Did you know that refrigerators and freezers can host a plethora of harmful bacteria? Listeria, salmonella, e. coli, and even mold lurk in fridges, risking the health of you and your family.
If you don’t know how to clean a freezer the right way, now’s the time to learn. Read on to find out how to keep your refrigerator and freezer clean and have a happier, healthier you.
1. How to Clean a Freezer and Fridge: Prepare for a Deep Clean
Fill your sink with hot soapy water and grab antibacterial soap, disinfectant, sponges, and microfiber towels. Grab some coolers or cooler bags and load all of your food items into them. Pour ice from the freezer ice trays into the coolers and allow the ice tray to soak in the sink – now you’re ready to deep clean!
2. Remove Debris Build-Ip
Prepare a bucket of hot water and antibacterial soap to wipe down your fridge. Start from the top and move your way to the bottom to collect crumbs, then remove the shelves and bins from the fridge and freezer for additional cleaning.
3. Soak Shelves and Bins
Even with proper refrigeration, vegetables and meats have a tendency to leak, causing sticky stains and bacterial growth in your fridge. Spray every bin and shelf down with disinfectant, then soak and scrub them until all debris and stains are removed. Rinse them off and set them aside to dry.
4. Wipe Down Surfaces
While your trays and bins are drying, go back through your fridge and freezer and remove any additional debris, such as crumbs stuck on the racks and stickier substances. Be sure to check the outside of your fridge to make sure you’ve cleaned any exterior splashes or debris.
5. Sanitize and Dry
Make sure all bins and shelves are sanitized and soap-free before placing them back into the fridge. To reduce bacteria and mold growth, ensure everything (including the walls) are completely dry before putting food items back. You can speed up the process by using a dry microfiber towel to dry any damp areas.
6. Assess and Organize
Plug your refrigeration system back and allow it to cool down slightly. While it’s cooling, go through the food you removed from the fridge. Check the expiration date of items and throw out anything that’s questionable – a good rule of thumb is when in doubt, throw it out.
Remove any sticky substances from containers and jars by rinsing them off with hot soapy water, or by wiping them down with a hot washcloth. When replacing these items back into the fridge and freezer, make sure your food items are placed strategically to prevent food contamination. If you’re looking for ways to make your fridge more sightly, check out this guide to organizing your fridge.
7. Set Cleaner Practices
Take a few extra steps to make sure your fridge is clean from now until the next cleaning session. Start with your ice tray. Ice can also host harmful substances, so it’s best to start your clean refrigeration system off with a new batch.
You’ll also want to check your fridge and freezer temperatures. The FDA recommends that refrigerator temperatures stay at 40 degrees (F) and freezers at 0 degrees (F).
Want to add additional zing to your fridge? To keep odors at bay, add a box of fresh baking soda to your fridge. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to a cotton ball and place that in your fridge, or wipe the interior walls with a dash of essential oil for a fresher fridge scent.
Set a Date
Now that you know how to clean a freezer and refrigerator, you’re well-equipped to clean your fridge and freezer. We recommend that you clean your fridge once a month to keep bacteria at bay, so mark your calendar for your next refrigeration system cleaning session.
If you’d rather not go through the ordeal of cleaning your fridge each month, we understand! As professional cleaners, we can deep clean your fridge (and home) quickly at a time that’s convenient for you. Contact us today to get a free quote or schedule services.