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How to clean and sanitise your fridge

How to clean and sanitise your fridge

Would you be embarrassed to show someone your fridge? Is it full of strange smells, ignored spillages, and jars that expired in the twentieth century? Even if your fridge looks clean, there’s a good chance it is a hotbed for harmful bacteria, which are the last things you want to be floating around the food you put in your mouth. You need to clean your fridge regularly, not only when you spill some food. By adhering to the following tips, you will be able to improve the hygiene of your refrigerator and keep it working better and longer.

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How often should you clean your fridge?

Most people only clean their fridge when there is a visible mess, but you must do it more often. You should, of course, wipe up any spillages as soon as they occur, but you should give the whole fridge a quick clean once a week. This includes removing old food, wiping down the trays and drawers, and cleaning the exterior to remove stains and handprints. Pay special attention to the door handles.

Also, you should deep clean your fridge once every couple of months to ensure it remains hygienic enough to store food and continues to work effectively.

What is best to clean the inside of the refrigerator?

When cleaning your refrigerator, you need to be careful about the products you use. Many kitchen cleaning products contain strong chemicals designed to kill germs, which should never come into contact with your food. Even if you thoroughly rinse off the surfaces, there is no guarantee that there will not be a small amount of chemical residue left over. Never use a disinfectant such as bleach to clean a fridge, as it will almost certainly make you ill. Many kitchen cleaning products are more gentle, such as specially-formulated fridge cleaners or surface wipes containing natural oils. You can also use everyday washing up liquid and hot water to clean the drawers and the trays, or natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar and baking soda.

How do you deep clean a fridge?

How to deep clean your fridge?

Once every couple of months you should carve out an hour or so to give your fridge a deep clean, making it spotless inside and out. There is a simple routine you need to follow for an effective deep clean.

  1. Take all of the food out of your fridge. Put it on a table or counter while you perform the deep clean. Throw out any food that is old or questionable. You don’t want to keep food out for more than an hour, even less if the weather is hot. Put any items that are easily spoiled in a cooler or another fridge if you have one. It is best to do this when you are low on food as there are fewer items to worry about.
  2. Take out all shelves, drawers and any other removable surfaces from the fridge. Wash these by hand, the same way you would with dishes. Clean them in your sink with hot water, washing up liquid and a clean brush or sponge. Never use hot water on a glass shelf straight from the fridge, as the heat will cause the cold glass to quickly expand and shatter. Begin with lukewarm water or let the shelf come up to room temperature before washing.
  3. Wipe the inside of the refrigerator with your cleaning solution of choice. Tackle any stubborn stains with a scourer or cloth, and pay special attention to the corners and seals. You can use a toothpick to pick out crumbs and grime from the cracks in between the seal and the door.
  4. Wipe down the exterior of the fridge, including the back, sides and top. You may need to move the refrigerator to access all areas.
  5. Clean the condenser coils and fan. Designed to keep the fridge cold, if the fan and coils are covered in dust and debris, they will have to work a lot harder to keep your food at the required temperature. Cleaning them regularly will make sure your fridge is functioning correctly and saving energy at the same time. Unplug your appliance from the mains before you do this step. Use a coil brush to gently remove dirt from the coils and a damp cloth on the fan blades. Do not use a cleaning product.
  6. Clean the floor and the surrounding area with a vacuum and mop before sliding the fridge back into place.
  7. Plug your fridge back in, replace the trays and shelves, and put all edible food back where it belongs.


What happens if you don’t clean your fridge?

What happens if you don't clean your fridge?Deep cleaning your fridge can be a big task, but with practice, you will refine it over time. It can take an hour or more depending on the size of the fridge so you must allocate enough time to get the job done properly. If you neglect to clean your fridge or don’t clean it well enough, there can be several unpleasant consequences, including:


  • Nasty smells and stains.
  • Harmful bacteria that can taint your food and make you and your family unwell.
  • Old, expired food left in the fridge that could be consumed by an unwitting member of your household.
  • Poor functioning due to buildup of dirt and debris on the condenser coils and fan. This may mean your food doesn’t stay cold enough and you waste more energy as a result.


How can I disinfect my refrigerator naturally?

When using shop-bought fridge cleaning products, there may be a risk of using too much and leaving chemical residue on your food. Instead, you may wish to use a natural solution to guarantee the contents of your fridge will be edible, no matter how thoroughly you clean. Here are some tried and tested natural fridge-cleaning methods.


  • A solution of vinegar and water
  • Baking soda
  • A saltwater solution with a squeeze of lemon juice


And to absorb any nasty odours and keep your fridge smelling fresh, keep a small bowl of ground coffee at the back of the refrigerator.


If your fridge needs a serious deep clean, or you just don’t have the time, why not consider calling a professional cleaning company to help you?

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