Here’s How to Clean Your Refrigerator Properly, According to the CDC

“Cleanliness is next to godliness,” as the old adage goes, and if there is one place in anyone’s home that should always be clean, it’s the refrigerator.

Whether through laziness or forgetfulness, it is almost always easy to forget that the fridge contains raw food, cooked food that needs to be stored, and occasionally spoiled food that you forgot about. Cleaning your refrigerator on a regular basis is thus a sanitary and healthy practice.

But here’s a question: do you know how to properly clean your refrigerator? If not, here are some alternatives:

some simple and dependable steps you can take to clean your fridge as soon as possible!

Woman and an Open Fridge

How to Clean a Refrigerator Correctly

It is actually quite simple to learn how to properly clean your refrigerator. If you don’t believe me, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has five simple steps to properly cleaning your fridge.

Before you begin cleaning, make sure you have the following items on hand:

Bags that are sealed

Soapy, hot water

Towels that are clean

Bleach and water

The first step in cleaning your fridge is to remove any recalled or spoiled food from it. A food is recalled “when a food producer removes a product from the market because there is reason to believe that it may cause consumers to become ill,” according to the Food Safety website.

According to the CDC, you should also throw out any food that has been stored with it or that has come into contact with it. Before disposing of food in the trash, place it in a sealable bag first.

Once that’s done, take the remaining items from your fridge and place them on a counter or table. Then you can take out all of the removable shelving, drawers, and compartments.

Use the previously mentioned hot, soapy water to clean the components of your refrigerator that you just removed. When you’re finished, dry them with a clean towel.

After that, use hot, soapy water to clean the inside of your fridge once more, then rinse with clean water to remove all of the soap. Dry it with a clean towel once more. You can also sanitize your fridge by mixing one tablespoon of liquid bleach in one gallon of water.

Then, presto! You have just learned how to clean your refrigerator properly. You can now return all of your refrigerator’s removable compartments, as well as all of the food you previously removed.

Other Tips for Cleaning Your Refrigerator

When cleaning your fridge, the CDC also provides the following reminders:

If the recalled food you’re about to throw away was stored in a reusable container, make sure to clean it with hot, soapy water before reusing it.

Food that needs to be refrigerated should not be left out for more than two hours.

If your refrigerator has glass compartments, avoid running it under hot water because the glass may shatter.

Before and after cleaning, wash your hands.

Clean the table or counter where you placed your food while cleaning the fridge with hot, soapy water.