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Because nobody likes a drawer full of mouldy veg sludge!
Last time you opened your fridge, what scene greeted you? Condiments neatly arranged in the fridge door? A chiller drawer full of fresh veg, and butter, cheese and yogurts all in a row?
Or were jars, tubs and tubes shoved randomly into every available spot, with unidentified substances spilt over the shelves?
The latter – as if you needed reminding – is a sign that it’s time for a clear out. Come Christmas, when you’re trying to squeeze in a turkey, vegetables and pigs in blankets, you’ll thank us that you did! So here’s how to clean a fridge freezer to ensure it’s hygienic and organised.
1. Start with the freezer
Remove the contents of your freezer, binning any unlabelled items or items with freezer burn. Pack the rest of the food away in cool boxes while you work. Remove the drawers carefully. If there’s a build-up of ice on the inside of your freezer, you’ll need to defrost it before cleaning.
Switch it off, via either the isolation switch or the temperature gauge. Place a shallow dish under the drain spout at the base and several sheets of newspaper under the door to catch the melting water. Then leave it with the door open for a few hours to defrost.
Remove any remaining ice that hasn’t melted away with a hot cloth. Wipe the inside cavity and drawers with a mild all-purpose cleaning spray, then switch the freezer back on.
2. Tackle the fridge
Spruce up your fridge-freezer this month by cleaning out your crisper drawers of that dead veg sludge once and for all.
Empty the contents. Bin anything that has leaked or has seen better days. Remove the drawers and glass shelves and clean the internal cavity using your preferred cleaning solution. Bicarbonate of soda is a natural cleaner – sprinkle it on to surfaces and wipe off with a damp cloth. Any stubborn whiffs can be removed using a 50:50 solution of vinegar and water.
Wipe the shelves with glass cleaner or specialist wipes. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies and right around the door seal, too. Repeat this on the drawers before replacing them.
3. Clean the exterior
Now that the inside of your fridge freezer is spotless, it’s time to tackle the exterior. Pull your fridge out from the wall – this should be fairly easy now that it’s empty. Grab a clean paintbrush or feather duster and brush the coils at the back clear of any cobwebs and dust.
While you’re there, give the floor a quick clean, too. Finally, wipe the exterior clean (remove any fridge magnets or kids artwork beforehand) and push the unit back against the wall when you’re done.
4. Finish it off
More appliances to tackle: How to clean a washing machine – to banish mould, bad smells and residues
Replace all the food in the fridge and freezer and pop a deodoriser in the fridge to keep it smelling fresh.
The only challenge left now is to keep it looking this good for the rest of the year!