Let’s make a pact, you and I. I won’t look at your ______________ (something in your house you’re ashamed of) if you won’t look at the back of that bottom shelf in my fridge. Seriously.
Helpful Tips to Clean Your Fridge
Remove all of your food
This would be a great time to do a check for fresh dates, chemistry experiments gone nuclear, new life forces, etc. Be sure to have a cooler handy to put food in that needs to be kept cool.
Inventory what you have
This is also a really good time to do a quick inventory of basic stock of your fridge. Once you’ve thrown out that new life, you’ll need to replace it with non-life substitutes.
Helpful Tip: Try out my Build a Better Pantry series to help you stock food in your fridge you actually eat and will use towards your food storage goals! It’s totally free!
Remove all of your shelving, baskets, etc.
I have a warm soapy sink full ready to go and wipe down each piece. If you want to be super good, spray each bit with a mixture of 2:1 water/vinegar with about 15 drops of tea tree oil and a 2 TBS of Dawn dish soap. This is my standard cleaning mix, which I wipe down the inside of the fridge with, but it will help make your glass sparkly and soap scum free.
Tip: My favorite cleaning cloths – these are the only cleaning cloths I buy now. I still use old t-shirts to clean mirrors, but these cloths are my go-to.
Wipe down the inside of your fridge and gaskets
A gasket is that rubbery thing around the door. Rinse frequently so that you don’t get crumbs stuck anywhere, or leave a muddy film (ewww – it can’t be THAT dirty, can it?).
Replace your food as quickly as you can, as the fridge will have increased a few degrees with the opening and closing. While turning down the dial might help, it does take awhile for the fridge temp to catch up, so you don’t want to have the door wide open for longer than absolutely necessary. You can place a couple of frozen, gallon milk jugs (this is what I use in my freezer if it’s not full to help maintain cold temps and make the freezer work less hard), in the fridge to help bring the temp up.
Tip: Be sure to wipe down those bottles, jars and storage containers before placing back onto the shelves.
Add a baking soda box
This is a good time to replace that old smelly box of baking soda with a new, fresh box of baking soda to help absorb those icky smells that sometime build up in the fridge. Be sure to replace every 3 to 6 months. While some may suggest using something like vanilla extract or lemon essential oils on a paper towel to wipe down the walls and leave a fresh, clean scent, I prefer there be no other smells beside food smells in my fridge. I don’t want to mask something that might be going bad. However, if you find that your fridge consistently leaves your ice with a weird smell/taste, wiping down with a vanilla infused paper towel might be a good idea to help circulate and allow those odors to leave.
Tip: Did you know, that if you have a stain in the fridge, you can use a baking soda past on it to help clean it? The stuff is amazing!
Vacuum Refrigerator Coils
This is also a good time to clean the coils on your fridge. You can use a duster or a vacuum, depending on where the coils are located on your fridge. Removing the dust and grime since the last time you did this (6 years ago, really!?) can help your refrigerator run more smoothly, use less electricity and last longer. This could be done every six months, but recommended to do at least once a year, more often if you have pets. Be sure to unplug it first!
Wax On…Wax Off
Buff the outside of your fridge with a little car wax or beeswax. Not to get that sparkly shine to help your fridge go vrooooom, but to help keep dust and dirty from sticking to the outside, and to make wipe downs even easier!
What’s the one place you want no one looking when they come to visit? Is it that high rise pile of stuff that never seems to get leveled…or is Mt. Washmore?