Practical Advice for Taking Care of some Common Kitchen Appliances
by Guest on Feb 23, 2012
Like any other piece of equipment, kitchen appliances last longer if they are maintained in good condition with regular care. Cleaning is essential to the maximum efficiency of any appliance, from meat grinders to microwave ovens. Always remember to keep the manual on hand so if you have any damaged parts you can refer to the manual to see if it is covered by warranty.
Microwave ovens are vulnerable to power surges because they contain solid-state circuitry. Therefore, make sure to plug the microwave into a surge protector, not a regular outlet to safeguard against any shorts that an outage may cause. Remember to clean the interior of the microwave once a month with a good kitchen degreaser to remove any build-up or food that has accidentally splattered on the sides during cooking or reheating.
Dishwashers are especially easy to clean as they simply require a monthly scrub down with soapy water to remove detergent buildup. Check racks for signs of rust and replace them if rust is found.
Any item that comes in contact with raw meat, poultry, or fish needs to be thoroughly cleaned after every use. Meat grinders are made of numerous parts, from the grinding plates to the barrel to the pusher and the augur. For a detailed description of meat grinders, you can read reviews like the one here. Each part needs to be disassembled and washed thoroughly in hot soapy water, followed by a soak in hot water with a tablespoon of bleach. After several minutes in the bleach, rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel. Do not air dry, as the parts can rust. If you use the grinder only occasionally, you can store the parts individually in plastic bags with a few grains of rice to keep moisture out. Otherwise, store the grinder in a moisture-free place.
Juicers come in many sizes and styles, but they all can build up bacteria if not washed after every use. To clean your juicer, you will need a garbage can, a plastic spoon, a clean dry towel, a scouring sponge, liquid dishwashing detergent, a nylon cleaning brush, and a small pipe cleaning brush.
Unplug the juicer and disassemble the parts. Empty the pulp container into the garbage can; lift the juicer cover and use a plastic spoon to scrape out the remaining pulp. Lift the filter bowl that surrounds the stainless steel filter basket from the motor base.
To remove the filter basket from the filter bowl, turn the filter bowl upside down and allow the filter basket to drop out. Be careful to hold the filter basket only along the mesh edge. The blades at the bottom of the filter basket are very sharp. Run warm water over each part of the juicer to remove the excess pulp, then soak the parts in hot, soapy water.
Use the clean scouring sponge to carefully wipe down each part. For small, hard to reach areas, such as the pour spout opening on the juice cover, use a small pipe cleaning brush. This will prevent long-term buildup that can attract bacteria to form inside the opening.
A nylon cleaning brush works best to clean the stainless steel filter basket and blades. Vigorously scrub the blades and filtration edges of the basket until the basket is clean.
If the pulp remains in the mesh holes of the filter basket, soak the basket in a mixture of 1 part lemon juice to 9 parts water before washing. This will help break up the caked-on pulp in mesh holes.
Rinse each part under hot water and place and on a clean dry towel until all of the parts are washed. Allow the juicer parts to dry.
Use a damp scouring sponge to carefully wipe down the motor base. Double-check that all of the parts are dry, reassemble the juicer and store the juicer in a dry, clean area until its next use.
Keep kitchen knives sharp with a sharpening steel or whetstone. Motorized sharpeners remove too much metal in the sharpening process and shorten the life of the blade. Professional sharpening is a good option; some grocery store meat departments will sharpen knives for a small fee – or even free of charge.
If necessary, a good source for parts is APWagner.com. They carry factory-direct parts for all major household appliances including refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, air conditioners, freezers, dishwashers, mixers, and more.
This article was contributed by Liz Krause, an avid Italian food enthusiast. She enjoys cooking at home and operating her website featuring simple Italian recipes. She also writes about various Italian kitchenware like the popular Italian gelato maker like this one here
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