How to Deep Clean your Fridge

Person with green rubber gloves cleaning inside of refrigerator

Welcome to our guide on deep cleaning your refrigerator. Keeping your fridge clean is essential for keeping your food fresh and your kitchen organised. Over time, spills and forgotten items can lead to odours and messes that affect the quality of your food. In this blog, we will explore how to deep clean your fridge, starting with explaining the importance of regular maintenance for food safety.

Why should i clean my fridge?

Regular deep cleaning of your refrigerator is essential for several reasons. First, it prevents the growth and spread of harmful bacteria that can contaminate your food. Spills, leaks, and expired items inside the fridge can harbour bacteria and promote mould growth, posing health risks if consumed. 

Regularly cleaning your refrigerator can maintain a fresh and odour-free environment, making it more appealing for storing food items. Additionally, deep cleaning your fridge will improve efficiency, save energy, and reduce utility costs.

How often should i clean my fridge?

Cleaning your refrigerator regularly is important to keep it in good condition and ensure food safety. Generally, it is recommended to deep clean your fridge every 3-4 months. This can depend on several factors, including how often you use it, how well you maintain it and the specific conditions of your fridge. 

In between thorough cleanings, it’s wise to promptly address spills and messes as they happen to avoid them becoming more challenging to clean later on.

It’s essential to adapt your cleaning schedule according to how often you use your fridge and its current condition, ensuring it stays clean and performs efficiently.

Women using specialised cleaner and microfibre cloth to clean the exterior of the fridge

Empty the fridge

Emptying the refrigerator entirely is essential during the first step of fridge cleaning. You should begin by removing all items from inside the fridge, including food and drink, shelves, and drawers. 

As you empty the fridge, check the expiration dates of your food and discard expired items. Food such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy should be moved to another cooler while you clean the fridge, and other items should be put into containers for safekeeping. 

Emptying your fridge ensures a clear workspace and the ability to clean each part of the fridge without any obstructions. 

Cleaning your fridge removable parts

After you’ve emptied the fridge and dismantled the removable parts, such as the shelves and drawers, it’s time to focus on washing them. Using a large cleaning bucket, submerge each part into warm, soapy water and clean them thoroughly with a soft sponge. 

For stubborn stains, such as dried food residue or sticky spills, use a specialised cleaner such as the clover foam cleaner or a DIY baking soda paste and water or vinegar. Allow the cleaner or paste to sit for a few minutes, and gently scrub with a microfibre sponge.

After washing, ensure each part is rinsed thoroughly to remove any soap residue. It’s essential to ensure that they are fully dry before placing them back into the fridge to prevent mould or mildew from forming inside your fridge.

Man cleaning removable parts for fridge cleaning

How to clean the interior of your fridge

Cleaning the interior of your fridge is an important task to maintain a clean and hygienic environment for storing your food. 

Begin by wiping down the interior walls and ceiling using a microfibre cloth dipped in warm, soapy water. This will lift dirt and spills. As you clean, pay attention to corners, edges, and crevices where residue may have accumulated. Use an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush to tackle hard-to-reach spots and the rubber seals on the door.

If stubborn stains persist, apply a cleaner or DIY paste and scrub the fridge interior to remove them. After cleaning and washing all surfaces with clean water, dry the interior with a clean dishcloth to prevent moisture. 

Once the interior of your fridge is clean and dry, reassemble the shelves and drawers and restock the fridge with your groceries.  

How to clean the exterior of your fridge

Now that you have cleaned the interior of your fridge, it’s essential to focus on cleaning the exterior, including the door seals and handles. Similar to cleaning the interior of your fridge, use a damp cloth with mild soap to gently wipe down the handles. Use an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush to tackle hard-to-reach spots and the rubber seals on the door.

For the exterior of your fridge, start by wiping down the exterior with a clean, damp cloth to remove dust, fingerprints and any spills. For fridges with plastic exteriors, 

To clean a fridge with a plastic exterior, use warm, soapy water and a cloth to gently clean the refrigerator to remove dust, fingerprints, and spills. Avoid abrasive cleaners, as these can scratch the plastic surface.

On the other hand, to clean a stainless steel fridge, you should use a specialised stainless steel cleaner and a microfibre cloth. Make sure you wipe the surface gently in the direction of the grain to avoid streaks and scratches. 

How to maintain a clean refrigerator

Maintaining a clean fridge is vital for food safety and for keeping it running efficiently. Here are some top tips for keeping your fridge clean and organised. 

  1. Set aside a regular cleaning routine to clean out the fridge ( once a month ) 
  2. Use fridge liners or mats to catch spills
  3. Store food in sealed containers to prevent odours from spreading
  4. Use fridge trays and bins to organise and group similar items together to keep your fridge tidy 
  5. Keep your refrigerator temperature set at or below 5°C to keep your food fresh and safe to eat
  6. Vacuum or brush the condenser coils ( at the back of your fridge ) every six months to remove dust
  7. Regularly check for and discard expired food items 
  8. Monitor for maintenance issues
Person wearing orange gloves and using cloth and cleaner to clean the interior of a fridge

Fridge Cleaning recap

Whether cleaning your home fridge or a commercial unit, we hope this guide has helped you prepare for fridge cleaning. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to maintain a clean and organised fridge while ensuring the safety and freshness of the food you and your family enjoy every day. 

Remember, cleaning your fridge doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Setting aside a regular cleaning routine and taking proactive steps like using fridge liners, storing food in sealed containers, and monitoring for maintenance issues can simplify the process and keep your fridge running smoothly.

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