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Wondering how to clean a refrigerator? This is one of the many household tasks that, when done on a regular basis, don’t require much work at all.

Cleaning a Really Dirty Refrigerator

Ok, I’m going to assume you haven’t cleaned a thing in your refrigerator for the past year. Your kid spilled juice, and you didn’t wipe it up, there’s a cheese that expired 6 months ago, and you have a small farm growing in the vegetable bin.

how to clean a refrigerator

Do this cleaning when the refrigerator is as empty as you think it can get, i.e. you need to go grocery shopping.

Ideally, you should remove all items from your refrigerator, and clean the whole thing at once. You can clean it shelf by shelf though, just start at the top and work your way down.

Step 1. Remove all items from the refrigerator and look at them closely. Anything expired gets tossed. Anything that looks or smells suspicious gets tossed. Please be ruthless.

Step 2. Fill the sink with hot soapy water, don your cleaning gloves, and hand washes all removable parts of the refrigerator. Use a soft brush to get into any small spaces. Rinse and dry.

Step 3. Wash the inside of the refrigerator with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly with a clean soft cloth. If you have dried on tough spills, simply let them soak a bit in warm sudsy water, before wiping clean.

Step 4. Put everything back where it belongs in the refrigerator along with a fresh bowl of baking soda.

Step 5. Wash the rubber seal on the door with a soft toothbrush and sudsy water, then wipe clean.

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Step 6. Remove anything from the front, sides, and top of the refrigerator and wipe these areas with warm soapy water then dry with a clean cloth.

Step 7. If your refrigerator has a water filter, check its life and replace it if necessary.

Step 8. Vow to never have a really dirty refrigerator again.

How to Clean a Refrigerator(For Smart People)

If there’s a spill, wipe it up immediately and thoroughly. Watch out for liquid seeping into cracks.

The smart-people-refrigerator-clean takes five minutes once a week. Do it right before you go grocery shopping. You should never need to do a big cleaning.

Step 1. Purge your refrigerator of expired food. (Did you know that mold on one food can contaminate another through the air?)

Step 2. Spot clean with a cleaning cloth dampened with a little soapy water. Just clean wherever you see marks or specks. Crumbs can accumulate on the ledges that hold the shelves so look there and wipe as needed.

Step 3. Crumbs accumulate on the bottom of the fridge so remove all items from the vegetable bin and empty any bits into the sink. Give the bin and the bottom of the fridge a quick wipe if needed.

Step 4. Wipe the handle, the top of the refrigerator, and any dirty spots.

Step 5. Open the door and wipe the rubber seal all around. Close the door – you’re done!

The Evidence

We bought a new refrigerator a little more than two years ago, and I only spot-clean it for two years. When I was researching this page, I decided to give it a deep clean. I discovered that there was virtually nothing to clean. The only spot I had missed was on the underside of the vent to the vegetable bin where something had spilled.

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So what is the best response to how to clean a refrigerator? Often and with little effort!

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Mary Ann

I'm a mom of 3 and spend a good chunk of my time cleaning and organizing our crazy home. My goal is to help people keep their homes tidy in a way that saves them time and money! I hope the resources on this site are a help to you and your family.

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