Why You Really Should Clean Your Appliances 

  • 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 also accumulate germs? It's true. Whether you're cleaning a refrigerator or a dishwasher, follow the manufacturer's instructions 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, on 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’s easier for the appliance to stay cool. And quickly address spills in the interior of your oven; neglected spills could make the appliance work 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 investment for years to come.
  • 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.