How To Clean Your Fridge (And Keep It Clean)

It doesn’t take much for a refrigerator to get dirty. You use your fridge on a daily basis, and it’s typically full of items that can easily make a mess. Food, juice, dressings, sauces, and pretty much everything else you have in your fridge right now can lead to spills, stains, leaks, and a buildup of debris. Once your fridge starts to become gross, the task of cleaning it can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry — it’s not impossible. Here’s how to clean your fridge, along with tips for keeping it clean after you’ve given it a good overhaul.

Remove Everything

The first step to a sparkling clean fridge is to remove everything. Take everything out of your fridge and set it aside. Throw away any outdated items (or old take-out boxes) so that you’re only left with items that are fresh and useable. No reason to hold onto that year-old bottle of expired mustard anymore.

Use A Damp Cloth

Now’s the time to give both your fridge and your food items a good scrub. Take a damp cloth to your fridge’s interior to remove any remaining grime. Next, use a damp cloth to wipe down all of your condiments, bottles, and food boxes to ensure that there won’t be drips or leaks inside when you return your items to the fridge.

Arrange Items Accordingly

To help keep your fridge organized, try using this tip that restaurants apply to their own fridge storage: arrange your items based on what temperature it needs to be cooked. Place items that need little to no cooking, like yogurt, cheese, or leftovers on the top shelf. Items that require much more cooking to be safely consumed should be stored on the bottom of your refrigerator. This includes poultry, meats, and fish. Arranging your items like this can help ensure that your fridge stays organized while also keeping all of your foods safe.

Clean The Coils

Refrigerators all have a condenser, which releases heat through coils. These coils can be found either in the back of the fridge or the front behind a “grill.” Depending on where your fridge’s coils are, you may need to pull your fridge away from the wall in order to clean them off. Trust us, this little bit of extra effort is worth it. If you don’t clean off the coils, they’ll become clogged, which can eventually lead to a broken fridge.

To successfully clean off your coils, you can use a vacuum or a coil cleaning brush to remove the buildup of dirt and grime. And speaking of vacuums…

Vacuum Your Fridge

One of the easiest ways to deep clean your fridge is to give it a good vacuum. This will quickly collect any food debris or crumbs that have collected on the shelves and bottom of your fridge. Use a thin vacuum attachment that can fit inside and between the shelves of your fridge.

Commit To A Regular Clean-Out

The best way to keep your fridge clean is to commit to a clean-out routine. Depending on how much you use your fridge, it may be best to do this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Figure out what works best for you. The most important thing is that you stick with it so that your fridge never gets overwhelmingly dirty.

Quick Tips:

A few extra quick tips for how to clean your fridge and keep it clean.

Use Liners – You can keep your fridge extra clean by placing some lining on the shelves. These mats will collect any spills or debris. When it comes time to clean your fridge out, you’ll be able to remove the mats and clean them off instead of having to scrub down your fridges’ shelves. Once the mats are clean, you can put them right back into your fridge.

Another option is to line your fridge with clear plastic wrap. When it comes time to clean, simply remove the wrap and throw it away.

Label Your Drawers – Fridges get cluttered, but you can keep them organized by labeling your drawers. That makes it a no-brainer when it comes time to unload your groceries. This also helps keep things organized for roommates you want to keep their food separate.

Fridge Accessories – There are many refrigerator accessories available for purchase that can help keep your fridge ultra-organized. We love The Container Store’s selection, which includes these handy soda can containers.

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