How to Clean Your Refrigerator and Freezer​
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Clean up spills as soon as you see them. Do not leave them until you clean the entire fridge or freezer. Use warm to hot water and dishing liquid to wash up the spill; rinse and dry. Stubborn spots can sometimes be removed by scrubbing gently with a damp cloth sprinkled with baking soda. Be sure to rinse well any areas where you use baking soda or it will leave a gritty residue.

Always check your manual for care and cleaning information for any appliance. If you do not have information specific to your appliance, this may help you.

​To clean a self-defrosting fridge:

  1. Turn the fridge temperature control to “Off”. If there is only one control for your fridge and freezer, you must clean them both. If your fridge and freezer have separate controls, you may clean them separately.

  2. Remove food. This is a good time to go through everything, discarding any items that are past their best-before date or those that look suspicious. Keep all foods safe while doing this cleaning. Foods that must be kept refrigerated (fish, meats, eggs, milk, butter) should be temporarily put into another fridge (if you have one) or into a cooler with ice packs or even a box lined and covered with a blanket. Many condiments (ketchup, pickles, etc.) will be fine if set on the kitchen counter for a short time. Of course, this does not apply if your kitchen is very warm that day!

  3. Remove all bins, drawers and shelves. Wash these in the sink with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Rinse and dry. Stack them to continue air-drying while you continue.

  4. Wash the inside of the fridge using water and dishwashing liquid. Rinse and dry. 

  5. Again, stubborn marks on all surfaces can be removed using baking soda as above.

  6. Replace all bins, shelves and drawers and return food to the fridge.

  7. Wash the complete outside or at least all of the parts you can reach. Wipe between the folds of the rubber seal. Remove the grill at floor level, wipe or vacuum, wash and replace. If the air grill is at the back, vacuum this with a brush attachment.

To clean a self-defrosting freezer:

  1. Turn the temperature control to “Off”.

  2. Remove food and keep it frozen by storing temporarily in another freezer, a well-packed cooler with ice packs or a box lined and covered with blankets. The box should be placed in as cool an area as possible to keep it as cold as possible. Go through items as you are removing them from the freezer and throw out items you cannot identify or don’t even remember adding to the freezer.

  3. There should not have been a build-up of frost, so there will be very little, if any, water in the bottom of the freezer. Wipe up any water.

  4. Wash the inside and outside with a small amount of dishwashing liquid in warm water. Rinse and then dry.

  5. If an area needs to be sanitized, first wash as above, then sanitize with a sanitizing spray or 1 tablespoon of chlorine beach in 4 cups of water. Allow to air dry, then rinse and dry.

  6. Close the door and turn temperature control to “On”. When the freezer has reached a cold enough temperature, replace food in freezer. 

To clean a non-defrosting freezer:

  1. Turn the temperature control to “Off”.

  2. Remove food and keep it frozen by storing temporarily in another freezer, a well-packed cooler with ice packs or a box lined and covered with blankets. The box should be placed in as cool an area as possible to keep it as cold as possible. Go through items as you are removing them from the freezer and throw out items you cannot identify or don’t even remember adding to the freezer.

  3. Prop the door wide open. If the freezer is chest-style, the door may be heavy with ice inside. If so, protect the floor behind the freezer as the ice inside the door will melt and leak out onto the floor.

  4. Do not pry the ice away from the freezer walls using anything sharp. You can permanently damage the freezer walls.

  5. Depending on the amount of ice, you can just let the ice melt, and then mop up the water using clean cloths. To speed up the melting time, use a hairdryer set on low.

  6. Wash the inside and outside with a small amount of dishwashing liquid in warm water. Rinse and then dry.

  7. If an area needs to be sanitized, first wash with dish detergent, then sanitize with a sanitizing spray or 1 tablespoon of chlorine beach in 4 cups of water. Allow to air dry, then rinse and dry.

  8. Close the door and turn temperature control to “On”. When the freezer has reached a cold enough temperature, replace food in freezer.
 
Last updated on July 26, 2017