CozyHome Magazine


Easy Ways to Keep Your Fridge Clean

Smelly Fridge? Photo: © JackF, Fotolia

Smelly Fridge? Photo: © JackF, Fotolia

  1. How to Clean a Refrigerator Properly
  2. What to do with Smelly Fridge
  3. Useful tips for cleaning a moldy fridge
  4. Regularly cleaning

When you clean the kitchen, you not only wipe counters or wash plates, but also clean your fridge. Indeed, the fridge is one of the places that require carefully cleaning as fungi and bacteria proliferating on old food can contaminate other food products, as well. In addition, it is useful to develop a cleaning schedule.

How to Clean a Refrigerator Properly

If there are adjustable shelves and drawers in the fridge clean them first. If they are not heavily contaminated with food remnants, then you just need put them into warm water with some dish detergent. To remove strong stains, you can use special cleaners geared for refrigerators, antibacterial agents, which are not harmful to food products or homemade natural detergents.

Let's start

The first thing you should do before the general cleaning of your fridge is to remove all the products. It is better to disconnect the fridge to make it slightly defrosted, especially if your refrigerator has no modern gadgets like ‘no frost’ technology or a bacteria safe system. Remove all trays from the refrigerator and start cleaning. For cleaning, you can use modern detergents or just water and DIY cleaners.


Don’t forget to clean the refrigerator coils!

Any contamination degrades heat output, which can lead to breakage. You should clean the coils only after your refrigerator is off the line. If you hesitate how to clean the refrigerator coils, don’t worry – it’s easy. You can do it use your vacuum cleaner with a narrow nozzle.

Detergents for cleaning a refrigerator

Modern cleaners can remove different kinds of contaminants both inside and outside of your fridge, as well as in the freezer. In addition, the cleaners remove odors and mold and have an antimicrobial effect. After using most of the cleaning agents, you need not worry about your health. There are odorless and non-toxic cleaners. They are usually sold in spray bottles. All you need is to sprinkle your fridge and wipe it with a napkin.

Photo: © fuzzbones -

If you prefer homemade detergents to clean your fridge, then use baking soda. To prevent skin damage, use rubber gloves. Put a little baking soda on a wet cloth, wipe the surface of the fridge, and then wash the remnants off with clean, warm water. To prevent the damage to the surface of your refrigerator, dissolve soda in water in an amount of 1 tablespoon per liter of water.

After you have washed the refrigerator inside, cleaned the freezer, cleaned of dirt all trays you can start cleaning the outside. The use of abrasive cleaners is excluded to avoid damage (scratch). Use special cleaners or soap solution, which corrodes fats and dirt, kills germs. In general, you should wipe the outside of the refrigerator be at least once a week, so it is not covered with a thick layer of dust.

How to clean a stainless steel fridge

  1. Choose a non-abrasive cloth. Stainless steel is easily scratched, and even a soft sponge can mar the surface.
    • Use a microfiber cloth. It's better than napless cotton since it leaves fewer fibers on the surface of the stainless steel fridge.
    • Clean and bring gloss to the surface of the refrigerator with paper towels.
      TIPS! If you want to the fridge to shine and have no spots, first clean it with a microfiber cloth and your favorite detergent, and then wipe the fridge with paper towels.
  2. Clean in the direction of the fibers. You may have to look closer to see the fiber, but you will be able to determine their direction. Cleaning against the fibers even with a microfiber cloth may scratch the surface of the refrigerator.
  3. Use plain water. It’s the cheapest way of cleaning the refrigerator, but to remove strong stains and fingerprints, you will have to make more efforts or add a little dish detergent. If you add soap, you should wash it off with water before you begin to dry the surface with a paper towel (dry quickly, so as not to leave streaks).
  4. Use oil. Any vegetable oils, including olive, can clean stainless steel. You can also use baby oil. After cleaning the refrigerator with oil, you need an additional drying to absorb the oil, since this way of cleaning causes a very clean glossy shine.
  5. Try a mixture of white vinegar and water. Pour the ingredients, first – vinegar, then – water into a spray bottle in a ratio of 3 to 1. Spray on the refrigerator and wipe it with a paper towel. Vinegar perfectly copes with greasy fingerprints.
  6. Use cleaners that are sold in the store. Some people prefer glass cleaning detergents or special cleaning agents for stainless steel appliances.

Also you have to know how to clean stainless steel in your kitchen properly


Some cleaners can damage your floor. As a precaution, cover the floor around the fridge with a towel or an old carpet before spraying the cleaner on your fridge.

Use gloves to protect your hands from chemicals in cleaning products.

How to Clean a Smelly Fridge

First, you must switch off the fridge. Second, you should take everything out, and then thoroughly wash the walls, boxes, seals and a drain hose of the refrigerator.

Photo: © britta60 -

You can get rid of bad smells with special chemicals, as well as homemade detergents.

You can make the following DIY detergents:

  1. A mixture prepared from vinegar and water (1:1) will help to get rid of the bad smell. You need to rub all details inside the refrigerator, and then put a glass with vinegar or a cloth soaked in vinegar into the refrigerator for a few hours. After this, you should ventilate the fridge and the kitchen.
  2. A perfect way to get rid of the smells is to wipe your fridge inside with a water-ammonia (100:1 ratio). In addition, ammonia can help to remove grass stains from your clothes, and it is used to wash the windows.
  3. Baking soda is also able to cope with an unpleasant odor. You should pour soda into any container and place it into the fridge for a few days. You’d better place containers with soda on different shelves of the fridge.
  4. Coffee can also help to get rid of the bad smells. You should put a few grains of coffee or a pinch of ground coffee on the shelves. Remember that ice and ice-cream can absorb coffee odor. If you use coffee to get rid of bad smells in your fridge put ice-cream in a plastic bag.

How to prevent bad smells

Remember that you can prevent bad smells in your refrigerator just following two simple rules: well-timed cleaning and proper storage products.

You should clean your fridge at least twice a year. Thereat, you should immediately clean up the spilled liquid. Kitchen-stuff should be stored closed; the containers should be covered with lids or food wrap.

These tips will help you to remove or prevent bad odors in your fridge.

Useful tips for cleaning a moldy fridge

Favorable environment for mold is excess moisture in a closed space, which, as a rule, is typical of a domestic refrigerator. Condensation on some parts of the internal surfaces makes its contribution to the mold formation. However, humidity comes of nowhere; it appears because of the kitchen stuff stored in the refrigerator.

  • So, the first tip. To reduce humidity, you should properly prepare food for the storage in the fridge.
  • However, the moist environment can’t cause mold, as it spreads due to spores, and they are to come from somewhere. Hence, the second tip – do not store in your refrigerator moldy and expired products.
  • The third tip is to make regular wet cleaning of the refrigerator, at least twice a year. However, the same recommendation is included in almost any instructions supplied with the refrigerator.


Important! If you noticed the mold in your fridge, do not hesitate to get rid of it. In addition to bad smell, mold spores spreading over the refrigerator, can spoil all food products there. Moreover, there is a possibility to breathe the spores in what can cause a disease, especially if the person's immunity is weakened.

How to get rid of mold

When you are not fond of homemade recipes you can use soap or solution of baking soda and vinegar, you can try to wash the mold out with any household antiseptic antifungal agent, if the recommendations on the label allow doing it. The main thing you should pay attention at is that it is not harmful to health and cannot damage the fridge. UV Lamp can help to get rid of mold. However, do not forget to protect your eyes!

Clean Your Fridge Regularly

Regular cleaning will ensure that the refrigerator and food products in it will be clean and do not harm your health. There is no need for a full-scale cleaning every day, little and regular effort will be enough. If you want your refrigerator to be always clean, make the following schedule of cleaning.

Daily activities

It will take just a few minutes to check if something has spilled in your fridge. The sooner you notice the stains from food, the easier it will be to remove them. Wipe the handle with antibacterial wipes or spray as it is one of the dirtiest places in every kitchen.

Weekly activities

Before you fill the refrigerator with new food, declutter all that's still left there. Clear out expired food. If something can still be stored, but you're not going to eat it soon, then it is better to give these products to your neighbors or relatives who love this food more than you.

Less frequent activities

When the time comes to a full-scale cleaning, remove everything from your refrigerator, including shelves and drawers and do a full hygienic cleaning. You can also consider the cleaning of different parts in your fridge at different times within a month.

Remember that regular care and proper food storage will help you to keep your fridge clean!

Useful video

Author: Anna Wallace