Regularly cleaning your refrigerator every three months helps you maximize storage space, stay organized and maintain a fresh environment for your groceries. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools or harsh cleansers, flammable fluids, bleaches or cleansers containing petroleum products. Read on for simple techniques to clean the interior, exterior and condenser coils of your refrigerator.

HOW TO CLEAN THE INSIDE OF A REFRIGERATOR

Empty refrigerator shelves and drawers.

STEP 1: EMPTY OUT ALL FOOD ITEMS

Place perishables on the counter or in a cooler for safer storage. Don’t let food sit outside the refrigerator for more than two hours to help avoid spoilage. Dispose of any expired items and clean out leftover storage containers that may be lurking in forgotten corners of your fridge.

Hands lifting a shelf out of a fridge.

STEP 2: TAKE OUT REMOVABLE SHELVES AND DRAWERS

Allow shelves and drawers to adjust to room temperature to avoid possible cracking from a swift change from cold to hot. Once at room temperature, soak them in a solution of dish soap and hot water to dissolve any stubborn spills. Then, hand wash and dry thoroughly.

A hand wiping a refrigerator shelf.

STEP 3: CLEAN ALL INTERIOR SURFACES

Use a mixture of diluted dishwashing soap and warm water, or a vinegar solution, with a clean cloth or sponge. Be sure to wipe all surfaces again with clean water to remove any soapy residue if using dishwashing soap.

A container of butter being wiped down with a cloth.

STEP 4: WIPE DOWN FOOD CONTAINERS

Use warm water and a clean cloth to remove any sticky residue on the sides and bottom of items before placing them back in the refrigerator.

A refrigerator full of food.

STEP 5: PLACE EVERYTHING BACK INSIDE

Allow all surfaces to dry completely before replacing shelves and drawers, then place food items back inside. To help maximize storage and keep food fresh, explore our guide to refrigerator organization.

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Opt for simple cleaning agents like white vinegar and baking soda

Harsh disinfecting and cleaning products may leave a residue that can contaminate food or cause lingering chemical smells in your refrigerator.

For an alternative to commercial cleansers, make a solution of one part white vinegar to two parts hot water and apply with a spray bottle, clean cloth or sponge. Tackle dried spills by mixing baking soda and water to make a paste.

HOW TO CLEAN THE OUTSIDE OF A FRIDGE


Though using soap and water is the suggested method for cleaning regular painted or colored refrigerator exteriors, care does vary depending on the finish of your fridge. For the optimal appearance and longevity of a traditional stainless steel finish, clean with a stainless steel appliance cleaner, like affresh® Stainless Steel Cleaning Spray. It’s designed to gently clean fingerprints, smudges and other residues on all stainless steel surfaces. If a stainless steel cleaner is not available, follow the steps below. Avoid the use of chlorine compounds to clean exterior doors, as it can promote corrosion.

A woman wiping down the outside of a refrigerator door with stainless steel cleaner.

STEP 1: WIPE DOWN THE EXTERIOR

For stainless steel surfaces, spray affresh® Stainless Steel cleaner on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe in the direction of the grain. If not available, wash as you would a painted or colored exterior, with a solution of dishwashing soap and water on a soft cloth or nonabrasive sponge.

A hand rinsing the outside of a refrigerator door with a cloth.

STEP 2: RINSE WITH CLEAN WATER

Wipe down with clean water and a cloth to remove any soapy residue, if using dishwashing soap.

A hand drying the outside of a refrigerator door with a cloth.

STEP 3: DRY WITH A SOFT CLOTH

Use a clean, dry towel to thoroughly dry the surface. For stainless steel, dry immediately to avoid water spots and polish the surface in the direction of the grain until it shines. Water that is not completely dried off can cause discoloration.

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Replace your refrigerator water filter every six months

Changing your water filter is a quick process that helps keep your water tasting its best. Easily find out which filter fits your refrigerator model or learn how to replace your refrigerator water filter. You can even subscribe to receive your water filter automatically at the frequency you choose through our water filter subscription program.

HOW TO CLEAN a fridge’s CONDENSER COILS

Condenser coils are most often accessible across the bottom front of the refrigerator or in the back. See how condenser coils work in your refrigerator. There is typically no need for routine condenser cleaning in a normal home operating environment. However, if the environment is particularly greasy or dusty, or there is significant pet traffic in the home, the condenser should be cleaned every 2 to 3 months to ensure optimal operation.

 

Before attempting to clean your condenser coils, start by referencing your Use and Care Guide. Some models do not require the condenser coils to be cleaned and other models can only be cleaned by a certified technician. To avoid risk of electrical shock, always disconnect power before cleaning condenser coils.
 

A hand unplugging a refrigerator cord from an outlet.

STEP 1: UNPLUG REFRIGERATOR OR DISCONNECT POWER

You may need to move your refrigerator away from the wall to unplug it.

Hands removing the base grille on a refrigerator.

STEP 2: REMOVE THE BASE GRILLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE REFRIGERATOR

Place your hands along the ends of the grille and push in on the top of the grille while pulling up on the bottom.

A vacuum brush head cleaning condenser coils.

STEP 3: USE A VACUUM CLEANER WITH A SOFT BRUSH ATTACHMENT

Clean the grille, the open areas behind the grille and the front surface area. A refrigerator coil brush can also be used.

Hands replacing the base grille on a refrigerator.

STEP 4: REPLACE THE BASE GRILLE

Line up the grille support tabs with the metal clips and push the grille firmly to snap into place.

A broom sweeping the floor behind a refrigerator.

STEP 5: CLEAN UNDER AND BEHIND THE FRIDGE AS WELL

While the refrigerator is away from the wall, sweep or vacuum the open space.

A hand plugging a refrigerator cord into an outlet.

STEP 6: PLUG IN REFRIGERATOR OR RECONNECT POWER

Move your refrigerator back in place if pulled away from the wall.

Learn more about cleaning your kitchen
 

HOW TO LOAD A DISHWASHER FOR BEST CLEANING

Get the most out of your dishwasher by learning how to position dishes for maximum cleaning coverage.

HOW TO CLEAN AN OVEN

Even the hardest working appliances need a little love. Learn how to clean a stove inside and out with this step-by-step guide from Maytag.

HOW TO REMOVE, CLEAN AND REPLACE DISHWASHER FILTERS

Get step-by-step instructions and tips on maintaining your dishwasher filter.

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