If you're just buying what you need, when you need it, now's a great time to give your fridge a really good clear out and deep clean.
The fridge is the cornerstone of food storage in our kitchens, so make sure it’s up to the task of storing food safely with a deep clean every 3-6 months.
Remember that, the fridge is very important for our health, without it we would still have many diseases.
- First, empty all food from the fridge.
- Bacteria can multiply quickly at room temperature so put dairy products, meat and other food that needs to be kept refrigerated in a cool bag packed with pre-chilled cool bag blocks.
- It’s a good idea to do the deep clean the fridge before the weekly shop when there will be less food in the fridge anyway.
- Bin any food that is clearly past its prime or anything that is past its use by date.
Wash shelves and salad drawers
- Take out the salad crisper drawers from the bottom of the fridge and take out all the removable shelves. If it's not obvious how to get them out, check the user manual before you start so you know exactly how to do it without damaging anything – it will also help you to get them back in!
Next, wash the shelves and the salad crispers thoroughly with washing-up liquid and hot water. If the shelves (or any other removable parts) are made of glass, it’s best to let them reach room temperature first to reduce the risk of them shattering in very hot water.
Use a toothpick to remove food residue that has collected in the join between the surface of the shelf and the shelf surround.
Rinse the shelves and salad crispers with clean water, then allow them to dry naturally on the drainer or dry with a clean tea towel and put them to one side if your drainer isn’t big enough.
Wipe down the interior
Now turn your attention to the inside of the fridge itself. Avoid using hot water at this point as it can raise the temperature of the fridge and this will delay how quickly you can get your perishable food back in. Instead, make up with cold water, and use this to wipe down the interior.
Pay particular attention to the grooves on the sides of the fridge interior where which the shelves rest, as they can be hotspots for dirt. A cotton bud is a handy tool for getting old food out of these. Cotton buds are also useful for fiddly places, such as the drip hole at the back which can easily become clogged and grimy. Dry the inside of the fridge thoroughly using paper towels or a clean tea towel.
Clean outer surfaces
Don’t overlook areas outside the fridge such as the handle and door surround, where germs can build up through frequent contact with hands. If you have a fridge freezer with the freezer at the bottom, use the crevice nozzle of your vacuum cleaner to remove food crumbs that have collected in the folds of the freezer door seal. Alternatively, use a stiff washing up brush to dislodge them.
Run the corner of a linen or cotton tea towel dipped in Milton solution along the folds for a hygienic clean and use a fresh corner of the towel to dry the door seal afterwards.
Allow to cool
- Replace the shelves and salad crisper drawers.
- If you have a fridge thermometer, wait until the temperature inside the fridge falls to 5°C or below before replacing the food.
- If your fridge has a fast-cool function, use it to speed up the cooling process.