Research shows that despite constant effort to keep refrigerators in our homes clean, the average appliance harbors a host of nasty and potentially dangerous bacteria. The CDC estimates that more than 38 million Americans contract illnesses that are caused by pathogens that inconspicuously survive inside kitchen appliances.
So, just how safe is your refrigerator? Just how well cleaned is it? In this short guide, we are going to teach you how to keep your machine clean always.
Preparing Your Refrigerator
This is one of the most important steps when cleaning any delicate appliance in your kitchen. In most cases you will find that the cleaning process itself is pretty straightforward. But the real challenge is ensuring all items in the refrigerator are not contaminated in the process. So it is always important to plan ahead by taking the following steps:
- Keep an ice chest handy if you’re going to clean out the freezer compartment to avoid thawing out
- Empty the refrigerator, preferably clean it just before you go shopping
- Create adequate time to clean the fridge
What ingredients you need to clean a fridge?
To clean a fridge, you will need a few basic ingredients: water, white vinegar, baking soda, and a cleaning cloth or sponge.
White vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can be used to remove stains and odors from inside the fridge. It is also effective in breaking down and removing food residue, which can attract bacteria and pests. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can be used to scrub surfaces and remove tough stains.
A cleaning cloth or sponge is also necessary to wipe down the interior and exterior of the fridge. It’s important to use a cloth that is soft and absorbent, so as not to scratch the surfaces of the fridge. You should also consider using a damp cloth or sponge, as dry cleaning may not remove all the dirt and grime.
It’s also important to unplug the fridge before cleaning it and to make sure that the fridge is empty or mostly empty before cleaning it for better results.
Example of Cleaners You Can Use
You may consider settling for basic cleaners such as basic soda and water. This mixture works well on most surfaces and is safe so you don’t have to worry about the residue tainting your groceries. Please keep in mind that stainless steel exteriors may be a bit difficult to clean (if your machine has this type of surface, consider using a cleaning agent that is specifically formulated for it).
Step 1: Empty The Fridge
Throw out all expired food items. As for any remaining fresh food, consider emptying one compartment at a time (and turning off the thermostat) before cleaning.
Step 2: Remove the shelves and clean
Glass or wire shelves can be cleaned using the ordinary dish-washing liquid. For effective cleaning, dip all glass items in warm water prior to washing them in hot water. Note that, depending on your refrigerator type, you may have to pull out the drawers especially if the hinge side of the door is not sufficient to allow the machine to open all the way.
Step 3: Wipe the Interior
Use baking soda solution to wipe down the interior of the refrigerator. If the machine is still plugged in, take care when wiping around the lighting fixtures. Pay special attention to seals around the doors (these tend to build up over time due to grime and dirt).
Step 4: Airing out
It is a good idea to allow fumes to disperse from inside the machine before adding the food back and shutting the door. If you’ve used a basic solution such as baking-soda, you don’t really have to do this, but it is certainly a good idea to let bad odors disperse.
Step 5: Clean exterior surface
Consider pulling the refrigerator out so you can thoroughly clean its sides and back. Remember to be careful with stainless steel surfaces. At the same time take care of your floor, adjacent cupboards and countertops. Stone, hardwood and tiled floors are at high risk of damage so be sure to lay down a towel on them prior to starting the process.
To keep your refrigerator clean, you should wipe it down regularly. Wipe out any liquid spills immediately you spot them and keep your food covered to prevent spills.
That’s it – enjoy a neat, safe and clean refrigerator.