The refrigerator does most of the work in the kitchen. It is the kitchen’s workhorse but doesn’t get much attention when cleaning compared to other kitchen surfaces. Without regular cleaning and upkeep, food residue and stains might build up on the inner shelves and drawers or the outside surfaces. To keep your refrigerator in good condition and prevent odours, you have to clean it inside out.
- Start with taking food out of the fridge
Take the food out and place it on a counter or table, leaving the refrigerator empty. Do this when the food levels in the fridge are low, maybe before your next shopping trip. Make sure the food is not left out of the fridge for more than an hour. If you have a cooler, use it to store the food as you clean the fridge. When cleaning out in cold weather, the food might be safer out of the fridge for longer.
- Throw away the inedible or questionable food
This is the first source of smells and odours in the fridge. If you can, use a bag to secure the food preventing leakages. When cleaning the fridge, you might find food that you forgot about in there. Afterwards, empty the bin to make sure the house doesn’t smell the food you threw out.
- Take out the drawers, shelving, and other removable items from the fridge
To get the job done quickly and do some in-depth cleaning, remove all these removable surface areas. These can be cleaned separately on the skin by hand. Use dish soap to wash them but be careful. Never wash the cold glass shelf with hot water as it could shatter. Use cold water to clean it. You can use hot water to remove the heavy stains and spills for the rest of the items.
Let these dry completely before putting them back in the fridge.
- Wipe the inside of the fridge
Here, you can use a gentle cleaning solution to attack big and stubborn stains. Avoid using strongly scented cleaners or soaps inside the fridge. The food might end up absorbing the smell. You can use a natural cleaning solution such as:
- One-part apple cider vinegar mixed with three parts of hot water
- Two tablespoons of baking soda mixed with 950ml of hot water
You can also use a pint of white toothpaste and dab it against the stubborn stains and buildups. Clean the inside of the fridge doors, then wipe down the exterior surfaces. You can use a towel and an all-purpose cleaner for this step.