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8 Quick Steps to a Clean Refrigerator

Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2021
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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refrigerator

Let’s face it. Cleaning out the fridge can be an unpleasant task, from scrubbing the gunk off the shelves to identifying what food turned moldy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. One deep cleaning a month, plus regular bi-weekly wipe downs, can make all the difference.

Here’s what you’ll need for the deep clean:

  • Damp cleaning cloth or clean damp sponge (for washing)
  • Dry towels or paper towels (for drying)
  • Your favorite antibacterial cleaning product or your own cleaning solution made of 1 part vinegar, 3 parts hot water added to a spray bottle, or hot soapy water (for cleaning)
  • A cooler (to store food while cleaning fridge)
  • A plastic drop cloth or old plastic tablecloth (to protect floors while cleaning)
  • Kitchen gloves (to protect hands)

Word of caution: Never mix bleach and vinegar. This can produce chlorine gas which is harmful to humans.

To do an initial deep clean (once a month or more recommended):

1) Remove food contents from the fridge. Use cooler to keep contents cold. Discard or compost unwanted/expired foods.

2) Take out removable drawers and shelves to be cleaned and place them on the plastic drop cloth—close fridge.

3) Squirt the removable drawers and shelves down with cleaner.

4)  Wipe with a damp cloth or sponge to remove food particles (rinse in hot water frequently as needed). Stubborn stains may need some gentle scrubbing.

5) Dry with a clean towel or paper towel and set aside.

6) Open fridge and squirt, wipe, and immediately dry remaining interior, paying particular attention to tracks of the drawers and harder to reach places towards the back.

7) Place the clean shelving and drawers back into the refrigerator. Add food back in, placing like items together and frequently used items towards the front of the fridge.

8) Close doors to clean handles and exterior of refrigerator. Word of caution: Leftover residue from cleaning products, including vinegar, can damage some finishes, such as stainless steel. Thus, it is advised to clean refrigerator exteriors per manufacturer instructions.

Regular interior refrigerator cleanings are a great way to prevent the build-up of residue. It also reminds us to get rid of foods and beverages spoiled and unsafe to consume. In addition, it helps to keep odors down and germs at bay. The CDC recommends that people wash their hands once they’ve finished and use hot soapy water to wipe counters that held any food products, refrigerator parts, and cleaning material. Also, wash all towels which have been used.

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