Shiny Kitchen Appliances Are in Your Future: Here is How Often You Should Clean Them | Architectural Digest

The question of how often you really need to clean your kitchen appliances is a topic of endless debate. Should you wipe down your microwave weekly, for example, or will twice a month do? And what about the toaster, fridge, garbage disposal, coffee machine, and more? In reality, there is no set-in-stone timeline for cleaning these appliances, says Sara San Anglo, a professional cleaner and the founder of the home cleaning site “It all depends on the frequency of use and how many people are in your household, especially children using these appliances too,” she says. “If you live alone, you may not have to clean out your refrigerator as often as a household with three children making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and dropping a lidless jelly into the produce drawer.”

There are, however, basic guidelines when it comes to kitchen appliance cleaning. Below, San Anglo and Bridget Mallon, the editorial director of the home resource site The Spruce, outline what to clean when.

Clean daily

Coffee Machine

People don’t clean their coffee makers as often as they should, Mallon says. That can lead to bacteria growth and some unpleasant cups of coffee—the last thing you want when you’re already cranky in the morning. Maintain the machine by washing the baskets, filters, and carafes in warm, soapy water daily, either by hand or in the dishwasher. If you have a Keurig, you can wait a little longer to clean it, but you should strive to wash the removable components with warm, soapy water every week. For a deeper clean that will dissolve mineral buildup and coffee residue, San Anglo recommends running white vinegar through the coffee maker once every three months. 


Leftover crumbs and built-up grease in your toaster can cause fires, according to Mallon. “To avoid that, I make sure to open trap doors and remove any and all loose crumbs after every use,” she says. “This will keep your appliances working well, whether you prefer a toaster oven or slice toaster.”


San Anglo says that, if you cook every day, you should wipe down your stovetop daily. Also, if you have a stove with burners that plug in, remove the burners and covers and open the top of the stove to clean underneath at least once a week. “Grease can get trapped down there and become a fire hazard,” San Anglo explains.

Clean Weekly

Garbage disposal

Mallon says that a garbage disposal needs a weekly cleaning to minimize odors. One of the fastest and most efficient ways to do so is to toss a cup of ice with some dish soap and turn it on.


If you use your microwave every day, a thorough cleaning once a week is a good idea. San Anglo says that spot-wiping and cleaning spills when they happen helps keep it tidier overall. Don’t forget to spray down the door and wipe away smudges.


The sink is the second dirtiest spot in your kitchen, behind only the sponge, Mallon says. Cleaning with a gentle abrasive can prevent the spread of germs and contamination. If you feel that you just don’t have time for a thorough clean, use disposable wipes for a quick rundown.

Clean monthly


Most people don’t use their ovens as much as their stove, so this kitchen appliance can be cleaned once a month, San Anglo says. However, if there are charred bits of food or grease at the bottom that are smoking when you use the oven, clean immediately. For stuck-on stains, make a paste of baking soda and water, leave overnight, and then wipe away the grime.

Air fryer

Mallon says that it’s a good idea to do a monthly cleaning of your air fryer to make sure that there are no food particles blocking the grid to diminish air circulation. However, since the air fryer is filled with raw food, the components that come in direct contact with the food—the basket, tray, or plate—should be cleaned after every use. 

Dishwasher filter

Cleaning the dishwasher filter regularly is the best way to ensure your dishes are sparkling clean and that your kitchen isn’t hit with any bad odors. You’ll want to allocate some time to this project to make sure the gunk is thoroughly removed; leaving debris can encourage mold growth.

Every three months

Refrigerator and freezer

Since your fridge is usually filled with food, it can be hard to remember that it needs a deeper cleaning every once in a while. “The occasional spill and pesky forgotten leftovers can lead to some unpleasant sights and smells if left too long,” Mallon says. “Make cleaning easier by wiping up spills when they happen.” When do you tackle the fridge and freezer, take everything out and approach it shelf by shelf. You may need to let the cleaning solution sit for a while, if you have stubborn stains from sauces and the like.