How to Deep Clean and Organise Your Refrigerator
The refrigerator is an integral part of your kitchen. In fact, it's one of your main kitchen zones, where lots of storage takes place. Your refrigerator takes a beating from being plugged in all the time and being opened and closed numerous times. It is a good target for bacteria and other health risks caused by food spoilage, uncleaned crumbs, spills, and other nasty stuff we might not notice.
The fact that you are here means you want to restore your fridge's cleanliness and free more space for new items. Here are some easy and doable tips you can follow to deep clean your refrigerator.
Buying a refrigerator in Singapore? Check out our buying guide to help you get started.
Empty Your Refrigerator
Take out all the contents of your refrigerator, including those in the freezer, to give you enough space to clean your interior. Put them in clean containers and place them on your countertops or dining table for easy access after the deep cleaning process. Use a cooler for frozen foods or items you can't leave in warm places. Dedicate a container for wet items or drinks with bottom or side drips to prevent direct contact with your wooden table.
After taking out the food, remove shelves, trays, and removable drawers to clean them thoroughly. This will make it easier to reach the main fridge and deep clean the drawers.
Toss Away Expired Items
Forgetting expired or rotten food inside the fridge happens to the best of us. While deep cleaning your refrigerator, you have the chance to check the labels and throw away inedible items, including condiments and beverages. We recommend partitioning your table into two parts: one for items you need to toss out and the other for expired food and broken containers. To prevent the smell from spreading in your kitchen, use a closed trash can and empty it after cleaning everything.
Before taking the food back to the fridge, be sure to label items, especially those with a shorter shelf life or those that will expire sooner.
Wash and Clean Shelves and Drawers
Clean your removable shelves, drawers, crispers, and other fridge containers using dish soap and warm water (except for glassware). Gently scrub and clean the surfaces, and target the unreachable corners where most drips and dirt build up. If there are too many stubborn stains and sticky dirt, soak the shelves first to melt them before scrubbing them. After washing, dry the items on a clean surface, preferably a dry cloth, before reassembling them in the fridge.
Clean Your Refrigerator’s Interior
After cleaning the parts, it's now time to tackle the major appliance. Be sure that your refrigerator is unplugged before cleaning. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe the fridge's walls, surfaces, and built-in features. You may need to examine the interior further to remove stains, crumbs, and food scraps. Take time to deep clean stubborn stains to prevent contamination and unnecessary odours.
Remember that the fridge is a place to store foods, so you have to carefully choose the cleaning solutions you use. Make sure to remove all solution residues before bringing the food items back to their shelves. Don’t forget to clean the exterior too, including the door and handles.
Due to the mix of food and unremoved debris, your refrigerator is prone to accumulating foul odours. Thankfully, you don't need to use harsh chemicals to fight the pungent smell of your fridge. Use baking soda to absorb the smell. It's good to double-check your interior to make sure there are no more underlying sources of smell. If you think the odour does not come from the inside, you may check the back of your refrigerator to see if there are liquid buildups on the evaporator coils. Again, make sure your fridge is unplugged before doing this process.
Bring in Your Food Supplies
After cleaning and wiping your shelves and surfaces, you can now rearrange your food supplies in the fridge. Place your food in designated zones to avoid spoilage, melting, and spilling. Here are some practical ways you can organise your refrigerator:
- Store cooked, ready-to-eat, and raw foods separately to avoid contamination.
- Ready-to-eat items are positioned on upper shelves for easy access.
- Meat and raw items shall be on lower shelves to prevent dripping.
- Use plastic refrigerator containers to store pre-cut foods that are ready for consumption. Make sure to label everything, including the expiration dates.
- Keep fresh foods away from the colder parts of the refrigerator, especially the back regions, to prevent freezing. Put dairy products like butter on the cooler parts instead.
- Do not store milk on your fridge door.
- Do not store freshly cooked foods in the fridge. Let them cool down before storing.
- Fill your fridge to utilise its full efficiency, but do not overfill to the point of blocking air vents with food.
- Use baskets, trays, and bins to group your items.
- Convert your lazy susan into a fridge turntable to better access hard-to-reach items like condiments.
- Use kitchen containers with a lid if you have to restore unsealed food.
- Set aside a day in your week for cleaning and decluttering.
- Discard all expired and mouldy food immediately. Check if the mouldy food touches other items to avoid further contamination.
- Buy only what you can consume to prevent wasting food.
Check out these kitchen and refrigerator organisers online that we love:
Store your beverages or snacks easily with this accessible storage box. It has a strong and easy-to-open front lid, so you won't have to take the whole thing out when getting your beverages.
Keep various food items, spices, and snacks inside clear, secured containers. These storage jars come in various sizes, so you can choose what works for your fridge.
Easy to store and clean, this silicon food jar is lightweight and dependable.
This airtight refrigerator container is extremely dependable in terms of food security. It can be easily stacked, perfect for space-saving.
Ideal for both low and high-temperature, this hardworking fridge container is perfect for storing cooked items. It is dishwasher safe and comes in different sizes.
Check out our list of the best new refrigerators in Singapore and discover what's best for your lovely kitchen.
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