Updated: Oct 14
The Ultimate Guide to a Fresh and Clean Refrigerator
Have you ever opened your fridge and been met with a less-than-pleasant aroma or sight? You're not alone. The refrigerator is one of the most frequently used appliances in our kitchens, and it's essential to keep it clean for both aesthetic and health reasons. A gleaming fridge can elevate the entire look and feel of your kitchen, while a tidy interior ensures your food stays fresh and safe to eat. Here's a comprehensive guide to getting your fridge in tip-top shape.
Difficulty: Beginner Duration: Under 2 hours
The Essentials of Fridge Cleaning:
Power Down: While it's possible to clean with the fridge on, it's more energy-efficient and safer to turn it off, especially when dusting coils or cleaning the drip pan. If unplugging isn't feasible, switch off the circuit breaker that serves the refrigerator.
Declutter: Begin by emptying the fridge entirely. Store perishables in a cooler and place other items on the counter, ensuring they're not left out for over an hour. This is the perfect time to discard old leftovers, expired foods, and items that no longer appeal to your palate. Remember to compost and recycle where possible, and dispose of trash promptly.
Tackle Removable Parts: Remove all shelves and drawers for a thorough clean. Using fragrance-free dish soap mixed with warm water, wash these parts as you would any dish. Ensure they're completely dry before reinserting them. Tip: Let these parts come to room temperature before washing to prevent cracking.
Interior Deep Clean: For a natural clean, use edible products like white vinegar or baking soda. For a baking soda solution, mix two tablespoons with a quart of hot water in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe all interior surfaces. For stubborn stains, a baking soda paste can be applied and left for ten minutes before wiping. Alternatively, a vinegar solution of one part white vinegar to three parts water can be used similarly. Note: Only use bleach for extreme cases and ensure the fridge airs out for several hours afterward.
Exterior Shine: Clean the fridge's exterior with warm, soapy water or your preferred cleaning solution. For stainless steel fridges, use a designated cleaner. Don't forget to dust the condenser coils, clean the drip pan, and vacuum around the appliance.
Banish Odors: After a thorough clean, if odors persist, place a box of baking soda, fresh coffee grounds, activated charcoal, or unscented cat litter inside. For persistent smells, consider leaving the fridge empty with the door open overnight.
Address spills immediately to prevent stubborn stains.
Ensure containers entering the fridge are clean.
Use rimmed plates for thawing items to contain leaks.
Vanilla-soaked cotton balls can leave a pleasant aroma.
Clean the door seal with a bleach-water mix and a toothbrush.
Toothpaste can be a mild abrasive for tough stains.
Brown paper in drawers can absorb odors.
Avoid overcrowding; a spacious fridge cools more efficiently.
In conclusion, regular fridge cleaning is a simple yet impactful task. Not only does it keep your kitchen looking and feeling fresh, but it also ensures you're maximizing space and maintaining a healthy environment for your food. Happy cleaning!