Cleaning Your Small Kitchen Appliances


We use them constantly; we count on them when we are in a pinch and we sometimes stop and think about how the world ever turned without the convenience of a microwave or the tastiness of a toasted bagel.  

Our small kitchen appliances work hard for us and cleaning and caring for them means our food will taste better and they’ll last us longer.

As some of you know, Clean My Space is also a cleaning service and we’ve determined the fastest ways to clean these appliances with maximum results.  These methods try to leverage the power of the appliance to save you scrubbing time.

Stuff to know about your appliances


These small appliances are usually plastic, metal, glass or a combination of the three.  These materials are highly durable but can and will scratch if they are cleaned with he wrong tools.  Make sure you don’t use anything abrasive (product or tool) that can scratch these surfaces.  That means staying away from steel wool, eraser pads, razor blades, wire brushes and heavy duty scrub pads.

Cleaning Frequency

Your appliances should be cleaned on the exterior weekly and need a good interior clean about once a month (that is for an average user).  These cleanings help remove build-up, reduce odours or bad tastes and improves functionality and life span of the appliance.

Hidden Areas

A place often forgotten is under these appliances – you’d be surprised what lurks underneath! Unplug and move the appliance quickly, wipe underneath and replace.  We’ve seen all sorts of things be freed from their appliance underbelly caves.

Exterior Appliance Cleaning

You’ll always clean the exterior the same way: all they’ll need is a wipe with a microfiber cloth sprayed with soapy water or a soft sponge, nothing more.  Consider using a disinfectant after cleaning to clean up points of contact!


And finally, a quick word of caution.  Small appliances are not to be submersed in water and should always be unplugged prior to cleaning.

Coffee and Spice Grinders

When this machine works, it grinds small beans or spices into a powder and releases flavour-containing oils in the process.  While they are terrific at providing you with fresh grinds, they also tend to collect remnants in the process.  The remnants trap odours and can affect the flavour of other spices you grind in the future.

You’ll need: bread or uncooked white rice, baking soda.

Step 1. Grind up a slice or two of plain white bread and add baking soda if the odour is very strong.  You can also do this with dry white rice.

Step 2:  Empty the contents and wipe the interior clean.  That will remove flavours and old grounds and neutralize odours.

Blenders and Food Processors

These are the pinnacle of messy appliances.  Not only do they blend things up at supersonic speeds, they also have fine blades that get crud caught in them and are challenging and cumbersome to clean.

You’ll need: dish liquid and water

Step 1: As soon as you have transferred your smooth food out of the blender or food processor, immediately add 1/4 teaspoon of dish liquid to the container and fill half way with water.  This will allow everything to loosen up and promote easier cleaning.

Step 2: Continue cleaning either when you have a break in your meal prep time or post meal by pulsing the solution for 15-30 seconds, depending on how grimy the container is.  Rinse and repeat if necessary.

Step 3: Dump out the blended concoction and rinse well including the lid and the blade.  Before replacing, wipe the exterior appliance down with a cloth and all-purpose cleaner.  Towel dry the container, blade and lid and replace.


If you are an irresponsible microwaver, pay attention.  Microwaving foods without a cover or lid can lead to tomato sauce and soup explosions making your microwave looking like a food fight war zone.  Prevent this by placing a cover over microwavable foods and also use this simple trick to keep it clean.

You’ll need: Water, sponge, lemon and microwave safe bowl

Step 1: Take a microwavable bowl and fill it half-way with water.  Then, cut a lemon in half and

squeeze the juice from both halves into the bowl of water and throw the lemons into the bowl.

Step 2: Microwave the bowl for 3 minutes and remove carefully when done (use oven gloves).

Step 3: Take a wet sponge and begin to wipe the innards of the microwave clean.  Don’t forget the roof and the turning plate!

The steam created by the hot water combined with the lemon juice and oils breaks down even the toughest grease and grime, making it a much easier task for you.  The interior will smell fresh and look terrific.


Beautiful bagels, tasty toast, whatever you want hot and crispy your toaster has you covered.  But the toaster take a lot of heat, literally!  When you pop something that has butter, sugar, syrup, raisins, cheese, sauce in the toaster, those substances become a hot mess and burn onto the glass, racks and bottom of the toaster making it nearly impossible to clean if left over time.  We’ve all seen the bubbly mess and promptly avoided it, justifying our actions by not wanting our hot treat to go cold and stale. Further, crumbs fall to the bottom of our beloved toaster and get a little more charred each time we toast something.  If you are wondering what that ‘burning smell’ is, look inside that toaster!

You’ll need: powdered dish detergent, sponge, baking soda, cloth, all-purpose cleaner.

Step 1: Remove racks and soak in a sink filled with hot water and a tablespoon of powdered dish detergent.  Let them soak for an hour.

Step 2: Apply a 50/50 paste of baking soda and water to the glass pane and let it sit for 20 minutes.  This will break down grease and spatter and allow it to wipe clean easier.  Use a soft sponge to do this to avoid scratching the glass.

Step 3: If you notice any globs on the burners, gently remove them with a damp sponge.

Step 4: Finally, wipe the crumb tray nice and clean by rinsing it off in warm soapy water, drying and replacing.  Many people don’t know about the crumb tray, which is a small pull-out tray that allows you to easily empty crumbs.  Some people line it with tin foil (the lazy way but a good way) and change out the foil.

For a pop-in toaster, empty the crumb tray and shake the toaster gently over a garbage can.

Kettle/Coffee Maker

We use these to provide us with morning pick-me-ups, afternoon social hour and non-alcoholic nightcaps.  In other words, they are frequented and need to be cared for!  The key issue with these are that water left sitting will leave limescale deposits, and those lead to inefficient machines: they take longer to heat up and use more energy.  You may see white deposits in your drink (how very unappealing but not harmful) and further, your appliance may stop working if the coils are too taxed.  The way to clean the kettle or coffee maker are as follows:

You’ll need: plain white vinegar

Step 1: Fill the kettle with plain white vinegar and boil.  When it is boiled, dump out in the sink (as an added bonus, your sink drain will get cleaned and deodorized – think about placing some baking soda down the drain prior to dumping out the vinegar).

Step 2: Rinse the kettle out with plain water to get rid of any vinegar.

Step 1: For a coffee maker, remove any coffee filters prior to this process.

Step 2: Fill the reservoir with plain white vinegar and turn on the brew cycle.  Allow the vinegar to empty into the carafe (which will get cleaned as well) and then rinse the carafe out with water.

Step 3: Add plain water to the reservoir and run another two brew cycles to empty out any remaining vinegar, catching the water in the reservoir each time.

So, with these very simple tips with stuff you have in your kitchen at present time, what are you waiting for?

Head over there and get your appliances up to snuff!


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Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!