Refrigerator Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Clean refrigeratorby Janet Grischy

Here are some easy house cleaning tips for when you clean the refrigerator. The fridge can get nasty, because it seems like such a chore that you put it off. But it’s important to have a clean refrigerator, to keep the food your family eats safe.

Refrigerator cleaning tips and tricks

1. Simplify your job by keeping the refrigerator clean in the first place. Use sealed food storage containers to prevent spills. BPA-free covered containers designed to go in the freezer or microwave save serious time and keep your family safe.

2. Remembering to throw out leftovers is half the battle. Stuff thrown in a bowl and covered with a clump of plastic wrap can get pushed to the back and spilled without anyone noticing, leaving a sticky mess.

3. When something does get spilled, wipe it up right away. Use paper towels to wipe, rinse and dry. Remove the drawers and clean under them if the spill gets that far, to avoid hidden grime.

Cleaning refrigeratorHow to clean a refrigerator

Even if you’re careful, you’ll still have to clean the refrigerator eventually. You’ll want a sparkling refrigerator for the holidays or when you have house guests.

1. Take everything out and put it in a cooler or another fridge. If you notice dried-up condiments you haven’t used since last summer, dump them.

2. Unplug the refrigerator to avoid any chance of electrical shock. If you can’t get at your plug easily, you can usually turn off the power at the circuit breaker without interrupting power to too many other things.

Kenmore refrigerator3. Remove all the removable parts, like shelves and drawers. Set them aside to come to room temperature.

4. Wash every surface with 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in one quart of warm water, cleaning from the top down. Use a soft clean cloth, such as an old dishtowel or T-shirt. Rinse with warm water, and dry with another clean cloth.

Don’t use strong cleaners or bleach, because they might scratch or crack the surfaces. Also, they can leave lingering aromas that could get into stored food. Let the fridge air dry while you clean the shelves and drawers.

Kenmore refrigerator5. Wash the shelves and drawers in the sink. Read your owner’s manual for any special instructions, but usually dish soap, warm water and a plastic-bristled brush do a good job. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry.

6. Reassemble the fridge, turn it back on and wait an hour before you put the food back.

If you follow these cleaning tips and tricks, you can do the whole job in less than a single morning. Was that so hard? Not really, and look how your refrigerator sparkles.

Spring cleaning tip: Your owner’s manual tells you how to clean your refrigerator’s coils. Clean coils save energy and help your refrigerator last longer, but you must clean them right. Be sure to protect vinyl flooring, if you have that, from marks or gouges when you move the fridge, though. Put down cardboard or rugs before you move anything.

Here’s a bonus tip for those of you who have a problem with your ice and dispensed water tasting funny.


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  1. Thank you for your question. The problem is that when the door is shut there is a gap where you placed the foil to keep the door open. The best way to fix this problem is to use a hair dryer to heat the gasket. Keep in mind there is a fine line between heating and melting the rubber gasket. It may only take 20-30 seconds to heat the gasket so it becomes more pliable and can be pull out to its proper position. When heated and stretch the gasket should retain its shape when the door is shut and continue to seal. As the gasket cools it should retain it's shape and continue to seal when the door is shut. I hope this helps and good luck.

  2. Have a Kenmore Upright Freezer which was not in use for a while. Thought I'd prevent musty odor when put back into use by keeping door ajar with balled up foil and studding shelves with balled up newspapers. Now I've put back into use, the rubber seal around the door has an indentation and door won't close.

    HELP appreciated.

    1. In response to needhelp2

      Hey needhelp2! Thanks for your question today! I know an Appliance Expert will know just what to do. Check back on this comment soon for a reply. Thank you!


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