Since becoming a homeowner just over a year ago, I have wanted to put more effort into keeping things clean and maintained. While I cleaned in the various rentals I have lived in, there is a sense of pride that comes with owning our house and it being a representation of us. I feel invested to keep the things around me nice and well maintained.

I never thought about cleaning my dishwasher. First of all, in many places I have lived I haven’t had a dishwasher. After a few months I noticed that my dishwasher started to smell. I mean it cleans my dirty dishes regularly, it makes sense that it would begin to build up some grit and grime.

I realized it had an auto clean cycle but was that really enough after my many months of ignorance? I decided to turn to good ol’ google for advice. I found natural ways of using everyday household items like vinegar, baking soda, lemons, and old toothbrushes to clean things around my house that get weekly or even daily use.

Items I have started paying attention to:

I need to clean and maintain so much more around my house but these are a few items that were not on my radar (as embarrassing as that is) that I now do about every 2 months. Most things are recommended to be done every month but considering I wasn’t doing them at all before, every other month is quite the feat.

Here are a few general tips about maintaining appliances around the house:

  • Keep it basic – There are two ingredients in most natural home cleaning methods: white vinegar and baking soda. These two heavy hitters are your new best friend, BUY IN BULK! They are non-toxic, multi-purpose items I constantly find new uses for.
  • Find the right tool for the job – In dishwashers there are lots of small holes that labels from jars or food scraps get lodged into. Use a toothpick to clear away any debris. Toothbrushes come in handy for getting in the grooves of seals on dishwasher, washing machine, fridge and freezer. I make sure to keep a few old toothbrushes around to use in cleaning around the house.
  • Just get started – I am one of those people who wants to deep clean the entire kitchen or the entire bathroom at the same time. If I clean one thing everything else that is not sparkling around it drives me crazy. That is not to say I am a clean freak, it actually causes the opposite effect. I want to clean the kitchen when I have time to scrub the cabinets, polish the sink, clean out the fridge, scrub the stove, mop the floors etc. so it gets put off for when I think I can put more time in. Pick one thing to do and just jump in. I cleaned our coffeepot last night in between eating dinner, changing the laundry and writing some emails. It was so satisfying to wake up and start the clean coffee pot this morning.
  • Schedule reminders –  My husband Neil is great at calendaring things in our life. He got me started using our google calendars that we share with each other. He has our subscription and donation payments, cleaning shower head and faucet aerators all on calendars. Every time I clean one of my appliances I am reminded how good it feels and how much better my things perform when they are taken care of. I always want to do it more often and on a regular basis. Scheduling calendar reminders for these ongoing tasks is easy and a way to make sure we get to all of the items periodically.

What appliances do you clean on a regular basis? Which ones have you totally ignored? I would love any additional tips, as I am still a newbie and am always trying to find ways to keep a better home.

Keeping it Clean
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