An appliance that is constantly on, being emptied and refilled, and storing food and drinks is bound to get disorganized and grubby. Since the inside of the fridge isn't always showing, you may neglect cleaning it as often as you clean the rest of the kitchen, but it's important that it's kept clean to help prevent you and your family from getting sick.
Some cleaning tips recommend you clean your refrigerator with vinegar and/or lemon juice, but these solutions lack the surfactants needed to help penetrate and loosen sticky spills and gunky spots. Bleach should never be used inside your fridge, as lingering chemical residue could come into contact with your food.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's non-toxic formula powers out grime, cuts through grease and oils, and removes difficult stains without bleach or harsh chemicals. The scented formula will deodorize old food smells in your fridge, but won't leave behind fragrance that could be absorbed by your food.
Wipe up spills and remove stains as soon as you notice them to maintain cleanliness, and deep clean every 3 to 6 months to keep your refrigerator working, looking and smelling its best.
Directions for Cleaning the Inside of a Refrigerator:
- Empty the fridge. It's a good idea to clean the inside of your refrigerator before you do your weekly grocery shopping so there is the least amount of food in your fridge as possible. Throw out any expired items, and wipe off any containers that are prone to leakage or stickiness. Store any perishable items in a cooler with ice while you clean.
- Remove shelves and drawers. If possible, slide shelves and drawers out. You'll want these to sit and drop to room temperature before cleaning them, especially if they're plastic or glass. You'll be rinsing them with warm water in your sink, and immersing cold items in warm or hot water can lead to cracking.
- Mix your Simple Green solution. Mix 3 ounces of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with 4 cups of cold water in an empty spray bottle. Using cold water will help your fridge reach optimum temperature quicker after you've finished cleaning.
- Clean inside of fridge doors. Spray your Simple Green from the top of each door to the bottom, following up with a dampened cloth. Use the same cloth to wipe down the rubber door seals. These need to be kept clean and supple to maintain a tight seal. You can coat the seals with a thin layer of petroleum jelly after you've cleaned them to keep them from drying out.
- Clean interior. Spray your Simple Green from top to bottom of each section of the interior compartment. Follow up with your damp cloth. Rinse the cleaning solution from your water-damp cloth as you go.
- Dry thoroughly. Dry each section thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towels.
- Wash shelving and drawers. Rinse each piece with warm water in your sink before cleaning to loosen any stuck-on gunk. Spray each shelf or drawer with your Simple Green solution, scrub, and wipe with your damp cloth.
- Dry thoroughly. Dry each piece thoroughly with a dry cloth or paper towels. Put the shelves and drawers back where they belong once they've dried.
- Monitor temperature. Wait for the temperature to fall to 41°F before replacing your food items. If your fridge has a fast-cool function, use it to speed up the cooling process.
TIP: Keep an open box of baking soda on the bottom shelf of your fridge to absorb odors between cleanings. You can also try soaking up smells with activated charcoal in a glass jar with a perforated lid.