Last year, we were hit so hard by Hurricane Florence. We had to evacuate, and we ended up losing power for almost three days while we were gone. When we got home, we had to throw away so many of our fridge’s contents. That was the hardest part. Our house was fine, but my chocolate syrup and expensive Japanese sauces were not. As I was cleaning out the fridge, it felt like a good time to deep clean it. And when my neighbor texted me saying she was doing the same thing and asked me for tips, I figured it would be a good idea to write a how to deep clean your fridge post.
But then, you know, life happened. This post got put on the back burner. And so did deep cleaning my fridge again.
But, the other day, I had a rare free Saturday afternoon to clean. And so, deep cleaning the fridge went on my to do list.
I figured writing up this post should go on my to do list as well.
How To Deep Clean Your Fridge
Step 1: Empty the contents of your fridge.
You want your fridge to be empty because it’s much easier to clean that way. If you aren’t throwing away all the contents of your fridge due to a hurricane, then this gives you a good opportunity to actually assess what’s in your fridge. Check expiration dates, look for anything you may have completely (but accidentally) forgotten about. Toss anything that needs to go.
Put your non-expired items into a cooler so they can stay cold while you’re deep cleaning the fridge.
Step 2: Remove and clean the shelves and bins.
How often do you clean the shelves and bins in your fridge? I do every other week or so, but I know some people who only do this when something drips or spills. Don’t be those people. Be like me.
Be really careful when you are taking out the shelves. Many have a glass pane in the center that is removable. You don’t want to pull this out carelessly and have the glass fall out and shatter.
Make a paste from baking soda and water. Put that on a wet rag and wash down all the shelves and bins. Clean both sides of the drawers, even though your fridge’s contents only sit on one side. You never know what has dripped on to the other side.
Personally, I think a paste of about two tablespoons baking powder to one tablespoon warm water works best to scrub, then use a lot of water to dry off. Other people like two tablespoons baking powder to one quart of water to start. Essentially, it’s the same, bu I feel like the paste is better. Tuh-may-toe, tuh-mah-toe.
Dry these with a towel or just set them out to dry.
Alternatively, some people will mix together dish soap and water and wash with this. I prefer not to. I also don’t use bleach to clean. The food can absorb some of that (I think anyway), and I just don’t want to think about that. The baking soda will eliminate odors, plus we use it to disinfect and clean our dishwasher, so I feel better about just baking soda.
Step 3: Scrub the inside.
While the fridge is empty, scrub down the walls with the same baking soda and water paste. Then, wipe it down with a wet rag. You can also dry the inside with a dry towel if you want.
While you’re inside, clean everything inside. Wipe down the door latches, the top of the fridge, the base grill, everything. That grate at the bottom is probably removable. So remove it and wipe down any water, vacuum any crumbs, and clean it.
Dry the inside with a paper towel.
Step 4: Put everything back.
Put back your shelves, your bins, your non-expired food.
Step 5: Clean the outside.
If you have a stainless steel fridge, use a stainless steel cleaner to clean the outside. I prefer a spray over the wipes. We’ve used both and the spray is just easier.
The part of the fridge under our handles is always so messy with fingerprints, so I have to wipe that more often than any other piece of the fridge. So be sure to clean that piece on yours.