It truly amazes me how gross my refrigerator can get in such a short amount of time. Drips all over the interior. Leftovers pushed back into the great unknown and moisture builds up on the shelves. It’s no wonder the kids stand in front of it with the door open, and proclaim, “WE DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO EAT!”
Even when there IS something to eat, it’s not very appealing to wade through the mess to find it. Sometimes you just need to Deep Clean the Refrigerator to give you a new perspective for meal time.
GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES >>>
- Vacuum cleaner with hose attachments
- Kitchen step-stool or small ladder (optional)
SET A TIMER >>>
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is YOU are the pilot” ~ Michael Altahuler
So how will you “pilot” your time for this task? Choose your amount of allotted time, set a timer and get to work!
CLEAN THE REFRIGERATOR >>>
Ready to tackle the refrigerator? Here are a few tips to help you clean it quickly and efficiently:
1. Empty the refrigerator.
Remove EVERYTHING from the refrigerator…even food and condiments in the drawers and doors.
2. Clean the refrigerator thoroughly.
For removable shelves and drawers, I like to pull those out and wash them in the sink. For large shelves and drawers, you may find that the bathtub will give you more room to clean.
Use an all-purpose cleaner or dish soap and give all your shelves a good scrubbing! Then dry them thoroughly so condensation doesn’t build up when you put the drawers back in the fridge.
To clean the rest of the refrigerator, grab a white cleaning cloth, all-purpose cleaner (the DIY kind or a store-bought brand should work well), and a nylon pan scraper (for the gunk that always seems to stick…or is that just at my house?) and start scrubbing.
3. Reconfigure the refrigerator.
After the refrigerator is clean and dry, determine if you’ve been using the space in the best possible way.
A few years ago, I realized that adjusting the shelves to fit our needs would make a BIG impact. Do your shelves slide back and forth for easy access? Do you have young children who could reach items independently if adjustments were made? Make it work for YOU and YOURS most efficiently.
4. Eliminate the unnecessary.
As you restock your refrigerator, throw out rotten or spoiled food. Also condense items when possible, and place them back in the fridge in an organized fashion. You’ll know what items you have available, the food will look more appealing, and you just might be excited to eat at home again.
Once you get the hang of wiping down your refrigerator on a regular basis, it decreases the work needed when it’s time for the deep clean!
1. Remove all items from the top and doors.
All the magnets, pictures, grocery lists, calendars ~ remove it all! Do you store items on top of your refrigerator or display decor items there? Take it all down.
2. Clean top of refrigerator & rubber seals around the doors.
If you are vertically challenged like me and struggle to see the top of the refrigerator, grab the step-stool so you can reach all the corners and see all the dust bunnies that have taken up residence!
Use a cleaning cloth and all-purpose cleaner to give it a thorough wipe-down.
While you are “up there” and can see the top of the refrigerator doors, clean the rubber seal of the door – lots of dust and sometimes even a little mold can start to develop on the seal. While you are cleaning here, it may be a good time to open the doors and clean all the way around this rubber seal.
By the way, if your refrigerator has a stainless exterior, you know “stain-less” isn’t true. Stainless doesn’t mean “void of stains!” Fingerprints, water spots, puppy dog licks, and dust find their way to the “stainless” surface. There are several schools of thought on how best to clean stainless. I’ve tried several of them and share what works best on this blog post: http://idreamofclean.net/how-to-clean-stainless-steel
3. Clean underneath the refrigerator and the condenser coils
I hope you enjoyed your time up on your feet and on the stool, because now we are down on our knees (I promise, it won’t take long).
Consult your owner’s manual to remove the “vent cover” from the front of your refrigerator (assuming your model has one). Grab your vacuum and hose attachments. Remove the loose dirt, pet hair, and dust from this cover and on the floor, underneath the refrigerator.
4. Declutter the exterior decor of the refrigerator
Sometimes, we use the refrigerator like we do counter space and that “extra drawer.” It becomes a catch-all for notes, lists, receipts, pictures ~ YOU NAME IT! Since you’ve removed everything from the exterior of the refrigerator, use this opportunity to declutter. Reorganize the pictures and take down the Christmas photos from 2008. Believe me, I’ve been there and after the “face-lift,” it feels like a new fridge!
If you are using the top of your refrigerator for storage, try to re-evaluate.
Can the bread go inside the pantry? Do we really need a case of soft drinks up there? Can they go to the pantry as well?
What about all of those papers magnetized to the side of the fridge? Is there a better place to store those items?