Clean the refrigerator and the freezer

What is the correct way to clean the refrigerator and the freezer?

Refrigerators and freezers are indispensable in the kitchen. Keeping it clean and sanitized is important, not just for health reasons but also so that it will work correctly and therefore last longer. 

The external surface can be cleaned by using a soft cloth and warm soapy water.  To clean the interior of the appliance we advise using warm water with baking soda or vinegar.  Do not use cleaning materials that may release harmful substances or odours on the food.  We also advise that you use a soft cloth on the interior.  Always ensure that you rinse the interior of the fridge and freezer. 

It is important that you to a complete clean of the appliance at least twice a year.  This will prevent mildew and unpleasant odours from forming.  The freezer must be defrosted on a regular basis to stop the build up of ice.

For periodic cleaning of the fridge:

  • Empty the fridge out completely, through away any expired or spoiled foods.  Keep food in a good condition in a thermal bag until cleaning has been completed.
  • Take out all removable parts and disassemble the shelves and accessories in order to reach all corners.  Wash all removable parts with soapy water and wash the interior surfaces with water and baking soda or water and vinegar.
  • To ensure water does not spill onto the floor, place a towel at the bottom of the fridge so that it absorbs the drops.
  • Dry and reassemble all washed parts.
  • With regards to the door seal, ensure they are dry and then lubricate with a few drops of oil to keep them soft.

For periodic cleaning of the freezer:

  • Empty the freezer out completely putting all food in a thermal bag so that it does not defrost.
  • Leave the door open for a few minutes to allow the ice to melt.    
  • Defrost the freezer by removing the biggest blocks of ice with a special plastic shovel.  Never use blade or steel tools, as they may damage the freezer lining.
  • Fill a spray container with warm water and vinegar in equal parts and spray the interior walls, and gently rub with a sponge or soft cloth.
  • Ensure that you dry the sides of the freezer before putting the frozen food back in to the drawers. Check that the freezer temperature has reached -18oC.

Useful Information

  • Do not place packaging or food against the walls of the refrigerator.
  • Do not overload the freezer compartment.
  • Ensure food is distributed evenly throughout the freezer to allpw even circulation of cold air.
  • Do not place uncovered food directly on to the fridge shelves on in the freezer compartment.
  • Always store in order of expiry date, this will help to ensure that food is consumed before it deteriorates.
  • To keep your fridge odour free, place a small jar in the fridge with either a few tablespoons of baking soda or with cotton wool with vinegar on it.

S.O.S. Holidays

Before going on holiday ensure that you remove all food in the refrigerator that is at risk of spoiling, check all expiry dates.  Avoid leaving meat, fish and vegetable in the fridge, this will limit the damage in case of unexpected electric interruption.

If you have a fridge or freezer in a holiday home that remains closed for a long period of time, ensure that you complete empty, switch it off and after cleaning it, leave the doors open.  This will prevent the formation of mildew and bad odours forming.

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