A coffeemaker, toaster, blender or microwave makes life easier, while a good range of utensils makes the preparation and cooking of food easier, faster and more enjoyable. Regular maintenance and a bit of traditional care will keep your kitchen in fine working order.
Most kitchen appliances run on electricity, so special care should be taken when cleaning them. The first step is always to pull out the plug, then detach all removable parts and wash them by hand or put them in the dishwasher.
Cleaning, de-scaling and maintenance De-scale the espresso machine or coffeemaker regularly using a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Add the solution to the reservoir and run it through just as if you were making a pot of coffee. Then repeat the process twice using plain water. Fill your teakettle with the same solution (equal parts vinegar and water) to remove scale. For significant calcium deposits, bring the mixture to a boil, leave it for 30 minutes, empty it out and rinse thoroughly. Before cleaning your microwave, add a slice of lemon to a bowl of water and heat until steam forms. Then simply wipe out the appliance with a cloth. Vinegar and water work just as well. Rub a little cooking oil into the rubber seals of kitchen appliances occasionally so they will close tightly. Make the hand mixer’s beaters easier to insert and remove by putting a tiny drop of olive oil into the installation sockets. Empty the crumb tray of the toaster and shake out the crumbs over the garbage can. Use a toothpick to remove food particles trapped in the spray arm of your dishwasher. Once a month, clean the filters and run the machine on empty. Garbage disposal units are self-cleaning, but they can get smelly. To keep them running smoothly, operate with a full stream of running cold water that will flush the ground-up debris away. At the first sign of an unpleasant odor, chop up some orange or lemon peel and run it through the system.
• Use a toothbrush to clean difficult-to-reach areas in graters and garlic presses.
• Clean metal flour sieves immediately after use in cold water—warm water will make the flour stick like glue.
• If metal gets rusty, sprinkle it with salt and rub with bacon rind.
• Stick metal kebab skewers into a cork; they’ll stay together, making them less dangerous.