Did you know there’s a Clean Your Refrigerator Day? My guess it was established in an effort to motivator people to clean out their fridges. No one I know enjoys cleaning their refrigerator, myself included.
Most Americans clean their refrigerators once or twice a year at most. Consequently, they’re typically nasty, sticky, smelly, gross messes.
Because I own a professional cleaning business, I’ve seen my fair share of disgusting refrigerators. Some so dirty they had to be thrown away and replaced.
Many years ago, when I was building my cleaning business I had the good fortune of being awarded a contract to clean a 500 unit apartment complex. Along with the common area cleaning, we were responsible for all the apartment turnovers. On average we cleaned 45 apartments a month which meant we cleaned 45 refrigerators.
Time is money in the cleaning business and developing efficiencies are a necessary tool to ensure the highest profit margin. So, I needed to find a fast and efficient way for the staff to clean them. Without an efficient method, it could take upwards of an hour or more.
Here’s the easiest way to clean your refrigerator:
1. Empty all contents of the refrigerator and put in a cooler if it’s too warm out or if you’re a slow poke.
2. Turn up the temperature in the refrigerator or if you are planning on cleaning the freezer as well, shut off the refrigerator all together.
3. Remove all trays, shelves and drawers.
4. Open up your dishwasher and place the trays, shelves and drawers inside. Put it on the quick cycle. You may need to do this several times to get all items cleaned.
5. While the dishwasher is cleaning the shelves, etc for you, you’ll be focusing your attention on the inside of the fridge.
6. Wash out the inside using dish detergent and a clean cloth and a Mr Clean Sponge. Mr Clean sponges do a super, fantastic job at getting the stuck on crud that builds up from spills and splashes. Pay attention to all the seams, edges and other hidden areas.
7. Use a sanitizing solution to wipe down everything a second time. Don’t skip this step as you want to make sure you’ve killed all the germs that are lurking inside your refrigerator.
8. Let it air dry, no real need to wipe it a third time.
9. Replace all shelves, drawers, and baskets to their position.
10. Turn the temperature down, fill your fridge and close the door.
You should give your refrigerator a thorough cleaning at least every few months or more frequently if needed.
Don’t wait until the fridge stinks and food is rotting. If you make a commitment to wipe down the inside once a week, dispose of old food quickly and keep your bins neat and clean, a heavy duty cleaning once a month won’t seem like a big deal.