Depending on how well you maintain your fridge, it has the potential to become really nasty over time.
From leaks to spills, sticky containers to old food/drinks/condiments – these things can accumulate until unpleasant smells start to waft from your fridge. It’s a definite health hazard!
Fortunately, it’s actually really simple to prevent this from happening.
In less than 30 minutes, you can give your fridge a deep clean, leaving it shining and spotless!
The best time to clean your fridge is just before your weekly or fortnightly grocery shop, when it’s most empty. Sometimes a quick wipe down of the interior surfaces and tossing out old leftovers is sufficient (only takes 5 minutes!), but when you want to give your fridge a more thorough scrub, follow these 7 easy steps to clean your fridge:
1. Prepare your cleaning products
Get your cleaning gear ready! I like to keep all my regular-use cleaning supplies in a handy carry container, which you can find at your local two dollar shop. That way it’s easy to grab and bring around to wherever I’m doing my cleaning.
- Multipurpose spray
- Reusable wipes
- Non-abrasive sponge
- Microfibre cloth/tea towel/clean rag
- Old toothbrush (optional)
2. Empty the fridge
Remove everything from the fridge and set them out on the kitchen bench top. If you’re particularly worried about something going bad, pop it in an esky.
I prefer to empty the entire fridge in one go, rather than in sections. It provides extra motivation to work quickly! And it also gives the opportunity to properly reorganise and rearrange the contents when putting them back afterwards.
Tip: It’s a good idea to do this when it’s not too warm inside your home. Alternatively, turn on the air conditioner for a while.
3. Sort all items
Go through and sort all of the items you’ve removed from the fridge. These are the main things I usually check for:
- Is it past the expiration date? Throw away.
- Are the fruits or veggies spoiled? Throw away.
- Are there leftovers no one wants to eat anymore? Throw away.
Group similar items together to make it easier to pack away and organise later.
Tip: Bag any food you’re disposing of so that they don’t leak into your bin.
4. Remove and wash removable shelves and sections
Take all removable parts out of the fridge (shelves, partitions, drawers, racks). Wash them in warm, soapy water in the sink (or in the bath if your kitchen sink is too small). Make sure the water isn’t hot, because the sudden change of temperature could cause the cold glass to crack!
Leave out to air dry.
5. Wipe fridge interior
While you leave the washed shelves and sections to drip dry, give the fridge’s interior a wipe down. You can use multipurpose spray and reusable wipes, or a sponge with warm soapy water. An old toothbrush comes in handy for scrubbing hard to reach grooves, crevices and edges.
Start from the top to the bottom, making sure you wipe down all surfaces (sides, back, base, door).
6. Put everything back in the fridge
Dry the shelves and partitions (I like to use microfibre cloths since they don’t leave streak marks) and return them to the fridge.
Place all food items back in the fridge – wipe the bottom of jars/containers and around lids in case they’re sticky from spills.
Tip: Put nearly expired items near the front of the fridge or in a certain section, to remind yourself they need to be used!
7. Wipe fridge exterior
Take all papers/magnets off the fridge door and sides. Wipe down the outside of the fridge using a cloth or sponge with warm soapy water (if you have a stainless steel fridge, try to wipe with the “grain”), before rinsing and wiping dry to prevent streaks. Pay particular attention to the door handles – they’re probably covered with a collection of fingerprints!
Return only the essential notices or magnets back onto the fridge door. Having an uncluttered fridge exterior makes your kitchen look that little bit tidier and more organised.
A clean and organised fridge makes such a difference to your kitchen, and is so simple to achieve with some regular care. I love loading up my fridge with fresh groceries when I know it’s freshly washed and bacteria free!
How often do you clean your fridge? Do you have any nifty fridge cleaning tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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