How to Safely and Effectively Clean Your Refrigerator

If your first impulse after opening the door to your refrigerator is to scream and slam it shut, then it’s time to clean your fridge. But where do you begin? What do you do with all of that left-over Chinese food that’s stacked up on top of squash and broccoli you promised yourself you’d cook? What about that dark, alien-like mold that seems to be spreading throughout the inside of the door; how do you get rid of that? Before you start to panic, take a look at the following tips for safely and effectively cleaning your refrigerator no matter where you are: Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Tucson, Tulsa, etc.

  1. Remove the contents:

    You can’t clean effectively if you’ve got several half-eaten jars of salsa in your way. Take time to either throw away or temporarily store elsewhere each food item in your fridge. To make this step a little easier, consider timing the cleaning of your fridge when it’s nearly empty, just before you make a weekly or monthly grocery run.


    This step is so important we put it in all caps. Unplug your refrigerator before you begin cleaning under it or behind it, otherwise, you will get electrocuted. Simple as that. If you prefer, you can use the circuit breaker to shut off power to the fridge. Just be sure that when you open your refrigerator door, the light inside is out.

  3. Remove the shelves:

    We suggest removing the shelves from your refrigerator for cleaning since cleaning them while they’re inside can be awkward and ineffective. Be extra careful with glass shelves, as they tend to be more fragile than you think. Clean your shelves in a sink or bathtub with ΒΌ cup of baking soda and a gallon of warm water. Certain chemical cleaners are indeed safe to use, but they are likely to make your food smell funny once you’ve restocked your fridge.

  4. center/277000/homekeeping-solutions#/197606">Clean the interior:

    Once the shelves are removed, cleaning the inside of your fridge is pretty easy. Mix up 2 tablespoons of baking soda with one quart of hot water, and use a damp cloth or sponge to thoroughly wipe down the interior. Dry with a clean towel. Soap and detergents will leave behind a smell your food will absorb, so again, we recommend you go with the environmentally friendly cocktail of baking soda and water.

  5. Clean mold and mildew:

    Mold and mildew may be a little tougher, though not impossible, to kill and clean. For this task, instead of baking soda, we suggest using undiluted, distilled white vinegar and a rag, wringing the rag out as you go after the mold. You can also try an old toothbrush to scrub away especially stubborn mold.

  6. Clean under the fridge:

    With your refrigerator safely unplugged, you are now ready to tackle the grossest part of this job, cleaning under the fridge (blech!). Just remember cleaning the coils under your fridge will help it to run much more efficiently, and save you money on your electric bill! So get to it. Snap off or unscrew the front floor-level grille, use a refrigerator-coil brush to dislodge dust that has accumulated around the condenser coils, then vacuum up the crud with a brush attachment. Be gentle so as not to damage the coils.

  7. Clean the back of and the wall behind the fridge:

    Finally, see if you can, without hurting yourself, pull your fridge away from the wall so that you can clean both the back of the fridge and the wall behind it. Your options for cleaning solutions for this task include the aforementioned baking soda and water combo or 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 gallon of warm water (unless your wall is stone or tile).

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