November 15, 2022

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Happy National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day! While you should be cleaning out your fridge once a month to keep it in good condition, there’s no better time to start the habit. Without regular upkeep, stains and food residue can build up overtime. Let’s explore best practices for cleaning and maintaining a great refrigerator.

Remove the Food

It’s hard to clean your fridge if there’s still food inside! Toss out any old or expired food. Remove the food that’s still good and place in a cooler with ice to keep it fresh while you clean. If you don’t have a cooler, the CDC recommends you leave out food for a maximum of two hours without ice to ensure your food is safe.

Remove Refrigerator Shelves and Drawers

Once you start cleaning, you may notice the shelves and removeable pieces are a little slippery. Experts recommend wearing rubber dishwashing gloves to avoid dropping pieces. Metal or plastic shelves and drawers can be washed immediately with hot water and dish soap. Glass or ceramic pieces need to gradually warm up to room temperature before being washed with hot water to prevent cracking or breaking.

Wipe Down the Interior Before Putting Food Away

A photograph of a gloved hand using a green cloth to wipe out the corner of a refrigerator.

Use a clean cloth with hot water and dish soap, or a combination of vinegar and baking soda to wipe down the interior of your fridge. Start from the top and work your way to the bottom to prevent dripping on surfaces that are already clean. Take extra special care for hard-to-reach spots, like bottom crevices or the back of the fridge. Before replacing drawers and shelves, be sure to wipe down the interior of the doors.

Make the Exterior Sparkle

Just like the inside, it’s a good idea to start from the top and wipe down the exterior. If your fridge is stainless steel, using a soft non-scratching rag and vinegar will keep the surface shiny. Experts also recommend cleaning the rubber gasket seal around the door edges using dish soap and warm water to ensure the door doesn’t stick when closing.

Additional Cleaning

In addition, it’s a good idea to check the fridge’s drip pan and vacuum the refrigerator coils, if necessary. The drip pan is a removeable pan that collects condensation from the refrigerator, usually located above the condenser coils. Experts recommend wearing gloves, as occasionally the drip pan can develop mold from the moisture. Carefully remove the grill from the bottom front of the refrigerator and use a flashlight to locate the drip pan. Remove it before cleaning thoroughly and replacing.

Consistency Makes a Difference

The interior and door view of a fully stocked and cleaned fridge.

Now that you know the basics of cleaning out your refrigerator, consistency will be key in keeping it clean. For more homeownership tips, check out our blog. And for all of your home financing needs, contact us today.

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