How To Clean Your Refrigerator

I usually clean out our refrigerator once a week. I discard old food (although there is not usually much of that) and wipe down any spills or crumbs. This takes less than 10 minutes if I keep it up and leaves our fridge looking clean at all times.

Once a month I like to give the fridge more of a deep cleaning. I remove everything and give the whole fridge a good wipe down with warm, soapy water.

Today was my fridge cleaning day, so I thought I would share with you exactly how I clean it.

Remove Everything

The very first thing that I do is take every single item out of the fridge. This includes all food items, containers and even the shelves and storage drawer.

Purge & Clean

Then I go through all of the food and get rid of items that have expired or that we simply did not like.

I wipe down all of the jars and containers to make sure that they are all clean as well.

Cleaning Time

Cleaning the actual refrigerator comes next. I use a very simple homemade cleaning solution.

Cleaning Solution:
– 1/4 cup baking soda
– 4 cups warm water
– Splash of dish soap

I tackle the inside of the fridge first. I wipe down the door and then the back of the fridge.

Note: Don’t mind how weird my body looks in this photo. My head is not usually so tiny compared to the rest of my body. It’s the angle, I swear!

Shelves & Drawer

Cleaning the shelves comes next. I just give them a quick wipe with the cleaning solution and then dry them with a dry cloth. If there is stuff stuck to them, I will use an old toothbrush to scrub it off.

Cleaning the drawer is pretty easy. I just give it a good wipe and then rinse it out.

Put It Back

I put the shelves and drawer back into the fridge and then all of the food goes in as well.

I try to keep like items together so that they are easy to find when I go looking for them.

This is how I organize our fridge:

Top Shelf: Beverages (excluding cans), Food in Containers (yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc.)
Second Shelf: Eggs, Fruit & Vegetables (in the container)
Third Shelf: Leftovers, Miscellaneous Items, Meat
Drawer: Butter (excluding one brick, which is in the door), Cheese
Door: Condiments, Canned Beverages, Butter (in the butter dish)

This is what our organized refrigerator looks like after a good monthly cleaning:

Having a clean and organized refrigerator is essential to eating what you buy and saving money.

How many times have you found something at the back of your fridge that you forgot you had purchased? Have you ever bought something (such as sour cream), thinking you were all out, only to find that you weren’t all out – the item was simply hidden behind something? If so, you need to clean out your refrigerator more often.

Make this task part of your weekly routine (the day before you purchase groceries is a good time) so that it always gets done. If you stay on top of it, this is rarely a chore that takes more than a few minutes to do.

How often do you do a deep cleaning of your refrigerator?

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  1. Lori says:

    Genius idea using the basket in the fridge! I like it (:

  2. Susan says:

    I love reading all your tips for organizing your stuff around the house! It always reminds me to do the same! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. teachermum says:

    Alternate method: rejoice, quietly, when your dd accidentally knocks over the milk jug in the back of the fridge so must clean most of it out!!! Yes, doing it more often sure helps. I do wish they would make enough crispers in fridges to accomodate all the servings of fruit/veg you are expected to eat…

    It looks so funny to see such an empty fridge to me though!!! Mine seems twice as big and 4 times as full–some days I can’t find a place for my leftover Timmies to save for the next day!


  4. Heather says:

    Basket in the fridge = best idea ever. good thing I’m going to Dollarama tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚ We just moved in to a rental 3 weeks ago and the fridge didnt work when we moved in. It was a nice big one too, but…the landlord replaced it with a teeny tiny one. We buy groceries for 5 (sometimes 6!) people, and it’s just not cutting it. Baskets will help big time! thanks!

  5. Tabatha M says:

    Wow! you are ridiculously organized! Sadly, i only clean my fridge when I open it one day and realize….OMG…. it really needs to be cleaned…bad. I like the basket idea though.

  6. su says:

    you may want to put the meat on the top shelf, as it’s the coldest part of the fridge (under the freezer) ๐Ÿ™‚
    ……love the basket idea.

  7. Theresa says:

    Gotta agree with Tabatha. I only clean it when I am tremendously energetic or know my mom might be coming by. So abut twice a year!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Me Again! says:

    Oh, Cassie, you exhaust me…..! Yes, I know, I need to clean mine out too, sometimes… much to do and so little energy…..! You and Mr January should think about starting your own organisation and cleaning company….

  9. Cassie Howard says:

    Lori – It’s sooooo helpful!

    Susan – I love reading organizing websites for the same reason. ๐Ÿ™‚

    teachermum – I totally agree about the crispers statement! We only have that one in the bottom but I don’t use it for veggies because it’s not see-through and I used to always have veggies go bad because I’d forgotten about them.

    Heather – Oh I hate it when landlords skimp out on the fridge! Our last place had a tiny one and it sucked. That’s when I learned that baskets really do help with organization.

    Tabatha M – I try to be, hehe.

    su – Good thinking!

    Theresa – Haha when I got my first apartment I did that… sometimes even less than that. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Me Again! – No thanks! I do love organizing but for myself only! And cleaning.. well, I only do that because I have to. ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. ms t says:

    i saw a news article on tv a while back where the Toronto Public Health Department said that a household fridge should be cleaned at least 1x/month, more often if something is spilled. i admit, i’m not *that* good, but i do *think* about it as the 1st of the month comes around, so that should count for something!!

  11. Lisa says:

    @su, for sanitary and cross contamination reasons it is best to put your meat on the bottom shelf so there are no leaks or spills of raw meat fluids to come in contact with your other food….worked many years in the food indutry and it is a big no no with the food and health department, even if put in a container, accidents do happen!

  12. Adrienne says:

    I clean the drawers/shelves with warm soapy water, rinse, then rinse again with half vinegar and water, then let dry. I’ve never had mold grow in my fridge, maybe the vinegar helps prevent it? The inside of the fridge just with vinegar water solution, maybe 1/4 cup in 1 cup hot water..

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