Keeping a clean refrigerator is essential to staying healthy and maintaining a happy living environment. By spot cleaning as needed and deep cleaning every three months, you're setting yourself up for success in the kitchen.
How often should you clean the fridge?
Maintaining a clean fridge ensures that you do not cause cross-contamination between food products, which can lead to food poisoning. You're also ensuring that food items in your fridge are consumable.
Unlike other household cleaning options, cleaning a home refrigerator is only necessary every 3-4 months. However, in between these deep cleans, you should spot clean your fridge to help maintain a clean environment for your food.
There are exceptions to how often you should clean your fridge, like the below cases. If these cases occur, you should clean your refrigerator as soon as possible.
When you notice that many of your food products are past their best buy date, it indicates that it's time to clean your fridge. Check all your products, from sauces and condiments to dairy products, meat, etc. Toss out any items that are no longer good to eat.
If a liquid, such as a beverage or juice from a meat packet, spills in the freezer/refrigerator, you should remove the items under and around the spill and wipe it up. Liquids from meat packets are especially dangerous, as they’re more likely to spread harmful germs onto other food items.
If you see a liquid spill in a beverage cooler or any fridge/refrigerator size, you should clean it up immediately. Liquids, especially sweet liquids, can attract pests into your house.
If you have a power outage or if your fridge is not keeping your food at the ideal temperatures (under 40F for the fridge and 0F for the freezer), it's time to clean out your perishable items.
If you notice your food has been sitting above these temperatures and feels warm to the touch, has a bad odor, or appears off, it's a good indicator that you should toss the food items. If you're unsure, it's best to throw out the food, then take a chance.
How to clean a fridge at home?
The below steps will aid you in cleaning your fridge properly.
- The first step in cleaning a fridge at home is emptying the fridge; this includes taking all of your condiments out and properly storing your perishable foods in a cooler or separate fridge.
- Then, it's necessary to organize your food, with a special focus on throwing away food that is expired or is in a broken container. Make sure to keep track of which foods are still good but will be expiring soon.
- Next, deep clean your fridge by taking out the removable parts and soaking them in warm soapy water; this includes shelves, ice trays, etc. Sanitize these parts by mixing one tablespoon of white vinegar or unscented bleach with a gallon of water. Any additional items that you cannot remove should be wiped down.
- After the interior is clean, it’s necessary to clean the outside of the fridge. Cleaning the exterior includes wiping down the doors, handles, etc.
- Finally, place your items back into the fridge (with older items in front). You can add a container or baking powder to help keep your fridge smelling fresh.
Ultimately, a clean refrigerator is a healthy refrigerator. You can avoid food poisoning and cross contamination by ensuring you maintain a certain level of cleanliness in your fridge. If you don't have a mini fridge to help keep your items cold during a deep clean, consider a Comfee Refrigerator.