How to Deep Clean Your Refrigerator | The Ultimate DIY Guide

Hometalk Highlights
by Hometalk Highlights

You know that satisfying feeling when you open your fridge and everything is perfectly clean, fresh, and organized? No mysterious sticky spots or suspicious odors wafting out at you? Yeah, I was craving that.

It all started when I opened the fridge one morning and was greeted by a faintly dubious smell and a splatter of what I can only assume was last week’s spaghetti sauce. It was a sign – the fridge was calling out for a deep clean.

So, I thought I would share how I clean my refrigerator and encourage you to join me in giving yours a good clean out.

Ready to get started? Let’s do this!

Tools and Materials:

Hometalk may receive a small affiliate commission from purchases made via Amazon links in this article but at no cost to you.

1. Unplug and Clean the Coils

First things first, unplug the fridge. Safety first, friends!

If you haven't cleaned your condenser coils recently, it's time to give them some love.

I had done this recently, so I skipped this step. But if it's been a while for you, locate those coils and use a coil brush to sweep away the dirt, then vacuum it all up.

Empty your fridge completely before starting

Hometalk Recommends!

Organize your fridge with these highly recommended fridge storage and organization bins that Amazon reviewers swear by!

2. Empty the Fridge

Time to take everything out!

Remove all food items and set them aside. This is the perfect moment to toss anything that's seen better days.

Bye-bye, expired condiments!

How to deep clean a refrigerator step by step

3. Remove and Clean Shelves and Drawers

Take out any removable shelves and drawers.

DIY refrigerator cleaning with natural ingredients

Let them sit and reach room temperature.

We're going to be dunking them in a bath of soapy warm water, and to avoid any cracks, it's best to let them “thaw” first.

How to clean fridge with homemade solutions

Fill your tub with warm water and add some dish soap.

Soak the refrigerator drawers and shelves in warm soapy water

Place your drawers, shelves, and any other kitchen baskets in the tub, giving them a good soak for at least 10-15 minutes.

This will give you the perfect amount of time to tackle the interior of the fridge.

Deep cleaning fridge with rubbing alcohol, vinegar and dish soap

Vinegar Tip

I love to infuse my vinegar with citrus peels. The citrus not only diminishes the strong scent of vinegar but also adds an extra boost of cleaning power. All you need to do is pour vinegar into a glass jar, add the peels of an orange, lime, or lemon, and let it sit at the back of a cupboard for two weeks. After that, you have a wonderfully fresh-smelling vinegar perfect for cleaning and laundry.

4. Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Let’s mix our magic potion!

Combine 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and warm water in a spray bottle.

Add a few drops of dish soap and give it a good shake.

This concoction will cut through tough stains, eliminate grease, and disinfect.

Best cleaning solutions for fridge interior

5. Clean Fridge Interior

Starting at the top, spray the back and side walls and any fixed-in-place shelving.

Use a cloth to scrub any stubborn food residue and follow up with a paper towel to wipe away excess spray.

For those tricky crevices, grab an old toothbrush. Pay special attention to the drawer tracks and door pockets. And don’t forget the door seal – be gentle!

How to keep fridge clean and organized

6. Rinse the Drawers and Shelves

Now, head back to your tub and give those shelves, drawers, and baskets a good scrub, then drain the water.

Place tension rods across the bath

For efficient rinsing and drying, I use tension rods.

Place them parallel to each other across the bath.

Easy steps to clean fridge shelves and drawers

Next, set your shelves and drawers on top of the rods and use a hand shower to rinse everything off.

The best way to deep clean your fridge

Once rinsed thoroughly, let everything sit on the tension rods to dry off.

Clean fridge without harsh chemicals

7. Clean the Exterior

Now for the outside!

Spray your rubbing alcohol solution onto the exterior surfaces and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Focus on those door handles – they can get pretty grimy.

Clean and shiny fridge

8. Replace Shelves and Drawers

Once everything is dry, put the shelves and drawers back in place.

Cleaning your fridge with rubbing alcohol

To give them an extra boost, I like to wipe some rubbing alcohol over everything once they're back in the fridge. This ensures any lurking bacteria or grime is completely removed.

Easy and effective refrigerator cleaning method

9. Plug In and Refill the Fridge

Plug the refrigerator back in and start placing your food items back inside, organizing as you go.

More Cleaning and Organizing Inspiration

Check out this Pantry Organization post to find out how to keep your pantry neat and tidy!

How to Deep Clean a Refrigerator

Voilà! Your fridge is now spotless, organized, and ready to keep your food fresh and safe. Doesn't it feel fantastic to have everything so tidy?

Now that your fridge is in top shape, maintaining it will be a breeze. Remember to give it a quick wipe down regularly to keep it looking this good.

Share your before and after fridge cleaning photos in the comments – we can't wait to see your results!

Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Ellen Ellen on Jun 30, 2024
    "To give them an extra boost, I like to wipe some rubbing alcohol over everything once they're back in the fridge. This ensures any lurking bacteria or grime is completely removed." Wouldn't you do this BEFORE placing back in the frig?
Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Laura Laura on Jun 27, 2024
    Just so happen I’m cleaning, organizing & de-cluttering the Apartment. Started in the kitchen & refrigerator is tomorrow. The mixture of vinegar & alcohol is new to me. Will try. Thanks for sharing!!🥰