A clean refrigerator is key to keeping your food fresh, but spills, crumbs, and neglected leftovers can quickly turn it into a mess.
Not only does this invite bacteria and mold, but it also makes finding that one special snack far more challenging than it should be.
Here’s an important fact: Regular cleaning can extend the life of your fridge and keep those grocery runs worth it.
Ready for a fresher food haven? Let’s dive in and make that fridge shine!
Considerations Before Getting Started
Before you clean your fridge, have somewhere to keep your food cool. This could be a cooler or another fridge. It keeps the food safe while you work. Check all the food for expiration dates, too.
Toss out anything that’s gone bad.
Stay away from bleach and other strong chemicals when cleaning your fridge. They can harm the surfaces inside and give off smells that might stick to your food. Stick with milder cleaning products like dish soap and baking soda, which are safer for use around things you eat.
Materials Needed for Cleaning a Fridge
You will need a few things to clean your fridge.
- Baking soda
- Warm water
- White vinegar
- Dish soap
- Microfiber cloth
- Cotton swabs
- Old toothbrush
- Spray Bottle
These items are great for natural cleaning. Use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge to wipe surfaces gently.
For tough spots, an old toothbrush can work well.
Make sure you have dry cloths, too. They help dry off shelves after you wash them. If you’ve got stainless steel parts on your fridge, use a cleaner made just for that kind of metal.
Also, get petroleum jelly for the gasket to keep it from drying out. Don’t forget a vacuum with attachments to suck up dirt from under and behind your fridge.
Steps to Clean a Fridge
Dive into the heart of fridge maintenance with a step-by-step guide that simplifies deep cleaning, from clearing out leftovers to scrubbing down surfaces, ensuring your kitchen appliance sparkles like new—keep reading for all the chilly details!
Step 1: Turn Off the Refrigerator
Unplug your fridge to make it safe. This stops the cold air and makes it easy to clean. Make sure your hands are dry when you pull out the plug. This will keep you from getting shocked.
Always do this before you start cleaning inside.
Step 2: Remove Everything From Your Refrigerator
Take out all the food, drinks, and condiments from your fridge. This lets you clean every spot without missing any hidden messes or spills. It also helps you check what might have gone bad or spilled.
Throw away old and spoiled foods to stop bad smells and keep your fridge fresh.
Pull out any shelves, drawers, and bins too. You will need to wash them by hand with warm water and mild dish soap to get rid of stuck-on food. Doing this ensures your refrigerator looks clean and is safe for keeping your food in good condition.
Step 3: Clean Removable Parts: Shelves and Drawers
Pull out the fridge shelves and drawers. Wash them by hand with warm water and a bit of dish soap. Scrub any tough food spills, especially on the bottoms of wire racks. Make sure every spot is clean before you rinse and dry these parts.
Mix baking soda with water to make it cleaner for places that can’t come out. Use this to wipe down the inside of your refrigerator. A toothbrush or cotton swabs can help get the gunk out of small spaces as you go from top to bottom.
Step 4: Clean the Refrigerator Interior
Now that you have removed the shelves and drawers, it’s time to tackle the inside of your refrigerator. Use a soft cloth or sponge with warm, soapy water to wipe down all the surfaces.
Get into every corner, under edges, and along walls. For stuck-on food or spills, you might need a little extra scrubbing power—just be gentle so you don’t scratch the interior. If there are any bad smells or stains, sprinkle some baking soda on the area before you wipe it.
This will help get rid of odors and make your fridge fresh again.
After cleaning with soap and water, rinse all the surfaces with clean water to take away any soap left behind. Dry everything with a dry towel. Make sure it’s completely dry before returning it to your food and containers.
Keeping things dry helps stop mold from growing.
Step 5: Clean the Refrigerator Gasket
The gasket is the rubber seal on your fridge door that keeps cold air. Dirt can build up here, so you want to keep it clean. Mix warm water with liquid dish soap or bleach-based cleaner if there’s mold.
Use a soft cloth to rub this mix gently onto the gasket. Rinse well with water.
If there are tough stains, try using toothpaste. Put some on an old toothbrush and scrub carefully until the stain disappears. Dry the gasket with a towel and then apply a little petroleum jelly.
This helps stop it from drying out and cracking over time.
Step 6: Clean the Refrigerator Exterior
Now that you’ve made the rubber seal around the door shine, it’s time to focus on the refrigerator exterior. Use a soft cloth and warm, soapy water to wipe down all outside surfaces.
For stainless steel fridges, switch to a stainless steel cleaner to avoid streaks and keep it looking shiny. Pay extra attention to handles where sticky fingers often leave marks. Drying with a clean towel will help prevent water spots and complete your fridge’s fresh look!
Step 7: Clean the Coils
To clean the coils on your fridge, first unplug it for safety. These coils are usually at the back or underneath the fridge. They can get dirty and need cleaning to help your fridge run well.
Use a coil brush or a vacuum with a brush attachment to gently remove dust and dirt from the coils.
For tougher grime, mix white vinegar with hot water. Dip a cloth in this solution and wipe down the coils. Be careful not to bend them or damage any parts while cleaning. Once you’re done, plug your refrigerator back in to start cooling again.
Clean coils mean better performance and can save you money on energy bills!
Step 8: Clean Under the Fridge
After taking care of the coils, it’s time to tackle the area under your fridge. This spot often gets forgotten but is important for keeping pests and bad smells away. Pull out the fridge carefully to reach this hidden space.
Make sure you unplug the fridge first to stay safe from any electrical accidents.
Grab a broom or a vacuum cleaner and sweep out all the dust, crumbs, and anything else that has gathered under there. If you find sticky spots or spills, use a damp cloth with some all-purpose cleaner to wipe them clean.
Step 9: Return Removable Parts
Put all the shelves, drawers, and racks back in their spots. Check your fridge’s manual to do it right. This ensures everything fits well, and you can use your refrigerator again.
Now, grab a damp cloth to wipe down each part as you put them in place.
Next up is keeping your fridge fresh with some special cleaning tips!
Special Cleaning Tips
Dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of fridge maintenance with our special cleaning tips that tackle common challenges head-on, from banishing mold and unpleasant odors to ensuring your water dispenser sparkles and your baking soda techniques are spot-on.
How to clean a fridge with mold
To clean a fridge with mold, first, make sure you have gloves on to protect your hands. Mix baking soda with warm water. This mixture is good for getting rid of mold without being too harsh on the inside of your fridge.
Take out all food and shelves before you start scrubbing. Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe down all surfaces with the baking soda solution.
If you see any more mold spots, repeat them until they’re gone. Dry the cleaned areas with a clean towel after washing them off so no moisture is left behind—mold loves damp places! Put everything back only when the fridge is dry and clean.
Remember not to use strong chemicals like bleach; it can damage your refrigerator and isn’t safe for where you store food.
How to clean a fridge that smells
If your fridge smells bad, you’ll want to clean it well. First, discard all the food and throw away anything old or spoiled. This will help stop more smells from starting. Next, make a mix of baking soda and water.
Baking soda is good for getting rid of bad smells. Use this mixture to wipe the inside walls and shelves of your fridge. Get into all the corners and under the edges where old food might hide.
After that, leave an open box of baking soda inside your refrigerator when you’re done cleaning. The baking soda can soak up any leftover smells over time. Change the box every month to keep things fresh.
How to clean a fridge water dispenser
Cleaning your fridge water dispenser keeps it working well and your water tasting fresh. Start by turning off the ice maker and pulling out the tray. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water.
Use this mix to scrub the tray with a toothbrush. Get into all those small spots where dirt hides.
Next, take a soft cloth dipped in the vinegar solution to wipe down the area where you get your water. If you see any mold or buildup, use that toothbrush again to clean it off gently.
Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse everything with clean water to remove any vinegar taste before putting it back together.
For hard-to-reach places inside the dispenser, soak a small brush in vinegar solution and carefully work on those spots. Dry all parts with a clean towel before sliding back the tray and turning on your ice maker again.
Now enjoy crisp, clean-tasting water from your freshly cleaned dispenser!
How to clean a fridge with baking soda
Now that we’ve covered the water dispenser let’s tackle stains and bad smells with baking soda. Mix some baking soda with water to make a paste. This paste is good for hard stains and dried spills in your fridge.
Rub it on the spots that need cleaning. Wait a little while, then wipe it off with a damp cloth.
Baking soda also gets rid of bad odors in your fridge. Spread some across a plate and put it inside your refrigerator. Leave it be for several hours or overnight to soak up smells.
Later, just take out the plate and enjoy your fresh-smelling fridge!
Maintaining a Clean Fridge
Maintaining a clean fridge not only safeguards your food safety but also extends the life of your appliance.
Preventive Measures to Keep Your Fridge Clean
Keep your fridge clean by not being messy with food containers. Make sure lids are tight so nothing spills. Throw away old food before it smells or leaks. If you see a spill, wipe it up fast to stop it from sticking.
Use good storage ideas to keep things neat and find food quicker.
Put dates on leftovers, so you know when to eat them. This stops waste and keeps your fridge smelling nice.
How Often to Clean Your Refrigerator
You should clean your refrigerator every three months to keep it fresh and prevent spoilage. This means removing everything, cleaning the shelves, and preventing mold from growing.
If you have a big holiday coming up, make sure to clean before filling the fridge with food. You might need to clean more often for those with water dispensers in their refrigerators.
Each week, give your fridge a quick wipe-down. Remove old food, sweep up any crumbs, and immediately deal with spills. Use baking soda and white vinegar to scrub away tough stains. With these simple steps, maintaining a tidy refrigerator becomes easy.
The Bottom Line
Keeping your fridge clean is important. Remember to turn it off and take everything out first. Wash the shelves and bins with warm soapy water. Wipe the inside with baking soda mix.
Don’t forget to clean the door seals and outside, too! Clean coils help your fridge work well. With these steps, your fridge will stay fresh and last longer!
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