Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by American Home Shield (AHS). All opinions are strictly my own.
Kitchen maintenance is probably the last thing that is on your mind as you are hustling and bustling around your holiday kitchen. Whether you’re trying to stock your refrigerator and freezer full of food for your Christmas party or you’d like to fit a few more dishes into your dishwasher, keeping up with kitchen maintenance can be a challenge during the holidays. This year, why not organize your refrigerator and freezer BEFORE your guests arrive (I know these are often overlooked and not thought about!)? Is it possible you can save some water and energy if you loaded your dishwasher correctly? This season I partnered with American Home Shield to help you get organized and help you ensure your kitchen appliances will look and perform beautifully throughout the season – whether you’re holiday entertaining or not. Take a look at how you and your kitchen can shine throughout all of your holiday festivities, so you’re not stuck with any unexpected costly breakdowns.
Organize your Refrigerator and Freezer Before You Start Cooking:
I will tell you that you really underestimate your refrigerator until it breaks down. Earlier this year we had tell tale signs that our refrigerator was not going to make it much longer, and it needed to be replaced sooner rather than later. Now that the holidays are here, we don’t have to worry about our refrigerator dying on us. What we do need to think about is organizing our food in the refrigerator and freezer, so we will be organized.
Next to your stove and oven, your refrigerator and freezer could be the hardest working appliance in your kitchen. It’s continually running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and when the holidays come around, it gets stocked full of food, leftovers and family recipes. This Christmas holiday, why not learn how to organize your refrigerator so it can properly cool your food and make it easier for you to get in and out to move on to your holiday cooking.
- Start out with clean refrigerator/freezer: One of the biggest mistakes heading into the holidays is piling new food on top of older food. Start off with a clean refrigerator by taking all items out and disposing of what is old and questionable! Use a mild detergent and warm water and clean the shelves, the inside walls and doors. Have you ever wondered how to get crumbs and dirt out of your refrigerator seal? Take a look at this American Home Shield refrigerator video:
Dry the refrigerator before placing food back inside.
- Organizing your refrigerator/freezer: Now that you have a clean refrigerator it’s essential to use the manufacturer’s suggestions for placing food in your refrigerator. A good clue is to look at how drawers and shelves are labeled. Fruits, vegetables, lunch meats and cheeses generally have drawers or bins marked with appropriate labeling. Drawers and bins keep produce fresher, while also serving as a sorting system away from large drinks and shelves. Adjust shelves so you can fit larger casserole dishes according to their size.
As you cook throughout the holiday season ensure you clean up spills immediately. This will help your refrigerator stay clean, and will prevent mystery surprises right before your holiday party.
Keep your Dishwasher Running Smoothly All Season Long:
Throughout the holidays I always find it comforting to know that regardless of how many dinner parties, cookie recipes and holiday get-togethers I have, my dishwasher always seems to take all of my loads of dishes! Well, until I realize that maybe the way I’m stacking my dishes is the reason why I’m having to run the cycle 2 and 3 times! If I’m not the only one who has this problem, take a look at how to keep your dishwasher running smoothly throughout the season.
- Scraping food off your dishes can help: Before you load dishes into your dishwasher remove food and scraps so that your drain in the dishwasher doesn’t get clogged. Scraping also allows for the detergent to clean your dishes more effectively.
- Load your dishes correctly into the dishwasher: Believe it or not, the way you and your family load in your dishes and flatware could be affecting how well they are getting cleaned.
- Your hard water could be causing more problems: If your dishes stay dirty, the culprit could be your hard water. Try using a teaspoon of vinegar in the rinse cycle of your dishwasher if you continue to have issues. When I guest posted on the AHS blog I gave these 5 Tips for Getting the Most of your Dishwasher.
Take a look at this AHS video to see how loading correctly can save water, time and space.
How to Load a Dishwasher Correctly Video:
Keep your Stove Range Hood Looking & Performing Beautifully
Your stove and oven go through a lot of use throughout the holidays. From heat, steam and even the occasional venting out burned casserole odors, ensuring your range hood works properly is essential. Your range hood vent removes grease and smoke from the air as you cook. If you don’t clean the vent regularly it can stop performing effectively.
Here’s the best way to clean your stove range hood:
Locate the range hood filter: In most hoods there is a latch where the filter is located. Refer to your manufacturer’s directions if you can’t find it. Remove the filter with rubber gloved hands. This won’t be a job you enjoy!
- Soak your filter: Fill the sink or a basin with a few teaspoons of baking powder, hot water, and a degreasing solution. Soak your filter for 10-15 minutes. This will help breakdown the grease and will reduce the amount of scrubbing.
- Rinse and let filters air dry: Let your filters air-dry once you have rinsed off all residue and greasy water.
Take a look at this video to learn how to clean out your grease filter:
This holiday season is meant to be enjoyed by you and your family around the kitchen. Ensure your kitchen maintenance for your refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher and stove range hood are all working as they should so you can create holiday memories while cooking family recipes and enjoying festive cheer this season!
For more kitchen ideas on Stagetecture take a look at our kitchen archives.