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How to Clean Your Oven, Fridge, Bin & Washing Machine

Looking for tips on how to clean your household appliances? These non-toxic chemical-free cleaning tips will help:

How to Clean Your Oven, Fridge, Bin & Washing Machine

Admit it. No one LIKES cleaning the oven.. or the bin… or the fridge. You know that washing machine filter? It’s gently calling your name. But, whatever you do, don’t despair! We show you some really simple and effective ways to clean these gross tasks in our ‘how to clean your…’ overview… And we do it in a not so gross (or toxic!) way.

How to make your oven clean and sparkly

It’s got cheese stuck all over it, baked on black stuff and the seals are also not looking too happy; but before you go to town on that oven with “odourless oven spray” that magically wipes off, and leaves the most horrid residue imaginable, grab yourself a whole lot of bicarb and vinegar. I promise you, it works a treat.

  1. Remove the oven racks and set aside.
  2. Make a baking soda paste: In a small bowl, mix a 1/2 cup of bicarb with a few tablespoons of vinegar. Adjust the ratio of both as needed until you have a spreadable paste. It’s fizzy, but that’s a good thing!
  3. Coat your oven: Spread the paste all over the inside of your oven, keeping clear of the heating elements. The baking soda will turn a brownish color as you rub it in; that is fine. Just try to coat the whole oven to the best of your abilities, paying attention to any particularly greasy areas.
  4. Leave it overnight: Allow the baking soda mixture to rest for at least 12 hours.
  5. Clean your oven racks: do the same to your oven racks on the sink or in the backyard. You can hose these off – easy!
  6. Wipe out the oven: After 12 hours or overnight, take a damp cloth and wipe out as much of paste as you can. Use a plastic or silicone spatula to help scrape off the paste as needed. Use a toothbrush to get into hard to reach spots.
  7. Spray a little water to get the last bits off and do a final wipe down: Take your damp cloth and wipe out the remaining foamy vinegar-baking-soda mixture. Repeat until all the baking soda residue is gone. Add more water or vinegar to your cloth as needed while wiping to really get the oven clean and shiny.
  8. Replace the oven racks and anything else you keep in your oven, and you’re done!

How to clean and un-smell your fridge.

How to clean

Sometimes delving into the fridge is a task we ignore for months. That is, until you can sense that something is growing a colony down there, somewhere. Cleaning your fridge is like wearing a new pair of undies. All of a sudden life is great, fresh and sparkly! You’ll also wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. This method is easy, because everyone knows when you try to clean massive glass shelves in a sink – you’re going to get water everywhere. Take it outside and you’re laughing.

  1. After you have removed all the items of your fridge and thrown out all of the items you no longer require (or wish to keep breeding) take the shelves and containers into your backyard.
  2. Lay them out and squirt some eco-friendly dish washing liquid on them.
  3. Give them a quick spray with the hose and using a dish washing brush, go over all the edging, the nooks and crannies and be rid of that old food in the cracks.
  4. Once they’re all done, rinse off and lean them against a wall to drip dry before drying them with a tea towel.
  5. For the inside of the fridge, give it a general wipe down with some soapy water, removing all the crumbs. Once it’s clean, spray with some vanilla mix ( 1 Cup Water, 1/4 Cup Rubbing Alcohol,1 1/2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract) and your fridge will be brand new and smell fantastic!
  6. Return the sparkling clean shelves and go treat yourself with some gourmet products that will be more than happy to live in a nice new clean home!

 How to clean your kitchen bin

No matter if you have fragrant garbage bags, take out the trash on time or wipe the top every week – bins just get bad. The plastic holds smells and bacteria so every now and again they demand a good go over for the sake of your kitchen, for pest control and the health of your family. Cleaning the bin can simply be done just like the fridge in step 2 – outside.

  1. Take your bin outside (with the trash removed!) and give it a rinse down with the hose removing any stuck on food.
  2. Give it a liberal spray of vinegar and eucalyptus oil mix – this will kill lots of bacteria – let it sit for 10 min.
  3. Give the inside of the lid a good scrub with a dish washing brush (and the inside if your game!) and rinse it all off.
  4. Et voilà! You beauty! Make sure that the bin dries properly before taking it back inside, otherwise mould can begin to grow. Once it’s dry, line with a garbage bag and she’s ready to rock!

How to clean your washing machine lint filter.

Depending on your washing machine, usually the filter is pretty easy to get too. If you don’t clean it regularly, you will end up finding dark grey spots on your clothes and mum with not be a happy Jan! But once you get the thing out (and potentially vomit) it’s a little hard not knowing how to get it not just clean, but uber clean. But it can be done!

  1. Grab a bucket before you start anything. Wear gloves and make sure you have a strong stomach. Turn the kettle on.
  2. Take the center filter out and immediately place it in the bucket. The hardest part it over now – YAY!
  3. Pour in some vinegar, the hot water and let it soak for 30 min. This will allow the grime to loosen up and fall away.
  4. Once it’s soaked, empty all the water and the filter in the sink and rinse off all the gunk with fresh water.
  5. If there is any left over built up lint, use an old toothbrush to get in the corners.
  6. Place the sparkly new filter back into the machine and repeat for any other filters you may have in the machine or your dryer.

Your chemical-free cleaning kit

If you’re serious about ditching the chemicals, bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar, eucalyptus oil, lemon juice, and pure beeswax can get most jobs done. It worked for our grandparents, and it can work for you too!

This article was featured in Issue 51 of our printed magazine, published April/May 2022.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

1 thought on “How to Clean Your Oven, Fridge, Bin & Washing Machine”

  1. These are some great and quite efficient recipes! My sister’s biggest nightmare is cleaning those kitchen appliances and she’s often trying to skip this and make it faster by using self-leaning cycles and chemical detergents. I’m trying to show her how harmful this could be for her family and how better it is to use more natural non-toxic solutions. Your post is exactly what she needs so I’m recommending it to her and to some friends too. Thanks for the useful info!


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