Upkeep For Miscellaneous Kitchen Gadgets

Appliance(originally published January 18, 2007) Once the toaster is completely cool and unplugged, here are a few things to try getting melted plastic off from the side of it. You may want to test a small area first to make sure the finish won’t be harmed or scratched.

  • Dab nail polish remover on a cloth, then use it to rub off the spot.
  • Dab WD40 on a cloth, then rub away.
  • Try rubbing alcohol on a cloth, then scrub.
  • Heat appliance again until plastic is soft, unplug then firmly wipe off the softened piece with a damp cloth. Wash out the cloth then lightly sprinkle on some baking soda while cloth is still wet* and rub gently over remaining residue. *Wring out excess first–you don’t want dripping water.
  • Smother the spot with petroleum jelly, set for a minute, then wipe off.

After treating, wipe area well with a hot soapy cloth to get rid of any remaining residue.


Appliance(originally published December 28, 2006) Here are two different methods you can try:

Method #1

  • Right after using, add warm water and a good splash of vinegar to blender. Turn on and let it work the liquid for about a minute. Pour out, rinse well and the container should be sparkling.

Method #2

  • Fill half way with warm water, add a small squirt of liquid dish detergent and turn on high for about 30 seconds. Repeat if needed. Rinse well.

You can also do Method #1 as a rinse method.

Extra Crusty Fix:

  • If it was left sitting until there is dried, crusty food bits inside: fill with warm, soapy water (or vinegar water) and let sit for about 30 to 60 minutes. Empty water to about half and then blend for 30 second intervals until clean.

Cheese Grater

Shredded(originally published January 22, 2008) I’m sure we all do fine washing out our cheese graters but here is a collection of tips that will help make the job easier for the stubborn hole cloggers, one or two might be new to you.

Standard Method:

  • Brush off as much of the loose bits as you can, both on the inside and outside (I just do this by hand–carefully).
  • Soak in hot soapy water.
  • Take a nylon pad or dish brush and scrub away.
  • On the inside, you can scrub both up and down–but on the outside, be careful so you don’t rip up the tool you’re using.

Unclogging It:

  • Grate a raw potato or apple after you’re done using it, this helps unplug the holes.
  • Spray non-stick cooking spray on the gadget before you start using it. This helps get the gunk out quicker, just a few dunks in warm, soapy water and the bits should pop out.
  • Use a nylon brush dish scrubber and rub the inside, the bits should come out of the holes fairly easily.
  • Use a toothbrush set aside just for using on kitchen gadgets.
  • Too many gunky, clingy pieces that just won’t release from the holes easily? Try freezing the gadget for a few hours, then brushing off the frozen bits.

Do you have method not mentioned? Please share it below :).

Range Hood

Backsplash(originally published January 24, 2007) To bring a shine back to your stove’s exhaust fan and hood, first turn off the power to the appliance. Here are some tips for cleaning the grease filter:

  • Soak filter in a degreaser, rinse then toss it in the dishwasher. If it’s stainless steel, you should be able to use regular detergent no problem.
  • If it’s aluminum, be aware that the detergent can cause discoloration or pitting. You can try running it through a cycle without it. I personally don’t worry about it, but it’s something you should be aware of.
  • Another option you might like to try is taking it to the car wash and using the power spray hose with hot water to hose it down.
  • If they’re charcoal filters, just replace when needed.

For both inside and outside the hood, apply degreaser to a damp cloth and wipe down. Make sure not to spray any directly on the appliance since you could accidentally spray some into the exhaust fan motor or light fixture.

If the buildup inside the hood is especially thick, first make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Take a cloth wet with hot, soapy water and then scrub with the paste in a circular motion–wipe off as much as the grease as you can then rinse the cloth in a bucket of hot, soapy water. Reapply baking soda paste on the cloth and repeat as needed.

Once the majority of buildup has been removed–wash the unit with hot, soapy water to remove all traces of the baking soda paste and then wipe with degreaser if needed.

How To Wax A Wood Cutting Board

  • ExampleWash the board well and rinse in a sink of hot water with a splash of bleach.
  • Dry it as best you can, then let sit overnight to ensure there is no moisture left in the wood.
  • Pour melted paraffin wax over top with enough wax to cover it completely.
  • Now iron the wax into the wood using an old iron.
  • The wax will seal the surface and any cracks to protect it from bacteria and stains being absorbed in the wood.
  • Leave it aside for another night before using.
  • Repeat this process whenever you notice bare spots in the wood.

Once done, rub the heated iron on an old towel to remove the wax. (Originally published February 21, 2007)

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    • Mary

    I clean off the loose bits and put it in the dishwasher and comes out super clean!

    • linda

    run grater under cold water tap before grating eggs. stops eggs sticking to grater

    • Qtpuh2tme

    I’d like to make a small comment on item #3. To have some “street cred” among y’all, please know that I’ve owned my own very successful domestic services business for 30+ years.

    Very often, when there are rust stains in the wash, it can be attributed to a cheap(er) clorine bleach product. Many cheap brands have heavy deposits of iron in them and this is what can cause those nasty rust stains. If you’re not using Clorox brand, try switching to it — rust stains should be gone.

    • Nodrog

    I left a plastic bag of coffee filters on top of my toaster oven and then made a couple eggos waffles and it kind of half melted.

    I used nail polish remover and it worked like a charm. I used a cloth at first to get most of it and then a scrubby to get the rest.

    The surface of the toaster oven is as good as new.

    Thanks Tipnut!

    • Cathy

    I had a bag of bread sitting on top of my toaster oven. My 13 year old son decided to make toast, not removing the bread, and it melted to the toaster oven. I let it cool just a little and used pure acetone (polish remover for acrylic nails) with a paper towel. It came off in a flash! Just like new!

    • Kenny

    Don’t tell your warewash tech that your washing filters in your dish washer, because if you have glass ware and silverware, it leaves poor spotty results. Unless you don’t care about results, but if your in the restaurant business you do. Soak them in a soulution overnight if they’re stainless or galv. you can use a oven and grill cleaner type soulution, if the filters are aluminum use a milder cleaner. Nothing with potassium hydroxide, or sodium hydroxide, thats what pits the metal, because of the carbon alloys in the aluminum. After soaking over night, spray off with hot water with a hose and a spray nozzle, or a t&s hose, if the grease is real thick and heavy, knock,and scrape off as much grease as possible before soaking, and use a pressure cleaner to spray off, if you don’t have one, invest in one. If your filters are that thick with grease you need it for proper maintenece.

    • CattyB

    Since I use the finest side (left side in the pic above) to grate Fels Naptha soap for my powdered, homemade laundry detergent, I keep a toothbrush handy for frequently brushing out the areas between the little teeth that seem to clog up so quickly!

    • Allida

    nail polish didn’t work, i mean some of it came off, but not all. tried the heating it too and it’s not a toaster, it’s a crock pot but still the same metal. will try to get some pure acetone at beauty supply store.

    • Heather

    I spray grater inside & outside with veg. Spray before grating cheese helps to keep it from sticking.

    • Paula Holwegner

    I find that cold water gets cheese off much easier than hot. So swab it off with cold water first, then wash in hot soapy water. The hot water used first tends to melt the cheese onto the grater, making it gummy and harder to remove.

    • Patricia

    What a timely tip, this just happened to me this morning!

    • Kim

    I have a new toaster oven and accidentally left a new loaf of bread on top during the very first use. The bag melted and even the paint fused to the top of the oven. I was very wary of using harsh acetone or chemical products, however I took a bottle of moisturizing hand sanitizer (with vitamin E) and squirted a egg sized glob on the mess, smeared it around and gently used a scotch brite pad to scrub the mess off. I had to wipe off globs of plastic and continue scrubbing gently for about 5 minutes until it was completely gone and my black paint was not affected. Yeah!!!

    • Pam

    Thanks for the tips, Kenny. I have a stainless range hood, stainless filters, as far as I can see. Have been using hot hot water and dish soap, and just washing and rinsing repeatedly till the water finally runs clean. to be safe, I’ll use the degreaser elsewhere on the range hood and not on the filters, nor will I put them in the dishwasher.

    • Robby

    If the cheese is really stubborn, like the side used for parmesan, I let it sit overnight and dry out. The cheese just flakes off in the norning and a rinse with soapy water and the grater is good as new.

    • Erica

    This just happened to me today! Seriously, use Bam Power Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Cleaner. I had been able to get all of the plastic off but the paint fused to the top of my black toaster oven. I put those two cleaners on the paint and I kid you not, after about 5 minutes of scrubbing and re applying the cleaners it all came off and left the black paint in tact.

    • Carolyn

    I have lived in my house for 20 years and never thought to clean the filter: I was glad to come across this article! I used a commercial strength degreaser as instructed on the bottle and now have a beautifully clean (and safer) hood filter thanks to you all!

    • Winnie

    I have aluminium filter and all I care is the cleanliness of the filter.

    I don’t care if it pits the metal, I didn’t use those dish detergent but powder laundry detergent with hot boil water to dissolve the powder and saok those aluminium filter in my stainless steel basin. It take about 10 minutes for my monthly clean but sometimes I need to repeated it again with the above method as the grease and oil would run thru the basin drain the piping area to prevent clogged drain area too.

    The water become yellowish mean it’s grease, sometimes I boil some vinegar for faster action.

    • Janet

    A whole bread bag melted on top of the toaster oven – brushed metal surface. Immediately I tried wiping it off with paper towel, but it was stuck solid! I quick searched the internet how to get it off and found this link. I poured a little Nail polish remover, non acetone type, on it & the plastic virtually lifted right up in one piece! Amazing!

    • lisa

    Rubbing alcohol worked like a charm!

    • jeff

    Just as Lisa above I used rubbing alcohol and it took all of 4 mins to remove fused paint from two bread bags that were on the top of a Counter top toaster oven…Glossy black finish is untouched.

    • warlleny

    i used the nail polish remover , worked miracles i doubted it at first but it works

    • Barb

    Used hand sanitizer – worked like a charm, paint/finish still looks great

    • Alana

    How do I clean the vent to the outside of my house?

    • Stephanie

    If you scrub the oily side of a lemon on the grater immediately after grating cheese, it takes the cheese off or at the very least makes it much easier to clean. 🙂

    • Sebastian

    I used mean green, which is an oven cleaner, let it sit for about 30 seconds and came right off. Paint was not affected at all!

    • William Roberson

    The use of COCONUT OIL has become MY CHOICE for many things…Over the stove the inside cover…It is great..You don’t need to have caution, just use it..It lubricates as well as graphite, but not as messy; any rollers; hinges, where there is friction that needs smoothing That’s the place for this stuff!

    • Andrea

    To clean melted cheese off utensils, dishes, etc., use soapy COLD water… the cheese won’t stick to the scrubber and comes off much better than when using hot water, which just melts the cheese.

    • liz

    I tried to clean the top of my stove with dishwasher detergent which left a white film on the stove the stove is black what can I use to remove this.

    Thank you in advance for any help>

    • Mini Clean

    I love being in the kitchen. So it’s really important for me to have a clean and organized kitchen. It’s really a must! So thanks for all the kitchen cleaning tips. Nice one!

    • George

    Just removed melted cheese from heating element of toaster after disconnecting and cooling the device. Used a toothbrush over affected area to release the melted cheese and wiped clean with kitchen roll paper . Empty all loose residue and switch on. Works nicely with no smoke trails.

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