The refrigerator is one of the most important areas to focus on when you’re cleaning your kitchen. Housing both raw and cooked foods as well as drinks and condiments, it’s vital that the appliance is kept clean and hygienic to reduce the risk of food poisoning. However, cleaning the refrigerator isn’t quite as straightforward as cleaning other areas of the kitchen, and certain products shouldn’t be used to clean the fridge. However, fridge cleaning doesn’t need to be a daunting process, this guide explains what products are suitable for cleaning the fridge and some simple techniques to help you get the task done in no time!
Can I Use Ordinary Kitchen Cleaning Products?
Some kitchen cleaning products, such as gentle surface wipes that use natural citrus oils, are OK to use inside a refrigerator, but other products should be avoided. Kitchen cleaners can be very strong, containing many chemicals that kill common kitchen germs. However, these products should not come into contact, either directly or indirectly, with food; while you can rinse the products off the inside of the refrigerator, it’s simply not worth the risk of a lingering chemical residue that could cause contamination. Instead you can use your normal kitchen dishwashing liquid, like Lux Sunlight, and some warm water to wipe the insides of your fridge and soak the drawers. Always follow the instructions on the label of any cleaning product.
Is Disinfectant OK to Use in the Fridge?
Disinfectants – like bleach – should never be used inside refrigerators. As with other kitchen cleaning products, any disinfectant that comes into contact with food could make people ill because of the strong chemicals they contain. Stick to specially formulated products that are safe to use inside a fridge, or opt for natural cleaners instead.
Are Natural Products Useful?
Natural products can be very useful when cleaning a refrigerator, and they are safe ways to keep the appliance clean and hygienic. Regular baking soda can be great for removing stains and absorbing bad odours, while white vinegar is good for cleaning any stainless steel elements, including refrigerator doors if you have a stainless steel model. Just remember to test on a small area first to check there are no adverse effects.
What are the Best Cleaning Methods?
Once you have all your kitchen cleaning products to hand (remember: no disinfectant!), it’s time to consider how to tackle the refrigerator. Here are some handy methods:
- It may seem obvious, but remove all food before starting. Even if you’re only using natural products, you don’t want to be reaching around objects. Having an empty fridge makes the process so much easier, and removes the possibility of contamination.
- Take out all removable parts, such as shelves and drawers. Fill a basin with warm water and regular dishwashing soap and leave these parts to soak before wiping and rinsing.
- Wipe all surface areas either with commercial wipes, or with a combination of dishwashing soap and warm water. Use a microfibre cloth or a good quality sponge – these cleaning tools will not fall apart and leave little particles behind in the fridge.
- For stubborn stains, mix a small amount of baking soda with a little water to produce a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain and leave for an hour before wiping with a damp sponge or cloth. The baking soda should loosen the stain, making it easy to wipe away.
What are Some Simple Preventative Measures?
To reduce the hassle when kitchen-cleaning time rolls around, there are a number of quick and easy ways to maintain the cleanliness of your refrigerator on a day-to-day basis.
- Be sure to regularly check through the products in the refrigerator and throw out anything that out of date. Mouldy foods can contaminate other items, so bin them!
- Clean up any spills as soon as possible. Spills can drip onto other foods, and can cause bad smells – especially if a bottle of milk leaks.
- Keep a small plastic box filled with baking soda at the bottom of your fridge. This baking soda will absorb any strong odours!