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Cleaning the Refrigerator

Publication Number: IS1984
View as PDF: IS1984.pdf

Clean & Healthy Housing

Avoid mold, pests, and germs by keeping your refrigerator clean.

All refrigerators are different. If you have the manual that came with your refrigerator, read it and follow the instructions. If not, these tips may be helpful.

Clean the refrigerator and freezer sections separately.

Open refrigerator
Cleaning supplies:
Soft cloth
Baking soda

Clean Refrigerator Inside

Remove all foods from the refrigerator.

Throw away spoiled food and out-of-date products.

Tray of foodRemove shelves and drawers.

Soak food dried inside the refrigerator with water or a wet towel for a few minutes.

Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to 1 quart of warm water.

Wipe down the interior walls with a soft cloth dipped in the baking soda solution.

PanDo not use detergent or soap. They may leave an odor.

Wash drawers and shelves.

Replace shelves, drawers, and food.

Leaving an open box of baking soda inside the refrigerator can help absorb odors.


WipingClean Freezer Inside

Remove all food and ice trays from the freezer.

Keep them in a box, ice chest, or close together to keep them cold and prevent thawing.

Throw out spoiled or out-of-date foods.

Trash canWipe walls, shelves, and drawers with a soft cloth or sponge.

Replace food and ice trays.


Cleaning outside of refrigeratorCleaning Outside

Prepare a bowl with warm, mild, soapy water.

Wash the rubber gasket around the door.

Wash the exterior with soapy water.

Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean, soft cloth.

Occasionally vacuum or clean the coils under or behind the refrigerator to remove dust.

Information Sheet 1984 (POD-04-17)

Distributed by David Buys, PhD, MSPH, Extension State Health Specialist, Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion. Written by Dr. Bobbie Shaffett, retired Extension Professor, Human Sciences.

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