Your refrigerator is probably the most important single appliance in your home. You can wash laundry and dishes by hand, and a fireplace is a good replacement for your stove. But even a root cellar can’t fully replace your refrigeration. But it’s also incredibly common to forget to deep clean your fridge.
That’s because, unlike all of your other appliances, your refrigerator does its job without any help from you. As long as you keep the door closed and the cord plugged in, your fridge keeps working.
The problem is that if you don’t deep clean your fridge from time to time, you’re risking e-coli and other food-borne illnesses making it into your food.
Our guide to deep cleaning your fridge makes the whole process easier and faster. Not convinced? Here are some important reasons you should deep clean your fridge regularly.
Deep Clean Your Fridge, Step 1: Empty Out Your Fridge
This is really important. You need to empty everything out of your fridge before you can deep clean it. A little bit of gunk on the bottom of one container can spread mess and germs everywhere.
Pile up fresh food in one area, leftovers another, and anything in jars or bottles another. Cleaning everything out includes taking out all of the shelves and drawers. They should be empty since you’re going to clean them too.
Step 2: Soak the Shelves and Drawers
The next step is to start the shelves and drawers soaking. If you have a big utility sink in your house, that’s the perfect place to soak the removable shelving. When you deep clean your fridge, the goal is more than surface cleaning. You also want to get rid of germs and bacteria that are living in your fridge.
So, you should soak the shelves and drawers in warm soapy water for about 30 minutes before you scrub them. It will make scrubbing easier, and any good dish soap will sanitize your shelving as it soaks.
In a pinch, a Rubbermaid or other large plastic storage container will work for soaking fridge shelves. Even your bathtub, assuming it’s relatively clean, can get the job done.
Step 3: Time to Get Scrubbing
We like to scrub the interior of the fridge before dealing with leftovers and other food since that gives the interior some time to dry.
Pick a good cleaner for this part. It can be regular dish soap, vinegar, and lemon, or whatever you prefer. Avoid soaps and cleaners that are likely to leave a flavor or scent behind. Also avoid bleach-based cleaners since the bleach scent will linger and alter the flavor of all your foods.
Scrub every surface remaining in your fridge. This is also a good opportunity to defrost your fridge if it needs it.
Cleaning a little regularly will help make this step easier, here are some tips for managing refrigerator mess as it happens.
Step 4: Deal with the Food
The next thing is dealing with your leftovers and other food. Check all your leftovers. If they’re starting to go, toss them or send them down your disposal. If they’re good, wipe the bottom of the container with a wet cloth or sponge to get rid of any sticky residue.
Check condiment bottles and any duplicate foods. If you have duplicates, combine them or toss one to save space.
Step 5: Wash, Dry, and Reassemble
By this point you’ve probably left your fridge’s shelving and drawers soaking for long enough. Give them a quick scrub to make sure you’ve removed all the sticky patches, food particles, and other mess from the plastic.
Dry the shelves and drawers before you put them back in the fridge. That way you don’t have to worry about them being wet when you start putting food away.
Step 6: Put Your Food Away:
The very last step of deep cleaning your fridge is putting away the food you kept during step 4. It’s a great time to reorganize so that the things you use most often are easy to get to.
This step shouldn’t take too long. It’s okay if you decide to get rid of some things you kept in step 4, just try to make sure you’ve got enough food for a couple of meals after you’re done!
Deep cleaning your fridge might help you keep your family healthy, but the rest of your kitchen and home is important too! We’re happy to help you keep your home a cleaner, healthier, happier place to be, whether you need a one-time cleaning or regular cleaning services.
Or, if you’re looking for more cleaning tips, our blog is a great place to learn more tricks for effective cleaning.