Raise your hand if you never miss cleaning your fridge on a regular basis! You’ll probably agree that this is the one household chore that somewhat gets neglected along with cleaning your oven, tidying up your pantry or washing the windows. We get you! The mere thought of emptying your refrigerator out, especially if you’ve just stocked it with your weekly shopping, seems like a hassle that you’d rather put off for another day (that simply never comes). But, as tedious as it is, you should know how to clean your fridge and do it on a regular basis.

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So, read on if:

  • you are someone who needs a kick in the butt, in order to clean their fridge TOMORROW;
  • you want to learn how to clean your fridge in less than an hour,
  • you’ve never cleaned your fridge because your mum has always done it (until now);
  • you wonder whether (and how) you should clean the heating elements of your fridge;
  • you want to know how often you should clean your fridge and how to keep it food safe at all times.

How to clean a fridge inside and out 

Time needed: 30 minutes.

First things first. To clean your fridge on the inside usually doesn’t require the use of fancy cleaning sprays and strong chemicals. It’s actually not advisable to use those. It’s where you keep your food after all and the last thing you want is an appliance that smells like a fresh-cleaned bathroom. So, here are a few simple steps to follow:

  1. Turn off the refrigerator.

    Unplug the appliance before getting on with the job, it’s common sense. Not that it’s impossible to clean it on the inside while it’s on, but who would want to have cold hands while doing it?

  2. Empty out the appliance.

    Take all the food out of the fridge. Sort it out by discarding expired items. You can also wipe clean jars and plastic containers with food if they are somewhat sticky on the outside.

  3. Take out all the elements.

    Shelving and racks are best cleaned individually with soapy water and rinsed under the tap. Dry those with kitchen paper afterwards.

  4. Pay attention to the gasket.

    Clean the rubber lining around the door with a vacuum cleaner to get rid of all the accumulated grime. Then, wipe with a sponge and soapy water before padding the gasket dry with a clean cloth.

  5. Polish the fridge on the inside.

    Again, use a sponge dipped in soapy water and clean well every surface and corner of the fridge on the inside, including the door. Remove dry stains by using a bit of baking soda and a wet sponge, if you need to. Wipe clean with a wet cloth, again and dry the fridge with a kitchen towel.

  6. Place back the glass shelves, racks and holders.

    This is the enjoyable part, right? We can “smell” your sense of achievement.

  7. Put your food back inside.

    Organise all food items inside your fridge and if you’ve “hit” lunchtime, why not have a little snack and a break before carrying on with the rest of the task?

  8. Wipe the fridge on the outside.

    Pull the fridge gently forward to expose all of its sides. Wipe clean its exterior surfaces with a sponge and soapy water or use a mild all-purpose cleaning spray, by avoiding any exposed coils. Dry the outside of the appliance with a clean cloth.

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How to clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator

Cleaning the condenser coils on a refrigerator is a sure way of how to avoid fridge repairs. You probably know what happens if the refrigerator coils are dirty, right? Yes, the compressor will overheat and your appliance won’t be working as effectively as it should. Eventually, dirty coils may cause damage to the fridge and the need for repairs.

Regardless of where the condenser coils are located, along the back of the unit or underneath it, spare 15 minutes to clean those well, too. Depending on the model, you can access the coil elements, mounted under the unit, either through the rear panel or at the front, through the toe grille. Brush carefully all the grime build-up with a brush. Then, vacuum any remaining fluff around and in between the elements by using the nozzle attachment of the machine and clean the floor area of any fallen dirt and dust. Then, give the fan blade a quick wipe with a damp cloth and you’re done. Plug in your fridge again, as this is so easy to forget.

Related: How to Clean a Freezer Without shutting it Off

How often should you clean your fridge?

Well, there’s no right answer here, especially if you’re a cleaning fanatic or a stay-at-home mum, who likes to keep on top of things. Yep, no one, then, could ever stop you from giving your fridge a good clean every few weeks. Still, if you’re neither of the above, then it’s a good idea to clean your fridge every 3 months to keep bad odours at bay and your food safe for consumption.

After all, the risk of cross-contamination becomes real when you “home”, say, raw chicken together with ready-to-use food in your fridge, even if you make every effort to keep individual items sealed and properly stored. You see, even a few drops of dried blood can make you end up in the hospital with food poisoning if you miss spotting the problem and a piece of something touches a hard-to-spot stain. And let’s not forget that this can happen to your absent-minded teenager, who is too busy to care when starving and digging through the fridge after school. 

How to keep your fridge clean and food safe

Keeping your fridge clean (or relatively clean) but food safe at all time is important, as we’ve just explained above. And it doesn’t take you even a minute to wipe an obvious spill or stain every time you open the fridge. So, here are a few extra hacks that can make your life easy and help you have food organised and stored correctly in a hygienic appliance.

  1. Cover shelvings with foil, cling film or easy-to-wipe mats. Disposable protection can be easily discarded when needed.
  2. Store food in containers. Jars and plastic containers are good for the job.
  3. Check regularly for expired foods. Food, hidden at the back of your fridge can be easily forgotten.
  4. Keep food that should be eaten “first” at the front, meaning, don’t stick your half-eaten pasta somewhere at the back of the fridge.
  5. Never buy excess vegetables that can go off easily, even when refrigerated. 
  6. Raw meat should never be stored on shelves above other items. This way, you’ll avoid drips and cross-contamination. Keep fresh meat and fish well wrapped.
  7. Once defrosted, use up food that very day or on the next, at the latest.
  8. Place a small bowl full of baking soda now and again to remove strong smells. The substance absorbs odours.
  9. Always take the opportunity to give your fridge a quick wipe before your weekly shopping day.

Leave the job to a professional domestic cleaner

If you’re “lucky” to have a regular maid, you can include the fridge cleaning task in her list of jobs, once every few months. Well, some self-employed cleaners may decline such a request and there are cleaning companies, which do not offer this as part of their cleaning service portfolio, unlike Fantastic Services. That’s right, with us, you can hire a well-trained domestic cleaner for your fridge cleaning needs in a matter of minutes. And for a day and time that suits you, even on weekends or a public holiday. The cleaning experts we work with are simply brilliant at what they do and have the skills and the right gear to clean various household appliances.

Just contact us and see how we can save you time and effort!

Visit the main website for price rates on our professional domestic cleaners!

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Takeaways

Well, it’s not that hard, is it? Read on to check out our final thoughts and a few extra tips on how to clean a fridge:

  • Cleaning your refrigerator on a regular basis is important for yours and your family’s well-being.
  • Cold glass shelves should not be cleaned immediately with hot water. Leave them at room temperature for a bit or wash them with lukewarm water to avoid breakage.
  • DIY cleaning solutions that contain natural substances like soda, vinegar and lemon are ideal for cleaning your fridge.
  • Keeping the condenser coils clean will prevent the need for repairs and will ensure that your appliance is more energy-efficient. Take care of them once every 6 months.
  • If you’re cleaning your fridge on a hot summer’s day, keep food items in a cooler until the job gets done.
  • Always make sure that your refrigerator is unplugged before addressing dirty condenser coils.
  • Don’t forget to empty out and switch off your fridge on the day you expect a professional cleaner to arrive and complete the job.

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Will you clean your fridge any time soon now? Or have you cleaned it recently and how? Feel free to share any hacks and tips in the comments below?

Image source: Andrew Rafalsky/shutterstock.com

  • Last update: March 6, 2020

Posted in Cleaning Guides

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