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  • Writer's pictureDameon Nelson

How to Deep Clean Your Refrigerator and Freezer

Deep cleaning your refrigerator and freezer is an essential maintenance task that not only helps in extending the life of your appliance but also ensures it operates efficiently. This guide will walk you through the steps to thoroughly clean these appliances, ensuring they remain hygienic and free from odors.

Key Takeaways

  • Deep cleaning your refrigerator should be done every three to four months to maintain hygiene and efficiency.

  • Ensure all contents are removed and cleaning supplies are gathered before unplugging the refrigerator for a deep clean.

  • Focus on cleaning both the interior and exterior, including hard-to-reach areas like under and behind the appliance.

Preparation for Deep Cleaning

Remove All Contents

Begin your deep cleaning process by emptying every item from your refrigerator and freezer. Check expiration dates and discard any outdated or spoiled items. This will make it easier to clean every nook and cranny without obstructions.

Gather Necessary Cleaning Supplies

Ensure you have all the necessary cleaning supplies before you start. Typical supplies include:

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Sponges

  • Baking soda

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • A spray bottle

  • An old toothbrush for detailed scrubbing

  • Natural dish soap

Having these items at hand will streamline the cleaning process.

Unplug and Secure the Refrigerator

For safety and to save energy, unplug your refrigerator. Secure any loose parts such as shelves and bins to prevent damage during the cleaning process. This step is crucial to avoid any electrical hazards while your fridge is unplugged and being cleaned.

Cleaning the Interior

Wash Shelves and Drawers

Begin by removing all shelves and drawers from the refrigerator. Soak them in a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub away any residue or food particles. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to air dry before replacing them.

Scrub Walls and Surfaces

Combine equal parts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray down all surfaces, including the walls and any built-in side drawers. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes to break down grime and stains. Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe the surfaces clean. For tougher stains, an old toothbrush can be effective in scrubbing hard-to-reach areas.

Clean the Ice Maker and Water Dispenser

Detach any removable parts from the ice maker and water dispenser and soak them in a vinegar solution. Use a soft brush to gently scrub the parts. Wipe down the exterior and interior surfaces with a diluted vinegar spray. Ensure all parts are dry before reassembling and reconnecting to the power supply.

Exterior and Surrounding Area Cleanup

Wipe Down the Exterior

To keep your refrigerator looking its best, regularly wipe down the exterior using a cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner. Focus particularly on the handles where grime tends to accumulate. For the top of the refrigerator, which might not be cleaned as frequently, use a dry cloth to remove any dust buildup.

Clean Under and Behind the Fridge

It's essential to clean under and behind your refrigerator to maintain its efficiency and prevent dust and debris from accumulating. Pull the fridge away from the wall carefully, and use a vacuum or broom to clean the exposed area. This not only helps in better air circulation but also in maintaining the appliance's longevity.

Maintain the Surrounding Area

Maintaining the cleanliness of the area surrounding your refrigerator is crucial for overall kitchen hygiene. Ensure that the floor and walls near the fridge are free from spills and stains. Regular cleaning of these areas helps in preventing pest infestations and maintains a healthier environment.

Reassembling and Final Touches

Replace Shelves and Drawers

After cleaning, ensure that all shelves and drawers are dry before placing them back into the refrigerator. This helps prevent mold and mildew. Arrange them in a way that maximizes space and improves accessibility.

Reconnect Power

Once everything is back in place, safely reconnect the refrigerator to the power supply. Ensure that the settings are adjusted to the optimal temperature for food preservation.

Restock the Refrigerator

Carefully restock the refrigerator, prioritizing items that need to be used soonest to minimize waste. Consider organizing your items to make frequently used products easily accessible.


Deep cleaning your refrigerator and freezer is an essential task that not only helps in maintaining hygiene but also enhances the efficiency of your appliance. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your refrigerator is free from odors, spills, and contaminants. Remember to schedule a deep clean every three to four months and use the recommended cleaning materials and methods to achieve the best results. Keeping your refrigerator clean is not just about aesthetics; it's about ensuring the safety and longevity of the food you store within.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I deep clean my refrigerator?

It is recommended to deep clean your refrigerator every three to four months to maintain its cleanliness and efficiency.

What supplies do I need for deep cleaning my refrigerator?

You will need microfiber cloths, sponges, natural dish soap, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, a bowl, a spray bottle, an old toothbrush, and cotton swabs.

What are the steps to deep clean a refrigerator?

Start by removing all contents and unplugging the refrigerator. Clean the shelves and drawers with a soapy water solution. Scrub the interior walls, clean the ice maker and water dispenser, and wipe down the exterior. Finally, replace the shelves, reconnect power, and restock the refrigerator.

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