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How to clean a refrigerator?

We all like it when the fridge is clean inside, outside and doesn't stink. But since cleaning a fridge is not the most pleasant and quickest thing to do, sometimes we start it up. And sometimes there are emergency cases when there is a persistent smell of rotten or mildew due to spoiled food or long downtime of the fridge.

The fridge and freezer are the household appliances that are most commonly used in the kitchen. Washing these appliances is firstly important for your health, and secondly, it ensures proper operation and long service life of the appliances.

Let's start with external surfaces: you can use degreasing agents to wash metal surfaces. If you have a built-in refrigerator, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning the furniture into which the refrigerator is built.

A little bit about prevention

How often should the fridge be washed? In addition to daily food checks and wiping the walls of the refrigerator, you also need to do more extensive cleaning periodically. Here are recommended actions by RefrigeratorFAQ.com:

  • It is optimal to take care of your fridge without defrosting it once a week – you should wipe it from the outside and inside, including the rubber seal, throw out everything that has accumulated during the week;
  • Ideally, the refrigerator should be completely defrosted once a month, so that no ice is formed in the freezer to reduce efficiency and no unpleasant odours are created in the refrigerator. However, if you are not a perfectionist, and your fridge works properly and even has the function of know-frost, then one cleaning per quarter will be enough.

Capital cleaning in 7 steps

So, how do you clean the fridge properly?

1. Empty the fridge and do a revision. Anything that has stale and spoiled – throw it away, and put perishable and frozen food in a container, and then put it in a cool and dark place or in a bowl with cold water and ice. Tins and food in packages that you also want to wipe, take to the side of the sink.

2. Defrost the refrigerator by first adjusting the temperature to zero and then disconnecting it from the mains. Leave the doors of the refrigerator and freezer open. Defrosting usually lasts 3 to 10 hours. How quickly can I defrost my refrigerator? The following methods will help to speed up the defrost process:

  • Place a small pot of boiling water in an empty fridge and close the door. Once the water has cooled down, drain it and fill the pot again with boiling water. Repeat this procedure until the freezer has defrosted;
  • cut a small hole in the cap of the plastic bottle and fill the bottle itself with boiling water, then spray-paint it well to help it defrost and crumble more quickly.

3. Next, wash the shelves, containers and… dirty packed products. While the freezer is defrosting, remove all shelves, containers and side racks and put them near the sink or in the bathroom.

If there is a dishwasher, you can wash some of it by removing the top two tiers in the PMM. If there is no dishwasher, and the dirt is not too dirty, you can wash everything by hand with a sponge, brushes, hot water and detergent, and then leave it to dry. If there are dirty jars of jam and pickles, bottles, some products in boxes, etc., it is better to wipe them clean too.

4. We clean the condenser behind the fridge from dust. You can do this with a vacuum cleaner or a long, narrow brush.

5. After the fridge has defrosted, we start washing the fridge inside. But first, you need to drain the melt water from the pallet, if it has accumulated a lot (if there was little ice, you can not do it, because the water itself will evaporate over time).

  • Washing should be started from top to bottom, paying special attention to the far walls, corners and recesses.
  • Be sure to clean and disinfect the drain hole on the back wall of the camera (photo on the right) – it is often the source of unpleasant smell in the refrigerator. For this purpose, you can pour the cleaning solution directly into the drain with a medical pear or syringe.
  • The last thing to do is to clean the rubber seal with an old toothbrush and then dry the chamber. It is better to leave the door open until the refrigerator walls are completely dry.

Refrigerator care products can and should be cooked at home, and for convenience, you can pour homemade solutions into the atomizer.

  • Recipe for soda solution: we prepare the product at the rate of 2 tbsp per 1 liter of water. You will need approximately 5 litres of water to wash your fridge. We wash the entire chamber with the solution and then remove the remainder of the soda itself with a clean cloth;
  • Recipe for a vinegar-based product: make a solution at the rate of 2 tbsp per 1 liter of water, then wipe the entire chamber.


  • Do not wipe rubber gaskets with acetic solution, as this will cause them to dry out and spoil;
  • In order to eliminate the smell in the new refrigerator, acetic solution is more suitable.

How to remove unpleasant odours in your fridge is described in more detail below.

6. Now my fridge is outside. You can do it with the same solution.

7. Return all the shelves and containers, store all the food and turn on the fridge.

It is important that all crates, cans, bottles, bags and boxes are dry – there is no need to encourage the formation of a new layer of ice in the freezer and raise the humidity level in the refrigerator compartment.

8. folk ways to get rid of the smell in the fridge.

To eliminate the unpleasant smell in the fridge, you can buy a ready-made smell absorber, which is sold in any household chemicals store or make such a tool at home.

To remove foreign smells of mold, stale fish, meat, onions, etc. need:

  1. Wash the chamber with a solution of wine vinegar and water (suitable for removing strong odours);
  2. Cut slices of black bread, place it on the shelves and close the fridge for a day;
  3. Put a saucer with active charcoal tablets on the shelf (you can tie it in a gauze bag);
  4. Place 2 halves of cut lemon in the fridge;
  5. Put a gauze bag of sugar or rice in the cell;
  6. Arrange tea bags or gauze sacks with loose black tea on the shelves;
  7. Pour into a glass of soda and place it on a shelf of a fridge;
  8. To quickly remove the unpleasant smell in the fridge, pour vanilla extract into a glass or on a saucer and place it in the fridge.