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How to Clean a Refrigerator: Eliminate Odors and Save On Waste

Our refrigerator, a silent workhorse of the kitchen, is indispensable. But when was the last time you gave it a thorough cleaning? Not just a wipe-down, but a genuine deep clean? If you’re pondering this question, this guide on how to clean a refrigerator is perfect for you.

Delving Deep into How to Clean a Refrigerator

To be effective in our cleaning endeavors, it’s crucial to recognize why our fridge gets dirty and grimy in the first place. This holistic approach ensures we tackle the root of the problem.

Why Does My Refrigerator Smell Bad?

Often, the culprit behind bad odors is unnoticed food spills, decomposing veggies tucked in the back, or poorly sealed containers that allow their contents to permeate the fridge space.

Also, remember bacteria and mold thrive in cooler environments, breaking down food substances, leading to unpleasant odors. Regularly placing a refrigerator deodorizer can counteract these smells. However, the most effective approach remains a routine cleaning.

refrigerator smells like mildew

Can I Use Clorox Wipes to Clean the Inside of My Fridge?

Clorox wipes are a staple in many households due to their convenience. However, the inside of your fridge isn’t the place for them. The chemicals in these wipes can linger and potentially contaminate your food. Instead, a safer option would be a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. It’s a natural disinfectant and will help you clean a messy and dirty refrigerator without any risks.

What Is the Easiest Way to Clean Under a Refrigerator?

Dirt and dust accumulating underneath the fridge can affect its efficiency. To address this:

  1. Unplug the fridge: Safety first!
  2. Use a coil brush: These are designed to reach those awkward spaces.
  3. Utilize a vacuum: After brushing, vacuum to pick up the loosened debris.
  4. Slide the fridge: If possible, gently pull the fridge out from its spot and clean the floor area it covers.

What Is the Best Way to Deep Clean a Fridge?

For those who want to clean a fridge like a pro, here’s a more detailed method:

1. Preparation:

  • Empty the Fridge: Begin by removing all items. Separate perishables from non-perishables. It’s also a good opportunity to discard any expired or old items.
  • Unplug the Fridge: Always remember, safety first. Apart from safety, unplugging makes the fridge more energy-efficient during cleaning.

2. Detachable Parts Cleaning:

  • Soak: Take out all removable components like shelves and bins. Soak them in a mixture of warm water and baking soda (2 tablespoons for every quart of water). This concoction acts both as a cleaner and odor remover.
  • Scrub: For stubborn spots or stains, use a soft brush or an old toothbrush. This ensures the stains are removed without causing any scratches.
  • Rinse and Dry: After cleaning, rinse the components with fresh water. You can either let them air dry or use a soft cloth to wipe them.

3. Inside the Fridge:

  • Walls and Ceiling: With a soft cloth or sponge dipped in the baking soda mixture, start scrubbing from the top (ceiling) and gradually work your way down the walls. This top-down approach ensures any dripping solution gets cleaned up in the process.
  • Corners and Hard-to-Reach Spots: The toothbrush is your best ally here. Dip it in the solution and scrub away at those tight spots.
  • Drawers and Bottom: The floor of the refrigerator often gets overlooked but is essential. Clean it thoroughly, especially since it’s a common spot for food spills.
fridge cleaning tips

4. Gasket Care:

  • Soap Solution: The gasket, or door seal, can often trap crumbs and dirt, leading to excess heat inside your fridge. Prepare a light soap solution and immerse a toothbrush in it.
  • Gentle Scrubbing: Use the toothbrush to scrub the folds and crevices of the gasket. Both inside and outside edges need attention.
  • Rinse: After scrubbing, wipe away the soap solution with a damp cloth and then dry it.

5. Final Touches:

  • Reassemble: Once everything is spotless and dry, replace all the components back inside the fridge.
  • Odor Prevention: Place a new box of baking soda inside, which acts as a fantastic, natural deodorizer. Alternatives include activated charcoal or freshly ground coffee.
  • Power Up: Ensure everything is in order, and plug the fridge back in.

What Not to Do When Cleaning a Fridge

  • Avoid rush jobs: Proper cleaning takes time. Reserve a couple of hours for this task.
  • Stay away from strong chemicals: Your fridge houses food; chemicals aren’t welcome.
  • Don’t forget the coils and back: These areas, often overlooked, are crucial for fridge efficiency.
  • Always unplug: This is for both safety and efficiency.

A commonly asked question is: how often should you clean your fridge? A light wipe-down is recommended every two weeks, while a deeper clean should be done every 3-4 months.

If all this seems daunting or if you encounter issues while cleaning, remember that Atomic Tech is your go-to for expert refrigerator repair in Dayton and beyond! After all, a clean fridge is a happy fridge.

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