How to Clean a Really Filthy Refrigerator

Keep odors at bay and food safe with regular cleaning of the refrigerator.
Start cleaning your refrigerator from the outside and work your way inside.Start cleaning your refrigerator from the outside and work your way inside.
Start cleaning from the outside and work your way in, cleaning all surfaces and discarding old food. Refrigerators are the first line of defense in keeping food safe. Clean the refrigerator regularly and maintain temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Clean underneath the refrigerator. Attach an old white sock over a yardstick or broom handle with a rubber band and use it to sweep out the dust and debris under the refrigerator.

Step 2

Vacuum the condenser coils if they are visible. On some units, the coils are encased and don’t need to be vacuumed, but remember to vacuum under the coil unit.

Step 3

Take everything off the top of the refrigerator and clean with an all-purpose spray cleaner. Use the same cleaner to spray and wipe the outside of the refrigerator.

Step 4

Pull all drawers out and place food on paper towels or on a tray. Wash the drawers with warm soapy water. Clean behind the drawers. Working one shelf at a time, remove the food, pull the shelf out and wash it in warm soapy water. Starting at the top of the door, wash the door shelves with a warm soapy rag, rinse and dry.

Step 5

Line a laundry basket with newspapers then a garbage bag. Empty the freezer and put frozen food in the basket. Wipe down the freezer shelves with a warm wrung-out rag. If there is a food stain, use a little more elbow grease and soap.

Step 6

Wipe out the freezer using hot water with just a little detergent in it. Make sure all the soap gets out as it can leave an odor that foods can pick up if you don't. Rinse well. Put an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors.

Step 7

Replace foods that are still good as quickly as possible. Wipe down lids, containers and caps that are sticky as you go.

Step 8

Make sure that seals on the refrigerator and freezer doors are tight. Close the door on a piece of paper and try to pull it through. If it pulls through you need new seals.

Things You Will Need

  • Yardstick or broom handle
  • Old sock
  • Mild detergent
  • All purpose spray cleaner
  • Baking soda

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.