How to Clean an Office Refrigerator

If you've ever worked in an office that provides a break room with a shared refrigerator, you know how dismal the inside of the refrigerator can become. It's often filled with food left for weeks on end, things leaking from top to bottom, and not a single spot left for you to slide in your lunch containers or leftovers. If you're charged with cleaning out the office refrigerator or simply can't take wrestling for space inside another day, following some key steps and advice should get the office refrigerator back to usable condition.

  1. Notify all employees in advance that the refrigerator will be cleaned on a specific day and time, and tell them to remove anything from the refrigerator they do not want thrown away. Tell employees you will notify them when the refrigerator is clean so that they may place items back inside. Utilize your company Intranet, if available, or regular email to send the notices. Post a notice of the cleaning on the refrigerator.

  2. Locate at least two large trash receptacles and place them near the refrigerator. Remove items starting with the top shelf, and throw them away.

  3. Remove items from the freezer section of the refrigerator. If items are stored in plastic containers, throw them away. If microwavable meals have an employee's name on them and the expiration date has not passed, set them to the side so that you can clean before placing them back inside.

  4. Clean the freezer section of the refrigerator. Remove the ice tray, if used, and empty the ice in a sink. Rinse the ice tray with water and place on a counter to dry. Spray the freezer with a store-bought antibacterial cleaner and wipe down with paper towels. Return the ice tray and microwavable dinners to the freezer.

  5. Remove drawers from the refrigerator and spray with cleaner, saturating spills and leaks. Because drawers are usually on the bottom and catch more spills, set the drawers to the side to allow the cleaner to set in.

  6. Spray the inside of the refrigerator with cleaner, and allow it to set for a couple of minutes. Wipe down the refrigerator and drawers with paper towels. Place the drawers back in the refrigerator.

  7. Send a notice to employees that the refrigerator is back in business.


  • Never open sealed plastic containers because you have no way of knowing how long the food has been in the refrigerator.

About the Author

Kaye Morris has over four years of technical writing experience as a curriculum design specialist and is a published fiction author. She has over 20 years of real estate development experience and received her Bachelor of Science in accounting from McNeese State University along with minors in programming and English.