard way, with towels and soapy water or cleaning solution.
There is a shortcut, though. Put a cup of water in a microwave-safe container and heat it in the microwave until it’s boiling, checking every 30 seconds or so. Once you have it at a boil, leave it in the microwave with the door closed for a few minutes to allow the steam to work its magic on the difficult stains. When you clean it with the towel later, you’ll see how much easier it is to remove the stains.
It’s undeniable that waffle irons are having a moment. No longer a tool solely for breakfast, you can throw anything in there to make it better – from sandwiches to hash browns. But the best part about it – the ridged plates – are also what makes it impossible to clean.
The trick is to clean the iron while it’s still warm. Make sure it’s totally unplugged and then use a wet towel to pick up the extra bits, wearing an oven-safe mitt to make sure your hand is safe from the heat. You could also use a tong or other utensil to pick up the towel so that you aren’t touching the iron directly.
A blender is only as good as its blades. Unfortunately, they can be very hard to clean. They jut out at angles and can often injure the cleaner. That’s why you really want to let the blender do most of the cleaning work. If you have some residue from your smoothie or soup recipe coating the blades of your blender, fill your blender about half way with water and run the machine for a couple of minutes. Dump the water out and, once it’s clean, fill it half way with water again. This time add a small amount of dish soap. Perform another cycle and dump the water out, letting fresh water run through the bowl until all of the soap is gone.
As difficult as cleaning kitchen appliances can be, you don’t have to let that be the reason you don’t use them. Employing a few simple tricks can make clean up less of a headache, so you can enjoy your waffles in peace.