TUCSON, Ariz. - Making breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week may be taking a toll on your small appliances. If your toaster oven is your go-to, it could have a buildup of grease and food spatters. To clean it, first unplug the oven. Soak the racks and trays in soapy water. It’s easier to clean the interior when it’s a little warm. Use a sponge or old rag and avoid getting liquid on the heating elements. Wipe down the exterior and you’re done.
Then show your coffee maker some love. Run equal parts water and vinegar through the machine, followed by plain water. Use baking soda and a damp sponge on the carafe and plate.
And there’s no time like the present to pull the filters out of your vacuum cleaner so you can keep it from losing suction or blowing dirt back into the air. Locate the small washable filters as well. Rinse the filter from that dehumidifier in the basement and put it back to work keeping your air dry.
And those greasy filters in the vent hood above your range will benefit from a soapy soak. Check the manufacturer's instructions to see if they’re dishwasher safe.
The world will look a little brighter through clean windows. Especially if the kids help. Start with the window frame and channels. Vacuum any dirt, then wipe the frame with a sponge dipped in warm water and a little liquid dish soap. For window washing, timing is key.
“Did you know that full sun can heat up your glass, causing your solution to dry up quickly and leave streaks," says Consumer Reports Home Editor, Haniya Rae. "That’s why it’s a good idea to clean your windows on an overcast day.”
Start at the top and spray the glass. Plain water with a teeny bit of dish soap will work. A squeegee will do a great job of drying the window if you pull it down from top to bottom, and wipe away excess water.
And one final task not to miss? CR says it’s super easy to pop out that filter on your air conditioner, give a pass with the vacuum and a good rinse. Pop it back in when it’s dry and it will go a long way toward improving your air quality and keeping you cool.