What is that horrible smell wafting through your kitchen? Is it the garbage disposal? Have you forgotten to take the trash out?
Or is it the fridge?
Your suspicions are confirmed when you find a bunch of moldy containers sitting in the back. You don’t even remember when you bought that sour cream and the shelves are sticky from leaking bags of veggies.
Gross! How do you stop your refrigerator from getting to this point? We might be able to help you out with that.
Try out these fridge cleaning hacks to keep your refrigerator sparkling clean and working like the well-oiled machine that it is.
1. Clean Spills When They Happen
If something in your fridge spills, you can most likely wipe it up with a little bit of soap and water. No big deal, no harm done. If you let it sit for a while, however, things get a little more complicated.
You’ll have to spray a harsh chemical on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. That’s not something you want near your food. Even with a bit of soaking, sticky substances are a pain to get rid of.
It’s better to go ahead and tackle spills as soon as they happen if you can help it. If you’re worried that you won’t catch the spills in time or you’re not in the habit of looking for them, you can line your shelves with cling wrap.
It might not look that great, but you’ll be able to pull the plastic up when something spills and replace it. It’s so much easier.
2. Don’t Use Detergent
You can use soap to clean your shelves as long as it’s scentless. Otherwise, the food in your fridge will absorb the fumes and end up tasting like it. Instead, use hot water and baking soda to tackle the job.
For more stubborn stains, you can make your own homemade cleaner. Combine a cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of baking soda in a gallon of water.
It acts as a natural degreaser that will lift most stains off the shelves. It will keep mold and mildew out of the fridge and it will absorb any bad smells without making your leftover spaghetti taste like oranges.
3. Tackle the Door Seal with a Butter Knife
Refrigerator cleaning doesn’t end at wiping down shelves. If your door seal is dirty, the fridge won’t shut the way it should. This will cause it to use way more power than necessary to keep your food cool.
You can use soap and warm water to clean the seal, but that will only do so much. You need to really dig down deep into the crevices. A butter knife should suit your needs.
When you do this, make sure you don’t press down too hard with the knife. You want to get rid of dirt and debris, not damage the plastic.
4. Try Using a Lazy Susan
Most people keep their condiments in their fridge door, but there comes a time when that gets full and you have to place your ketchup bottles on a shelf. This is all well and good until it gets pushed to the back.
You block it with leftover containers to the point where it becomes forgotten and goes bad. At least you’re faced with old ketchup and not moldy sour cream. Still, it can cause an odor.
To prevent this from happening, pick up a Lazy Susan. Place it in the fridge and use it to house all your condiments. This way, they all have a designated space and don’t go to waste.
5. Tackle Odors
If fridges are notorious for one thing, it’s odors. Bad smells can waft through your kitchen even if you don’t have a bunch of moldy food that you need to clean out. Baking soda will absorb some of these nasty smells, but it’s not the best thing you could use.
Activated carbon or charcoal works much better. All you have to do is place it in a clean sock, tie it off, and throw it in the back of the refrigerator. It will keep things odor-free for at least a month.
You can also place a bunch of cotton balls in a container and douse them with vanilla extract (orange if you don’t like the smell of vanilla), or buy a fridge air filter.
6. Plan Your Refrigerator Cleanings Around Your Grocery Shopping
This is probably the most important cleaning fridge hack on this list. Don’t wait until you have a car full of new groceries to clean out the refrigerator. Do it before you leave.
For one, you don’t want your perishable goods sitting out on a counter while you try to scrub sticky substances off your shelves. For two, it will give you a better idea of what you need to add to your shopping list.
7. Keep the Condenser Coils Clean
If your condenser coils are coated in dirt, your fridge won’t be able to run as well as it should. That’s why you need to learn how to clean your refrigerator coils.
Unplug the machine and take a coil brush to them. Once things look mostly dust-free, grab your vacuum and use the hose attachment to finish the job.
Keep Your Kitchen Smelling Great with These Fridge Cleaning Hacks
Are you getting tired of the nasty smells coming out of your refrigerator? It’s not so hard to keep things clean. All you need is warm water, a little soap, and the motivation to toss out moldy containers.
If these fridge cleaning hacks don’t kick smells to the curb, you can use activated carbon or baking soda to absorb them. For more ways to make your home shine, check out the Home Improvement section of our blog for further scrubbing tips.