Top tips on cleaning your fridge

We’ve put together some top tips on cleaning your fridge.

The humble refrigerator plays an often understated yet important role and gets a lot of use all year round. The holidays are now so last year, however, they can create a lot of mess, and quite the daunting task once all of the leftovers have finally all been eaten. That’s why it’s important to know the proper way to effectively and efficiently clean your fridge.

Luckily, we’ve made a list of steps to help you out:

Preparing for the clean

Cleaning your fridge doesn’t actually require many speciality products.

Here are some things you’ll need to clean out your fridge:

  • Bin bags
  • Rubber or disposable gloves
  • A cooler box
  • A cleaning product
  • Sponges, old rags or kitchen roll
  • Microfiber cloths

Clear it out

The first thing to do when cleaning out your fridge is to make sure its empty. This might be quite the undertaking if you’ve stocked up for Christmas, so planning ahead is essential. Really, your fridge needs cleaning every 3-6 months, so choosing a time in-between shops might be a good idea.

During the cleaning process, you’ll need to use cool bags as a substitute for the fridge. This is because products like meat and dairy need to be refrigerated to stop the rapid growth of bacteria that happens at room temperature.

Wipe down shelves and drawers

Now that your fridge is empty and you can properly get to them, it’s time to clean out all of its shelves and drawers. A lot of fridges have removable shelves so you don’t have to hunch over inside of it to clean them. In the case you do have removable shelves, it might be a good call to check the manual if you’re not sure about taking them out or putting them back. The good news is, once removed, you can wash them up in the sink with hot water and some washing-up liquid. However, it’s probably best to leave them to warm up to room temperature if they’re made of glass as they might crack or shatter when they come into contact with hot water.

Once this is done you can move onto the drawers, which you may also be able to wash in the sink depending on size. In the case of bigger drawers like salad crisper drawers the best thing to do is still to give them a good wipe down with hot water and dish soap.

Next, you’ll want to clean the areas around the shelves too. Food residue can easily build up in the joins between the shelves so make sure you scrape all of this away. Give the shelves and drawers a rinse with clean water to get rid of soap suds and then allow to dry naturally on the drainer or a tea towel and move on to…

Cleaning the inside

To clean the inside of the fridge, you can use diluted bleach, white vinegar or a commercial all-purpose cleaner. Remember to always make sure you’re always wearing rubber gloves when cleaning with these products. If you use any solution that uses water as a base, or just want to use water and soap, remember to only use cold water as hot water can actually raise the temperature of your fridge; meaning that it takes longer before you can return perishable foods to it.

When it comes to utensils, we would recommend using a scouring pad, or a sponge that has one attached, as these are excellent for removing any stuck-on food and spills from surfaces without scratching the area. Perhaps surprisingly, a cotton bud or toothbrush can be very useful here to remove old food. They’re also great for fiddly and hard to reach places, like the drip hole at the back of the fridge. This is a key area when cleaning the inside as it can very easily become clogged and dirty. Furthermore, as with the shelve joiners, be sure to be particularly thorough when scrubbing the grooves where the shelves rest, as they can be hotspots for dirt. When you’ve finished you can dry the inside with paper towels or a dry clean tea towel.

And the outside

Particularly when paying attention to disinfecting due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, remember to give the outside of the fridge similar focus and attention by wiping down doors and handles. For the exterior of the fridge, we recommend using a microfiber cloth, as these are best at removing streaks and fingerprints on surfaces.

Put everything back

The first thing you should do when you’ve finished cleaning is to put the shelves, drawers and door inserts back into their slots. Check your condiments for mould, give them a wipe down to ensure any residue is removed, and then place them back into the fridge.

Next, you’ll then want to return everything else to its proper place. For tips on food storage hygiene and the proper way to keep your fridge click here.

We can help

If this all feels like a little too much work, why not leave it to the professionals? We offer a refrigerator clean as an extra service when a home clean is purchased. To book a clean or find out more, contact your local Merry Maids today.