How To Clean a Refrigerator – The Ultimate Guide

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Every homemaker needs a big list of cleaning tips and hacks up her sleeve in order to keep her home as clean as possible. Today I am sharing with you my Ultimate Guide to How To Clean a Refrigerator. We are going to talk about cleaning both the inside and the outside of your refrigerator, cleaning the dispenser, cleaning the drawers, and all of that stuff! Let’s get right into it!

How to clean the refrigerator inside and out

How To Clean a Refrigerator that Smells

I’m going to start off with the basics and talk to you about how to clean the inside of any refrigerator. Two of the houses my husband and I have moved into had stinky refrigerators. I mean, they were really gross. The method that I used to clean my refrigerator regularly is the same method I used to clean a stinky refrigerator. 

First, remove and and all food from the refrigerator. You want to make sure you remove any food bits that have fallen to the bottom of the refrigerator, too. 

Next, remove all of the shelves and drawers.

Now, you’ll want to gather your supplies to tackle the inside of the refrigerator. If you’re wondering how to clean your fridge with vinegar, this step is for you. I mix up a bottle of half vinegar/half water and a squirt of Blue Dawn dish soap. This spray mixture is what I use on the inside of my refrigerator.

I also keep a couple of cleaning rags with me, plus a microfiber cloth to dry the inside of the fridge when I’m done cleaning.

Start at the top of the refrigerator and work your way down spraying and wiping the surfaces. 

How to Clean Gunk out of the Refrigerator

What if you have stuck on gunk somewhere in the refrigerator? Before you start spraying with vinegar, sprinkle some baking soda on any gunk that doesn’t easily wipe out and then spray with the vinegar mixture. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and then wipe away. Continue spraying and wiping out the refrigerator.

Now, you’ll want to move to the shelves of the refrigerator. Spray and wipe those out, too.

Finally, use your sink to clean the shelves and drawers that you removed. I simply clean the shelves and drawers with my Dawn dish detergent. I wash them just like I would wash dishes, and then I dry them with a clean rag. 

Now, you can put everything back in your fridge. Open a small box of baking soda for added odor control in the fridge.

How Often to Clean a Refrigerator

I give my refrigerator a pretty deep clean about every two months using my zone cleaning system. I would definitely recommend you add cleaning the refrigerator to your regular cleaning rotation. It can get dirty so fast!

How to Clean a Refrigerator that has been Sitting

In one instance my husband and I moved and we had to leave the refrigerator out in the carport for a couple of months. The fridge got pretty gross and even had some mold on it. When that occurred, I brought out my big guns, a bleach cleaner. 

To clean the refrigerator that has been sitting, leave the doors open to let the fridge air out. Then use the bleach cleaner to clean the fridge in the same way as above, except wash the drawers and shelves in the sink with dish detergent.

How to Clean the Outside of the Refrigerator

If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, I recommend using Weiss stainless steel cleaner. It will get it nice and shiny. I just spray and wipe it away.

For white refrigerators, you can use a bleach cleaner to clean the outside of the fridge.

To clean a black refrigerator, use the same mixture you used to clean the inside.

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How To Clean a Refrigerator Water Dispenser

It can be easy to overlook cleaning the refrigerator water dispenser. Here’s how to clean it.

  • Turn off the water supply connected to the dispenser.
  • Loosen the screw connecting the water supply pump and water tank and slide the tube off.
  • Use a small funnel and pour a couple cups of vinegar through the tube.
  • Tape the tube to a surface to hold it upright.
  • Clear the vinegar by holding the tap of the water dispenser until no vinegar comes out.
  • Use a toothbrush and a small brush designed for straws to clean the water dispenser with vinegar.
  • Reconnect the tube to the water tank and run the tap until no vinegar remains.

You’ll also want to clean the area where your water dispenser sits with vinegar and a cloth. Don’t forget to remove the tray and clean it, as well!

And that is how you clean your refrigerator!

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