Discover three easy steps how to clean a refrigerator in 30 minutes or less and keep it spic and span once and for all.
3 Steps How to Clean a Refrigerator in 30 Minutes or Less
Do you remember the last time you cleaned your refrigerator? Most people don’t. Perhaps that’s why now’s a great time to take stock of what you currently have lurking in your fridge and ice box and give it good cleaning.
It’s true, one of your kitchen’s most neglected appliances besides your stove and oven is the refrigerator.
And, it’s a no-brainer that this appliance takes quite a lot of abuse from the constant opening and closing of doors, to the ongoing request for ice (for those lucky enough to have an ice maker and not ice cube trays), to the onslaught of hot foods needing to be chilled quickly that tests even the finest of brands.
RELATED: Tips to Safely Store Food
But the line gets drawn when it comes to failing to clean it out on a regular basis. Let’s be honest, most people neglect this task for a variety of reasons. But what you may not realize is that by not cleaning your fridge on a regular basis, this might negatively affect the overall health of your family.
From spoiled food to expired dated products, the fact is, most food stuff cannot remain indefinitely in your fridge. So, taking the time now will ensure that what food you do have on hand will be at its prime and ready to be eaten at its prime.
Cleaning Tip: If you store your milk and eggs or other dairy products on the door of your refrigerator, you risk spoilage of these foods faster than if you placed them on the inside shelves. The reason? The doors of your fridge are actually the warmest place to store food, so avoid storing anything there that’s quick to spoil especially dairy.
Is Your Fridge Making You Sick?
You may believe that food spoilage only occurs when you begin to see mold on your food. Well, that is only half-true. While molding food indicates that a food product is past its prime, not all food offers a visual sign that it has become ridden with bacteria. And this is why families can experience food poisoning. Don’t let this happen to you and your loved ones.
Still think that cleaning the refrigerator will take hours? Fear not. It’s totally doable in under 30 minutes–or less–if you follow these three steps:
1. Remove Unwanted Food – Front to Back
The best place to start when cleaning out the refrigerator is to dispose of any condiments, dairy products or produce past their prime. Work your way from the front of the refrigerator to the back, from the door(s) bins toward the interior cabinet.
Any food that you plan on keeping, place it in a cooler with ice packs to keep the food chilled until you have finished cleaning out the fridge and freezer.
Cleaning Tip: If you’ve forgotten when last you purchased your condiments, jams, mustard, soy sauce, etc., toss these and replace with fresh ones.
Be Ready for the Holidays
If you are like me and love to plan family get-togethers, holiday or seasonal parties, you should take the time to clean out your refrigerator now. In fact, there’s even a holiday dedicated toward cleaning your refrigerator. It’s called National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. It falls on November 15 each year. It was started as a way to remind folks to clear the decks, so that you’ll have plenty of space for adequate refrigeration during the busiest baking and cooking season of the year. And, now with these great tips, you’ll be ready for all your holiday entertaining–lickety split.
2. Clean Inner Chambers, Drawers and Doors
Once the foodstuff has been removed, take a damp cloth that has been wetted in a soapy solution comprised of dish detergent and hot water. You might even want to keep your dishpan handy on a nearby counter to refresh your dishrag easier.
Start by wiping down the back crevices and walls of the fridge and don’t forget to remove and clean all deli, meat, vegetable and produce drawers, too.
This includes any removable parts like the glass shelves, plastic inserts on the door or metal shelf parts. You can clean these in warm water and mild soap (like your dish detergent). This should help remove any food particles or sticky residue.
Never use harsh chemicals or abrasives to clean your fridge. Instead, wipe the inside of your fridge with a soft soapy cloth, followed by a clean, rinsed one.
When you are finished, dry whatever you washed with a clean towel. Then return all shelves and inserts back into fridge, along with the foodstuff.
Cleaning Tip: Don’t forget to vacuum underneath and behind your fridge. The coils that allow the refrigerant to cool your refrigerator can get very dusty. If you do this monthly, you will find that your fridge will be more energy efficient.
3. Clean the Freezer
Ever wonder how to determine what to throw away or keep in your freezer?
• If you can’t remember when last you purchased a food item–toss.
• If you find ice crystals on your frozen food–toss.
• If your food looks petrified and dried out–toss.
• If the food looks unrecognizable–toss.
• Any open packages or freezer bags not sealed properly–toss.
Cleaning Tip: If you keep to a regimen of regularly cleaning your refrigerator, not only will it run better, it will also use less energy. Sweet!
Finally, be sure to wipe clean all surfaces and follow with a dry towel so that no ice builds up.
And, that’s it. Your refrigerator is sparkling and clean and ready to store more delicious food! Happy Cleaning!
For more helpful housekeeping and cleaning tips and ideas, check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Cleaning Section.