186-clean-fridgeEver wonder what that smell is when you open the refrigerator, how it got so packed with food so quickly, or what the sticky stuff on the bottom of the mayonnaise jar is? Cleaning a refrigerator can sometimes get behind schedule, or feel like a never ending chore, but it’ll keep your fridge from harboring harmful bacteria.

Here’s how it’s done

Of course, the frequency to which you clean your fridge will depend heavily on how you use it, but according to Martha Stewart, these maintenance tips will keep your refrigerator in tip-top shape:

Daily: Get rid of spoiled items, wipe up spills and make sure jars, lids and other items going into the fridge are clean.  As you place items in the fridge to defrost (or items that may leak), make sure they’re in a rimmed bowl.

Weekly: Wipe down the outside of the fridge – doors, top, sides and handles with mild soap and a damp cloth.

Seasonally: Give the interior of the fridge a thorough cleaning after placing all food items in a cooler.  Turn off the power to the fridge safely and allow glass shelves and drawers to get to room temperature before washing them.  When wiping down the interior of the fridge, avoid scented soaps.  Instead, use a homemade solution of baking soda and water (2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart hot water).

Find more tips for periodic cleaning and eliminating odors here: How to Keep the Refrigerator Clean – Checklist.

Additional tips:

  • Adding a box of baking soda will work wonders for eliminating odors in the refrigerator.
  • Dust the coils and the back every few months, and check the drip pan.
  • Another homemade cleaning solution you can use is a vinegar and water mixture (1 gallon of water to every 2 cups of vinegar).

Keeping your fridge clean will help keep away harmful bacteria that can contaminate your food and make you sick, so make sure you keep up with the chore.

Learn more about other germ-infested kitchen areas here:  The Naughty List of Germs – Kitchen Contenders.