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A refrigerator is an essential appliance in every household, helping to keep our food fresh and safe for consumption. However, over time, refrigerators can accumulate dirt, spills, and unpleasant odours, which can affect both the quality of the stored food and the overall functioning of the appliance. Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to ensure a clean and odour-free refrigerator. In this article, we will discuss some effective cleaning tips and tricks to help you maintain a hygienic and fresh refrigerator.

1. Preparing for Cleaning

Before diving into the cleaning process, it is important to prepare your refrigerator and gather the necessary supplies. Start by unplugging the refrigerator to ensure safety. Remove all the food items and place them in a cooler or insulated bag to keep them fresh while cleaning. Take out any removable shelves, drawers, and compartments and set them aside for cleaning separately. Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of warm water and mild dish soap in a bucket or basin.

2. Wiping Down the Interior

The interior of your refrigerator is the primary area that requires thorough cleaning. Begin by dipping a clean sponge or cloth into the prepared cleaning solution and gently wipe down the walls, shelves, and drawers. Pay close attention to any stains, spills, or food residue, and make sure to remove them completely. For stubborn stains or sticky residues, you can use a soft brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the surface gently. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that can damage the refrigerator’s interior. Rinse the sponge or cloth regularly in the cleaning solution to ensure effective cleaning.

3. Cleaning the Shelves and Drawers

While the interior is being cleaned, focus on the removable shelves and drawers. These components tend to accumulate spills and stains over time, leading to unpleasant odours and potential cross-contamination. Submerge the shelves and drawers in the cleaning solution for a few minutes, allowing the solution to loosen the dirt and grime. Use a sponge or cloth to scrub away any residue, paying attention to the corners and crevices. Rinse them thoroughly with water and let them air dry before placing them back into the refrigerator.

4. Dealing with Odor

Odors can be a common issue in refrigerators, especially if certain food items are not properly sealed or if there are expired products. To combat unpleasant odours, there are several effective methods you can try:

  • Baking Soda: Place an open box or a small container of baking soda on one of the shelves. Baking soda acts as a natural deodorizer and absorbs odours effectively.
  • Activated Charcoal: Similar to baking soda, activated charcoal can help absorb and neutralize odours. Place a small bowl or bag of activated charcoal in the refrigerator to eliminate unpleasant smells.
  • Coffee Grounds: Used coffee grounds can work wonders in eliminating refrigerator odours. Simply place a bowl of coffee grounds in the fridge and let them absorb the unwanted smells.
  • Vanilla Extract: Dampen a cotton ball or a piece of cloth with a few drops of vanilla extract and place it in the refrigerator. The pleasant aroma of vanilla will help mask any lingering odours.

5. Exterior Cleaning

Wipe down the exterior surfaces, including the doors, handles, and control panel, using a clean cloth dampened with the cleaning solution. Pay attention to any fingerprints, smudges, or spills, and make sure to remove them. Dry the surfaces thoroughly to prevent streaks or watermarks.

6. Maintenance Tips

To maintain a clean and odour-free refrigerator for the long term, consider the following maintenance tips:

  • Regularly check for expired or spoiled food items and promptly discard them.
  • Clean up spills and stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from drying and becoming harder to remove.
  • Keep the refrigerator well-organized, placing similar food items together and using storage containers to prevent leaks and cross-contamination.
  • Check and replace the refrigerator’s water filter as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure clean and fresh-tasting water and ice.
  • Vacuum the condenser coils at least twice a year to remove dust and debris that can impact the refrigerator’s efficiency.


Q: How often should I clean my refrigerator?

A: It is recommended to clean your refrigerator at least once every three months. However, if you notice spills, stains, or odours, it’s best to clean it as soon as possible.

Q: Can I use bleach or other strong chemicals to clean my refrigerator?

A: No, it is not recommended to use bleach or strong chemicals to clean the interior of your refrigerator. These substances can leave behind harmful residues and may damage the surfaces. It is advisable to use mild dish soap and warm water for a safe and efficient cleaning process.

Q: How do I remove stubborn stains or sticky residue from my refrigerator?

A: For stubborn stains or sticky residue, you can use a soft brush or an old toothbrush along with the cleaning solution to gently scrub the surface. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that can scratch or damage the refrigerator’s interior.

Q: What can I do to prevent odours in my refrigerator?

A: To prevent odours in your refrigerator, ensure that all food items are properly sealed or covered. Regularly check for expired or spoiled items and promptly discard them. Additionally, you can use natural deodorizers such as baking soda, activated charcoal, coffee grounds, or vanilla extract to absorb and eliminate odours.

Q: Should I clean the exterior of my refrigerator too?

A: Yes, it is important to clean the exterior of your refrigerator as well. Wipe down the surfaces, including the doors, handles, and control panel, using a cloth dampened with a mild cleaning solution. Dry the surfaces thoroughly to prevent streaks or watermarks.

Q: How can I maintain a clean refrigerator for the long term?

A: To maintain a clean refrigerator, regularly check for expired or spoiled food items, clean up spills promptly, and keep the refrigerator well-organized. Vacuum the condenser coils periodically and replace the water filter as recommended by the manufacturer. These maintenance practices will help keep your refrigerator clean and functioning optimally.


A clean and odour-free refrigerator not only ensures the freshness and safety of your food but also enhances the overall functionality and lifespan of the appliance. By following the cleaning tips and tricks mentioned in this article, you can maintain a hygienic and fresh refrigerator that serves you well for years to come. Regular cleaning, proper organization, and diligent maintenance are key to keeping your refrigerator in optimal condition. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your cleaning supplies, and give your refrigerator the attention it deserves.