How To Clean The Refrigerator?

Necessary in every kitchen, refrigerator, and freezer are the most commonly used household appliances. Maintaining hygiene is crucial for your health, as well as for proper operation and the longer service life of the device.

There are daily, monthly and yearly steps that can be taken to clean the refrigerators. They should be cleaned with a mixture of warm water and baking soda, which will get rid of bacteria and eliminate odor.

How to Clean the Refrigerator
How to Clean the Refrigerator

To prevent odors, mold, and bacterial growth, it is important to do a thorough cleaning at least twice a year and maintain a regular monthly cleaning routine.

Why clean the refrigerator?

If the refrigerator is overcrowded, the circulation of cold air is disturbed and an environment ideal for the development of various bacteria is created. At the same time, you will find it harder to see leftover food or expired food. With this, you risk the development of dangerous bacteria in fresh foods such as salmonella or Escherichia coli.

Low temperatures in the refrigerator also offer the perfect living space for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. That is why experts recommend that you do not wait until dirt appears, but regularly and thoroughly clean the refrigerator at least once a month.

If you follow this advice, in the long run, it will take you about ten minutes to clean the entire refrigerator – because you will not need to clean the dirt that has accumulated for six months or more. Cleaning the refrigerator once a week is ideal because bacteria and other toxins accumulate quite quickly.

How do you clean it to get rid of bacteria?

First, everything needs to be emptied so take the opportunity to throw away any leftover food and check the expiration date on the packaging. Remove all removable drawers and shelves and wash them separately with warm soapy water.

The inside of the refrigerator is easiest to wash with a paste of baking soda and warm water, although most of the dirt goes away with just a little detergent and water. For small and tricky areas, it is best to use an old toothbrush to properly clean any food and bacteria residue, and as the brush is smaller than a classic sponge, you will be done sooner.

Finally, wipe the inside with a clean cotton cloth several times to remove any residue. Although it is not necessary to wipe the outside of the refrigerator immediately, the handle should be wiped, because it is the place where most bacteria gather.

Despite thorough cleaning, sometimes it is not easy to get rid of the stale odor. Both vinegar and baking soda will mostly remove unpleasant odors, but if you fail, there are a few tricks. Once you put everything back in the fridge, leave room for one small plate on the shelf. Put a few teaspoons of ground coffee on it and let it stand overnight. Another way is to put white vinegar in a bowl of water and also let it stand in the fridge.

If something spills in the fridge, wipe it off immediately so that the stain does not dry out. Make sure everything you put in the fridge is clean, wipe the jars and ketchup packaging before putting them in the fridge.

Wipe the door once a week, and wipe the top of the refrigerator with a cloth soaked in water and a small amount of cleaning fluid. Pay special attention to the areas around the handle, and use a suitable spray for stainless steel surfaces.

To remove heavy stains on the shelves of your refrigerator put a towel soaked in water and baking soda. Leave the door open and let those parts stay submerged for 10 minutes, or until the stain starts to come off. Repeat if necessary.

If you don’t have baking soda, you can use oil and vinegar. In a clean spray bottle, mix half a liter of warm water, 200 ml of alcoholic vinegar, and a dozen drops of your favorite essential oil or fresh lemon juice. Vinegar has a rather strong smell, but lemon juice or essential oil will neutralize it, so there is no fear that the refrigerator will have the smell of vinegar.

Lemon juice is also helpful in cleaning the fridge. Due to the content of citric acid, it is strong enough to eliminate bacteria, and its pleasant smell is more than refreshing. Mix equal amounts of freshly squeezed lemon juice and warm water.

It is important to remind you not to use any heavy chemicals to cleans your fridge. The excess of heavy chemicals cannot be picked up and you risk getting it on your food.

What is the best thing to clean the inside of a fridge with?

To properly clean your refrigerator, we recommend these cleaning products and tools you can find on Amazon.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface

This cleaner spray can be used on all types of fridges. It is a hygienic cleaning product used to wipe off the grime. You just spray the inside of the fridge and wipe it with a cloth, without rinsing.

Cerama Bryte Fridge Cleaner

This fridge cleaner leaves a fresh scent after cleaning and is declared food safe. It is non-toxic and made with biodegradable ingredients and even the bottle is made out of recycled material. The product is designed to clean spills inside of the refrigerator, as well as grease, oil, and starches.

Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

This product is plant-based formulated to clean everything. It’s made out of purified water, coconut surfactant, and natural amino acid surfactant. It has no added dyes or synthetic fragrances. It is used for sanitizing and preventing mold.

Refrigerator Deodorizer

To keep your fridge fresh-smelling, we recommend using a refrigerator deodorizer. It is made to remove any odors within hours. They are made from non-toxic materials and can last up to 6 months. It can be played anywhere in the fridge because they are safe for food and fragrance-free.  

Tampico Fiber Dish Brush

To thoroughly clean a fridge, you need a brush to cleans hard-reach areas. Although this is a dish brush, its bristles are very effective in cleaning the fridge. It has a rounded brush and a long handle, perfect for cleaning the corners. It is made to withstand all scrubbing purposes.

How can I disinfect my refrigerator naturally?

The first ingredient is, of course, baking soda. Baking soda has the degreasing and antibacterial properties and it is the best solution for disinfecting. You can mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 2 cups of warm water to get a cleaning solution. With a cloth, rub the inside of the refrigerator and let it sit for 5 minutes. Wipe everything off with a clean cloth.

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Mix half of a cup of vinegar with 1 cup of warm water. Spray this mixture on all the surfaces of the fridge. Let it sit for 5 minutes and wipe it off with a clean, absorbent cloth.

Tea tree oil is an organic product used for disinfecting properties and it also leaves your fridge smelling fresh. It cannot be used as a cleaning product, but it’s great for eliminating bacteria. Mix 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water and spray the insides of the refrigerator. Remove the excess with a clean cloth.

Is mold in the fridge dangerous?

Mold is a type of fungus that produces small spores. They can contain spores of irritants and allergens and are so small that a person can inhale them without noticing them. When inhaled, mold spores can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. As a result, cough, shortness of breath, as well as allergic reactions can occur.

It often appears in dark, warm, and humid places, meaning that a fridge is a perfect place for mold to develop. There are products intended to prevent the penetration of moisture, and there are other materials, paints, and coatings resistant to moisture and the formation of fungi.

An easy way to get rid of mold from the refrigerator is to use soda and vinegar. To remove unwanted formations, wash the refrigerator thoroughly with a damp cloth using baking soda. Then, to remove the odor, wipe the refrigerator with a vinegar solution, and leave it to air dry.

To prevent the appearance of mold, clean the sealing rubber on the refrigerator. Make sure that you quickly use the food with high water content. Regularly clean the condensate drain with small tools and keep food in airtight containers for hygiene.

Should I turn off the refrigerator when cleaning?

For daily cleanings, like wiping off spillage, you don’t have to turn off the fridge. But every time you deep clean the fridge, it should be turned off. If you leave it on while you clean, it will blast air and waste energy.

You want your fridge turned off when you’re cleaning and disinfecting it. If you use cleaning solutions that have warm water, putting it on the cold walls of the fridge will not have the same effect. 

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Annika Vallgren

The old housewives, in general, were in charge of everything in a household. From doing budget deliberations, meal planning to implementing actions and everything in between, they are simply the right person for the job, period. A major portion of their time was spent doing laundry, cleaning, and feeding her hungry children, who would come home tired from school. I believe we have a lot to learn from her. So, here you will find old housewife tips mixed with modern life hacks, knowledge about washing and cleaning, and much more the modern housewife needs!

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