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Cleaning your fridge

anyclean
by
15 Mar 2006
Updated: 07 May 2013

Cleaning the fridge is a task that most householders hate, but it is an important one for many reasons. A clean fridge helps to keep food longer and safer, it is also more energy efficient.

Set aside at least an hour if you plan to do a thorough job of cleaning the fridge. Have the following handy:

  • Basin or sink filled with mild soap water
  • Basin of mild bleach water
  • Sponge
  • Ziploc bags or other see-through storage containers

Turn off or unplug the fridge before you begin working. Start by emptying the freezer compartment first. Remove compartments and trays that can be taken out. Wash them in the soapy water. Once you’ve washed them thoroughly, wet a rag or sponge in the bleach water and give everything a good wipe. Next dry them completely by leaving them in the dish drainer or on paper towels.

Next, change the soap water and then use the rag or sponge in the soap water to wipe the interior of the freezer. Then wipe everything again, using a sponge or rag dampened with the bleach solution. For odor control, mix another solution of baking soda and warm water to go over the inside of the freezer. Two tablespoons baking soda to one quart warm water is adequate.

You can now sort the items taken from the freezer, replacing those that are still good. Take this opportunity to properly sort items you are keeping. Placing them in see –through storage containers will make it easy to see at a glance what you have.

With the freezer out of the way, the rest of the fridge should be a little easier. Change all cleaning solutions and thoroughly wash out rags and sponges used on the freezer. Make a fresh batch of soapy water, and bleach water. Empty everything from the fridge, that is, foodstuff as well as racks and trays.

Wash trays, racks and inside the fridge as you did for the freezer. Make sure to clean the grooves that the trays fit into. These are danger areas that collect spills from juices and other foods that may leak. Before retuning items to your now clean fridge, clean the seals around the door.

Sort the items you are replacing in your fridge, making sure to toss leftovers that are days old or other items that you are not sure about. Wipe off bottles and other containers before returning them to a clean fridge. Lastly, place a box or two of open baking soda on the fridge door for odor control.

Now that the inside of the fridge has been properly cleaned, tackle the exterior next. With a fresh batch of soapy water, wipe the outside of the fridge. Pay special attention to the door handles; wipe off excess dirt with soapy water and then wipe with an appropriate disinfectant.

Turn on or plug in your fridge.

Try to clean your fridge at least once per month. It is best to do this before shopping so as not to worry about spoilage while you are cleaning. If you have items in your fridge that spoil easily, keep an icebox handy to keep them cool until you can replace them in the fridge.

Happy cleaning.