Oprah is a food scientist? Americans will believe anything a celebrity says

Never underestimate the power of Oprah.

Decades ago, when I started asking produce stockers at retail about the questions they get, the answer that stuck in my mind was: If it was on Oprah yesterday, I’ll get questions today.

hamburger.oprah.96Amanda Hoaglen of Lake Mary, Florida, a self-proclaimed clean freak, uses only natural, eco-friendly sprays and washes for all her appliances and surfaces.

“I first started learning how to keep the kitchen neat and clean watching ‘Oprah’ and so I’ve always had that desire to learn little tricks of the trade,” she says. “Then when my son was born I definitely kicked it up a notch because I wanted to make sure he was of course safe and healthy.”

Hoaglen says that while searching online she discovered tips for cleaning appliances. Appliances she never thought needed to be cleaned.

“I didn’t realize that there’s this micro-bacteria, it’s sort of like a pink slime that comes from the water. It will appear in the lines of, say, your coffee maker or in the lines of your dishwasher if you don’t regularly maintain them by running vinegar through them.”

White vinegar along with lemons, Dawn dish soap and baking soda are her go-to items for cleaning just about anything.

Yes, acid works.

Craig Menzies, salesman for Southeast Steel, has been in the appliance business for 23 years. He says Amanda is on the right track. He recommends running vinegar through washing machines to all his customers. 

Menzies says people use too much detergent. He says residue builds up and it makes a great home for mold, bacteria and E. coli. 

“I find that it’s very simple to use a couple of cups of white vinegar here maybe one through the dispenser on an empty load and that really tends to sanitize and deodorize things and white vinegar is a fabulous product to use in any kind of appliance.”

Menzies says this is especially important in front load washers where water settles in the bottom, allowing bacteria to grow.

“The towels will tell the tale. If they smell, too much soap. If they don’t smell anymore, you’re using the right amount of soap.”