by Doris Donnerman
(last updated October 11, 2021)
In most homes, the refrigerator is the busiest appliance, being used all the time. Periodically you have to clean it out, as it has a tendency to collect spills, stains, and leftovers. You know you have to clean out the fridge, but you are not sure where to begin. Don't worry—it really isn't that scary and when you are finished you can feel the sweetness of accomplishing a great task.
When it comes time to clean out the fridge the best thing to do is to break it into small steps. First, gather all the items needed to make this chore simpler. Here's what you need:
With all your supplies in place, remove all the food items and throw away those that are getting old. (Pay particular attention to any leftovers that are no longer edible.) Place the good food items—the ones that you want to keep—into a cooler (like a picnic cooler). This will keep the good food items cool while you clean the fridge.
Take out all removable parts, shelves, drawers, and bins. Place them near the sink. Get your bucket of warm water and pour in the baking soda. Baking soda is a great cleaner; it's abrasive enough to remove stains and the sticky residue left behind by spills but won't scratch the surface.
Take your clean soft rag and dip it into the baking soda and warmwater mixture. Start wiping the top of the inside of the fridge, move to the back of the fridge, then the sides and finally the bottom of the fridge.
With the second dry, clean cloth dry each interior surface as you finish it. Take the cloth that you dipped into the water and dip it again. This time use it to wipe down the inside of the door. Use the dry cloth to finish drying the wet surfaces.
With the inside of the fridge clean, you are ready to turn your attention to all the pieces and parts you removed from the fridge. Follow the same cleaning steps as before, but this time with those removable shelves, drawers, and bins. This step is much easier to do in the sink or on a counter top.
When finished with the washing and drying, place a clean piece of paper towel in the drawers. This helps to keep the drawers clean until the next time you need to clean the fridge. You may have to replace the paper towels before the next time you clean the fridge, but it is easier than doing an in-depth cleaning.
Replace all the parts (shelves, drawers, bins) back into the fridge. With the last piece of dry cloth, dip the cloth into some plain warm water so you can wipe off any of the jars as you place them back into the fridge.
Your fridge is now clean and sweet smelling.
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