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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Karen B. Gibbs

It’s hard to imagine a day when we don’t enjoy our iPad, coffee pot or some other “essential.” As important as these items are to us, do we really know how often — or even how — to clean them? Debra Johnson, home cleaning expert for Merry Maids, shares her professional know-how with this handy cleaning guide.

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Coffee pot

If your morning cup of joe isn't tasting as good as usual, the problem could be a dirty coffee pot. Glass or stainless steel carafes should be cleaned after every use to prevent the oily build-up that makes coffee bitter. Wash in warm soapy water or in the dishwasher on the top rack. If pot is stained, fill it with equal parts water and white vinegar, allow it soak for 15-20 minutes, then wash.

Oven

Ovens may reach high temperatures, but that doesn’t mean spills will automatically burn off. As a basic rule, ovens that are used an average amount should be cleaned every three months. Those that are used less often can be cleaned every six months.

For easy cleaning, Johnson suggests spraying the oven with an overnight oven cleaner following manufacturer’s directions. In the morning, you’ll only need to wipe away the grime.

To clean the racks, place them into large plastic garbage bags, then spray generously with oven spray cleaner. Loosely tie the bags closed. The following morning, remove the oven racks from the plastic bags, rinse in the sink with warm, soapy water and wipe dry.

Cut your work next time by using a disposable oven liner to catch spillovers.

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Carpet

Vacuuming keeps carpet fibers clean and helps maintain the life of the carpet. It also provides peace of mind if you have little ones who play on the floor. For these reasons, Johnson recommends vacuuming carpets weekly, and using slow, repetitive strokes. Busy households should consider vacuuming twice a week and those with pets, three to four times a week.

Carpets should be professionally cleaned once a year for average homes, twice a year for busier households. If you have pets in the home, consider having your carpets professionally cleaned quarterly to keep the oils from pet fur at bay. Remember, a clean carpet lasts longer.

Tablets

Tablets are touch-sensitive so dirt and oil from your fingertips build up quickly. That’s why Johnson recommends cleaning tablets and other handheld devices with a dry microfiber cloth at least once a day, or as often as needed. To prevent streaking the surface with older dirt and oil, wash the microfiber cloth at least once a week, separate from other laundry.

Don’t forget to wipe the tablet’s case once a week with a slightly damp microfiber cloth.