How to clean your refrigerator and keep it decluttered?

Refrigerators are great, aren’t they? However, they undergo a lot of abuse on a daily basis. Every time you stuff it full, forget leftovers, spill things in it – your fridge suffers. And so do you because it starts smelling. How often do you remember to clean it? In this article we will show you how to clean your fridge in an hour, as well as some tips and tricks on how to keep it clean and decluttered. So plug your fridge out and follow these steps.

  1. Remove food – Toss any old, expired and rotten food in the bin. While cleaning it, store the food that is still good in a cooler with ice.
  2. Remove all shelves and drawers – Take all removable parts from the inside of your fridge. Keep in mind that if you have glass or ceramic pieces, you will have to let them gradually warm up before soaking them in hot water. This will prevent cracking.
  3. Wipe down the interior – Use a cloth and some water and dish soap solution.Start wiping from the top to the bottom. For stuck-on food and spills, you might need a scrubber. If you do not have one, try laying a warm wet cloth on the stains and let it sit for a few minutes. This will make them softer and easier to get rid of. Make sure to rinse the cloth you use and pay more attention to the bottom, cracks and doors.
  4. Wash shelves and drawers – Now that your shelves have warmed up, you can start washing them. Use dishwashing gloves to prevent slipping. Clean and dry them thoroughly.
  5. Dry the inside of the fridge – Use a clean dry cloth and wipe the whole inside of the refrigerator. Do not forget the inside of the door. Another thing you can do is let the door open so everything dries completely.
  6. Replace the food – Start putting back all the food. Make sure to leave the items that are closer to their expiration date in the front. Now is also a good time to clean any dirty, sticky or crusty jars, containers and others.
  7. Clean the freezer – Fortunately for you, freezers do not have so many spills. Remove the expired food and do the same steps as you did with the refrigerator.
  8. Clean the outside – Again, starting from the top to the bottom, wipe the whole exterior of your fridge. Use a clean cloth, hot water and some dish soap. If you have a stainless steel fridge, use a non abrasive rag and some window cleaner to remove stains. Do not forget to clean the rubber gasket seal around the door edges. When not cleaned on a regular basis, dirt and grime may gather there and cause the seal to crack.

It is advisable to clean your fridge once a month. If not, you will allow mould and mildew to build up in it. Bad odours will occur and your food will start going bad faster. Give it a quick wipe each month and rest assured your food is safe. You can always hire professional cleaners
to clean it instead of you.

Anyways, there are some chores that do not need to be performed every month. We would call those seasonal chores. You can get away with performing them once every 3-4 months:

  • Check the drip pan – Some refrigerators have a removable drip pan that collects the condensation. Remove the grill from the bottom front of your refrigerator and use a flashlight to locate the drip pan ( it should be on top of the condenser coils). If you have not cleaned it in a while, expect that it might be mouldy. Remove, clean and dry it thoroughly. You may need to use bleach. If you are hesitating, check manufacturers instructions.
  • Vacuum the refrigerator coils – These are usually at the back of the fridge. However, some refrigerator models might have them at the bottom, or behind a vent at the top. Unplug the fridge, move it away from the wall and thoroughly vacuum the coils. Use an attachment to your vacuum in order to properly reach the coils.

It is time for us to share that simple trick for getting rid of fridge clutter. It is something you can do every week. We will refer to it as the “Leftover Dinner” method for the sake of this article. We all know what leftover nights are but as soon as you turn this into a weekly ritual, you will actually be able to not have any leftovers sitting around in your fridge for too long. This is how this works. Every week, have a night where you make wraps with leftovers – meat, roasted veggies, cheese plates etc. You can also combine everything that’s left from the week before into a fried rice dish, for example.
Doing this every week will save you food, money and a whole night of cooking.