5 items to clean for a sparkling kitchen

(BPT) - You wipe down the counters, clean the floor and run the dishwasher regularly. Your kitchen appears clean on the surface, but there's probably a lot that could use a refresh. It's time to pay attention to frequently used but often forgotten items in your kitchen.

Make sure to include these five kitchen items on the next round of cleaning so you get the sparkling kitchen you deserve.

How to thoroughly clean your dishwasher

Why would a machine with the main job of cleaning need cleaning itself? Because food debris and mineral buildup from water can clog important components, causing your dishwasher to work inefficiently. To thoroughly clean your dishwasher, start by removing the filter and cleaning it out. Then fill a dishwasher-safe coffee cup with white vinegar, put it on the top rack and run on the hot cycle to remove soap scum and other buildup. Try to do this monthly for a sparkling clean dishwasher that works great.

Cleaning your coffeemaker is surprisingly simple

Cleaning your coffeemaker regularly is an important step for it to work at peak performance and keep beverages tasting their best. Don't be intimidated by cleaning your coffee machine, particularly if you have a Keurig brewer. It's surprisingly simple to clean your brewer with this simple three-step routine:

1. Use Keurig Rinse Pods once a week to rinse away old coffee oils and residue, or use any time after brewing a flavored beverage to reduce flavor carry-over between brews.

2. Every two months, replace your water filter cartridge to help remove chlorine, calcium and other impurities from water to improve the taste and quality of beverages.

3. Every three months, use descaling solution to safely and effectively remove mineral buildup from inside your brewer.

How to clean your microwave with water and lemon

Food steams, spurts and splatters in a microwave every day, and even if it appears visually clean, there's probably a lot of grime on the inside walls. Rather than scrubbing harshly, make it easy to get off the grime with a simple solution: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with one cup water and then slice a lemon in half. Squeeze the lemon in the water and then add the halves. Microwave for three minutes and then let sit for five so the steam can penetrate the buildup. Finally, open the microwave, remove the bowl and easily wipe away grime with a washcloth.

It’s time to clean under appliances

Just because you don't look there doesn't mean the dirt and dust goes away. It's time to clean appliances, particularly the refrigerator where food, dust and dirt often collect and clog up the coils. Carefully pull appliances out and clean well underneath. Start by vacuuming and then wipe down with soapy water. You should also look at the back of appliances and wipe off to remove dust and other grime. If the appliance has an air vent, make sure to vacuum it well to help it continue to run efficiently.

Leave kitchen knobs and handles looking like new

You make it a habit of wiping down your faucet knobs when you clean the sink, but what about the other knobs in your kitchen? The knobs on the cabinets are sometimes touched hundreds of times in a month by different people, which can transfer germs and bacteria, not to mention grease and other grime on fingertips. Start by wiping all knobs down with disinfectant wipes. For grimy buildup, use hot water with a touch of dish soap and wipe down with a rag to break down grime and leave knobs looking good as new.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and deserves a good clean. Add these five items to your next round of kitchen cleaning and you'll have a sparkling clean space you can enjoy.

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