How To Clean Your Fridge From Top To Bottom
Keep the inside and outside of a refrigerator clean with these helpful tips
TL;DR: Raw foods, cooked foods, drinks and other condiments all occupy the shelves in a fridge, so it’s important to regularly clean it to keep bad odours at bay and food safe. All you need to clean the fridge from top to bottom is 30 minutes using natural and traditional cleaning products such as baking soda and hot water, vinegar or dishwashing soap.
Cleaning a refrigerator is up there as one of the least favourite household chores, but it’s a must for preserving food and keeping bad odours at bay. It’s such an important and often neglected task, that Whirlpool created a National Clean out the Refrigerator Day which falls yearly, on the 15th of November.
However, any time is a good time to clean out the fridge from top to bottom! As new food is bought and put at the front of the fridge, old food usually gets pushed to the back and forgotten, which contributes to bad smells, spills and other grime. If there’s a strange smell coming from the fridge, it’s definitely time to kill the stink and clean the fridge.
First steps to cleaning the refrigerator
Throw away all expired food
Throw away any mouldy food
Get rid of any products that are no longer used
Remember: if in doubt, throw it out
Then, using a nearby bench or table, take out and set aside all items and food products from the shelves and compartments before commencing cleaning.
How to clean the inside of a fridge using natural products (white vinegar, water & lemon)
Save time by cleaning out the fridge using ingredients already found in the home: 1 cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of hot water and a lemon.
Simply mix the ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle
Then, spray the mixture on the inside surfaces of the fridge (including shelving and drawers) and let it sit for a minute or two
Wipe away with a damp cloth. Don’t forget the tricky door seal which can often harbour food crumbs and mould. Use the damp cloth to remove this dirt, taking care not to damage the seal.
The lemon will help sanitise the fridge as well as leave a clean and fresh smell!
An alternative option is exchanging white vinegar with baking soda.
How to clean the inside of a fridge using baking soda
Remove all the food items from the fridge and place them in an eskie with ice packs to keep them fresh. Remove the shelves and drawers
Make a cleaning solution by mixing 1 cup of baking soda with 4 cups of warm water in a large food storage container or bowl
Dip a clean kitchen sponge or cloth into the cleaning solution and use it to wipe down the inside of the fridge, working from top to bottom. Give the shelves and drawers a once over too
For any stubborn stains, make a paste by mixing baking soda and water, apply and lightly scrub off apply a few minutes using the kitchen sponge or scouring pad
Dry the inside of the fridge using a clean cloth or paper towels
How to clean a fridge using traditional products
Just like washing the dishes, the insides of a fridge can be thoroughly cleaned by using dishwashing liquid mixed with warm water. Simply fill up the sink, remove any fridge drawers or shelves, and let it soak in the mixture for a few minutes. Whilst the shelves and drawers are soaking, use a cleaning spray or a damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the fridge - remember wipe down all surfaces with a dry cloth once it has been cleaned.
Should there still be any stubborn stains remaining on shelves and drawers, use a scourer to remove them. Remember to dry all shelving and drawers completely before placing them back into the refrigerator.
How to keep the inside of a fridge smelling fresh for longer
Wondering how to deodorise a smelly fridge? Disinfectant, bleach and other strong chemicals should not be used as it may come into contact with food. Instead, fill up a small container with baking soda and leave it at the bottom of the fridge - baking soda will absorb any strong odours. Too easy!
You can also use a lemon to deodorise a fridge by cutting one in half, placing it in a dish and leaving overnight. The lemon will help to absorb any unpleasant odours in the fridge, leaving it smelling fresh and clean. You can also use lemon juice or lemon zest.
It’s also a good idea to wipe off drips and condensation from jars and bottles with a hot, damp cloth as they cause odours. Not only can spills leak onto other foods, but they are often the culprit of bad smells.
How to clean the outside of a fridge using white vinegar
Cleaning the outside of your fridge with a white vinegar spray is a simple, safe and effective way to remove dirt, grime, and fingerprints whilst also killing bacteria. It’s kind to the environment too! Here's how you do it:
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle
Spray the solution onto the surface of the fridge, focusing on areas that are particularly dirty or greasy
Let the solution sit for a few minutes to loosen any grime
Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the surface of the fridge. For stubborn stains or dirt, you can use a kitchen sponge
Once you've finished cleaning, rinse the cloth or sponge in clean water and wipe the surface of the fridge again to remove any vinegar residue
Dry the surface of the fridge with a clean, dry cloth or paper towels
Your fridge, from filthy to flawless
No one wants to eat their meal from a dirty plate so it makes sense not to store food in a grubby fridge. Eliminate germs, mould and odours by regularly cleaning the fridge choosing the right cleaning products. Stick to a cleaning schedule and clean up spills as they occur, that way cleaning the fridge won’t feel like such a chore and effort. Don’t forget to also clean the outside of the fridge by wiping down doors and handles with a damp cloth.
As with any cleaning jobs, test an inconspicuous area before applying the cleaning product to the entire surface of the refrigerator to ensure there’s no adverse effects.