In every kitchen, everything seems to revolve around the refrigerator; a fridge is one of the most common major appliances deemed clean based on its exterior. Every homemaker should know how to clean their refrigerator. The fridge should always be clean and odorless, just like keeping your kitchen spotless. Your family’s refreshments, fruit and veg, and favorite snacks should be kept in a spotless refrigerator freezer that you picked out for that purpose. Spills, past-due expiration dates, and awful scents are expected, but nobody likes to eat from a dirty kitchen, so regular deep cleaning is essential. Even though most people open their refrigerators several times a day, you’d be amazed at how rarely they get cleaned. Cleaning your refrigerator once a month is recommended by some experts. Bacteria do not proliferate or die at refrigerated temperatures, as is commonly believed. In any case, sanitation is necessary because food contamination is a real possibility. Clean your fridge by following these simple instructions.
How to Clean the Refrigerator
Accumulated in your fridge will cause it to work harder to keep its contents cool, which will add to your utility bill,’ cautions Matthew Harrison, a cleaning specialist at PriceYourJob.com, says. Here are a few tricks you need to keep in mind when cleaning a refrigerator:
1. Start by turning off your fridge and emptying its contents. Empty the fridge content onto the counters before cleaning, check the use-by dates, and throw away anything past its expiration date; also, you need to wipe the undersides of sticky bottles and jars. Be ready with a cooler to store meat and dairy products while cleaning your fridge.
2. Carefully take out shelves, drawers, glass, and fittings. Remove and keep aside any movable shelves and drawers. Washing metal or plastic drawers and shelves in hot water and dish soap immediately prevents cracking and shattering, but for safety’s sake, warm-up glass and ceramic pieces to room temperature first.
3. Create an all-purpose homemade cleaning sanitizing material. In a gallon of hot water, combine the following ingredients to make a homemade all-purpose cleaner: Ammonia, vinegar, and baking soda; make up 1 cup of clear ammonia. Use a sponge and a spray bottle or pour it into a basin and let the water do the work. Mold and mildew can be prevented by using this no-rinse degreaser. Use this solution to clean the drawers and shelves of the refrigerator as well.
4. Clean the Inside of the Fridge thoroughly. To clean the interior parts of the fridge, you may use vinegar and baking soda to eliminate odor and dirt. Spray the inside of the refrigerator with distilled vinegar and water, paying particular attention to any spots where mold has hardened. With a moist cloth, thoroughly clean the inside of the refrigerator, rinse and squeeze it out regularly. Cleaning the fridge should be a piece of cake using vinegar and water, which should remove not only sticky muck but also harmful germs.
Another effective cleaning formula is baking soda; it removes odors and stubborn stains from the fridge. Wipe down the fridge’s interior with a soft, moist cloth and a paste made of hot water and bicarbonate of soda, then wash the fabric with clean water and dry the fridge with a kitchen roll if it is not too dirty. Regular cleaning of the shelves using a natural antibacterial surface cleanser should be part of your preventative maintenance. Avoid using chemicals that have a strong odor, as this can go into the food you eat.
5. Cautiously clean your fridge drain hole. Even if your refrigerator is in good functioning order and there are no water puddles, you should nevertheless thoroughly clean it. Your fridge’s draining hole is a frequently overlooked area that must be cleaned regularly. When food becomes stuck in the drain, it reduces the refrigerator’s efficiency. A tool like a straw or a drain hole cleaning stick can be used to remove the obstruction. Mold and mildew can be removed off the back of the fridge using a basting syringe to inject vinegar and water into a drain hole.
After using the drain hole cleaning tool to remove as much muck as possible, use a cotton wool bud to rub the vinegar/water solution around the hole to remove any leftover deposits. Keep a drain cleaning tool nearby on the fridge’s top shelf so you can clear out the drain hole regularly to keep the refrigerator in good working order.
6. Clean the Fridge Drawers and Shelves, Seals, and Glass. After removing and emptying the drawers, immerse them with a solution of warm water and mild soap. The insides can be cleaned using a bottle brush or an old toothbrush. After a thorough cleaning, there are still a few hard-to-reach specks of dust and dirt between the shelf and its surrounding. Using a toothpick, run it along the shelves’ joints and then wipe away any residue that may have accumulated. In addition, if you don’t want to use soapy water to clean your shelves, drawers, and refrigerator bins, you can use a few teaspoons of bicarbonate or soda in warm water instead. Every time you clean the kitchen floor, work on the fridge door seals, also known as the gasket, with a stiff washing-up brush/cleaning toothbrush to prevent them from collecting crumbs and spills. To remove the muck, wet a delicate cloth, wrap it over a blunt knife, and then carefully rub it along the seals’ crevices. Make sure the fridge’s crevices are hygienically dry before reopening the door by using a new dry cloth or kitchen towel.
7. Clean the Freezer Compartment. First, place a towel in the bottom of the freezer to catch any water that may leak out while you defrost. To prevent breaking, the shelves and trays should be at room temperature before being immersed in heated water. To avoid damaging your freezer, use an extra-large ice shovel designed for defrosting freezers. Spray the freezer’s interior with a solution made from equal parts warm water and distilled white vinegar. After applying the water/vinegar mixture, use a soft cloth to dry the surface area completely. Keeping the ice tray clean by wiping away fresh ice tray spills is a good idea.
8. Clean Your Refrigerator’s Exterior. You can use soapy water, baking soda, or bicarbonate on the outside of a white appliance in the same way you did inside. Wet a soft towel with water, pour the soda on it, and you’re done. Be aware of places around handles that get dirty from continuous use and remember to clean the appliance’s door tops because they can become sticky.
9. Restock the fridge and freezer after cleaning them and drying them. After washing and drying the refrigerator, please wait for the temperature to drop to 4°C or lower before restocking it with food. If necessary, turn the temperature regulator back on. You can speed up the cooling process using your fridge’s fast-cool feature if it has one. Make sure the freezer temperature is -18oC before re-storing the goods.
10. Check the door seal and other leaks. To ensure that the door seal is appropriately functioning, place a flashlight inside the refrigerator and close the door. Look for light leaks from the seams of the room when the lights are turned off. Using this method, you’ll be able to identify any potential leaks.
How Often Should You Clean your Fridge?
How often you cook, and purchase food will decide how frequently you need to clean and disinfect your refrigerator. To keep it clean and germ-free, you must thoroughly clean your refrigerator once a week. If you like, you can do it once or twice a month. It would be best if you habitually kept your fridge clean. The refrigerator should be cleaned and sanitized after a large meal to ensure that any leftover ingredients are utilized and that you know what is in there. Moreover, a power outage lasting more than two hours, or a food recall, necessitates thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing your refrigerator to prevent the spread of foodborne illness.