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What should I use to clean my fridge?

blkery May 15, 2010 04:21 PM

I have a funky smell somewhere in my fridge of unknown origin (all the food checks out), so I figure it's time to scrub the beast. The thing is, most cleaning products have an odor of their own that I do not want absorbed by my food. What do you use as a cleaning agent for this kind of thing?

  1. Chemicalkinetics May 16, 2010 01:07 AM

    I agree with Persnickety. Because refrigerators are used to store foods, it is desirable to use food safe cleaners. Therefore, baking soda and vinegar are good choice. Usually, start with baking soda solution solution (try to make a very concentration of baking soda solution) and after you clean the refrigerator with this basic solution. You can use now use distilled white vinegar to clean the refrigator. You may need to do it twice with vinegar. Vinegar is acidic and will neutralize residue baking soda. Finally, wipe the refrigator with water. The reason to go baking soda first is that baking soda is not voliate, but vinegar is.

    If you are really concern of the smell, you can use diluted bleach. Bleach is very reactive and pretty much kill any bacteria on contact. In the case, you want to use bleach solution, then I would go bleach solution first. Therefore: bleach solution -> water -> baking soda solution -> vinegar -> water.

    1. Caroline1 May 15, 2010 06:00 PM

      I clean my refrigerator and freezers with water and distilled vinegar. It kills germs, kills odors, and polishes the glass shelves. If anything has dried goo on it, I "scrub" it with a damp soft sponge and baking soda. I don't know that I'd use one of these scratchy sponges, except on the glass shelves. Most plastic is fairly soft and will scratch. And while you roll out the big box, as chef chicklet suggests, it's also a good time to drag out the vacuum cleaner and dust off the coils that run up the back of many refrigeratos and freezers. Sometimes they're sealed inside to protect them from dust, but when they're on the outside, they collect dust like a manget collects iron!

      Oh, and if you have a stainless steel exterior, do NOT use the vinegar water to clean it. "Stainless" steel is NOT!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caroline1
        ipsedixit May 15, 2010 09:30 PM

        For stainless steel, use diluted Windex (1 part water, 1 part Windex) to clean and then some baby oil for that nice shiny gloss.

      2. chef chicklet May 15, 2010 05:28 PM

        Also, you might want to roll that puppy out from the wall and take a peek at whats underneath, could be a puddle of bad water, etc. underneath causing the funky odor...I've had that happen before.

        1. PersnicketyChicky May 15, 2010 04:36 PM

          Shake some baking soda onto a double-sided sponge, the kind with an abrasive surface on one side, and add a little hot water to make a paste. Sprinkle some white vinegar onto that mixture (It will foam impressively.) and wipe onto the dirty surfaces or scrub with the rough side of the sponge. When you're finished, rinse off the sponge and wipe down the fridge again with a sponge filled with hot water. If it needs further sanitizing, diluted bleach would be the next best thing, but usually hot water, baking soda and white vinegar can tackle any dirty fridge cleaning job.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PersnicketyChicky
            bushwickgirl May 15, 2010 04:37 PM

            Perfect!

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