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How to Clean a Refrigerator

The refrigerator is the most important and most utilized appliance in the kitchen. Which is why it’s also the most important one to keep clean and free of germs and bacteria. A clean refrigerator not only ensures the food and drink inside remains fresh, but also keeps your family safe and happy. Not to mention, guests are sure to be impressed!

You can clean a refrigerator in two ways: from the inside out or from the outside in. Either way, be sure to have a spare fridge or a cooler filled with ice on hand to place your food and make sure it doesn’t get spoiled. And most importantly, the inside of the refrigerator should be dry before you place the supplies back, to avoid extra condensation that might cause anything to go bad, or have cartons and boxes stick to the shelves, which may result in more cleaning than originally planned.

Fridge cleaning

Parts of a Refrigerator You Can Clean Yourself

• Doors and Handles
• Shelves
• Inside Drawers
• Condensor Coils
• Ice Maker
• Water Filter

Parts such as the pumps, drainage tubes, and other mechanisms should be cleaned by a professional to avoid harming the refrigerator and affecting its performance. Be sure to check reviews and customer testimonials when looking for a repairman if you don’t already have one you trust.

Cleaning Refrigerator Doors and Handles

Before cleaning your refrigerator’s doors, be sure to remove any magnets or children’s artwork or anything on top of the appliance. Wipe down and clean the outside of the doors with a household cleaner such as Lysol Anti-bacterial Kitchen Cleaner and paper towels, sponges, or rags. Older models may have have the classic pocked appearance and could require a little more effort to clean grease or stains off of doors and handles.

For stainless steel refrigerator doors and handles, use Windex or any glass cleaner spray as a low-cost cleaning method. Be sure to wipe with the grain of the stainless steel to avoid possible scratching and to ensure all the fingerprints are cleaned away. You can use paper towels or a soft cloth such as microfiber or a car shammy. Stay clear of abrasive steel wool or cleaning solutions with chlorine as an ingredient.

You can also purchase cleaners or wipes made specifically to treat stainless steel appliances. Or make your own cleaning solution from a mix of vinegar and olive oil, or dish soap with a dab of baby oil, which helps add shine to your refrigerator.

Refrigerator Maintenance

Cleaning Refrigerator Shelves

Depending on the.type of shelves, this could be a quick process, or slightly more time-consuming. Glass or plastic shelves can be removed similar to oven racks and washed in the sink with mild soap and water. Or they can be cleaned carefully while they are still in place. Cold glass shelves should not be washed with hot water, to avoid possible cracking or shattering. It may be necessary to let the shelves soak to counteract any heavy, sticky spills.

Make sure to clean the shelves on the inside of the refrigerator door. Some may be removable, but others might contain hard-to-reach places and corners. And be sure to wipe down the inside of your refrigerator, which should be easier with the shelves out of the way. Try a solution of baking soda and apple cider vinegar for extra disinfectant. For any shelves that are removed, note the location so you can return them to the proper settings. And of course, do dry the refrigerator shelves extensively before putting the food back inside.

Removing odor from the fridge

Cleaning Refrigerator Drawers

Most drawers or bins should be removable and easier to clean. Normally made of plastic, they can be wiped down with damp rags or washed in the sink with mild soap and water. Remove any debris before washing, and check the tracks that hold the drawers for possible mold or food particles. Dry completely before returning to the fridge, since pooled up water could cause food spoilage.

Cleaning Refrigerator Condenser Coils

When learning how to clean a refrigerator, one of the most difficult parts is cleaning the condenser coils. Normally located on the back, these coils release heat from the fridge to keep it working correctly, but unfortunately this attracts dust, hair, and other debris that end up sticking to the coils.

To clean the coils, you first may have to pull the unit away from the wall (unless the coils are found under the toe grill in front) and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Gently wipe down the coils with a wire coil brush, which is designed to get into the nooks and crannies of the condensers and remove as much debris as possible. Make sure to wipe down the coil cover afterwards and vacuum around the floor to pick up any loose debris. If cleaning the coil fan, it’s best to use a slightly damp rag or the coil brush. Experts recommend cleaning the coils every six months.

Cleaning Refrigerator Ice Maker

When it comes to cleaning your refrigerator’s ice maker, it can get complicated enough to consult a repairman. From descaling to checking the drainage plug for clogs to changing the filter, if you’re not confident in your ability to do these tasks, it may be best to call for professional help. However, there are some easy tasks you can do without the extra cost.

Once every two or three months, you should clean out your ice bin with mild soap and water. And always be sure to check for any cubes that may have frozen together to create a large ice chunk in the bottom of the bin. Careful not to break the bin when removing the clumped ice; instead try to gently break it up to protect the plastic. Also check your refrigerator’s freezer vents for ice blockages, which can be thawed with a blow dryer, then make sure to wipe up the water with paper towels or a sponge.

Cleaning Refrigerator Water Filter

Each refrigerator with a in-door water dispenser also has a water filter that keeps the water clean. Most appliance experts say it’s best to change the filter every six months. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on where the filter is located and how to clean your refrigerator water filter or change it (new filters should be found in any hardware store).

With so many ways you can clean a refrigerator without needing to hire a professional, we hope these tips and tricks will help. As always, work slowly and efficiently to avoid damage to the appliance and quality of performance.


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