Cleaning the fridge

26 March 2008

How long is it since you cleaned out your fridge? I haven't done mine since just before Christmas! There are a couple of jars in there holding sugary jam and last night I found a jar with one slice of bread and butter cucumbers. Isn't that crazy! One slice. Why would one slice be left? Hanno must have done that. ; - )

I try to clean out my fridge before I do a big stock-up but for some reason I've left it three months without cleaning it. I usually don't put jobs off, there's no point. All the work I do here in my home is for Hanno and I, no one else lives here, so putting off a job like this is shortchanging us. Tomorrow it will be the first job I do. I'd much rather have a clean and organised fridge rather than a dirty one. In the interests of safety and frugality, we have to be careful with our food.

Cleaning a fridge is a simple and straightforward job. The main thing to remember is to do the job thoroughly but quickly. You don't want to have the fridge door open too long or the food to warm up too much while it's out on the bench. I remove everything from the fridge, including the shelves and fruit bins at the bottom. I wipe out the fridge using a clean moist cloth and bicarb. When I've wiped every surface thoroughly, I get a clean cloth, dip it in warm water and wipe off the residue.

I check the seals, clean them with a toothbrush dipped in homemade all purpose cleaner, then wipe with a clean moist cloth. I remove everything from the outside fridge door - yes, even the Kath and Kim cut out dolls - and wipe the outside of the fridge, again with a moist cloth and bicarb. I wipe the residue off, then dry the surfaces with another clean cloth.

Finally, I replace the clean shelves and fruit bins, that I wash in the sink, and close the door for the fridge to cool down again. Then go through the food that was in the fridge. Sometimes old food is given to the chooks or worms instead of being returned to the fridge, sometimes we have a meal that night using leftovers. I always try to limit the amount of food that's not eaten by us or the critters and I'm happy to report that over the years I've cut down our food wastage a lot.

I wonder who else needs to clean out their fridge. Let's make it a date to do it tomorrow. How many of us will clean out our fridges? Are you game? I'm going to post a photo too, if you want to show your clean fridge to the world, send me your photo and I'll post it later in the week when I post my photo. Cleaning a fridge is a tedious but necessary job, we might as well have some fun with it.

Graphic from


  1. I don't have a clean out the fridge day very often as I try to clean as you go (bit like quilt as you go). Each week I clean out the vege bins which seem to accumulate the most... clutter then during the week I will clean one shelf so over a month it all gets cleaned in a bit of a cycle without seeming a big chore. We don't throw out much food either with chooks and two dogs. I save all my vege peelings and cook it up at the weekend for our dogs with their meat which is usually the sausage mince from our home kill beef - the chooks get any stale bread, left over cooked veges (usually the ones my son doesn't eat). BUT my guilty sin is that we have two fridges - one is the kitchen for day to day and the other nearby which we call our dairy fridge as it used to hold the milk we used to buy for our calves.. we now use it to store big bags of flour, cooked dog food, homemade cordials and chutneys/sauces, eggs for sale etc.
    PS. My hubby takes care of cleaning the dairy fridge!

  2. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    I love cleaning the refridgerator. I clean it every couple days. LOL Ok I know I over the top and OCD. LOL I just can't handle things out of place. Enjoy you cleaning. I will be looking forward to your post tomorrow.

  3. This post made me smile! I de-frosted and cleaned my freezer a couple of weeks ago...and the fridge is still waiting - you've given me a timely nudge. But I did clean out someone else's fridge today (a chap I do a small amount of work for) so am feeling good about that!

  4. Eek, I half-cleaned mine did you know??? OK then, I'll finish the job properly tomorrow! :)

    I got distracted because I decided today was the day I would sew my shopping bag for the swap.... and so I did.... but the first one was a bit too wonky, even for my great swap partner with a fab sense of humour. So I decided to keep the wonky bag for myself and I've made a better effort ready to post off tomorrow :)

    But now that's done, I will get on to cleaning the fridge!

  5. Feeling smug, I did mine last Friday.
    Have fun everyone;)

    cheers Lenny

  6. LOL, Rhonda Jean!! How did you know? Usually our fridge is cleaned as it is emptied - weekly as the fresh foods and leftovers disappear. But this week? Nope! It makes me feel ick to have the fridge in its current state, so I will join the challenge :) Love, Q

  7. How timely this reminder is - I had planned to clean my fridge tonight before a bulk-food stock-up tomorrow or Thursday. The freezer is in sad need of de-frosting now that we've used up everything, so it takes time and I put it off. Not this time, thought ;-)

  8. Rhonda,

    Great Post! I am not much for cleaning the fridge. I really do enjoy looking at a clean fridge though:)Thank you for reminding me of what I should be doing:)


  9. I started to clean mine out yesterday --- like others, how did you know? It does need to be wiped down and all that, but the science experiments were dealt with. If I'm not too tired after work I'll work on mine. Will keep you posted.

  10. Mine usually gets cleaned out fortnightly (before I go shopping)and gets a really full clean out every 6 months. I have talen the veggie bins out of my fridge as they were the worst for breeding science experiments. In their place I have the Tupperware ones that get washed everytime they are emptied.
    I'll try to post a pic tomorrow morning after I have finished :)

  11. I hate the task of cleaning the fridge but oh boy does it feel good to have it done! Mine, regretably, is not very appealing at the moment! I will get cleaning tomorrow! Thanks for the nudge!


  12. You must have been peeking at my fridge when I had this very thought two days ago.

    I got rid of all the science experiments and noticed that the bottom of the fridge needs cleaning out properly.

    I guess I'll be joining you!

  13. My fridge isn't a problem. It's easy enough to clean but my oven! If there's one place I'd hate anyone to see it's the inside of the oven. Since giving away on those oh so magical spray it on and effortlessly wipe it off chemical concoctions, the poor thing gets steadily grubbier. Obviously the new strategy is to clean it on a very regular basis to prevent that kind of build up. If you had any green sugestions I'd be very glad of it. (Short of finding myself a Mr Australia contestant to come and do an upper body work out on it)

    Regards, Marilyn

  14. This is so funny. Cleaning the fridge was my job today even before I read your Blog.

    Char in NC

  15. I cleaned my fridge this morning too and that was before I read your post from yesterday. My son was given some prawns at the weekend and just plonked the bag in the fridge and this morning all I could smell was prawns and that is not good but it smells nice now.

  16. I'm in on this challenge, please! Sorting and wiping out the fridge is one of my regular midweek jobs but tomorrow I'll give it a really good clean too. I'm also running down my freezer stock before I move next month so the freezer will be defrosted and cleaned up soon. Its nice to catch up on these jobs occasionally! :)

  17. I cleaned the fridge a couple of weeks ago, I pulled the plastic shelves and veggie bucket and washed them in the sink. Then I left them to dry on the drying rack, but I bumped it, and the veggie bucket fell on the floor and cracked. So now I have a clean fridge, with a superglued cracked veggie bucket.

  18. I go through the fridge at least once a week before I make the grocery list to see what we have the we need to use and anything that needs to be thrown out. Since we have started checking we weekly we have found that we waste less food. But the last time I really cleaned it out... wow I don't even know.


  19. It's funny I read your post tonight, because I just told myself as I was cleaning up after dinner that I simply must clean out my fridge tomorrow! It's a job I abhor beforehand, but never really seem to mind much once I get started.

  20. I am with you! I need to do that tomorrow morning. Thanks for the reminder.

  21. Hi Rhonda
    I had a little twinge of guilt when I read your post this morning. I get a shopping delivery one a week and usually the day before I clean out the fridge ready for the new food to come in, but I have been so busy working lately I had forgotten and it has been a good few months since it was cleaned :-O
    I will set that as my challenge for today, thanks for the reminder.
    Also Hi to my fantastic swap buddy Anita, can't wait to see the bag you've made. Yours has'nt been born yet but I have a few days off after today so will set to it.
    Take care all and have a great day.
    Lv Steph x

  22. Hi Rhonda Jean

    I too clean my fridge just before my shopping day

    As to the lady who asked about oven cleaning i too would be grateful for any advice ,i have a homemade cleader containing:

    2oz vinegar
    1tbsp bicarb
    6 drops eucalyptus oil
    3 drops tea tree oil
    water to fill(make in a spray bottle)

    Its good at lifting grease but not really very good for the shelves and burnt on deposits you need to rinse well to get rid of the bicarb too on the other hand its great on tiles

    Any better suggestion greatly appreciated

    Sharron in the UK

  23. I'll do this Friday. I'm always checking everything and wiping, so there's no nasties in there. But the bottom of the vegie box needs a scrub, and under that too. And I think there's crumbs of chocolate in there from Easter too!

  24. My fridge is now immaculate! Nothing like putting it at the top of today's 'to do' list! And it feels great, too. A reminder as well to clean behind the fridge every few months - vacuum the coils and wipe everything down. The fridge will be more economical to run, and more efficient, if the coils aren't covered in dust (and dog hair, which seems to get everywhere in my house!)

    On another note: the postman has just delivered my tote from Aubrey in the USA, and it's FABULOUS, I'm thrilled to bits. Thank you! Diana x

  25. I've been putting off giving my fridge a good clean for ages. So this is a timely reminder!

    Like robbie I have 2 fridges. They came with the house but it's so useful for keeping other things fresh too!

  26. It's so funny to read this. After school yesterday afternoon, my 12 yo dd was bored and decided (on her own, mind you) to clean out our fridge! It was very nice to have a clean fridge, and not have been the one to do it!


  27. Well its been calling me for weeks, nay months, to be done, and now I've been given the best kind of encouraging nudge!

    Anybody know the best way to defrost a freezer? Do I need to switch off the fridge/freezer to do either of these jobs?

    My mum never taught me these things, so I've had to figure it all out for myself over the years. Might explain why my house is such a tip!!

    Thanks Rhonda, you're an inspiration x

    FiFi xx

  28. I just wanted to add that this...:

    "All the work I do here in my home is for Hanno and I, no one else lives here, so putting off a job like this is shortchanging us."

    ...really touched me and made me think hard about the way I live and look after my house. I don't want to short-change myself any more and I'm looking forward to leaving work on time today and getting to grips with my fridge xx

  29. Timely indeed! My boyfriend and I just bought our very first house, and the only thing remaining to clean at the old rental house is the refrigerator. We have a date with Mr. IceChest tomorrow after work =)
    Karen in Maine

  30. No, No, NO!

    I will not clean the fridge. Until I absolutely have to. :)

  31. I clean my fridge out every Thursday before I do the grocery shopping!

  32. You inspired me :) I cleaned mine last night.

  33. hello everyone! It's always interesting to me to know how others do their housework. I'm really pleased to know we all did this vital work together.

    Congratulations Pea! How exciting.

    Welcome to all the new faces.

    Thanks for the recipe Sharron.

    I am going to try to visit all the links here. :- )


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