We Have Tips on How to Clean Your Microwave Oven, Refrigerator + More

When was the last time you cleaned your appliances?

IMAGE Michael Angelo Chua

In no other room of the house is cleanliness more important than in the kitchen. This is, after all, where all your food prep happens. A clean kitchen means a clean bill of health. We asked help from Lady Mayo, Associate Professor of Interior Design at U.P. Diliman's College of Home Economics for the answers to some of the most common cleaning questions:

How do I clean the fridge?

"Defrost and clean your refrigerator once a month," Lady says. "Let the ice melt, and clean the shelves and compartments using a towel dipped in soap and water."

How do I clean the microwave?

Microwaves get all sorts of stains from flying food particles and bubbling sauces. In Real Simple Cleaning, author Kathleen Squires details the following steps for cleaning this appliance:

1 Place a mug filled with water and a few lemon slices in the center of the microwave, and microwave on high for three minutes. Leave for three more minutes. "The steam will soften food spills, and the lemon aroma will eliminate odors," she says.



Use a cloth soaked in warm, soapy water to wipe down the insides of the microwave.


Remove the turntable and use a toothbrush to scrub the wheels.


If you have a microwave with a plastic exterior, wipe it down with an all-purpose cleaner. For stainless-steel microwaves, use cloth dipped in water and dishwashing liquid, "wring it out, and wipe with the grain."5 Finish it off by wiping dry with a clean cloth.

How often should I replace my sponges?

As soon as they start to disintegrate or smell funny. Sponges are breeding grounds for bacteria, particularly when they're damp, so make sure you rinse and squeeze them thoroughly before storing in a dry place. Consider rotating sponges so that the one you use is completely dry.

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My oven has accumulated a layer of grease and charred food bits. Ick! How do I clean it up?

For conventional ovens, remove the racks and side supports, and then scrub them with dishwashing liquid, water, and a soft brush to remove stubborn stains. When using any commercial oven cleaner, make sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemical burns.


Can you give tips for cleaning my sink?

The proper way to clean your sink depends on what it's made of:

For ceramic and stone, use warm water and dishwashing liquid as other cleaners can damage or dull the finish.

For porcelain enamel, use an all-purpose cleaner, but avoid abrasive cleansers and brushes, which can damage the surface.

For stainless steel, use a mix of water and dishwashing liquid, making sure to rub with the grain then blot dry, before applying a thin layer of stainless-steel polish. Finish it off by buffing the polish with a clean, dry cloth.

Got a clogged drain?

Hold off on the chemicals, which can corrode pipes, and reach instead for household items. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, then follow with half a cup of white vinegar, making sure to pour slowly. Once it bubbles, cover with a stopper and leave for five minutes before pouring a gallon of water in.


My chopping boards, knives, and nonstick pans get plenty of use daily. How do I clean them?

"Sanitize cutting boards daily by spraying with or soaking in bleach diluted in water. Leave to dry," says chef Roselle Miranda, food editor of Good Housekeeping Philippines. For a deeper clean, "Use a lemon slice and salt to scrub both sides of the board."

Always clean your knives by hand, making sure not to scrub against the sharp edge. That way you won't end up dulling it. Don't let your knives soak for too long in order to keep them from warping.

For nonstick pans, avoid using rough brushes and pads, as they can damage the surface. Use a soft, clean sponge instead. If you notice any scratches or flaking on the nonstick material, get rid of it, stat!

I'm not a fan of chemicals. Are there items around the house I can use for cleaning?
Here is a formula good for grease stains and dirty kitchen tools, stovetops, ovens, tiles and even kitchen floors. 


Lica's DIY Cleaning Formula
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid
¼ cup baking soda
2 gallons warm water

Mix all ingredients together until baking soda is dissolved.

There's nothing more stressful and dangerous than a dirty kitchen. Thanks to this information though, you're now equipped to deal with it. This flu season, make hygiene your priority and guarantee a spic and span workspace for your food.

Need more kitchen tips? Look no further.

Article was published in the July 2016 issue of Yummy magazine. Minor edits were made by the Yummy.ph editors. 

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