Your refrigerator is the pillar of your kitchen; it stores fresh ingredients and preserves leftovers for your quick dinners. Thanks to the fridge, everything you need for cooking is at the reach of your hand, which is why you should always take care of this essential kitchen appliance.
Whenever you run into lingering smells and food splatters, cleaning is mandatory. If you want to keep your refrigerator spotless without spending a lot, you can clean it with vinegar—in just six steps!
Step 1: Empty your fridge
Store your food inside containers and keep them fresh in coolers. Then, dismount the drawers and shelving from the fridge doors and wash them with dish soap and water in the sink. This step also allows you to sort your items and throw away whatever has expired.
Step 2: Unplug the fridge
There’s no need to waste power when cleaning your fridge, so you should unplug it. If you can’t reach the cord, turn off the circuit breaker that feeds power to the refrigerator. While the freezer thaws and becomes easier to work with, start with the fridge portion.
Step 3: Use white vinegar with water
The classic cleaning agent is made by mixing 50-50 white vinegar with warm water, so it’s still strong, and the smell won’t be a problem since it dissipates quickly. You can be very generous in spraying white vinegar solution over the inner surfaces of the fridge. Then, wipe the surfaces with a dry clean cloth.
Extra step: Scrub gunk off with baking soda
Baking soda is a powerful cleaning agent that helps remove strong odors and dissolves dirt. For rather difficult stains and hard food residue, make a paste by adding water to baking soda. Apply the paste on stains and remove them with a scrubbing pad or an old toothbrush.
Step 4: Clean the outside of the refrigerator
Depending on the design, you might have a glass panel on the front of the fridge. Don’t worry about using vinegar; it shouldn’t damage it; however, some fridges have letters and icons printed on the panel, so it doesn’t hurt to spot-test first.
To clean the rest of the fridge, wipe it carefully. Also, scrub in the direction of the grain if you own a stainless steel appliance. You can dry the surfaces with a clean cloth.
Step 5: Reassemble the fridge
Once the trays and shelves from the fridge are dry, put them back inside. Take this moment to inspect your containers, especially jars. If needed, clean the residue to prevent further mess.
Step 6: Keep odors at bay
The job is not over until you deodorize the fridge and prevent unpleasant smells. To trap any odors down the line, put a bowl of vinegar inside the refrigerator. Now you can enjoy your meals without worrying about the smell!
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