Non-Toxic Cleaning Tips for Small Appliances

By Cris Carl, Hometalk

For the most part, there is little to no need for strong chemicals or cleaning solutions when cleaning appliances in your kitchen. You can accomplish a great deal with elbow grease and hot soapy water using a dish detergent with grease-cutting ingredients. You can also clean any small appliance with vinegar (either diluted or full-strength) or a baking soda paste. Do not use harsh abrasives or steel wool. Use non-scratch sponges or synthetic scrubbers for cleaning appliances.

Important things to do before cleaning appliances:

  • Always unplug the appliance first before cleaning!
  • If any of the components of the appliance you are disassembling for cleaning come in contact with electrical components, make sure the non-electrical component is completely dry.

Cleaning drip coffee makers

If the carafe becomes stained, place a cup of ice, a tsp. of lemon juice, 3-4 tsp. of salt, and a tiny amount of warm (not hot) water in the carafe. Allow carafe to sit until the ice has melted, swish the solution around then wash with hot soapy water. To clean the outside of the coffee maker, use a dilute solution of vinegar and water, then rinse well with warm water.

To clean the inside of your drip coffee maker you can do one of two things. Run a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar to 4 cups of warm water through the brewing cycle, then rinse three or four times by running plain tap water through the brewing cycle. Or, mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with one cup of water to run through the brewing cycle then rinse as you would with the vinegar solution.


Keeping your toaster clean will help you avoid burned crumbs that tend to set off your smoke detector, as well as prevent fires. Take the unplugged and cooled toaster and remove or unlock the tray on the bottom. Shake the toaster briskly over a waste can to knock out most of the crumbs. You can use a bottle or pastry brush to clean out any remaining crumbs. Wipe off or wash the tray with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly.

Wipe off the outside of the toaster with a mild vinegar solution and dry well.


Spray a diluted vinegar solution to the outside of the base. Scrub with an old toothbrush and wipe clean with a paper towel or clean cloth.

Aside from taking the pitcher portion of the blender apart and washing in hot soapy water, you can also put the hot, soapy water in the blender and run it on high for 15 or 20 seconds, then rinse.

Electric can openers

The best way to keep electric can openers clean is to consistently clean up after every use so that food residue doesn’t get caked onto the cutting wheel. Every few months, remove the cutting wheel and clean in hot, soapy water. All other parts can be cleaned with a baking soda paste and an old toothbrush, then wipe off with a clean, warm, wet cloth and dry.


To clean the inside of the tank and the base, use 1/4 cup of vinegar to two cups of water. You can let the solution sit for a few minutes then rinse. If there is heavy mineral build-up you can use a stronger solution of vinegar and allow the humidifier to sit for eight to ten hours. Afterwards, rinse well. You can use the vinegar solution to clean all parts of the humidifier. The use of vinegar eliminates the need to use bleach or corrosive cleaners.


Place a microwave-safe cup of water in the microwave and turn on high for a few minutes. Leave the door closed for another few minutes, then wipe down with a clean, dry cloth. The steam does a great job of loosening particles of food and sanitizing the inside. Use warm, soapy water and a clean cloth to clean the outside of the microwave. If any of the knobs are removable, make sure to clean under them.

Using these simple principles you can keep your small appliances clean and healthful. Regularly cleaning appliances extends their life, which saves you money.

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Past Member 3 years ago

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Debbi W.
Debbi -3 years ago

Not all toilets are as clean as the one tested. It would depend on how often it is cleaned.

Amy D.
Amy D3 years ago

Thank you!

Rose Roma
Rose R3 years ago

It feels so good to shake the bread crumbs out of the toaster and to wipe off the little crumb trays. I do not like to breathe air that has burned stuff in it. So many ppl world wide are forced to cook over butane or open smoke, if you are fortunate enough to have a cleaner way of cooking, please pause in gratitude. I used to have only coal oil, kerosene and wood stoves. Charcoal was something you used to get a fire going. Might as well also pause in gratitude over the luxury of having food to cook, clean water to cook and clean with, peace and safety in which to prepare meals.

Mike T.
Mike T.3 years ago

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Sheri P.
Sheri P5 years ago

great tips

May Leong
May Leong5 years ago

Thank you for tor the practical tips !