These tips on how to deep clean your refrigerator make it easy to get a fresh and sparkling fridge.
We keep our food there, so you would think most of us are more careful about how clean it is. The truth is, the fridge is one of the most neglected areas in most kitchens. It’s understandable – cleaning the fridge can be time-consuming and tedious. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! Here are some tips on how to deep clean your refrigerator to make it easy peasy.
How to Deep Clean Your Refrigerator
First, gather your supplies. You will need a trash bag, some rags, a food-safe cleaner (check the label), and an old toothbrush. Having someone to help is also great as they can grab you more towels if you are out as well as move the garbage bag out of your way, but it’s not necessary. You will likely need someone to help you move the fridge though.
Start by taking out everything from your fridge. Place items in categories. I like to keep condiments together as well as everything in the produce drawers together, etc. As you pull items out, check dates, do the ‘sniff test’ and look for signs of going bad. This is especially important with condiments as they tend to stay in the fridge well past their prime. If you have veggies or fruit that aren't bad yet, but about to turn, freeze them.
Now start cleaning the surfaces. Take out all drawers and set them in the sink. If you have someone to help, have them clean them with soap and hot water. If you don’t do this now and dry them well. Set them aside to finish drying.
Using a food safe cleaner, spray the inside of the fridge and wipe it down well with a dry rag. You will likely encounter a lot of hard to reach spaces and this is where the old toothbrush comes in handy. If you come across areas that need something more abrasive, try sprinkling baking soda and a little water on the toothbrush and scrubbing that way. The baking soda not only works as a mild abrasive, but it also absorbs odors. Make sure to use the toothbrush in the crevices of the seal as well.
Now you can clean your fridge's coils and drip pan. Unplug your fridge before doing this part. The coils should be vacuumed and are located on the back of most refrigerators, although some are on the bottom. Have someone help you move your fridge to avoid injury and using the brush attachment of your vacuum, clean them. Drip pans are located on the bottom of most fridges. Dump the drip pan in your sink and wipe it out with a clean rag and a solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Make sure you dry the drip pan well before replacing it.
Finally, move to cleaning the exterior. A simple rag dampened with a cleaner is fine. Wipe the sides, tops of doors, and top of the fridge as well as handles and front. Pay special attention to hinges on the doors as well.
Replace all of the food and drawers at this point. This is also a good time to organize as well as you put things back. A lazy Susan is great for items like condiments and if you lack drawer space, consider getting some fridge cubbies.
This can all seem like a lot of work, but from start to finish it usually only takes me about 20 minutes. The good news is, it only needs to be done about once every 3-6 months, depending on whether or not you have pets.