This is a collaborative guest post
When was the last time you cleaned out your fridge? Be honest… we won’t tell!
Sure, it’s not the most inviting of chores around the house, but it’s important to make sure you keep your fridge fresh and hygienic with regular cleans. It’s also surprisingly satisfying once completed! Follow our seven easy steps to deep clean your fridge.
1. Clear everything out
And we mean everything! Take out all food items (leading onto our next step below), but also take out all the removable drawers and shelves. Place the shelves and drawers in the sink with some warm soapy water while you get on with the next task…
2. Check use-by dates
Don’t be embarrassed. You’re not the first and you certainly won’t be the last to discover a jar of jam at the back of your fridge that went out of date five years ago. Sauces and condiments typically last for around six weeks once opened, but can easily be forgotten about for months (or years) on end. Assess what needs throwing out and what items need using soon – this includes fruit and veg that’s looking tired, and leftovers that have been in plastic tubs for who knows how long. If you have a cool bag, pop in all the food that you intend to keep while you move onto the next step.
3. Clean the shelves and drawers
Once you’ve thrown out the old food, clean down the shelves and drawers in the sink. Dry them with a tea towel and leave them on the kitchen side to cool down if they’re still warm from washing. Don’t put them back in the fridge while warm as they’ll affect how quickly your fridge comes back down to the correct temperature.
4. Clean the fridge interior
Wipe down the inside of the fridge with a microfibre cloth and your chosen cleaning products. A simple solution of water and washing up liquid or natural cleaning products are preferable for the fridge. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach as you don’t want to risk these not being rinsed well enough and lingering in your fridge to potentially contaminate your food. Don’t forget to clean in the small crevices and grooves where shelves sit – a cotton bud will easily get to any pesky crumbs or stains in here.
5. Shift stubborn stains
For dried-on spills, mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Rub it into the stain and leave it to soften before wiping clean. For a stain that’s particularly difficult to shift – think beetroot stains or thick curry sauce – you could also spray a small amount of white vinegar onto the baking soda paste, as the reaction will loosen the stain further and make it easier to wipe clean.
6. Put everything back in
Dry the fridge interior and shelves thoroughly before putting everything back in.
To save yourself time in future, think about how you want to organise putting everything back rather than just cramming it all in randomly. Use plastic tubs to group smaller items such as jars and bottles. When you need to use a condiment, take the tub out of the fridge and select the sauce you need – no more games of dominoes with multiple overturned bottles all over the shelf!
Baking soda is not only good for stains but can also be used to get rid of strong smells that are common to fridges. Fill a small ramekin or dish with baking soda and leave it inside the fridge door. It’s a great natural way to absorb existing odours, keep new smells at bay and stop smelly foods transferring their odour onto other items. Just make sure no one in the family will mistake the baking soda for anything else – like salt or sugar!
It’s recommended that you complete a deep clean of your fridge a few times a year. Regular upkeep such as checking for use-by dates every time you do a big shop and wiping down shelves before refilling the fridge can keep it hygienic and fresh between deep cleans.
Jess Bray is a Marketing Assistant at thecleaningcollective.co.uk, with 10 years’ experience in digital marketing. She loves applying her knowledge of design and marketing to the world of cleaning, helping her to share tips, tricks and hacks with keen members of ‘The Cleaning Collective’.