What is the most neglected and least cleaned item in your kitchen? Is it your refrigerator? Your countertops and floors get wiped down and mopped on a weekly basis, but how often do you spend time cleaning the fridge? We depend on it to safely store all of our foods. Unfortunately, the refrigerator takes a lot of abuse; we stuff it full, forget about leftovers, and leave spills to clean up later. Then, we complain when there’s even the slightest unpleasant odor. Find out all the steps you need to know to clean your refrigerator.
- Empty the fridge – Toss any old or expired food into the trash. Remove the food that is still good to a cooler with ice to keep it safe and cold while you clean the remainder of the refrigerator.
- Remove drawers – Take out all removable drawers and shelves and set them aside. Drawers and shelves that are made of metal or plastic can actually be washed with hot water and dish soap right away, but glass and ceramic pieces need to gradually warm up to room temperature before being washed with hot water to prevent cracking and breaking.
- Wipe down the inside – Use a clean cloth with hot water and a mild detergent like dish soap. Work from top to bottom to prevent dripping on surfaces that are already clean. Rinse cloths thoroughly and/or use multiple cloths to insure cleanliness. Pay special attention to the bottom crevices and back of the refrigerator where spills tend to migrate. Finally, wipe down the interior doors. Take a clean dry cloth and carefully dry the inside.
- Clean shelves and drawers – Use warm water and dish soap to thoroughly clean shelves and drawers. Wipe them dry with a clean soft cloth.
- Replace the food – Put the food back into the refrigerator. Now is also a good time to wipe off any jars or containers of food that may need it, like a sticky jelly jar or a crusty salad dressing lid.
- Clean the outside – Starting from the top, wipe down and clean the exterior of the refrigerator using hot/warm water and a mild dish soap. If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, check the manufacturer’s suggestions.
Finally, we received this housekeeping tip from one of our customers – Instead of tossing small glass jars into the recycling bin, peel off their labels, scrub the glass clean, and keep them around to use for storage. Not only is it easy to see what you have in your fridge, but glass containers also trap smells that might otherwise permeate the refrigerator.