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All You Need To Know About Fridge Cleaning

7 July, 2020

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All You Need To Know About Fridge Cleaning   

The refrigerator into which we keep tucking fruits, vegetables, eggs, leftover foods and a lot of stuff, is perhaps the most ignored when it comes to cleaning. Unlike all other things and places we see around us that become dirty and prompt us to clean, the fridge is slightly different. At times, you may see the stains of something spilt, or a little bit of dirt lying here and there. But most often, there is something more dangerous that we cannot see. The bacteria like salmonella, listeria, and E.coli breed within the cold confines of the fridge, and are not visible to the naked eye.

Hygiene was always important and more so now, in the times of pandemic; not just to keep yourself healthy, but also because it is increasingly becoming difficult to seek timely medical help. So, the one way that we can adopt to keep ourselves healthy is to eat healthily and build up our immunity, exercise regularly and of course, ensure the cleanliness of our house and all appliances that we use. The refrigerator is the most important one, as our eatables are stored in there.

General tip

One important aspect of hygiene for the refrigerator is the odour because of the variety of eatables kept in one place. You could avoid the odour by keeping a half-cut lemon, if possible by also sticking two cloves in it, in any part of the fridge. A small bowl of baking soda can also be used for the same purpose. You need to keep changing this, periodically as well.

Also avoid putting any hot food directly into the fridge, as that helps breed the bacteria. Food needs to be cooled down before refrigerating. Keep a track of what is being stuffed into the freezer compartment. Most often, we forget what has been stored, and keeping food in the freezer for long periods before consuming is also not advisable. Perhaps, you could stick a Post-it to remind yourself of what it contains.

Temperature is another consideration that can help keep the fridge bacteria-free, and it should ideally be at around 4°C. For the freezer, the temperature should be kept under -10°C. This will prevent the growth of any harmful microorganisms.

How often should the fridge be cleaned?

Ideally, the fridge should be cleaned every month; however, if you are stuck badly, you should at least make it a point to clean it once every two months. This is important since we accidentally spill stuff and most often, do not wipe it immediately. This not just leaves a stain, but also breeds harmful bacteria. The vegetable and fruit basket also starts accumulating some dust and dirt. The shelves will also slowly build up stains and bacteria as we use some bottles and jars and sometimes, the contents drip out. Hence, one day a month ideally should be marked out for fridge cleaning.

How to clean the fridge?

In order to clean the fridge, it is important to first empty it fully. Remove all contents and also all containers that can be pulled out. Turn off the fridge, if possible as that is the best way to go about it. Gently clean the surfaces with a soft cloth/cleaner/microfiber towel dipped in warm soapy water. You may have to apply force and scrub a little if there are stubborn stains. 

You could apply little soapy water and leave it for a few minutes if required. But, it is not good to use any other scrubber other than the cleaning cloth as it could leave a mark, or even damage the surfaces. Lightly wash the shelves, and wipe them clean; you could use a dry cloth to wipe them dry at the end. Wash all removed containers outside in the sink, in a similar way and dry them, before putting them back. 

Freezer care

The freezer also needs some special care as we preserve some food in it. The ice trays should be emptied and refilled regularly. The vents should be cleaned and the shelves should be wiped off any spills. The freezer compartment can also be cleaned by wiping with hot soapy water and then wiping it dry. You could even use a baking soda and water or a vinegar solution to clean the freezer. Make sure that the compartment is fully pat dried before re-stocking it.


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