Home Care

How-To: Cleaning the Refrigerator

Keep your fridge germ-free and your food safe with this handy guide

Photography: (Main Photo)

Some people say the refrigerator is the workhorse of the kitchen—it takes a lot of use and abuse from varied odors or being packed to the brim and it is the only appliance that runs 24/7. We tend to take it for granted and forget that a clean and well-maintained refrigerator guarantees fresher food. To help you keep it in prime condition, here's a deep cleaning routine that you can do in less than an hour: 

  • Start by emptying out your fridge. From fresh produce to packed meals, remove all items. Go through everything, toss out anything that might have gone bad, and then stash whatever is left in a cooler to keep them cool while you clean.  
  • Take out the drawers and wash them with a mildly rough sponge and dishwashing liquid. For stubborn grease stains, mix in a little bit of vinegar and warm water before giving it another rinse.


  • Degrease the shelves with a paste of equal parts baking soda and hot water. Scrub the shelves and shelf seams until every last bit of grime is lifted up. Finish off by washing everything with warm, soapy water and pat dry.
  • If you’re dealing with funky odors, wipe the walls down with a microfiber cloth spritzed with an all-purpose cleaner and pat dry with a paper towel. Repeat the process until all the odors are gone.
  • Last but not the least; don’t forget to wipe the exterior of the fridge, too. Using the same microfiber cloth and all-purpose cleaner, give it a quick scrub before returning everything back. 

RL Tip: For a more thorough clean, make sure to check the care instructions of your fridge in case there are special disinfecting rules to follow.

PHOTOS and SOURCES: (Main) | Real Simple

More on

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How-To: Extending The Life Of Your Refrigerator

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