When it comes time to clean your refrigerator and freezer – really clean it that is – you’ll want to choose a time when it has not been stockpiled with food. It may seem like common sense, but you don’t want to add to your work when you give your fridge and freezer their semi-annual deep cleaning. By giving this appliance a thorough cleaning at least twice a year, you ensure basic food safety and even save money as well. You might not want to think about it, but every unwiped spill or dropped food particle had the potential to contaminate your fresh foods. Are you ready to get cleaning?
Step 1 – Plan and Prepare
Choose a day when the fridge and freezer are less than full and plan to dedicate about three hours to your cleaning project. Gather all you need to complete the task (beforehand) including coolers and icepacks to hold your food, replacement filters (water and air), a plastic scraper, a sponge or cleaning rag, a small scrub brush (an old toothbrush will do the job nicely), unscented soap or baking soda, and lots of clean cloths for drying as you go.
Step 2 – Unload
Take everything out, throw away anything that is past the expiration date or looks suspect and store everything that is good in the coolers. Do the same for the freezers, tossing items with freezer burn or items that have been frozen too long. Place the items that are newly stored and will still taste good when prepared in the coolers.
Step 3 – Remove
Take out all the racks, drawers, shelves, brackets…any items that can be removed. If they are stained with gunk that won’t wipe off, fill you sink with warm water and mild detergent and let them soak while you clean.
Step 4 – Unplug and Begin Cleaning Exterior
For this step, you might need help pulling the fridge out from the wall. Once out, unplug it. Next, clean the top of the fridge and the floor underneath. Vacuum or brush the refrigerator coils on the behind and underneath, both of which will help the compressor operate more efficiently.
Step 5 – Clean Inside
Clean and dry as you go, the inside walls, ceiling, floors, shelving, and doors. If it has been a long time since your last cleaning, you may to change your scrubbing water along the way. Use scrapers and the small brush (working gently) to clean cracks and crevices. In addition, you will want to carefully clean the water and ice dispensers. Dump the ice tray and clean it as well. Also, now is the time to replace air and water filters as well. Be sure to dry everything as you go.
Step 6 – Clean the Exterior
Wipe down the exterior, drying along the way. Clean the gasket as well.
Step 7 – Plug and Return
You can now plug the fridge back in and return it to its proper place. Wash the items soaking in the sink, wash and dry them, and return them to the refrigerator and freezer properly.
Step 8 – A Little More Wiping
As you return items to the refrigerator and freezer, wipe jars, cartons, and containers of spills, smudges, and stickiness. Discard anything you missed in Step 2 that needs to be tossed. Once everything is in place, you’re done!
Remember to wipe down shelves and discard items past their prime on a weekly basis to make this project easier the next time around.
Of course, if deep cleaning your refrigerator and freezer sounds like more than you have time for, call on Signature Maids to get the job done right at a price you can afford.