Weekly Chore Prompt: How to clean the Refrigerator

Welcome to my new blog series! As you may have read last week, the idea for this series stemmed for a from a conversation over lunch with a friend who needed a quick chore prompt to help her tackle chores over and above her daily cleaning.



This week, we are tackling the refrigerator folks. That over stuffed, sometimes smelly place we rely on daily. 

food, frig, stuffed, clean, organize
A peak inside my over-stuffed Fridge

The first order of business is to decide which day this week you can spare 25-30 minutes for this job. I like to give my fridge a check and toss once a week before heading to the grocery store. I go in and toss left-overs, half eaten pieces of fruit stashed by the kids and those funny shaped pieces of foil wrapped foods- usually meat.  It’s far easier to catch spills and restore order before you restock supplies for the week.

Once you’ve picked your best day, it’s time to get busy cleaning your fridge inside and out.


How to Clean Your Refrigerator:

clean, empty frig,
Source

Remember that new refrigerator look and feel? So nice and clean and empty? We may not get back to the empty part, but we will get our frig clean this week! 


Here's how:


Make sure your sink is clean and fill one side with warm water and dish soap.

Clear a counter or your table to place items from your fridge as you go.

I use the shelf by shelf cleaning method, starting at the top and working my way down to the drawers.

Take everything off top shelf. If shelf isn’t really dirty, you can wipe with a sponge dipped in the soapy water. If there are spills; place shelf in the sink to soak for a couple of minutes.

While shelf is soaking, check the contents of the shelf you just cleared setting aside items that are past their prime, almost empty etc. Don’t throw them away or recycle now. We’ll be making a shopping list later.

Wash, rinse and dry top shelf, put back in the fridge. Now you can replace the good items on the shelf. I usually place my taller items on my top shelf and fill the side areas first when possible.

Continue these steps as you work on each shelf of your fridge.

Wipe the sides of fridge with warm soapy water as you work your way down the frig.

Once shelves are done, it’s time to tackle the drawers, which are usually the hardest to clean because we’ve allowed produce to stay past their peak.

Take the whole drawer out and place on counter or table. Toss old produce and liners. Place drawer in soapy water if your sink is large enough.  If not, wash drawer on counter closest to sink.

Wipe the shelf, bottom and side areas where the drawers were.

Dry drawers and line with fresh paper towels or fridge liner pads if you own them.

Now start on the door, the treasure trove of condiments and salad dressings in my home.
Again, check expiration dates on products, setting aside any past that date or almost empty bottles. 

Check your freezer next. If it’ well stocked like mine usually is, focus on the drawers and shelves on the doors where grime usually accumulates.

Wash these areas as you did the fridge areas, tossing any old frozen veggies, Popsicles etc.



Now you are ready to wash the outside of your fridge.

clean, fridge,
Source 

Our black fridge requires a daily door wipe down, but lets clean all of it this week.

Here's How:

Start at the top by removing any stored or decorative pieces. Set them aside to wash separately.

Get out your step stool or slide over a kitchen chair to stand on.

The top of the fridge is usually pretty grimy, so bring extra paper towels and a good multi-surface spray cleaner if your frig is enameled like mine. 

If its stainless steel, use a micro fiber cloth dipped in white vinegar or soapy water. Rub in the direction of the grain.

Pull out fridge, un-plug it and clean under it. Don’t forget about the kick plate area in the front and the coils in the back.

Wipe down sides of fridge and push back in place.

Wipe up the floor around fridge with a damp paper towel.

Wipe down items stored on top of frig with a damp paper towel or cloth and put back.

Put away cleaning supplies. 


Now you’ve got a spic and span refrigerator! Celebrate with a nice cold glass of tea or ice water. 


Recycle & Prep Shopping List:

Time to get rid of your discarded items from frig. Rinse and recycle all containers you can take time to add items to your grocery list as you go.

If you have plastic containers full of leftovers, run them down the garbage disposal and soak in a fresh batch of warm soapy water.  Wash and allow to air dry.


You're Done!

Ideally, you should give your fridge this deep cleaning once per month. At the very least, wipe down shelves and areas once a week to help keep sticky, smelly gunk at bay. 


Keep in touch:

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Please share in comments: What weekly chore prompt would you like to see me tackle? 

17 comments

Laura Powell-Corbett said...

Oven cleaning please!! X

Heather Serra said...

Great tips Linda! I use the night before garbage night to clean out the fridge so that I don't stink up the kitchen with everything in the trash. Having a clean fridge can definitely make you feel more like you have some order in the kitchen. Not to mention the sanitary upside! Thanks for sharing!

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the feedback! I'll put oven cleaning on my list of chore prompts to share. :)

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Heather,

Thank you! I like your night before garbage pick up idea. No making your own compost in the garbage can that way, right?

Jamie Tomkins said...

Great tips!! We try to do this every so often. Great family time and always fun to try and figure out what's in the Tupperware in the back corner!! ha/ha

Ginny Marie said...

I like to clean my fridge out before grocery shopping, too! It helps so much. I need to deep clean it more often, however! Great tips!

Pam said...

I so need to do this. My fridge is packed. There's no telling what is in there! But my problem is finding the time to set aside to do it right now.

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Jamie,

Opening a Tupperware container is a bold move when you don't know what's in it or how long that baby has been sitting in the fridge!

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Ginny Marie,

I am so glad you found my tips helpful!

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Pam.

More often than not, our fridge is packed too. As you can see by my share pic, the girls add to it daily. If they don't finish something, in the fridge it goes.

Daisy B said...

I love your tips. We need to clean our fridge because it is a bit of a mess. My husband defrosted a ziploc full of grapefruit, but there was a hole in the bag and it leaked all over. We did an initial cleaning pass, but really need to do a thorough cleaning.

Melanie Burbage said...

I think it's the one thing I forget to clean out too much. I need to start doing it much much more

Angie@Chasingmyhalo said...

I love this idea for a series! I can use all the help I can get. It's definetely a great feeling when the fridge is all clean:).

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Daisy,

Oh no! Defrosting is one of the easiest ways to get a yucky mess in your fridge!

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Melanie,

We do tend to stuff our fridges and forget about whats inside, until we need to find a place for something else.

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Angie,

Thank you for the positive feedback!

Sonya said...

Awesome new series! Thanks :)