Spring cleaning your refrigerator is about more than tossing old stuff and restocking it with fresh food. There’s more involved than just that, you’ll need to deodorize and disinfect, then take steps to ensure your refrigerator runs well and use less energy. Follow these 6 simple steps to clear it out, clean it up and restock the fridge.
Gather your Supplies:
Here’s what you’ll need
- Old towel for floor
- Baking soda
- Paper towels or rags
- Sponges, dishcloths or rags
- Multi-purpose surface spray
- Trash bags
Turn Off the Refrigerator
To conserve energy it’s a good idea to turn your refrigerator off unless you have removable shelves and you’re good about keeping the door shut, then it’s okay to keep it plugged in. It’s safer to have the fridge unplugged when dusting the coils and cleaning the drip pan. If you can’t easily move the fridge or access the plug, turn off the circuit breaker that serves the refrigerator.
Empty the Refrigerator
The refrigerator completely of all items. Put any perishables like milk and meat in a cooler and leave other items on the counter. Do not leave food out for more than an hour. Go through the contents of your refrigerator and remove all expired or spoiled food. Compost old produce and recycle containers when possible.
Clean the Removable Refrigerator Parts
Take out all the removable shelves, drawers and door inserts; you can clean them more thoroughly when they’re outside the fridge, and this gives you better access to clean the inside of the refrigerator. Mix fragrance-free dish soap with warm water in the sink. Wash the items with a dish soap sponge, as you would hand-wash dishes. Once the removable parts are washed make sure they are completely dry before putting them back in place.
Clean the Inside
The good news is there’s a variety of cleaning solutions you can use to clean the interior of the fridge. While the choices for what you can clean with are flexible, we recommend making your solution instead of a harsh cleaning spray. You can use baking soda and water mix (1 tablespoon of baking powder per cup of water) or a mild soap and water mix to wash the counters and bins. Thoroughly wash the built-in fixtures, the bottom of the fridge, and be sure you get in the cracks. An old toothbrush is handy for the nooks and crannies. Wipe the inside of the freezer just as you did in the fridge. Wash ice cube trays and replace the ice with fresh water. Thin rags are great for cleaning the rubber seal around the door- one of the grimiest areas of the fridge where crumbs and debris end up.
Clean the Outside
The exterior of your fridge use microfiber cloths to clean, they’re great at eliminating the streaks and fingerprints on stainless steel. Carefully pull the fridge out from the wall, then vacuum the coils to remove dust that’s collected. Keeping your coils dirt-free can help your fridge run better. If your fridge has a drip tray, remove it and clean it like you did the shelves and place it back.
Refrigerator Cleaning Hacks
To absorb odors, keep a box of open baking soda in the fridge — don’t forget to replace it every one to three months.
Wipe stainless steel in the direction of the grain.
Clean your fridge right before a big grocery shop.
Clean shelves and drawers in the dishwasher.
Tell us: Do you do spring cleaning?