How to Clean Your Refrigerator the Easy Way (even the gross stuff!)

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Today was the day. You know this day, too, I’m betting. Today was the day to clean my fridge. I usually do this about once a month. That way it’s never too bad. Even better, I’ve got the secret – I can tell you how to clean your fridge in 40 minutes – or less! And technically, it’s really not even 40 minutes since my secret tool does much of the work for you. Curious? Keep reading & I’ll share the secret.

Looking for some added cleaning help? Having a daily and weekly cleaning schedule is one of the best ways to do this. Just tell us where to send it!



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No one really loves cleaning the fridge, to they? But, I have found a way that keeps it from being pure torture, however. And I am ready to share my secret with all of you. I’m guessing you have this same “cleaning tool” in your place, too, you just may not have thought about it before.

So, here’s how to clean your fridge the easy way – even if it’s gross!

how to clean fridge

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So my secret to making fridge cleaning so much easier is….wait for it….the bathtub! Yep, that’s right.  The bathtub. Keep reading and I’ll show you.

Here is everything you need to take the yuck out of cleaning your refrigerator and getting it done in 40 minutes or less!

1. First, take everything out of the main area of the fridge (I tackle the doors in a later step)

If you have other people who are in and out of the fridge like I do, you may also find interesting “treasures” in your fridge as I do. I am always amazed at the amount of food I throw out even though I am so careful about eating everything to be as frugal as possible.

clean fridge

2. Then, everything gets carried to my bathtub

I fill the tub with regular dish soap and a dollop of my homemade green cleaner since it is antibacterial, antimicrobial, inexpensive, and green along with some HOT water. My son added the bath toys for an extra special cleaning day 😉

clean fridge

3. Leave everything there for a good 20 minutes, maybe longer

The length of time that you leave these things soaking depends on whether you have things that are gunked all over the shelves because the beauty of this method is that there is very little to NO scrubbing necessary.  Did you notice that brown glob of something on one of my shelf? I took a picture of what it looked like just after soaking—nothing on it!

clean fridge

4. While things are soaking, attack the inside of the fridge, which should be empty by now

Use the same antibacterial cleaner cleaner.

clean fridge

5. After everything looks clean from its bath, just run a quick rag over everything to ensure that it is clean. Then rinse.

clean fridge

6. Next, everything comes out for drip drying

clean fridge

7. Leave it for another 20 minutes or so and things should be nearly dry by the time you get back.


8. In my house, bringing everything back is a family affair. You know the saying, many hands make light work.

clean fridge

9. I repeat steps 1-8  for the bins on the inside doors of my fridge

10. When everything has been soaked, rinsed, and put back, everything gets loaded back in.

clean fridge

I do organize my fridge with containers to keep things together. On the top shelf I have a container with various sauces, there is also one there for the vitamins and elderberry syrup that my kids take.

On the middle shelf I have one for more sauces like salsa and taco sauce.

Then, everything else gets loaded back in. In the bottom drawer I have a container for cheese, as I have pictured here, and I also have one for sliced meat and a couple other random things.

clean fridge

All these containers were things I picked up at the dollar store as I mentioned in 25 Amazing Finds at the Dollar Store.

Altogether this project took only 40 minutes from start to finish, and that includes reorganizing everything as it went back in.

Minimal time, maximum payoff by enlisting the help of your bathtub!

Did you know this trick already? How do you clean your fridge?

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  1. Each morning after cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I clean one shelf or drawer in the refrigerator. That ‘s it.

  2. I line all my shelves with glade press and seal. When it’s time to clean the fridge, I just unpeel, toss and re-line. No muss, no fuss!

    1. That’s a great idea, My mother-in-law lines the top of her refridg. with
      plastic wrap. It catches all the dust and dirt, just wad up and throw
      away. Then reline, When we bought our new fridge. I started that and
      it works like a charm.

  3. My only Concern is Blue Dawn. Not sure the ingredients are safe. Any thoughts? Would another dish soap with less chemicals work as well? Love your website!

    1. hmmm. I use Blue Dawn for stripping diapers and making cleaner with vinegar and oils so I haven’t ever worried much about the chemicals because I haven’t personally had a problem with it. If it worries you, however, I would certainly check it out! And, I would think that another soap would work well, too, it’s really all about the soaking time that makes it so easy.

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