• Butter Knife & Towel: Sure just a plain old towel works to remove most surface grime, but sometimes you need a little more oomph to your methods. A butter knife with a towel placed over the tip is a great way to get a little more scrubbing and scraping action without damaging the surface of your appliance.
• Baking Soda Paste & Toothbrush: As we're all familiar with by now, baking soda with just a touch of water, make a fabulous paste that cleans almost anything. But it can be hard to apply to smaller spaces without a mini scrubbing tool. An old toothbrush (though we keep one in our utensil drawer from the Dollar Store for just this purpose) will scrub away even the toughest residual "when was the last time I made cookies?-crusties" It's also fabulous to clean your stainless steel sink drains if you have any left!
• Metal Skewer: Seriously, we use it for everything and with its pointy end, it's perfect for cleaning out those small crevices that someone thought would enhance the design aesthetic of their product, but really all it does it hold flying flour dust in the real world.
• Magic Eraser: Whether you're a fan of them for everyday cleaning or not, they are one of the best tools when it comes to removing stuck on hardened foods. Their super-small holes take it all on without the risk of scratching your appliance. Plus, it generally holds onto the gunk and goo instead of leaving streaks on your appliance or falling off onto your counters and floors (no one likes double chores).
• Vinegar, Mineral Oil & Flannel: Although this sounds like a recipe for disaster, they are super preventative measures for down the road. Many of us have stainless steel in our kitchen and this is a great way to help give it a protective layer before it's next round of battle... we mean cooking task. Mix water to vinegar in a 2-1 ratio and wipe down your appliances after the heavy cleaning is done. It will leave streaks but that's ok. Next, slightly dampen a piece of flannel with mineral oil and buff onto your machine. This works for anything stainless steel, brushed or not. This should help keep things from sticking going forward — which means when you only have 30 seconds to wipe down an appliance before switching gears, you'll be removing more dirt making less work for later!
Do you have a small appliance cleaning tip? Let us know in the comments below!
• Related: How Do I Clean the Bottoms of My Pots?
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)