It’s a good idea to deep clean your fridge and freezer at least twice a year. Aside from assuring basic food safety, it’ll save you money! That unwiped spill or ‘science project’ stuffed in the back where you can’t see it? It’s growing bacteria that can jump to other items, causing food to spoil faster.
For a deep clean, pick a date when you can dedicate at least 3–4 hours and inform family members that the fridge and kitchen areas will be off limits while you work.
Gather essential tools: replacement water/air filters; clean food coolers and ice packs; a pH neutral, scent-free soap; thin plastic scrapers in different sizes for getting into nooks and crannies; as much counter and table space as you can muster; and plenty of clean, absorbent cloths for drying.
Step 1 Take everything out, storing highly perishable items (meats, dairy, frozen foods) in the coolers.
Step 2 Remove all interior parts—racks, shelves, drawers, brackets. You might be surprised by how much is engineered to come out. Inspect for toughened gunk and set to soak and soften in the kitchen sink while you clean the appliance itself.
Step 3 Pull the fridge out from wall and unplug (mind your lower back and get help on this step as needed). Remove the base grill and thoroughly brush or vacuum refrigerator coils behind and underneath (to the best of your ability—this frees the coils to more easily release heat, enabling the compressor to operate at peak efficiency).
Step 4 Now for the interior. Clean and dry inside walls, ceiling, floors, irremovable shelving brackets, and so forth. Use scrapers (gently!) to get into cracks and crevices where spills, carton leaks, crumbs, and other scraps tend to accumulate. Be sure to inspect everything from both above and below. Brush loosened debris to the floor (you’ll vacuum it up later). Dump old ice, and carefully inspect and clean both ice and water dispensing mechanisms as these can be particularly susceptible to growing germs. Replace interior air/water filters as needed.
Step 5 Clean fridge exterior, including the gasket (that ridged rubber thing that makes the door seal tightly)—it likes to harbor crumbs and other junk in its folds!
Step 6 Re-plug and restore fridge to its original position. Moving to the sink, thoroughly wash, dry, and replace removable parts. Look closely to see where these items are engineered to be easily disassembled. Never use abrasives on glass or plastic parts.
Step 7 Use a hot, wet cloth to wipe sticky jars, cartons, and other items before re-placing them into the cleaned fridge; it’s also a great time to inspect for items that have expired, gone past freshness dates, or are simply unlikely to ever be consumed.
That’s it! All that’s left is to vacuum the floor. To maintain your fridge (and hard work!), we recommend that you clean at least one area (for example: a produce, deli, or meat drawer) each week as you put groceries away, and do an intermediate-level cleaning (wipe shelves and re-org) at least once a month.
Does a deep-clean fridge and freezer clean sound great, but don’t have the time (or energy)? Contact MaidPro for a PRO cleaning estimate today!