Of your favourite things to do in the kitchen – dancing, cooking, baking, eating – we’re betting that cleaning your appliances isn’t one of them. But this kitchen to-do is a must — for reasons you might not even think about. Luckily, it’s not something you have to tackle every week, or — for some appliances — every month. Here’s why cleaning appliances matters.

THOSE PESKY GERMS
Of course, germs in a fridge make sense: You’re stashing raw meat, vegetables, and dairy — all items that can quickly turn into a science experiment. But did you know that appliances like dishwashers can accumulate germs? It’s true. Whether you’re cleaning a refrigerator or a dishwasher, follow the manufacturer’s directions for how and when to clean. If you can’t clean the fridge all at once, do one shelf or one door at a time, over a week. To quickly clean your dishwasher, run a hot-water cycle with a cup of white vinegar, upright, in the top rack.

YOUR UTILITY BILLS
Dirty appliances have to work harder, and that translates into higher utility bills. Clean the coils on your fridge, for example, so it easier for the appliance to stay cool. Spills on the interior of an oven might make it harder to generate heat.

THE APPLIANCE’S LIFESPAN
You wouldn’t let your car go thousands of extra miles without an oil change — it’s an essential step to keep the engine running efficiently. Think of appliance cleaning in the same way: A cleaner appliance works better and lasts longer, protecting your pricey investment for years.

YOUR WORKLOAD
The longer you let dirt and grime accumulate, the harder appliances are to clean. Tackle cleaning tasks in small chunks (or all at once if that’s more your style). Use built-in conveniences (such as an oven’s self-clean feature) to make appliance cleaning less of a chore, too.

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