How to deep clean your fridge

Regularly cleaning your fridge will prevent microbial growth, food spoilage and bacteria build up. Fridges can soon start to look messy and smell funny without consistent upkeep, so it's important you clean yours every few months.

'You should aim for a deep clean four times a year and when you have as little food in the fridge as possible,' says Joyce French, cleaning expert at 'Every night, wipe the fridge handles with soap and water to keep germs to a minimum. You can even create a rota for cleaning different parts of the fridge over the course of a month for interval deep cleaning.'

Wondering how to give your fridge that sparkling feel? Take a look at these five steps on how to clean a fridge...

Step 1: Empty your fridge

Start by emptying all your food from the fridge. Place everything into cool bags whilst you deep clean, including contents from drawers, doors and shelves. Sort through any expired items, especially those jars and sauces we often forget about.

'Any foods which carry a foul odour and jars which have been sitting there for a prolonged time such as jams and Nutella should be disposed of,' says Joyce.

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Step 2: Wash and rinse

Lukewarm soapy water is an effective way to clean fridge drawers, shelves and any storage boxes. Give everything a good clean using a soft cleaning sponge and place to air dry on the draining board (this reduces the risk of bacteria). Avoid using your dishwasher, as plastic can deform under a hot wash.

Joyce advises: 'With glass shelves, wait until they warm up to room temperature before washing them otherwise it can crack.'

Step 3: Clean the inside

With the shelves and drawers out, it's now time to give the inside of your fridge a deep clean. Instead of using harsh detergent sprays, mix up a natural vinegar spray using two parts water and one part white vinegar. Transfer into a spray bottle and use a microfibre cloth to target the ledges, walls, small cracks, and condensation trough.

How to deep clean your fridge

Don't forget the base of your fridge, which can become a breeding ground for crumbs and residue build up. Joyce suggests using a plastic scrubber and toothpaste to remove any hard-to-budge stains.


Step 4: Dust the fridge condenser coils

Dirty condenser coils forces a fridge to work harder, resulting in higher energy costs and reduced lifespan for your appliance. To keep it running smoothly, you should clean coils every six months to a year.

First, unplug your appliance and gently dust the condenser coils (they look like a metal grid and can be found running up the back of the appliance or on the bottom). Once you have dusted them, use a separate brush to clear away any remaining dirt from the coils. Then, place back and it will look as good as new.

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Step 5: Don't forget the exterior

Keep your fridge exterior sparkling clean by using a mild solution of soap and warm water. Give special attention to those areas which attract fingerprints, such as handles and ice dispensers. Ideally, this should be done around once a week to keep germs at bay.

Joyce adds: 'If your fridge is stainless steel, use professional stainless-steel cleaners and wipe in the direction of the grain and dry to prevent streaking.'

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