Refrigerators often get a little bit smelly. But, like anything else, dirty doesn’t mean unusable. In most cases, it’s just a case of giving the appliance a good clean and some fresh air. However, some odors are harder to remove than others. That’s where the magic of vinegar comes in. Refrigerator cleaners aren’t just for when your fridge smells bad. In fact, most of these natural alternatives are just as effective at keeping your fridge clean as the store-bought variety. If you want to know how to clean refrigerator with vinegar, keep reading.
1. Disconnect The Power
The first step to cleaning a refrigerator is to take it off the power. While it may seem like a silly thing to do, it will help prevent damage to your fridge.
2. Transfer Food
You should clean your refrigerator at least once a month. Once a month is ideal; however, if you don’t clean your refrigerator as often as you should, one quick clean will be enough. If you clean your fridge more frequently, you’re likely to spread bacteria and mold throughout your home. If you notice that the food in your fridge is getting a little slimy or smells a little off, it’s time to clean refrigerator with vinegar!
If you have a heavy-duty cleaner, you can use that to clean the bottom of the refrigerator. Be sure to rinse the cleaner out after use.
If you don’t have a heavy-duty cleaner, you can use a mild soap and water solution. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a few drops of mild soap. Wring out the excess water and then use a clean, soft cloth to gently scrub the inside of the fridge.
If you have a particularly smelly fridge, you can also use a mild bleach solution to wash the inside and wipe down the shelves. Make sure to rinse the bleach solution out thoroughly and allow the fridge to dry before using it again.
3. Empty The Refrigerator
Before you start cleaning the inside of your fridge, you should empty it. This will help get rid of any excess food that may be causing odors and prevent you from putting dirty dishes inside your clean refrigerator with vinegar.
4. Spray And Wipe It Down
Once you’ve emptied the contents of your fridge, it’s time to clean it! Choose one of the following methods to clean your refrigerator with vinegar:
Use a non-abrasive cleaner. There are hundreds of options out there, so you’ll need to do some research to find a non-abrasive cleaner that works best for your specific type of surface. Make sure to look for cleaners that are safe for all kinds of surfaces, including plastic.
Use an all-purpose cleaner. Again, there are hundreds of options; however, most all-purpose cleaners can be used for any cleaning project. While it may not be specifically made for cleaning fridges, it will work just as well!
5. Wipe The Inside
The inside of your fridge is likely cleaner than the rest of the appliance. The lining, temperature control panel, and shelves should be able to withstand more dirty conditions and have fewer bacteria than the walls and doors.
If you’re not sure where to start, try wiping down the shelves and the door panels first. When you’re finished, give the inside walls of the fridge a wipe with a cloth.
6. Freshen The Door Seals
Odor-causing bacteria and mold often grow inside the seal of your refrigerator. If you’re storing food items that produce bad smells, they will keep re-contaminating your food because you won’t be able to get rid of the source.
Freshen and dry the door seals with a soft cloth after each use. You can also use a sponge with warm water and mild soap.
7. Clean Drawers and Shelves
The inside of your refrigerator is likely dirtier than your cabinets! Before you clean your cabinets, clean the shelves and drawers of your fridge.
Use a soft cloth to wipe down all of the shelves and drawers in your fridge. Then, use your all-purpose cleaner of choice to clean the inside of the cabinets.
Remember to clean the inside of your microwave at the same time. (Vacuum-less models only, please.)
8. Wipe The Exterior
The exterior of your refrigerator is likely just as dirty as the rest of it. If you want to get creative and give your fridge a new look, you can wipe the outside too.
First, remove all of the magnets from your fridge with a strong magnetized tool. (If you don’t have a tool like this, you can use a spoon.)
Next, use a damp cloth to wipe down the entire appliance. Leave the doors open and allow the cleaner to get into all the nooks and crannies of the fridge.
9. Wash The Contents
If you want to get really advanced, you can also wash the inside of your refrigerator using ultraviolet light. This method is effective at removing stains, but it’s best to wash your fridge regularly regardless.
10. Return Food
The best part about cleaning your refrigerator is that you can get creative! You can use your cleaning supplies to help organize your fridge.
Use a hanging organizer to keep bags, bottles, and other small items out of the way.
Use a magnetic strip to keep the bottle caps in one place.
Use a decorative calendar to mark important dates and stick it on the fridge.
11. Reload The Refrigerator
If you’re experiencing mildew or sour odor coming from your refrigerator, the most obvious thing you can do is wash the interior. Mildew likes to grow in dark, moist areas, and your refrigerator is no different. So, if you’re just washing the exterior, you’re leaving behind a lot of the bad bacteria that are causing the odor. It’s best to wipe out the interior using a damp cloth. If the odor seems particularly bad, you can also use a mild bleach solution to wash out the interior. Be sure to rinse well and allow your appliance to dry completely before using it again.
If you’re looking for a natural way to clean your refrigerator, the key is to use common household ingredients. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to go about it. We’re here to help. From cleaning cabinet interiors to getting rid of mildew and keeping your produce fresh, vinegar can do it all. So, if you’re looking for a great way to clean your refrigerator, this is it. Just remember, don’t clean your refrigerator too often. This can upset the balance of bacteria in your home and lead to unwanted odors. I should do it once a month.