Our best fridge cleaning tips

Lately, we’ve all become way more aware of the need to keep our homes clean and sanitized. Before you bring your freshly disinfected groceries to be put away in your refrigerator, why not give your fridge a deep clean and sanitization? It helps reduce wear and tear on your refrigerator and lets you organize all your fresh foods, so nothing gets lost in the back.

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Don’t be afraid — cleaning a refrigerator (and keeping it clean) isn’t a herculean task if you follow these tips:

1. Start by Taking Everything Out
You will be tempted to leave some things behind in the name of timesaving (“I can just clean around that box of baking soda”). Resist this temptation! Removing everything from the icebox all at once will be far less time-consuming than trying to clean around anything.

2. Discard items that have expired
Throw away any food containers or items that are expired or old. Scrub containers that have stains or spills using soap and water and then disinfect them with wipes or cleaning sprays and a cloth or paper towels.

3. Time to Scrub
Start with those shelves, drawers and door inserts you removed. You’ll want to wash them just like you wash dishes, using a sponge and dish soap. Because they’re oddly shaped and oversized items, you might find it easier to wash them in a bathtub or large utility sink, or even outdoors with a hose. Wearing utility clothing for this operation is a good idea, as you’re likely to wind up a bit waterlogged, with bits of old food on you, or possibly just a little sweaty.

4. Particularly Stubborn Spills and Stains
Here’s an easy trick that will make short work of removing a badly stuck-on spill: Wet a sponge or rag with very hot water — being careful not to burn your hands — then wring it out and hold it on the sticky substance as you would a compress. The heat and moisture will reconstitute whatever it is that’s congealed, making it more pliable and easier to wipe up. For unrelenting spills, reapply the compress as needed.

5. Now, Put Everything Back
Put the shelves, drawers, and other removable parts back in the refrigerator, along with the other items you took out.
Next, review the condiments you didn’t throw out on your first pass. Open lids to check for mold and empties. Use a sponge or rag dampened with hot water to wipe the exterior of bottles free of sticky drips — don’t forget the bottoms — and tighten caps that haven’t been properly screwed on, so you can prevent future drips.