To deep clean a smelly fridge, you need to empty it, remove the shelves and drawers, wipe down the interior and exterior with a solution of vinegar and water, and place a box of baking soda inside to absorb odors. This process will help you get rid of any food spills, mold, bacteria, and unpleasant smells that may have accumulated in your fridge over time. A deep cleaning should be done at least once every three months, or more often if you notice any signs of spoilage or bad smells.
In this article, we will explain why it is important to deep clean your fridge regularly, how to prepare for the cleaning, what tools and materials you will need, and how to follow the steps of deep cleaning. We will also give you some tips on how to prevent your fridge from getting smelly again. By following these instructions, you will be able to keep your fridge fresh, hygienic, and odor-free.
Why You Should Deep Clean Your Fridge
Your fridge is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen, as it stores and preserves your food and drinks. However, it can also become a breeding ground for germs, mold, and bacteria, especially if you don’t clean it regularly. These microorganisms can cause food spoilage, cross-contamination, and food poisoning, as well as produce unpleasant odors that can affect the taste and quality of your food.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should clean your fridge at least once every three months, or more often if you notice any signs of spoilage or bad smells. This will help you remove any food spills, crumbs, stains, and residues that may have accumulated in your fridge over time. It will also help you get rid of any expired, rotten, or moldy food that may be hiding in the back of your fridge or in the produce drawers.
By deep cleaning your fridge, you will not only improve its appearance and smell, but also its performance and efficiency. A clean fridge will run more smoothly and use less energy, as it will not have to work harder to maintain the optimal temperature and humidity levels. A clean fridge will also extend the shelf life of your food and prevent waste, as you will be able to see what you have and use it before it goes bad.
How to Prepare for the Cleaning
Before you start deep cleaning your fridge, you need to do some preparation. Here are some steps you should follow:
- Unplug your fridge. This will save energy and prevent any electrical hazards. You can also adjust the temperature settings to the lowest level before unplugging, to slow down the thawing process.
- Empty your fridge. Take out all the food and drinks from your fridge and store them in a cooler or another fridge, if you have one. This will prevent them from spoiling or warming up while you clean. You can also use this opportunity to check the expiration dates and labels of your food and discard anything that is past its prime or that you don’t need.
- Remove the shelves and drawers. Take out all the removable parts from your fridge, such as the shelves, drawers, racks, bins, and trays. This will make it easier to clean them and reach the corners and crevices of your fridge. You can soak them in warm water and dish soap, or wash them in the sink or dishwasher, depending on their material and size.
- Gather your tools and materials. You will need some basic tools and materials to deep clean your fridge, such as a sponge, a cloth, a scrub brush, a toothbrush, a spray bottle, a bucket, a trash bag, and some rubber gloves. You will also need some natural cleaning agents, such as white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. These are safe, effective, and eco-friendly alternatives to harsh chemicals that can damage your fridge or leave behind residues and smells.
How to Deep Clean Your Fridge
Once you have done the preparation, you can start deep cleaning your fridge. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Wipe down the interior. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of one part vinegar and one part water, and spray it generously on the interior walls, ceiling, and floor of your fridge. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a damp cloth or sponge. This will help you remove any dirt, grease, and grime, as well as disinfect and deodorize your fridge. You can use a scrub brush or a toothbrush to scrub any stubborn stains or spots, and a cloth or paper towel to dry any excess moisture.
- Wipe down the exterior. Use the same vinegar and water solution to wipe down the exterior of your fridge, including the door, the handles, the seals, and the vents. Pay special attention to the seals, as they can harbor mold and bacteria that can affect the temperature and humidity of your fridge. You can use a toothbrush to clean the creases and folds of the seals, and a cloth or paper towel to dry them.
- Clean the shelves and drawers. Wash the shelves and drawers that you removed earlier, using warm water and dish soap, or the vinegar and water solution. Rinse them well and dry them with a cloth or paper towel. You can also use some baking soda or lemon juice to remove any odors or stains from them. Make sure they are completely dry before putting them back in your fridge.
- Place a box of baking soda inside. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can absorb and neutralize any lingering smells in your fridge. Place an open box of baking soda in the back of your fridge, and replace it every three months, or whenever you notice any bad smells. You can also use some activated charcoal, coffee grounds, or vanilla extract as alternative deodorizers.
- Plug in your fridge and restock it. Plug in your fridge and adjust the temperature settings to the recommended level, usually between 35°F and 40°F for the fridge and 0°F for the freezer. Wait for a few hours until your fridge reaches the optimal temperature, then restock it with your food and drinks. Organize them by category and expiration date, and use clear containers and labels to store them. This will help you keep your fridge neat and tidy, and avoid any spoilage or waste.
How to Prevent Your Fridge from Getting Smelly Again
After you have deep cleaned your fridge, you should maintain it regularly to prevent it from getting smelly again. Here are some tips you should follow:
- Clean up any spills or leaks immediately. If you notice any spills or leaks in your fridge, wipe them up as soon as possible, using a cloth or paper towel and some vinegar and water solution. This will prevent them from spreading, staining, or spoiling your food and your fridge.
- Check your food and drinks regularly. Make it a habit to check your food and drinks in your fridge at least once a week, and discard anything that is expired, rotten, or moldy. This will prevent any cross-contamination, food poisoning, or bad smells in your fridge. You can also use a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system, where you use the oldest items first and the newest items last, to avoid any waste.
- Clean your fridge at least once every three months. Even if you don’t notice any signs of spoilage or bad smells, you should still clean your fridge at least once every three months, or more often if needed. This will help you remove any dust, dirt, or residues that may have accumulated in your fridge over time, and keep it fresh and hygienic.
By following these tips, you will be able to deep clean your smelly fridge and keep it odor-free. A clean fridge will not only improve the appearance and smell of your kitchen, but also the quality and safety of your food and drinks. A clean fridge will also save you money and energy, as it will run more efficiently and last longer. So, don’t wait any longer, and start deep cleaning your fridge today!