Susy's Cleaning Services LLC

How to Clean and Care for Your Fridge

Federico A

Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home, keeping your food fresh and safe to eat. However, it often goes unnoticed until something spills or an unpleasant odor emerges. Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to ensure your fridge operates efficiently and stays hygienic. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to clean and care for your fridge.


1. Empty the Fridge


Before you start cleaning, empty your fridge completely. This includes removing all food items, shelves, and drawers. Check the expiration dates on your food items and discard anything that is past its prime. If you have perishable items that need to stay cold, consider using a cooler with ice packs during the cleaning process.


2. Unplug the Fridge


For safety and to save energy, unplug your fridge before you start cleaning. This is especially important if you need to remove ice buildup or clean the back of the refrigerator.


3. Clean the Shelves and Drawers


Remove all detachable shelves, drawers, and other components. Wash them with warm, soapy water. For stubborn stains or sticky spots, let them soak for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry completely before putting them back in the fridge.


4. Wipe Down the Interior


Using a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar, wipe down the interior surfaces of the fridge, including the walls, ceiling, and floor. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that helps eliminate odors. For tough stains, you can make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub gently. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the surfaces.


5. Clean the Door Seals


The door seals (gaskets) are essential for maintaining the fridge’s efficiency by keeping cold air in. Wipe them down with a damp cloth and mild soap. Check for any cracks or damage; if the seals are worn out, consider replacing them to ensure your fridge maintains its efficiency.


6. Defrost the Freezer


If your freezer has a significant buildup of ice, you’ll need to defrost it. Remove all items and leave the freezer door open. Place towels around the base to catch any water from the melting ice. For quicker defrosting, you can place a bowl of hot water inside the freezer and close the door. Once defrosted, wipe down all surfaces with the vinegar solution.


7. Clean the Exterior


Don’t forget to clean the outside of your fridge. Use a gentle cleaner or a mixture of water and mild dish soap. For stainless steel surfaces, use a stainless steel cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water to avoid streaks. Pay special attention to the handles and areas around the door where fingerprints and grime tend to accumulate.


8. Clean the Coils


The coils, usually located at the back or bottom of the fridge, are crucial for efficient operation. Dust and debris can accumulate on the coils, causing the fridge to work harder and use more energy. Unplug the fridge, and use a vacuum with a brush attachment to gently clean the coils. Doing this at least twice a year can help your fridge run more efficiently.


9. Replace the Water Filter


If your fridge has a water dispenser or ice maker, remember to replace the water filter regularly, typically every six months. Check your fridge’s manual for specific instructions on how to replace the filter.


10. Organize Your Food


Before putting everything back, take a moment to organize your food. Group similar items together and place older items at the front to ensure they are used first. Consider using clear bins or organizers to keep everything neat and easily accessible.


Regular Maintenance Tips


– Temperature Check: Ensure your fridge is set to the optimal temperature: 37-40°F (3-4°C) for the fridge compartment and 0°F (-18°C) for the freezer.

– Odor Control: Place an open box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors. Replace it every three months.

– Spill Management: Clean up spills immediately to prevent sticky messes and odor buildup.

– Monitor Door Seals: Regularly check the door seals to ensure they are intact and creating a proper seal.


Regularly cleaning and maintaining your fridge not only keeps your food safe and fresh but also extends the life of your appliance and ensures it operates efficiently. By following these steps and incorporating regular maintenance into your routine, you can keep your fridge in top condition and avoid the hassle and cost of repairs or replacement. Take the time to care for your fridge, and it will continue to serve you well for years to come.