The general cleanliness of your fridge can be up kept with the wipe of a damp cloth weekly. At least twice a year it’s a good idea to give it a major cleaning — a complete refrigerator refresh. Set aside some time, gather your cleaning supplies, grab yourself a cooler (not for beer, unfortunately) and get down to it.
How to deep clean your fridge in 4 easy steps:
1. Take everything out.
When we say everything, we mean everything, even those little ketchup packets that seem to appear out of nowhere. There’s no sense in doing a deep clean if you’re just going to clean around items. While you’re removing your food items, take a couple minutes to wipe down any bottles or jars that have food residue stuck on them. You don’t want to place a sticky bottle of sauce back in your freshly cleaned fridge. Place all your food items in a cooler so they don’t spoil while you work.
2. Wipe everything down.
Next, remove any shelves or bins in your fridge. Be sure to give them a thorough wipe down with soap and water. When it comes to the cleaner you use, your preferred brand is fine, but keep in mind that you will be keeping food in there, so a cleaner with a strong scent is not the best idea. If you want to eliminate any smells in your cleaning products all together, try using a mixture of baking soda and hot water. This will clean and remove any lingering fridge odors, a win-win.
Wipe down the inside of your fridge using a cleaner and a damp cloth. You could also use an old toothbrush to get into those little crevices. Once thoroughly cleaned, go over it all again with a damp cloth to rinse the cleaner off. Finish the inside by taking a towel to dry it off. The inside of your fridge should be squeaky clean now.
3. Reach those hard to clean spots.
No matter what you’re cleaning there’s always a spot the requires some extra elbow grease. In this case, it’s the coils of your fridge. While it’s a bit of a hassle to unplug and pull out your fridge, it’s worth it in the long run.
The coils in your fridge can easily become clogged with dust and dirt, making it hard to release heat. This causes the compressor to work overtime, resulting in your fridge using more energy and shortening its lifespan. To avoid this, clean the coils using a brush to knock out dust and a vacuum (handheld or hose attachment) to pick up what falls out.
Note: Some fridges have their coils below at the front of the unit while others have them at the back. Consult your owner’s manual if you’re unsure.
4. Don’t forget the outside.
Now that you’ve thoroughly cleaned the inside and the tricky spots of your fridge, it’s time to wipe down the front. A damp cloth with mild soap and water will do the trick for most fridges. If you have a stainless steel fridge, use a special stainless cleaner to ensure your fridge keeps its shine. Focus your cleaning efforts on areas that get the most attention, like around the handles.
Now that you know how to deep clean your fridge, it’s important to maintain it. It’s recommended you give your fridge a deep clean at least twice a year, but depending on how much traffic and mess your fridge sees this could be 3-4 times a year as well.
Remember to plug your fridge back in and put your food away. If you’re interested in fridge organization tips, check out this article. Enjoy your freshly cleaned fridge!