What Not to Do When Cleaning Fridge? Must Know

When cleaning your fridge, you should avoid using harsh chemicals, leaving food out for too long, and overfilling the shelves. These mistakes can damage your fridge, spoil your food, and create health risks. In this article, we will explain why these are bad practices and how to clean your fridge properly.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

Many people think that using bleach, ammonia, or other strong cleaners will sanitize their fridge and get rid of any germs or odors. However, this is not a good idea for several reasons. First, these chemicals can damage the surface of your fridge, especially if it is made of stainless steel or plastic. Second, they can leave behind residues that can contaminate your food and affect its taste and quality. Third, they can create toxic fumes that can harm your health and the environment.

Instead of using harsh chemicals, you should use mild and natural cleaners that are safe for your fridge and your food. Some examples are baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and dish soap. These cleaners can effectively remove dirt, stains, and odors without harming your fridge or your health. You can also use a microfiber cloth or a sponge to wipe down the interior and exterior of your fridge.

Avoid Leaving Food Out for Too Long

Another common mistake that people make when cleaning their fridge is leaving their food out for too long. This can cause the food to spoil, grow bacteria, or attract pests. According to the USDA, perishable food should not be left out of the fridge for more than two hours, or one hour if the temperature is above 90°F. If you leave your food out for longer than that, you risk getting food poisoning or wasting your food.

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To prevent this, you should plan ahead and clean your fridge in sections. You can start by taking out the food from one shelf or drawer and placing it in a cooler or a insulated bag. Then, you can clean that section of the fridge and put the food back in. Repeat this process for the other sections until you finish cleaning the whole fridge. This way, you can minimize the time that your food is exposed to room temperature and keep it fresh and safe.

Avoid Overfilling the Shelves

The last mistake that you should avoid when cleaning your fridge is overfilling the shelves. This can reduce the airflow and the cooling efficiency of your fridge, which can affect the temperature and the quality of your food. It can also make it harder to find and organize your food, which can lead to food waste and clutter. Moreover, it can increase the risk of spills and leaks, which can create messes and odors in your fridge.

To avoid this, you should follow the rule of thumb of leaving at least one inch of space between the items on your shelves. This will allow the cold air to circulate and keep your food at the optimal temperature. You should also arrange your food according to the type and the expiration date, and use containers and labels to store and identify your food. This will help you keep track of your food and use it before it goes bad.


Cleaning your fridge is an important task that can help you maintain your fridge, your food, and your health. However, you should be careful not to make the common mistakes of using harsh chemicals, leaving food out for too long, and overfilling the shelves. By avoiding these mistakes and following the tips in this article, you can clean your fridge properly and enjoy its benefits.