As the kitchen workhorse, the refrigerator needs regular cleaning and upkeep to prevent the build up of stains, funky smells and food residue inside and out. Homeowners are often intimidated by the idea of deep-cleaning their fridge but it’s actually not that hard. All you need are a few items like dish soap, dry cloths, baking soda, water and perhaps an hour (or two) of your time.
Cleaning Refrigerator Drawers and Shelves
The first thing you need to do is to take out the drawers, shelves and wire racks and wash them by hand using dish soap and hot water. If there are any glass components, let them warm up a bit before pouring in hot water to prevent them from cracking. Soften stubborn spills with warm wet cloth for several minutes and then use a non-abrasive scrubber to finish off.
Cleaning the Fridge Interior
There are drawers and shelves that can’t be removed. Spray with baking soda and water mixture (1 part baking soda per 7 parts water) starting from the top of the fridge all the way down to the bottom. Some hard to reach areas can be cleaned using a tooth brush or tooth pick. Wipe dry using a clean and soft towel.
Removing Fridge Smells
Your refrigerator can smell bad over time unless you deodorize it using natural ingredients. Fill an open container with baking soda (dry) and leave it at the bottom shelf so it can absorb any unpleasant odors in your fridge.
Once it’s clean, dry and deodorized, you can now put back all the stuff you took out from the fridge. But before you do that, you need to make sure you organize the items well. Throw out expired food and use containers or drawers to keep things organized.
Cleaning the Refrigerator Gasket
The rubber gasket around your refrigerator door needs to be cleaned and maintained properly so it can seal the door tight. Use liquid dish soap and warm water to remove grime and dirt. If there’s mold, use bleach. Rise and wipe dry.
Cleaning the Refrigerator Exterior
Keep the exterior of your refrigerator clean, spray it with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe down with a soft cloth. Rub the handles a bit as these tend to have grime buildup. If your fridge door is stainless steel, use rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth. Just place a few drops of the alcohol on the cloth and rub it over the stained surface.
Cleaning the Fridge’s Water Dispenser
You should clean the built-in water dispenser every once in a while. But check the user manual before doing so. You should also check the manual for the filter replacement schedule of your water dispenser and ice maker.
The tray of the water dispenser is prone to stains and water spots. Wipe the tray down using vinegar and water. If it’s removable, clean it in the sink. You can use a soft toothbrush to clean through vents, nooks and crannies.
Cleaning Refrigerator Coils
Coils of your fridge also need cleaning once in a while. Maintaining it can help your fridge run more efficiently and last longer.
Before you start, check the refrigerator manual for any specific instructions. Then unplug your fridge and locate the coils (usually found on the underside or the back of the fridge). If it’s at the back, carefully pull from the wall. Then using a coil brush, clean the coils and then sweep any debris that may have fallen to the floor. Put the fridge back and plug it.
Your refrigerator should be cleaned regularly because that’s where you keep your food and drinks. To prevent sticky spills, make sure not to store any spoiled fruits and veggies inside, and all liquids should be placed in spill-proof containers. Use baking soda and water to clean smudged and stained jars, bottles, or cans. Cleaning services like Maid Brigade can also deep-clean refrigerators and other home appliances.