Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Just open the refrigerator and wipe down all the surfaces. But wait! Cleaning your refrigerator and freezer is a little more complicated than you might think. Consider the potential hazards that food, chemicals and ice can create.
Make sure you get the best results from your refrigerator cleaning by following Master Clean’s -step process for the perfectly clean refrigerator.
Make sure you have plenty of time to clean your refrigerator
This is a pretty involved project and you’ll want to take you time and do it right. Budget about an hour to complete the task.
Remove all the items from the fridge
Don’t try to clean your refrigerator by moving items from side to side and shelf to shelf. You’ll quickly realize that the bottoms of those cold wet jars are immediately re-smearing your freshly cleaned refrigerator surfaces. Remove everything and place it on a table or countertop. The food should be fine outside of refrigeration for about 2 hours at 72 degrees fahrenheit. Ideally, refrigerated foods should never spend more than two hours above 41 degrees fahrenheit.
Discard all the expired, spoiled and never-used items
Make sure you have a strong trashcan liner inside a good quality trash receptacle. You might consider double bagging this project. This might get heavy. And you definitely don’t want it to get messy!
If it’s expired, moldy, rotten, unidentified or simply unused, toss it into the trashcan.
Remember that fruit cake grandma sent you three Christmases ago? Time to chuck it. Sorry Grandma. In fact, if you haven’t used an item in the past three months, chuck it in the garbage or give it away if it’s not expired. This is your chance to purge all that stuff you never use. You’ll feel better, I promise.
Remove all refrigerator shelving
This is how to do it right! Removing all the plastic and aluminum pieces that hold the veggies, meat and dairy – and all the door containers that can be removed – will make it much easier to clean your refrigerator. Make sure you remember how it all goes back together, though! Take a photo before you disassemble your refrigerator. It’ll help remind you of how it’s supposed to look.
Scrub these items in the sink. Make sure you don’t use hot water on cold glass shelves – wait until they get to room temperature. The temperature difference might shock and shatter the glass.
Use a sponge or brush and a mild, non-toxic solution of one part vinegar and three parts hot water. Never use spray chemicals on the interior parts of your refrigerator. Even if they labeled “non-toxic” they can still impart a strong chemical aroma to your foods.
Let the shelving and interior pieces dry on the counter while you clean the inside of the refrigerator. Always make sure interior refrigerator (and especially freezer parts) are dry before you return them to the unit. That will keep them from freezing and frosting up.
Gently scrub the interior surfaces of the refrigerator
Use the same cleaning solution you used to scrub the interior parts of the refrigerator. For stubborn spills and sticky messes, pour some dry baking soda onto the mess and use a warm moist rag. The mild abrasive action of the baking soda will remove just about any tough sticky mess.
Avoid getting water or cleaning solution into any air-circulation vents within the refrigerator or freezer. That ductwork should always remain dry and unobstructed.
Make sure you carefully and thoroughly dry the interior of your refrigerator and freezer before you reassemble the shelving. You don’t want ice to start forming.
Reinstall the shelving and accessories
Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble the interior shelving and parts. Compare the finished project to your photos to make sure everything is assembled properly. You don’t want a shelf collapsing because you forgot a bracket.
Clean the food jars and containers before putting them back into the refrigerator
Pasta sauce containers, pickle jars, plastic trays… they all collect drips and spills. You don’t want that stuff to ruin all the hard work you did, right? Take some time to clean all those containers with a moist cloth. Dry them and then return them to the refrigerator.
Master Clean has experts ready to help clean your entire kitchen. Give us a call and let us clean a refrigerator – or an entire kitchen. You’ll love having a clean-smelling, shiny-looing refrigerator in time for holiday guests.
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net