How to Clean Your Fridge Easily

The refrigerator can be a tough appliance to clean because of its size and the fact that it is often full of food. There is a lot of work that needs to be done if you are going to make it tidy and sanitary. 

You may just want to wipe down the outside or inside from time to time and be done with it, but what about those sticky stains on the shelves and those unpleasant odors caused by old food? You won’t be able to get rid of them just by wiping down a few visible, accessible parts of the fridge. It’s going to take some work to make your fridge really clean, and if you are interested in a thorough cleaning, we have a guide to the best way to do that. 

Steps to Cleaning Your Fridge

We have a few simple steps you can follow in order to do a full cleaning yourself. If you find this too much work, though, you may want to hire a professional cleaning service in NYC instead. 

1. Wipe the Outside

The material your refrigerator is made out of will determine how best to clean it. Fridges with plastic exteriors can be cleaned with some warm water and a washcloth, with a little bleach or baking soda/vinegar mixture to deal with spots. Stainless steel fridges should be first wiped down with a damp cloth and then cleaned using a stainless-steel cleaner. 

2. Remove the Food

The next step is to clean the inside of the fridge. You will need to get the food out of the way, and you can either put the food into another fridge, into a freezer, into an icebox with some ice, or leave it out on the counter. We only recommend the last option if you will be quick in cleaning the fridge or you only have food in the fridge that won’t perish at room temperature, like fruits and veggies.

If there is any food that has expired or started to smell bad, get rid of it at this point. There is no need to save it out and store it somewhere else while you are cleaning the fridge. Doing a deep clean of your refrigerator is a great opportunity to get rid of food that is unsafe to eat or to identify food that is close to its expiry date.

3. Remove and Clean the Drawers

You’ll want to make some space in the fridge before you try to really clean, so the shelves and drawers need to come out. Not all fridges have removable shelves, but you should take out all removable parts to clean them properly. They can soak in warm, soapy water in the tub or sink, and then you should be able to scrub them clean or simply wipe them down to clean them completely. 

4. Work from the Top

While the removable parts of your fridge are soaking, you can work on cleaning the interior of the appliance. You should always start from the top and work your way down. That way, you are not creating a mess where you have already cleaned. You’ll save yourself some extra work with this method. 

To clean the interior of your fridge, you can wipe it down with a warm, damp cloth. That should get rid of most of the dirtiness in the fridge. Then, use a solution of water and bleach to dip your cloth in and wipe down the interior of the fridge a second time. The bleach kills germs and makes your fridge more sanitary. It also eats through some grime and gunk to loosen it. The hot water is good for loosening stuck on grime as well. 

If there are some areas of the fridge where grime is too tough to clean off with a rag and your cleaning solution, you can use a butter knife to gently scrape the encrusted food off. 

5. Rinse Down the Fridge

Next, you will want to wipe down the interior of the fridge one final time to get rid of the bleach smell and residue. Use a clean cloth that has been dipped in warm water and work from the top to the bottom. 

You can then dry the fridge out with a dry cloth or let it air dry. It’s better to dry the fridge out by hand so that you aren’t leaving the fridge open too long, but you can speed up the natural drying process by setting up a fan to blow into the fridge.

6. Finishing Up

Once you have cleaned the shelves and drawers, they can be dried completely and then placed back into the fridge. You can put your food back in as well. You may want to wipe down some of the food containers, if they are messy. You can wipe them down with a washcloth that’s been soaked in hot, soapy water, or you can wash them in the sink in hot, soapy water. It’s best to put nearly expired food near the front and perhaps label it or mark it so that you know it is going to expire shortly. 


The method we’ve given you for cleaning your fridge will ensure that it is sanitary, killing germs and protecting food from cross contamination. Any cloths or rags that you use to clean the fridge should be thoroughly cleaned before you use them for anything else. This will prevent contamination on other surfaces. Any surfaces where you set food items should be sanitized as well.

Make sure that the fridge is completely dry before you are done cleaning it. This will prevent mold and mildew buildup and keep your fridge as sanitary as possible.

It’s best to clean your fridge thoroughly a couple times a year using the method we’ve given you. You may want to do it more frequently, depending on how often you use your fridge and how it is used.

Leave a Comment