Among the small kitchen appliances that see a great deal of use every day, these three top the list.
Here's how to clean these hard-working machines in five steps.
Situation: Grime and hardened food on the inside surfaces.
How to clean: Steam clean.
1. Pour 1/2 cup of water into a large microwave-safe bowl and add several tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice (put the squeezed rinds into the water as well).
2. Place the bowl inside the microwave oven and run it on high for three to five minutes, or until the window is steamy. When the time is up, let it stand for five minutes without opening the door for further steaming.
3. Take out the bowl (be careful, it is hot) and the glass turntable. Then use a sponge to scrub down the inside of the machine, from the top to the sides.
4. Do not forget to clean the oven door and window. Wash the turntable and wipe it dry.
5. For stubborn spots that cannot be easily wiped away, dip the sponge in the vinegar/lemon mixture and scrub.
Situation: Grime outside the cooker and rice remnants inside.
How to clean: Use a sponge and cloth.
1. Unplug the rice cooker and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.
2. If the lid is detachable, you can wash it with soapy water. If not, use a sponge soaked in hot, soapy water to remove any residue and stains.
3. Wipe it with a cloth and be careful not to get the inside of the cooker wet. Then take a damp cloth and wipe the exterior of the rice cooker until it is free of dirt and oil.
4. Remove any bits of rice left on the hot plate. The longer they sit, the more they are baked on and the harder they will be to remove.
5. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the hot plate. Take care not to soak the hot plate in water or get any cleaning solution inside because that can ruin the electronics. Make sure every part is completely dry before you plug the cooker in for the next use.
The electric cords of your small appliances will accumulate dirt too. Moisten a cloth with a solution of water and non-abrasive cleaning liquid and pull the cord through the cloth several times.
Situation: Brewed coffee starts to taste bitter and funky, or it takes longer for the coffee to drip.
How to clean: Brew water and vinegar.
1. Empty and rinse the carafe and remove any coffee grounds left in the filter. Fill the carafe to its fullest capacity with equal parts water and vinegar and put in a new paper filter.
2. Brew halfway, then turn off the coffee maker and let it sit for 30 minutes.
3. Turn the machine back on, finish brewing and throw out the vinegar-water solution.
4. Run a new brew cycle with fresh water and a clean paper filter. Repeat this two more times, allowing your coffee maker to cool slightly between brews.
5. Wash the carafe and filter basket with warm, soapy water and a sponge, then rinse well. Wipe down the exterior of your coffee maker with a damp cloth.
• This column first appeared in the April issue of Home & Decor, published by SPH Magazines.
• Got a decorating or home renovation issue? Write to Fix It, Home & Decor, Level 7 Media Centre, 82 Genting Lane, Singapore 349567 or e-mail maghomedecor@ sph.com.sg. Photos and layouts are non-returnable.