How To Clean the Inside of Your Fridge in 30 Minutes or Less

updated Sep 29, 2022
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(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)

Last week, I was getting ready for my mother to come for a visit. So naturally, I had to clean out my fridge! I used the method she taught me, and 20 minutes later, my fridge was mom-worthy clean. The inside of your fridge can be clean in no time, too, (and clutter-free) with these four easy steps.

How to Clean the Inside of Your Fridge

Ok—time to roll up your sleeves and get to work! This is also a great chance to toss older or forgotten food while you’re at it.

1. Empty the Fridge

You can do this all at once or in sections. I prefer to do it all at once. The thought of the food sitting out helps me do everything faster. Set aside two areas for setting items down: one area for things that need to be cleaned out (outdated leftovers in Tupperware, for example) and another area for items that need to be put back into the fridge.

Anything that needs to be discarded that’s not in a container you want to keep goes straight into the trash, of course.

2. Clean Contents

If your fridge is less than pristine, chances are that your milk carton and olive jar aren’t squeaky clean either. With a damp rag, wipe the bottoms of items and also clean any drips on the sides.

If lid areas need a little TLC, tackle those too. You want everything you return to the fridge to be clean, so you’re not spreading messes around. You can clean out leftovers containers now or wait until you’re done with the fridge.

3. Clean the Inside of the Fridge

If you can remove shelves and drawers, do it. Spray the inside of the fridge with a solution of vinegar and water, concentrating on soiled areas, and let it soak in. Wash the removed shelves and drawers with warm soapy water and set them aside to dry. Head back to the fridge and wipe everything down with a rag.

4. Return Contents

Dry shelves and drawers and return them to the fridge. Next, place all newly cleaned items back in the fridge in their respective areas. (I have my fridge sections labeled to help keep items where they belong, but that’s just me.)

Step back and admire your sparkling fridge!