How to Clean a Refrigerator

It’s a task that few people, if any at all, actually enjoy doing. We’re talking about cleaning the fridge. Although it can feel daunting, this tutorial will show you the most efficient ways to clean the refrigerator so you can be on your way. Warning: You’ll need to make sure your bathtub/shower is clean before you start on the fridge.

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Here it is. A scary-dirty fridge.

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When you’re considering cleaning the fridge, be sure to check every nook and cranny. That includes the rubber seal around the door.

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And all the inside surfaces, as well as the outside vent near the floor.

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To begin, remove all the food/condiments from the door(s) only. As you’re doing this, check each item for expiration dates. Those past due get tossed, no questions asked.

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When the fridge door is empty, it’s time to clean it.

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Get a large bowl of hot, soapy water. Dish detergent is powerful enough to get things clean and fight the bacteria, but gentle enough to be safe on a food-heavy surface. Use as hot of water as you can stand to maximize its cleaning power.

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Wipe all inner door surfaces, both horizontal and vertical.

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Hit those less-noticeable areas with your hot, soapy water as well.

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Use a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, to clean around the door handle or other crevices.

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A larger soft-bristled brush is effective on the slightly textured exterior of the fridge. Dip it in the hot soapy water, then scrub in circles to hit the grime from all angles. Drysurface with a towel.

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Use a soft, dry towel to dry all surfaces. Remember that wet surfaces attract grime more quickly than dry ones, and water spots can also be a problem. So dry all the surfaces as you go to enhance your fridge’s clean shine.

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Put food back into the door of the fridge.

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The refrigerator already looks so much better and safer for your food. Nice work. Let’s keep going.

Remove all the food from the main body of the fridge. View in gallery

Remove all the food from the main body of the fridge. Pull out everything you can from the fridge itself – drawers, shelves, etc.

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Use a slightly damp paper towel to wipe these and remove any sort of loose debris from all drawer and shelf surfaces.

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Fill a (clean, sterile) bathtub with hot, soapy water using the same dish detergent you used in your large bowl. Place the shelves into the tub and let them sit there for a minute to loosen any grimy bits.

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Use a soft, clean cloth to wipe the shelves clean. Remember to get the top and bottom and sides, both inside and outside. If the shelves have soaked a minute or two, this should be quite easy.

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Stack the shelves (safely) on the side of your tub. Don’t worry about rinsing or drying them yet. Just stack them, bubbles and all.

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Throw your drawers into the tub and let them soak.

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While the drawers soak, take this opportunity to quickly wipe out the bottom and insides of the fridge’s main body. Make one pass with a damp paper towel to remove the loose bits, then hit it again with your sudsy cloth to really get things clean.

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Remove the bottom vent from your fridge. (Did you know you can do that? Can, and should.) Throw that into the bathtub with the drawers to let it soak, too.

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Vacuum out the dust balls from the vent.

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After scrubbing the drawers and vent, let all the sudsy water out of the tub. Turn on the tub faucet or shower head, and begin rinsing all the drawers and shelves and the vent. Set them aside, ready to be dried.

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When everything is fully rinsed, use a dry towel (or three) to wipe all surfaces dry. Remember that you’ll need to hit the insides and outsides, tops and bottoms, of all these fridge pieces with your drying towel.

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Replace the shelves back into your sparkling fridge interior.

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Then add the drawers.

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And, last but not least, put all the food back into your now quite appealing refrigerator interior.

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This cleaning method only takes less than a half hour typically, and it is must more appetizing to know you’re eating food that comes from a clean place.