Man cleaning fridge with detergent
5 min. read

How to clean your refrigerator properly

Whether your fridge is going into storage, or you’ve noticed it’s smelling a little funky and want to launch an impromptu clean, knowing exactly how to clean your refrigerator properly is essential.

In this article, we explore everything you need to know about cleaning a fridge thoroughly – right from what equipment you will require, a step-by-step guide to cleaning your fridge, and some commonly asked questions.

What equipment do I need to clean a fridge?

  • Towel
  • Soft cloths
  • Kitchen roll
  • Gloves
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Cool box
  • Cleaner of choice e.g. bicarb of soda, vinegar, soap etc.

Man cleaning fridge with detergent

How to clean your fridge properly

  1. Prepare the area: Place a towel on the floor to collect any water or other dirt that may fall during the clean.
  2. Sort foods: Spotted any old food languishing in your fridge? Your next step should be to throw out any out-of-date or unused food. Remove the rest of the food from the fridge before cleaning, and store it somewhere cool and out of sunlight. It may be worth sourcing a coolbox to ensure nothing spoils.
  3. Disassemble: Reach all areas of the fridge easily by taking out all removable parts. Don’t put these cold fridge parts into any hot water, though, as the temperature difference may cause them to crack or bend.
  4. Wash: Next, wash all the removable parts along with the exteriors and interiors of the fridge using a cleaning agent, preferably a natural cleaning product. A mixture of equal parts warm water and vinegar is recommended – leave it to soak a few minutes before washing off. Instead you could use a little bicarbonate of soda with warm water, applied with a damp cloth and thoroughly rinsed and dried off. If you want to keep things really simple, you could opt for warm soapy water. The rule is just to avoid any heavy or harsh chemicals. Don’t forget the seals and hinges, too, and check if they need any lubrication.
  5. Don’t forget the water dispenser: Some modern fridges arrive with an in-built water dispenser which shouldn’t be neglected during cleaning. You will need to remove it and clean it by hand, before drying and replacing. For full instructions on how to clean a water dispenser, see beko’s guide.
  6. Clean behind: While your fridge is empty, you may want to take this opportunity to pull it out and vacuum underneath it. Lots of dust, debris and food particles collect in the floorspace below this appliance, and so it’s your perfect chance to get rid of the build-up.
  7. Reassemble: All that’s left is to make sure that everything is thoroughly dry before reassembling the fridge, and quickly popping all food back inside. If you switched the fridge off during cleaning, remember to switch it back on!

Fridge Cleaning FAQs

Do I need to turn my fridge off to clean it?

This depends on what you intend to do once the cleaning is completed. While it’s always best and more convenient to switch it off, sometimes this isn’t always practical. This is especially true of freezers, where it can affect the safety of food if the temperature fluctuates too much. In summary, it’s up to you whether to switch off or not – the main thing is to ensure your food is kept at a cool temperature to prevent spoiling. If your fridge will be out of action for a while, then always switch it off once you’ve cleaned it, remembering to leave the doors open so that mould doesn’t form.

What natural cleaning products are best for my fridge?

It’s never wise to use harsh chemicals to clean a fridge, as these harmful odours can be absorbed by the food. That’s why it’s always preferable to use natural cleaning products for fridge-freezers, such as lemon, bicarbonate of soda and water/vinegar mixes.

lemons for cleaning your refridgerator

How can I keep my fridge smelling nice after I’ve cleaned it?

Having a deep clean of your fridge is the best way to keep it smelling fresh. To maintain an odourless scent, you may wish to use a sprinkling of baking soda or a cup full of coffee grounds, half a lemon or oats to absorb the bad smells, and leave for a few days. And of course, keep on top of any expired food which could be emitting nasty odours. For more information on how to keep home appliances smelling good, see our in-depth article.

Tips for keeping your fridge cleaner for longer

Keeping on top of your fridge’s cleanliness isn’t as big of a job as you may think. Simple acts such as wiping down jars and containers before putting them back, or checking the sell-by-dates of items on a regular basis can go a long way to maintaining the hygiene of this appliance.

Does your fridge-freezer need some TLC? Domex is an award-winning kitchen appliance repair company who have over 50 on-call engineers across London, Epsom, Guidford and Brighton. With superb reviews from our customers, you can trust in our all-encompassing service for reliable repair and maintenance of your appliances. Book an appointment online or call us today on 0330 210 2100.

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