Ah, the fridge – a favorite go-to place for many, yours truly included. But to make our visits to this food sanctuary pleasant, one must clean it every once in a while. How often should that be? Apart from occasionally removing the spilled stuff and bad smell sources, it is safe to say that sanitizing your fridge once a month in detail is enough. Here are steps you should take to do this chore the best way possible.
Do the preparatory works
Any successfully done job begins with good preparation. Before you roll up your sleeves and do the actual work, stop for a second to consider what you are going to do and what you need. One of the cleaning mistakes people make is not approaching it methodically and randomly doing stuff instead. Sanitizing your fridge requires certain products, so consider whether you have what you need or if you need to buy some of them. Also, there is an order of actions that will save you time and energy, so don’t just rush into this without making a solid plan. This step will not take as much time, yet it may save you plenty of it, so don’t skip it.
Take everything out
The first thing you will need to do is switch off your fridge. It’s best to do it by unplugging it if possible. Otherwise, each fridge has an ON/OFF button which is usually located near the one you use to increase or decrease its cooling effect. Once this is over, you must take care of the food. According to one of the experts from Spyder Moving, when cleaning the fridge, people find it very useful to put the highly perishable food into one of those portable coolers. They are small, handy, and a great choice if you do not own a separate freezer or another fridge.
Take this opportunity to audit the food you are taking out. Throw away anything that has a funny smell or is past its expiration date. Keep in mind that food can go bad even sooner than its manufacturer claims, especially after opening its container. That is why you should inspect everything in detail. Our advice is the following: if in doubt, throw it away.
Wash the shelves and drawers
In every fridge, the shelves and drawers are removable. That makes them very easy to clean since you can take them out and wash them with soap and warm water in your bath. But before you do that, it is very important to let them warm up first. Pouring hot or even warm water onto the very cold glass or plastic (of which the fridge shelves are usually made) will cause it to break. Don’t make that mistake. Besides, there are other things you can do until they reach the right temperature.
Once they are ready, you can use the degreasing products such as dishwashing liquid to finish the job faster. Finally, let them dry fully before putting them back in.
Clean the inside of the fridge
With the shelves and drawers out, you can easily clean the fridge’s inside. This is where the stubborn smells may linger. As you will not be able to pour water all over it to wash away the cleaning products thoroughly, our advice is to opt for the natural ones. Baking soda and vinegar are very effective for both smell and stain removal, so they are a great choice.
Sanitizing your fridge should include its drain hole
In case you were not aware of it, each fridge contains a hole whose purpose is to drain the water that lingers inside for one reason or the other. You can usually find it somewhere in the back of the fridge, close to the bottom. It is important to clean this from time to time because when food debris and mold end up blocking it, it leads to the formation of water pools and sometimes a bad smell. If you want your fridge to work properly and have a longer life span, don’t neglect its drain hole. To clean this area properly, follow these three steps:
Unblock the drain hole. Locate it first and then use a special cleaning tool for this or a regular cotton bud soaked with vinegar, for example.
Clean the drain tube. There’s a tube that leads from this hole to a water collector on the back of the fridge. Gently clean the tube by inserting a long and thin instrument that will not pierce it. You can use some cleaning solution for this area as well.
Clean and empty the water collecting tray. In the back of your fridge, there’s a tray where the surplus water ends up. Empty and clean it to be sure your beloved food-preserving appliance lasts longer.
Put everything back in
All that is left now is to return the food to the fridge. By now, you should have got rid of what has gone bad, so this is your chance to organize what you are keeping the best way you can. A good idea is to create zones in your fridge. Sort the items according to their type, and you will always know where the thing you are looking for is. While at it, try putting the taller items towards the back, whereas those that are shorter should stand in the front row. You want everything to be in sight and easy to extract. Otherwise, those late-night visits to the fridge can end up with a mess on the floor.
Clean the outside of the fridge in the end
The final step is sanitizing your fridge is taking care of its outside. Again, choose the appropriate products. It is essential to research which agents are harmful to the outer surface of your fridge and avoid using them. Gentler cloth is better than an old and rugged rag that could damage the shiny parts. If you need to relocate your fridge, make sure it’s clean and dry. Otherwise, you risk water leakages that can, in turn, damage the floors and create unnecessary expenses.
Maybe sanitizing your fridge is not your favorite chore, but it is a significant one. It helps keep the maintenance specialists away longer and improves the user experience by removing smells and filth. Plan it properly, execute it methodically, and you will appreciate it every time you open it.