How to Clean a Refrigerator
What You Need
- Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
- Ice chest and ice
- Empty spray bottle
- Cloths or paper towels
- Furniture sliders
Because your refrigerator is always working hard to keep your food and drinks cold, it's bound to get a little disorganized and grubby. The inside gets lined with spills, odors and overcrowding, while the exterior falls victim to sticky smudges and fingerprints.
Granted, the inside of the fridge isn't always showing, so you may neglect cleaning it as often as you clean the rest of your kitchen. But since you store your food and drinks in this environment, it's important that it's kept clean to help prevent you and your family from getting sick.
Believe it or not, it's possible to clean both the inside and outside of your refrigerator with a product that gets the job done without leaving caustic chemicals behind. 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.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's formula powers out grime, cuts through grease and oils, and removes difficult stains without bleach. The scented formula will deodorize old food smells in your fridge but won't leave behind residue 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 a Refrigerator:
Inside the 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 meat and dairy products in a cooler with ice while you clean.
- Remove the 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 the inside of the 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 gasket lining the door. Rinse the Simple Green from your water-damp cloth as you go. Use a cotton swab to get to any grooves or tight spaces that you find your cloth can’t get into.
- Clean the interior. Spray your Simple Green from top to bottom of each section of the interior compartment. Follow up with your damp cloth.
- Dry thoroughly. Dry each section thoroughly with a dry cloth or paper towels.
- Clean the shelves 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.
- Monitor the 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: You may want to line the shelves inside the doors with paper towels to stop condiments and salad dressings from leaving sticky drips and stubborn stains.
TIP: Keep an open box of baking soda on the bottom shelf of your fridge to absorb odors between cleanings.
Outside the Refrigerator
- Spray Simple Green. Spray your same Simple Green solution in zig-zag motions from the top of the fridge to the bottom.
- Wipe. Follow your spray with a new damp, soft cloth. Don't forget to wipe down the top, sides, and door handle.
- Dry thoroughly. Dry with a clean dry cloth or paper towels.
Do not use Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner on the exterior of stainless steel refrigerators and other stainless steel appliances. The degreaser will strip the polish and leave the surface looking dull.
Behind the Refrigerator
Follow these steps once or twice a year to keep the gross, greasy dust and dirt from building up behind the fridge.
- Unplug the fridge. Unplug the fridge before you begin cleaning. The process shouldn’t take too long, so you don’t need to take out any food items.
- Move the fridge. Place sliders under the feet of the fridge to prevent scratching your floors. Then scoot the fridge away from the wall until you have enough space to clean the area.
- Remove the vent cover. Remove the grill or vent cover and use a vacuum with an attached hose to remove dust and clean refrigerator coils.
- Clean the floor. Sweep and mop the floor space behind the fridge.
- Clean the wall. Spray a clean microfiber cloth with full-strength Simple Green and wipe down the wall and back panel of the fridge.