A Guide to Fridge Cleaning

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Think about the dirtiest, nastiest part of your kitchen and how you dread cleaning it. Are you thinking of the oven, or perhaps the floor behind the fridge? These are places that the food you eat doesn’t really touch. You may put food in your oven, but it doesn’t touch the sides of the oven. Think about the dirtiest part of your kitchen where you place food regularly. It’s your fridge, isn’t it? That’s what most people would have to admit, and the main reason they don’t take the time to clean their fridge is because it is too time consuming and difficult.

It’s understandable that you might not be inclined to clean your fridge or even think that it may be that dirty. However, if you take the time to look closely at the shelves, sides and drawers of your fridge, you will see that it has the kind of dirty surfaces that you would not want your food to touch. So why do we allow our food to come into contact with such an unsanitary place?
We want to show you how you can clean your fridge effectively, thoroughly and efficiently. This means that it will take less time than other methods and give you a cleaner fridge that takes longer to become dirty again. You want to start by taking the fridge out somewhere where you’ll have plenty of room to work on it, perhaps out to a driveway. And hey, while you’re out there, why not get some driveway cleaning done too?

Prep the Fridge

First of all, you want to move the food out of your way. If you have a lot of food and you think the cleaning process will take a long time, you can move your food form the top shelves to the bottom ones. You will be cleaning from top to bottom as you work, so it’s okay to move food around to give yourself space to work. You can also move food to the freezer temporarily while you work. In some cases, it is okay to leave your food sitting out on the counter while you clean the fridge. Just don’t leave perishables out for too long.
By removing the food from the work area, you can see what you are cleaning more easily, and you will be less likely to make a mess or have food get in your way while you are working. You can work faster and more effectively.

Take Out the Shelves

You want as few obstructions as possible in the fridge as you work. A lot of times, the sides of the fridge get neglected as people focus on the shelves and where they are putting their food. However, you might be surprised at how much brighter and cleaner the fridge looks with a simple wipe-down of the sides. You can access the entire fridge easier if you get the shelves and drawers out of the way.

If you left a bunch of food in the fridge as you work, then just take out the empty shelves to clean the available area.

Start at the Top

You always want to start from the top and work your way down when you clean. That’s because gravity is going to take the crumbs, grime and liquid from where you are cleaning and force it down to the lower part of the fridge. If you have food still in there, you may want to cover it with a cloth or towel while you clean above it. Working your way from top to bottom saves you time and ensures that you don’t have to go back and clean the same area twice. Once you have cleaned it, then it is done.

Clean the Shelves and Drawers

You can either clean the shelves or the walls first- whichever you like. The shelves and drawers can be soaked or just washed in the sink, depending on how dirty they are. If they are very sticky and covered with tough grime, then you should soak them in the tub or sink in hot, soapy water. Then come back to them a few minutes later to wipe all that stuff right off.

If there are things stuck to the shelves that won’t come off easily, you can use degreaser or a scrub pad to clean them off. Use a soft, wet towel to wipe the shelves and drawer, being careful to get in the corners and along the edges. After you are done wiping them down, then simply dry them off. Try not to use anything abrasive to clean them with, such as metal scrub pads. Those can scratch your shelves and damage them easily.

Clean the Sides

Next, you need to wipe down the sides, top and bottom of your fridge’s interior. Use a soft, wet towel as well for this cleaning. Be sure to get in the grooves and corners, because you don’t want to leave anything behind.

Water and grime will pool at the bottom of your fridge, and you may need to use paper towels or a soft, dry cloth to get it out of there. Just like the shelves, be sure to dry everything before you are done cleaning. This ensures that water and other liquids don’t harden in the cold and become tougher to clean. Many people find it convenient to work with a bucket of soapy water in front of the fridge, ringing out into the bucket occasionally with their cloth or towel they are using to clean. Then just wipe everything down with a dry cloth to get rid of soap scum and other things you don’t want in your fridge.

Pack It Up

Once everything is clean, you can put the shelves and drawers back in. As you place the shelves and drawers, inspect them for cracks and structural instability. You may need to reinforce them or replace them at some point to ensure they don’t break on you. Once the shelves are in place, you can put the food back in and arrange your fridge how you like.

If you want to avoid having to do an in-depth cleaning like this every so often, then you should regularly wipe down your fridge and clean up spills in there as you see them.

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