Your fridge is the stalwart of your kitchen, and probably the appliance you use the most. Of course, it’s bound to pick up a few spills and food debris, so you’ll need to give it a thorough clean about once every 3 months.
Spills and food particles can encourage germs, bacteria and even mould to grow (yuck!), so it’s not a task you want to forget. Let this guide explain the best, safest way to get your fridge sparkling like new again.
Unplug your fridge and get it ready for cleaning
First turn off your fridge at the mains to avoid wasting energy while you’re cleaning and to avoid accidents. Then start emptying the fridge of all groceries and any large bits of food debris.
Next, remove all the removable parts from the fridge, like shelves and drawers, and set them down on a worktop carefully - you certainly don’t want to crack or chip any of these.
Clean the removable parts
Clean the shelves, door racks, drawers and other removable parts gently with a soft sponge and dish soap. You may also find that some of the parts are dishwasher-safe but be sure to check your refrigerator manual first. Pat the drawers and shelves dry and leave them to the side.
Clean the inside and door seals
Now it’s time to tackle the inside of the fridge. You don’t want to use any kind of detergent or abrasive cleaning product here. Simply mix half a litre of tepid water with a tablespoon of baking soda, and you’ll have just the thing for the job.
Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe the internal surfaces of the fridge with your home-made cleaning solution, as well as the door seals and any water tanks. Now go over the surfaces again with a dry cloth to get the inside dry.
Clean the outside and condenser coils
Cleaning the outside is fairly straightforward. Just be sure that you use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaning product and soft sponge or cloth to wipe the front and sides of your fridge. If your appliance has a stainless-steel finish, be extra careful with cleaning products. Wipe the surfaces again with a dry cloth to aid drying.
The condenser coils are located at the back of your refrigerator, close to the floor. They are crucial in dissipating heat and keeping the temperature inside cool. However, over time they collect a serious amount of dust if left unchecked.
Pull your fridge out of its housing or away from the back wall. Find the condenser coils and pick up dust and fluff by hand. You can also use your vacuum cleaner set to a low suction power to clean the condenser coils.
Reinstall all parts and let your fridge settle
Finally, push your fridge back into place, and turn it on at the mains again. Make sure all the removable parts are dry before replacing them and give the appliance an hour or two to get back to normal temperature before re-stocking it.
It might not be the most glamorous chore, but keeping your fridge clean will extend its life, and make sure your household’s groceries stay fresh and safe.