Let’s face it…with the exception of a few die-hard neatniks or germaphobes, cleaning out the refrigerator is probably pretty low on your list of priorities.
Fortunately, you don’t have to set aside an entire afternoon to clean your refrigerator…here’s how to do it, step by step in less than an hour.
And if you follow the tips at the end of this article, you may knock even more time off this process.
1. Empty everything out
You can choose to do this shelf by shelf or all at once. If you think you might get interrupted, only empty one shelf at a time…however, the choice is yours.
Toss expired or spoiled items and add what you’re keeping to a cooler to remain chilled while you keep working.
2. Clean the drawers and bins
If your bins and drawers have crusted on food and grime, give them a good soak.
Note: if you don’t have enough space in your kitchen sink, use your bathtub.
Otherwise, wash and dry each compartment and set aside until it’s time to return them (once you have wiped everything down).
3. Remove shelves
Remove the shelves as you empty them out (either all at once or shelf by shelf).
Working from the top down, wipe the back and sides of the refrigerator walls while you’re soaking the shelves. If they’re not too dirty, simply wash, dry and set them aside with the bins and drawers.
4. Clean the walls and floor
Once you’ve cleared everything out (or as you clear out each shelf, bin or drawer) wipe down the back, sides and floor of the refrigerator’s interior.
Use a 1 to 1 ratio of vinegar to warm water along with a drop or two of dish soap, being careful to not let it get too sudsy. This will only mean you must wipe the suds off with warm water, adding unnecessarily to the time it will take to clean your fridge.
5. Return everything you’re keeping
Since you’ve already tossed what needs disposing of, you can put everything remaining back in your refrigerator.
However, instead of just chucking it all back in, take the few extra minutes to clean and organize what’s left, wiping down each jar and container as you return them.
Use washable shelf liners to make your next cleanup job even easier…just pull them out, give them a quick wash and return them.
Or, use plastic wrap…cut it to size and stick it to the shelves. When it gets dirty or worn, simply remove and replace with a fresh one.
Add “fridge cleaning” to your routine. This works especially well if you’re able to do it right before you purchase groceries; your fridge will be emptier, making cleaning it even faster!
Make it a habit to clean off jars or containers and wipe off spills immediately. This will prevent food and grime from turning into concrete!