Cleaning Used Appliances

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After finding great deals on used appliances (most recently, $5 for both a new blender and coffee machine), I was wondering how to clean and sanitize them?

Sanitize with Denture Tablets

My mom taught us years ago that denture tablets can thoroughly clean out and sanitize any coffee maker, coffee urn, vases, appliances, etc. If it can tear the plaque off of dentures and leave them sanitized enough to put back in your mouth, I think it can do the same for small appliances.

Clean with Vinegar

For the coffee maker, simply run a couple of pots of white vinegar through the maker. This will eliminate any off odors or taste when you brew your coffee. If there are stains in the carafe, a small amount of bleach with hot water allowed to sit in the pot will remove the stains and sanitize the pot. Make sure to rinse well. Also run 3 to 4 pots of clear clean water through the maker after cleaning with white vinegar.

Related: More money-saving household uses for vinegar

For the blender, you can place a small capful of bleach in the pot and fill approximately 1/2 way full with water, and whirl away! Make sure to rinse and wash as usual.

A damp dishcloth and plain dishwashing liquid can be used to clean the outside of both appliances, just as if you'd purchased them new.
C. Lucas in AL

Put Your Dishwasher to Work

My mother is a thrift store/rummage sale shopper too. If you have a dishwasher, you could wash some parts in there (coffee pot and blender cup). Many dishwasher detergents have either ammonia or bleach in them, and with the high hot water temperature, it will wash and sanitize your dishes.

Frugal Living Tip: Make your own cleaners

The other parts that can't be put in a dishwasher (i.e. blender motor, and coffee machine) sanitize it in one teaspoon of bleach per 1 quart of water. This sanitation direction is from Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson. This is a great book! It is a huge book with 882 pages. It is quite extensive on all aspects of homemaking.

Make a 10% Bleach Solution

Use a 10% bleach solution to sanitize appliances, countertops, bathrooms, etc. I worked in medical research labs for years and this is what is always on hand to clean up bacterial and fungal spills.

1/4 cup of bleach
2 1/4 cup water

This will store indefinitely in a plastic bottle. Just don't pour bleach into a coffee maker.

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