Cleaning 101: Tackling Your Small Appliances

With Fall in the air, it seems as though we're using more small appliances than ever and even though some of them aren't season specific, they're all getting a workout lately. From stand mixers to waffle makers, now is a great time to give your small appliances a once over — but do you really know how?

Here's a few of the most popular small home appliances that we put to use in the kitchen. Some of them are a snap to clean up and others might require a few extra measures. Check out the answers below and make sure to add your tips in the comments if you've found a cleaning method that works great at your house!

• Toasters: Check out this handy guide on giving your toaster a good cleaning. It as well as your toast will thank you.

• Toaster Oven: Most spills and messes in your toaster oven can wipe right up, but if you've got grease happening or something major, check out these great reader suggestions in the comments of this previous post, all of them sound like they'll get the job done in a jiffy!

• Microwave: Though most of us have the hang of this one, if your microwave still perplexes you, check out this tutorial on making it shine (and smell less of spaghetti), once more.

• Electric Kettle: If you have more harsh water than some, your kettle will need a cleaning after awhile. You might see deposits or marks inside. Fill your kettle to the full line with vinegar. Boil, allow to cool. Boil again and then toss in a few tablespoons of salt. Swish it around, pour the whole thing out and fill with cool water. Reboil (might have to do it twice) and you'll be good as new!

• Waffle Maker: If your waffle maker is cast iron, then you'll need to re-season it. If not and it's a non-stick surface, make sure the unit is unplugged and use a nylon scrubbing pad, microfiber cloth or small brush to clean in between all the bumpy bits. Rinse gentle with a damp towel and make sure to wipe down the body of the unit as well. It's amazing the placed waffle batter can really go!

• Food Processor: To start, after using, always rinse all the different parts of your machine. It seems that anything that dries on the plastic surfaces becomes almost impossible to get off later. Tough bits can be removed with a magic eraser sponge and often times a bottle brush will get in small holes easily. If you need to let the bowl soak, flip a cup upside down over the hole in the middle and weigh it down with something heavy (we usually use another mug full of water). Fill with soapy water and this should buy you a half hours worth of time.

• Stand Mixers: A magic eraser will take care of most of your dried on brownie batter, try using a skewer covered with a wet towel to get into the small places.

• Panini Press: Unplug the unit and clean with a nylon scrubber with a little soap. Don't use anything sharp to de-crust anything that's been baked on, if you need to wet a towel with the hottest water possible, wring it out and place over the baked on food. Let sit for 15 minutes and return and try again.

• Electric Wok & Skillet: Make sure the unit is 100% cool before starting to clean. Any temperature change will cause the metal to warp. Use a nylon scrubber and soapy water to clean the surface. Rinse with water and towel dry.

Do you have a small appliance we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: 5 Tools To Help You Clean Your Small Appliances

(Image: Flickr member JeremyMcWilliams licensed for use by Creative Commons)