Cleaning the refrigerator helps keep the food you store inside fresh. By keeping science experiments and spills to a minimum, the food that is stored in your refrigerator will not take on the scent or flavor of other foods.
Step by Step Cleaning Guide
1. Turn the temperature control knob to the "off" position. Your fridge will be open for a while once you start cleaning, so there is no sense in having it run and waste electricity.
2. Take everything out of the refrigerator and put it on the counter nearby.
3. Throw away spoiled food, anything that is moldy, expired, or hasn't been used in more than a month or two.
4. Take the shelves, wire racks and drawers out of the refrigerator. Wash the shelves, wire racks, and drawers in warm soapy water, using regular dish soap and a sponge or cloth. Use a soft scrub brush if there is caked or dried-on food or spills. Let the shelves and wire racks dry.
5. Wipe away any residue from the bottom of the refrigerator with a wash cloth or paper towel.
6. Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water (mild dish detergent is fine). Wash the inside walls of the fridge using a dish cloth or sponge and the warm soapy water. Wash inside all the compartments and inside the door racks. Use a soft scrubbing sponge for dried spills.
7. Rinse the inside of the fridge with a clean sponge or dish cloth and clean warm water.
8. Replace all the shelves, wire racks and drawers.
9. Wash the outside of the refrigerator and the rubber molding around the fridge door with warm soapy water. Rinse with a clean cloth and wipe dry with paper towel or a dish towel.
10. As you are putting food back into your fridge, use your wash cloth to wipe off any sticky or messy jars, canisters, etc. You can now put all your food back into the fridge. Turn the temperature knob back to the "on" position at the recommending temperature setting.
If you need to control odor in your refrigerator, use 2 tablespoons of baking soda in one quart of warm water to wash the inside of the fridge. Subsequently, you can also use one cup of vinegar in a quart of water and wash the inside of the fridge. Remember to rinse when you are finished though. Placing a fresh, open box of baking soda in your fridge will also cut down on odors.
Clean the Coils
A few times a year, you should pull your refrigerator out and vacuum the condenser coils at the back. They have a tendency to get dusty and could cause a fire if there happened to be a spark.
Preserve the Lining
You should never use harsh abrasives, scouring pads or harsh cleaners in your refrigerator. Abrasives, scouring pads and harsh cleaners can damage the finish inside your refrigerator and compromise the integrity of the lining which could cost you more in energy to keep the refrigerator cool.