When was the last time you really cleaned your fridge? If your answer is you can remember, don’t worry, you are not alone! A fridge is something that, even though it gets used multiple times a day, is often taken for granted. It’s a place where food gets shoved and sometimes forgotten about. Did you know that you are supposed to clean your fridge every 6 to 12 months?
In this article, we cover 5 ways to keep your fridge clean and well maintained to help you get the best out of your appliance.
1. Deep clean
Power off your fridge
To give your fridge the much-needed attention it deserves, it is a good idea to start with a deep clean to get rid of the built-up dirt and grime.
In order to do this, you will first need to power off your fridge. It is important to note that this will cause your freezer to start to defrost, so keep that in mind. You may want to take the opportunity to deep clean your freezer too.
A thorough deep clean will allow you to access all the hard-to-reach spots that may have been neglected. It will allow your fridge to run more efficiently, helping to minimize those electricity bills.
How to power off your fridge
Remove all the food from your fridge. This is also a good time to go through each item and toss anything expired. Unplug your fridge from its power source and place newspaper or old towels underneath the freezer to catch any melting ice.
Take out all removable parts. This includes shelving and draws.
Wipe out and sanitize the freezer
Once your fridge is empty, you may want to prop the door open with something if it has a tendency to close itself. Start by wiping out and then sanitizing the entire fridge. Hot soapy water is usually all you need, but if your fridge requires some extra love, then you can add two or three teaspoons of vinegar into the soapy solution.
Start off by wiping down the roof of your fridge and then making your way down the walls to the bottom. Ensure you get into all the nooks, and don’t forget to wipe down the door as well as any shelving or draws that cannot be removed.
Once you are done, you will need to go over it again with fresh, clean water to remove all the soap suds or solution. Then dry everything with a clean towel or microfiber cloth.
To ensure your fridge has been properly sanitized, use a solution of bleach and water. Make sure you do this step after you have done the initial wipe down and all the grime has been removed.
Clean the removable parts
Given you have already removed all the shelving and draws, it is the perfect time to give them some attention too. They can be cleaned in a hot soapy solution and left to dry completely before being replaced inside your fridge.
Turn the fridge back on and refill it
Now your fridge and possible freezer have been thoroughly cleaned and freshly sanitized, it is time to fill it back up. It is a good idea to wipe down any products that may have spilled before putting them back in.
2. Clean your freezer with vinegar
While the defrosting and deep cleaning of your fridge only needs to happen once or twice a year, it doesn’t hurt to give it a once over every month or two. One easy way to do this is using a vinegar and water solution. While white vinegar or apple cider vinegar is preferred, any vinegar will do.
To make the solution, mix equal parts vinegar and water into a bowl or spray bottle.
Unload your fridge, there is no need to unplug it because this is a quick process. Wipe down or spray the interior of your freezer with your vinegar solution focusing on areas with built-up gunk or grime. Removing the shelving may make this process easier.
Let it sit for a few minutes with the door closed before wiping it off with a damp cloth. Remember to rinse the cloth frequently. The vinegar solution works wonders in removing any grime and also helps to keep strong odors from lingering in your fridge.
3. Clean your freezer with baking soda
If cleaning with vinegar is not for you, or you don’t have any handy, you can use baking soda in its place. Start off by making a paste using bicarbonate of soda and hot paste. Once you have removed everything from your fridge, smear the paste all over the inside of your fridge.
Wait a few minutes, and then, using a damp cloth, remove the paste. Once all the paste has been removed, wipe down the interior using a clean, dry cloth.
4. Wipe down the fridge seals
Fridge door seals, also known as fridge gaskets, are what keep the cool air inside your freezer. It is important that these seals are well looked after to help your fridge run efficiently.
If you have a crevice tool, you can gently vacuum them once a month or so to prevent dirt from building up. When you are cleaning your fridge, don’t forget about the seals. Using a vinegar and water solution, run a damp clean cloth along your seals and wait for them to completely dry before closing the door.
5. Don’t forget about the outside
After spending so much time and effort on the interior of your fridge, you don’t want to forget about the exterior. Cleaning the outside of your fridge doesn’t take long, but you can often see a notable difference. A variety of gentle cleaning solutions can be used on your fridge. If you already have some warm soapy water or vinegar/water solution on hand, you can use this rather than buying something new. Just dip a clean soft cloth into the cleaning solution of choice and wipe down the doors, remembering to do the top and bottom of the door as well.