Out of sight, out of mind. That is what many of us think about the inside of our fridge and things sprout and grow in the dark, cool interior that could win fist place in a science fair. Spills inside the refrigerator happen. Leftover food gets shoved to the back and forgotten. Vegetables in the crisper lay there so long they sprout their own seedlings. Illness causing mold and bacteria grow and multiply in the fertile ground behind the closed door of a dirty refrigerator interior. Follow these easy steps to deep clean your refrigerator and prevent inadvertent science projects from growing inside.
Remove all food items then remove all shelves, racks and drawers and allow them to come to room temperature before washing. Fill the kitchen sink with water soapy water and wet a paper towel or two and place over any dried spills inside the refrigerator so they will be easier to remove later. If bottom of drawers have dried spills cover them with a wet paper towel or put a little water inside of drawer to soak the dried food debris loose.
Once the shelves, racks and drawers have reached room temperature, wash them in warm, soapy water, rinse well and let dry.
Use a baking soda and water mix to clean the inside of refrigerator. Baking soda is a natural, food grade cleanser that won’t leave a scent inside the fridge, commercial cleaners will leave a scent behind that can be absorbed by food.
Mix one part baking soda to seven parts warm water. Dampen a clean sponge or cloth and begin to wipe down the interior from top to bottom. Use a nylon scrubber to remove the dried debris which have been soaking under wet paper towel. Toothpicks and an old toothbrush will get into those hard-to-reach cervices and clean out debris. Wipe away food particles with damp paper towel, then wipe down with baking soda mixture. Wipe interior dry with paper towel.
Wipe all interior components dry and put them back in their proper places. Mix up a fresh batch of baking soda and warm water, then grab a clean cloth. Dampen the cloth in the baking soda water and wipe down the outside of all jars and bowls before placing them back on the shelf to prevent drips and spills from starting the mess all over again. Keep the refrigerator interior tidy and clean between deep cleanings by routinely wiping down the outside of containers before placing inside the fridge. Place a fresh, open box of baking soda inside the refrigerator and freezer to absorb food odors.