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You’d probably say that cleaning is not rocket science. Everyone has to do it, one way or another. Moreover, the stores are inundated with fancy disinfectants and cleaning products to the extent that we end up buying the newest cleaner for the showerhead and a specially developed disinfectant for the dishwasher to make the cleaning easier.
Well, it’s all very good, but often, the how-to part is not detailed out on the product’s label.
So, we hope that today’s fridge cleaning post will be a helpful addition to our cleaning guides series, as keeping this food-cooling appliance spotless is, of course, important. After all, cross-contamination, food poisoning, device inefficiency and repair issues, and don’t be in shock – even pest problems, are all an unpleasant prospect, should you get sloppy with taking care of your fridge.
So, if you:
Then, this post is just for you. Read on and find out how to sanitise your refrigerator (and freezer) properly.
Let’s start first with how often you should give your fridge a thorough clean, in order to keep bad odours at bay and prevent cross-contamination. Well, there isn’t a strict rule to this, as it will very much depend on how you organise and store your food products on a daily basis, as well as on how diligent you are when it comes to wiping spills and stains as soon as they appear.
Still, the rule of thumb is to defrost, empty out and sanitise your cooling and freezing device(s) about 4 times a year. This way, you’ll make sure that the long-forgotten frozen packet of peas or mouldy jar of mayonnaise at the back of the unit gets thrown away. Also, you won’t have to put up with stale and funky smells if you deep clean your fridge every 3-4 months. Last but not least, fungi, bacteria and even pest insects can easily find their way inside if you skip cleaning your fridge routinely.
Of course, we strongly advise that you check your appliance for expired products far more regularly, like once a week.
On another note, in these challenging times that we live in, it’s crucial to understand the difference between deep cleaning and sanitising on one hand, and disinfecting – on the other.
Right then, let’s see what steps are involved in the best way to clean your fridge. We’ll cover everything below, including what to use if you feel apprehensive about cleaning your refrigerator with products that contain chemicals.
To be fair, you don’t need to buy some expensive detergents to clean your fridge, that’s for sure. Instead, you can use natural substances like baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar. Diluted sufficiently, these simply don’t pose any risk of damaging your appliance. Natural cleaners are also much safer when it comes to cleaning items, where food is kept, of course. Note, however, that bicarb soda has abrasive properties, so use the product only on the fridge seals to avoid scratching removable and non-removable parts of your appliance.
Before you do anything, turn off the fridge/freezer first. Empty the appliance out of all food products. Of course, make sure that frozen stuff will be used that day if you’re cleaning a combo refrigerator with a freezer.
Clean the freezer (if applicable) with a clean damp cloth and dry well.
For the outside of your cooling appliance, you can use a multipurpose cleaner if you wish. Just make sure that it’s suitable for the material that your fridge is made of to avoid unwanted damage. Diluted washing-up liquid is also totally fine to use for the job. Don’t spray any substances, however, directly onto the coils if exposed. Dry well all the exterior surface of your fridge as a final step.
If your cooling appliance is fitted with a water dispenser, you better give it a good clean, as well. You see, if you live in a hard-water area, mineral deposits will naturally build up inside and around the nozzle. Furthermore, bacteria can also accumulate inside the device.
To clean your fridge water dispenser, disconnect it from the water supply, first. Then, access the tubing by unscrewing the screw that holds it. The safest way to clean the water dispenser is with distilled white vinegar. Attach a suitable funnel to the end of the tubing. Pour the vinegar and leave it to sit for a bit before reconnecting the device to the water supply and rinsing thoroughly the unit. Make sure to clean the nozzle, too, with a toothbrush and a cloth.
Not all fridge models have their coils exposed, placed either at the back of the appliance or underneath it. But if this is the case with your refrigerator, then it’s vital to give these elements a good clean to ensure that your fridge continues working efficiently. Dust and general grime easily build up on and around the coils, making your appliance work harder. So, grab your vacuum cleaner and remove all the accumulated fluff. Then, use a soft-bristle brush to remove any remaining dirt particles. Finally, if you wish, give the coils a good wipe with a slightly damp cloth and then, dry them out.
Removing smells from your fridge will come naturally by simply deep cleaning it regularly and by learning how to store your food properly inside, of course. Still, sometimes, no matter what you do, you may experience whiffs of lingering unpleasant odours, every time you open your fridge door.
So, here are a few hacks on how to keep your fridge fresh-smelling at all times:
Last but not least, always store your food correctly if you don’t want the smell of raw onions and yesterday’s curry dish to take over the inside of your refrigerator, that’s for sure.
To keep your food safe for consumption, it’s important to maintain your fridge and freezer clean and well organised at all times. Moreover, overloading your appliance with food stuff that ends up in the bin, due to lack of planning, can cost you a fair bit. On top, this will contribute to having a tricky fridge cleaning maintenance time and to the build-up of funny odours from products that are always about to expire.
So, make sure that you:
Get a Fantastic professional to do your house cleaning chores, instead!
How often do you clean your fridge? Do you have your own fridge cleaning tips? Then, why not share them with our readers in the comment section below?