CleanHome Management

Cleaning Out a Fridge Step by Step

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When was the last time you cleaned out the fridge? I mean really deep cleaned it … took out all of the shelves and drawers and scrubbed it down.

Chances are, it’s been a while since the fridge got cleaned. It’s not something we think about doing on a regular basis like the bathroom sink or kitchen floors.


Your kitchen refrigerator is one of the most used places in your home and it comes in contact with your food. So it’s important to make sure it gets clean.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know to clean the inside of your fridge the right way!

Cleaning out a fridge.

Make sure you have the space you need. While you are taking food and shelves out of the fridge in order to clean it, you will need to put it all somewhere.

Make sure your kitchen counters are clear and your sink is empty. You may also want to put your food in a cooler to keep it cool while you work.

Gather the supplies you need to clean your fridge.

  • all purpose spray (use a natural spray since you are working around food)
  • dish cloth
  • scrub sponge (Scotch-brite heavy duty are my personal favorite.)
  • magic eraser (Doesn’t matter the brand.)
  • dish towel
  • dish soap
  • bucket or bowl
  • cooler or counter space for holding food while cleaning

You are working around food. Anything you use to clean the fridge will leave a lingering odor and may come in contact with your food.

That’s why the all purpose cleaner you use should be safe to use with food. I simply used a vinegar solution of 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap that I keep in a glass spray bottle from Grove Collaborative.

In the past I’ve also used Mrs. Meyer’s all purpose spray which is made of mostly natural ingredients.

Clean the refrigerator and keep your food and family safe with this DIY all purpose denfectant spray. #clean #natural #diy #refrigerator

By the way, if you are interested in more ways to clean your house with vinegar, I’ve got you covered! Here are two other posts.

Clever Ways to Clean Your House with Vinegar

6 Ways to Clean with Vinegar

First, take everything out of the refrigerator and door of the fridge.

  • This is a good time to check the expiration dates on condiments and throw anything out that is expired.
  • Throw out any yucky leftovers or food that is no longer good.
  • Remove any shelves and drawers that can be taken out.
Before you clean the fridge, you must take all food out. You can put it in a cooler to keep it cool.
Yes, I have way too much mayo! It’s from having to bring mayo to get togethers. 🙂

It so much easier to clean the refrigerator when all of the bulky pieces are removed. Since I have an older fridge, the drawers on the door do not come off.

But I can still easily clean them.

*Please note, most likely your shelves are glass! So make sure you are extra careful as they can chip or break easily.

Pull out all the shelves and drawers to get a deep clean in the fridge. #Clean #fridge

Second, clean the walls, doors, shelves, and drawers of the refrigerator.

Spray the inside of the fridge with your all purpose spray and wipe away with a warm, wet rag or sponge.

It can be helpful to fill a small bowl with warm soapy water to easily rinse out your cloth.

Fill a bowl with warm, soapy water to keep it near by as you clean the fridge.

You will want to work quickly, as the fridge is cold.

For stuck on gunk that doesn’t come off with a dish cloth, use a scrub sponge. Hands down, my favorite scrub sponges are the green and yellow Scotch-brite ones. I’ve tried all kinds, and they have been my favorite for years now!

You don't need much to clean a refrigerator, but you will need a scrub sponge, wash cloth, and towel for sure. #clean #refrigerator

Another trick for those stubborn stains is to use a Magic Eraser. And the brand doesn’t matter. In fact, I’ve been using the off brand sponges for years because they work just as well but are half the price. You can get them at Walmart or even the Dollar Tree!

Next, you’ll need to wash the drawers and shelves that you took out of the fridge.

Fill a sink with warm, soapy water and wash all of the removable shelves and drawers.

I like to simply use dish soap just like washing a sink full of dishes. Wash down the removable shelves and drawers.

Be sure to dry these pieces throughly before returning to the fridge.

Wash the shelves and drawers in hot, soapy water.

Third, return all the shelves, drawers, and food to the fridge.

Now that your fridge is clean, you can easily put back all of the pieces. If a shelf arrangement wasn’t working well before, now is a good time to try a different arrangement.

Try putting the shelves and drawers back in a way that works best for your family.

For instance, when I put our shelves back in the fridge, I made sure we had more room for all of our drinks. Before cleaning the fridge, our drinks were always a hassle to get to. But not anymore!

Once clean, you can return the shelves to the fridge any way that works for you!

How often should you clean the refrigerator?


  • Wipe up spills.
  • Keep raw meat in a container that will not leak on the fridge shelf and contaminate other foods.


  • Throw out any unused leftovers.
  • Wipe down empty shelves or drawers.
  • Wipe the exterior handles and door.


  • Deep clean the fridge like I shared in this post you are reading right now. 🙂
  • Replace open baking soda box to eliminate odors.


  • Change water filter.
  • clean refrigerator coils if you have pets.


Clean Refrigerator, Here's a step by step guide to clean the fridge. #clean #refrigerator

Okay, so now it’s your turn to make your fridge shine! I’m gonna be honest and say it is a lot of work. BUT…..the end result is worth all the work.

It feels so good to open up a clean refrigerator!

To help you out, here is a free printable available in my Resource Library.

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