You never knew you needed to clean your fridge until you saw how dirty it is after emptying it, right? You’re probably overwhelmed because you don’t know how to clean your fridge. Don’t worry because most, if not all of us, have been in that unpleasant situation too! All it takes is some patience, elbow grease, and towels. It’s better to keep your kids out for the day unless you want curious hands prodding at the food! Whether it’s your first time cleaning your fridge or not, we’ll tell you how to clean it properly!
Before starting anything, you should probably prepare an empty counter to keep the food until you’re done with the fridge. If you have a table nearby, that will work. If not, a basket or any storage container that is spacious enough will do, as long as it can fit all of your food supplies. If some foods shouldn’t stay out of the fridge for long, try to keep them in the neighbor’s fridge or ask a friend for help. And let’s not forget; having a trash bin nearby is necessary if you want to clean your fridge. You’ll probably find expired goods in there, and it’s about time you throw them out.
Prepare Your Cleaning Supplies
Now that you have the food out of the way, it’s time to prepare cleaning supplies. There is a variety of cleaning tools available at your home that you can use. It’s up to you whether you will use them all. All you’ll need is a clean cloth or a towel. It can be any size and kind as long as it can absorb all the moisture on your fridge’s shelves. A cleaning solution is also essential because you need to wipe every nook and cranny of your fridge. You can use a mixture of soap and hot water; if you want a more natural solution, vinegar with hot water is a great alternative. You can always put it in a spray bottle and use it.
The last step is optional, but if you want to ensure your fridge is sanitized, use bleach and water to wipe it down after cleaning. Dilute one tablespoon of liquid bleach in a gallon of water for that.
How to Clean Your Refrigerator’s Shelves
After preparing, you can finally start cleaning your fridge. The area that you should first work on is the shelves. Once you’re done removing all of the food, pull out the removable shelves. Spray them with your cleaning solution and wipe them down with a towel. If there are food spills, scrub them with a sponge or a towel. Make sure you use a nonabrasive tool because you don’t want to scratch your shelves. You can also scrub the shelves in your sink under running water. Don’t use hot water because it can cause cracks on some finishes.
How to Clean Your Refrigerator’s Door and Drawers
Fridge drawers are prone to debris. As such, you also need to clean them because there might be a pile of dirt that’s accumulating at the bottom. If your drawers are removable, you can wipe them down and scrub them with a sponge. Doing this under running water will help you remove any stuck gunk. If not, spray them and wipe them until they dry. It can be tricky if your drawer is narrow. If that’s the case, you might want to use a brush designated for cleaning. Don’t forget to spray and wipe the wall where your drawers were initially placed before putting them back.
How to Clean Your Refrigerator’s Interior
Now that you’re done with the shelves and drawers of your fridge, it’s time to tackle the interior. The walls of your refrigerator get dirty too!
Even if there aren’t any food spills, it’s still good to wipe the interior of your fridge to remove any dirt that might have been stuck on the wall.
Spray the whole interior with your cleaning solution, then wipe it down. Start from the top and work your way down to prevent any drips that might land on the surfaces you have already cleaned earlier.
After doing this, you can now return your shelves and drawers.
How to Clean Your Refrigerator’s Exterior
It would be best if you didn’t forget to clean the exterior of your fridge. It would be a shame if your interior is squeaky clean, but your exterior is the opposite. For this, you can use any cleaning solution. You have to wipe the sides as well as the top. Even though you can’t see the top of your fridge, cleaning it is necessary because it’s where the most dust accumulates. Additionally, it would be best if you wiped the handles and, as much as possible, sanitize them regularly because you touch them often.
How to Clean Your Refrigerator’s Water Dispenser
There are different kinds of water dispensers in refrigerators. To ensure that you’re going to clean yours the right way, you should consult your refrigerator manual. By doing so, you’ll know when and how you’ll be able to change the filters and other troubleshooting guides whenever you encounter any problems. You don’t want to drink unfiltered water, so always allot time to clean it. Even if you don’t clean the rest of your fridge, it’s okay to clean your water dispenser.
The dispenser’s filter should be replaced every six months for most refrigerators. But some newer models come with an indicator when it’s time to replace it. Don’t forget to clean the spouts of your ice and water dispenser!
You can use a straw brush dipped in soapy water to gently clean the dispensing hole. If you see dirt clinging to the brush, rinse it before inserting it back into the dispensing hole. Afterward, grab a cup and let your water dispenser run until no soapy residue is left. Wipe down the water dispenser tray with a towel. You can also use a vinegar solution to remove any stains. After cleaning it, leave it without filling it until the odor disappears.
How to Remove Refrigerator Odors
Letting spoiled food sit in your fridge for days will produce a foul smell. It will help if you deodorize after you have deep-cleaned both interior and exterior of your fridge. This is to ensure that there is no spoiled food left. As much as possible, avoid using artificial refrigerator deodorizers and air fresheners. Although some claim to be food safe and all-natural, there’s no assurance that these products are entirely safe.
You can always use household items that will serve as your refrigerator deodorizer. Put these items in a small container and place them in an area where the foul odor is strong:
- Baking soda
- Freshly ground coffee
- A cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract
- Activated charcoal
These are known for absorbing and removing any bad smell inside your fridge.
How to Eliminate Mold From Your Fridge
Along with foul odor, spoiled food can be a source of mold. Throwing out the food is just one of the steps to eliminate mold, but it doesn’t guarantee that it will stop spreading. It can still spread through the air and through physical contact with food items. It is a hazard because not only will it make your other food go bad, but it can also be risky, healthwise. You can get irritated eyes, rashes, and even sinus problems. To get rid of mold, you can use either plain white vinegar or a baking soda and water mixture. Spray the mold and let it sit for a few minutes. Thoroughly wipe it down afterward with a clean and dry paper towel, ensuring no moisture is left.
How to Keep Your Fridge Clean
It’s satisfying whenever your fridge looks and smells great. However, you should also follow some measures to maintain its cleanliness. Every week, allot some time to organize and check your food. Always check the expiry date and discard spoiled food right away. This will prevent any mold from forming in your fridge.
Store your fresh produce in an area where you can easily see them. Placing them in fridge drawers will make them less visible to you, and you may forget about them, leading them to rot and cause a foul odor. When storing cooked food, ensure it is covered by plastic wrap, foil, or an airtight lid. Never put open bowls in your fridge! Covering them guarantees that your food will last longer and not cause any foul odor when it’s passed its prime.
Every time you take out cans, jars, or bottles, make sure to wipe them clean before putting them back in your fridge. These are the culprits of stains and spills, so be mindful of them.
Always remember that cleaning your fridge is just as important as cleaning your house!