Cleaning the refrigerator is not usually on the top of your cleaning list. It could be because it feels like a daunting task but this isn’t true. Cleaning out your fridge doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Learn how to speed clean your refrigerator and when the best time is to do this.
Cleaning your refrigerator is probably not on your cleaning list and so its one of those once, maybe twice, a year jobs you put off until you can no longer stand it.
I’m guilty of this as well because it was about once a year I used to do a deep clean of the fridge. It was usually leading up to the holidays when I need to purge of extras that have built up in the fridge and are taking up valuable real estate where our turkey or leftovers need to squeeze in.
With our new house and new top double-door refrigerator, I’ve actually cleaned the fridge twice in six months and must admit that I love not having any cement-like spills on shelves and expired vegetables that smell a bit too ripe.
We’ve even cut down our number of condiments and always seem to have extra fridge space for take-out or lots of leftovers.
The best part? It only takes 20-minutes for me to complete clean and clean out the fridge.
I also like to streamline my cleaning routine and only use one cleaning product to tackle everything. I quite literally use Branch Basics for countertops, bathrooms, windows, stainless steel, pots & pans, laundry, floors, walls and sticky finger marks, clothing and carpet stains and grease – and of course the refrigerator.
It’s a non-toxic, plant and mineral based cleaner that works better than 100% of all the other “green” products I’ve tried and doesn’t smell or leave chemicals mixing with your food in the fridge.
Stuck on how to properly clean your fridge? Here are my four steps to cleaning out the fridge that will leave you better organized and with a brand-new looking refrigerator!
REMOVE EVERYTHING FROM THE FRIDGE TO BEGIN
- Take everything out of the fridge, including shelves, bins, drawers and side storage. Set everything on the counter nearby until the fridge is completely empty.
- Toss anything that is expired or moldy and especially fruits and vegetables that are past being ripe and are turning, or have already turned mushy. Don’t think you’ll dig into that container of hummus again, toss that too!
- Combine any of the same condiments or dressings into one container if you have more than one jar, such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and salad dressing. The purpose is to eliminate any extra containers you have in the fridge that are taking up valuable space.
- In the freezer, any meats or vegetables that have accumulated freezer burn and were either improperly stored or stored for too long, need to be tossed.
WASH DOWN EVERY SURFACE
- Remove the drawers and let them soak in warm water and soap in the sink. After you’ve finished all the following steps and they’ve sat for a couple minutes, scrub them clean. Make sure they’re completely dry before you put them back into the refrigerator.
- Wipe down all of the shelves (the top and underneath) with a multi-purpose spray and dry them.
- Remove side storage bins if they come out of the fridge and rinse.
- Scrub away any spills and grime on the walls of the fridge and freezer.
PUT EVERYTHING BACK IN THE REFRIGERATOR
- Put all the food back into the refrigerator; organizing contents by produce, meats, freezer items, condiments, beverages and so on.
- If you use storage containers for organizing for little kids, make sure these bins are labeled and organized for them to understand the organization process as well.
- Make sure your drawers are set to the proper humidity to keep food fresh longer.
DON’T FORGET HOW THE OUTSIDE LOOKS
- Make sure you clean the outside of fridge too by wiping down the surfaces, handles and inside doors with a multipurpose spray.
- If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, a multi-purpose spray may leave smudges or cloudy spots. You might want to wipe down with a multi-purpose disinfecting spray first and then follow up with a stainless steel appliance polish.
MUST KNOW TIME-SAVING TIPS
- Clean your fridge once a month and it’ll make the entire cleaning process faster than say, if you only did it twice a year. You’ll have less mess to clean and tough spills to scrub.
- Wait to clean your refrigerator until right before you go grocery shopping and when your fridge is at its emptiest. You’ll not only have a better idea of extra items you might need to pick up at the store next time (or ones that have expired such as condiments), but your fridge will be sparkling clean for all the new groceries you buy.
Voila! Now you have a clean and new looking fridge in 20 minutes or less. The more often you add cleaning out and cleaning up the refrigerator to your schedule, the faster and easier it will be to stay on top of expired food, spills and keeping everything looking polished and organized.