As much as you make an effort to wipe spills inside your refrigerator, surface-level cleaning won't be enough at some point.
When you neglect to clean every nook and cranny for too long, some fridge components might struggle to work as they should. Besides, bacteria can carry over to your food, giving you smelly, bad-tasting, and even unhealthy meals.
Don't let that happen to your fridge! If you want to keep this crucial appliance spotless, check out this guide to give your fridge a top-to-bottom deep cleaning.
How to clean the inside of the refrigerator
Cleaning your refrigerator takes time. However, this task is fairly easy when you have a method, and it's a great way to reorganize your food. Also, if you repeat this process two or three times a year, the fridge won't be so grimy—and cleaning it will be much easier.
Step 1: Remove the food from your fridge
Although it seems obvious, if you don't empty the fridge before cleaning, your food and removable pieces will get in the way, and this chore wouldn't count as deep cleaning.
Most food can take a few hours outside the fridge. However, you could ask a neighbor to store the food for you or store perishables inside a cooler.
Tip: Take this chance to get rid of spoiled food and leftovers you probably won't reheat again.
Step 2: Slide out the shelving and wash them in the sink
You'll need to take out every removable shelf and bin to reach all your fridge's surfaces. Wash them with soap and water in the sink—as if you were doing the dishes. While you leave them to dry, head back to the fridge and finish cleaning the inside.
Step 3: Make a cleaning solution
Once you get back to the fridge, it will be time to wipe and scrub. For this, you'll need a cleaning agent to cut through grease and residue. Here are three ways you can prepare cleaning solutions for your fridge.
Pick whichever you're most comfortable with, and then we'll show you how to clean your refrigerator with your agent of choice.
Method 1: Soap and water
When cleaning most surfaces and areas, soap and water are some of your best allies—they'll prove to be pretty helpful during this task.
Your food will absorb any smells from the fridge, so make sure not to use dish soap with heavy scents that could linger inside the refrigerator. Prepare your solution by adding a dash of soap to a medium-size container filled with distilled water.
Method 2: Vinegar and warm water
This cleaning alternative is a mild sanitizer and a grease-cutting agent. Although it smells at first, don't worry about your food catching the scent of vinegar, as it'll fade.
Before using vinegar in your fridge, you'll need to reduce its acidity levels. Mixing equal amounts of warm water and white vinegar will be enough.
Method 3: Baking soda
Unfortunately, some people have a sensitive nose, and vinegar is a no-no for their cleaning solutions. If this is your case (or you're not comfortable with vinegar's acidity), baking soda is also a great alternative.
Two tablespoons of baking soda per quart of water are enough to help you remove grime and gunk.
Step 4: Wipe the interior of the fridge
After choosing a solution, you need to apply some elbow grease. Your best tool for the job is a lint-free, soft cloth. Damp the rag in the cleaning agent and wipe and scrub every surface inside your fridge. If you choose soapy water, don't forget to rinse every surface with a damp cloth. Finish up with another cloth to dry the surfaces.
Tip: Check the magnetic door seal for grime and gunk. Scrub the seal clean to ensure it still works.
Step 5: Dry the drip pan
Some people don't know this, but every fridge has a tray to catch water and residue. Depending on the fridge's design, this drip pan will have a different shape; however, it functions the same.
During your deep cleaning, you must dry the residue on the pan thoroughly. Check the manufacturer's manual to access it. You may need to take it off and wash it, but you could also use a paper towel to remove the grime and dry it.
Step 6: Clean the condenser coils
The condenser coils are an essential component that helps your fridge function. If you don't clean them, your fridge will struggle and consume more energy, spiking your electricity bill. Use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice attachment for better reach to clean the coils.
How to clean the outside of the refrigerator
Cleaning the fridge's exterior requires less effort, but the technique varies slightly depending on the exterior's material.
For this step, water and soap will do, but the vinegar mixture is also safe in most cases. Don't forget to use a soft cloth to avoid scratches. Also, pay extra attention to the door handles—you'll find fingerprints and dead skin residue.
When wiping conventional aluminum exteriors, cleaning will go smoothly as long as you use a soft rag—preferably a microfiber cloth.
On the other hand, in the case of stainless steel, you should be more careful while wiping. Remember to go in the direction of the grain. Then, dry the surface with another clean towel to avoid streaks.
Prevent odors inside your fridge
After putting the appliance back together and organizing the food, you can add an extra touch to keep your fridge fresh and odorless.
Recommended method: Baking soda
Baking soda neutralizes the particles from strong smells, reducing them and freshening the air. It's easy to use in your fridge, and it doesn't take much space. Open a fresh box of baking soda from the side and leave it inside—pretty straightforward.
Alternate method: Vinegar
Vinegar works similarly to baking soda: the acetic acid neutralizes the particles causing foul smells, acting as a natural trap for odors. Leave white vinegar in a small bowl inside your fridge to prevent smells.
Do you need help cleaning your home? Call the experts!
The fridge is just one of the many things inside your home that needs your attention. However, meticulous cleaning takes time, and not everyone has this luxury. Luckily, Rain City Maids can lend a hand. We have a detailed checklist that will help you maintain a spotless home.
Call us or click here to book with the #1 cleaning service in Eastside Seattle!