There are several reasons why you should clean a refrigerator regularly. First, cleaning inside a refrigerator can help ensure proper sanitation, since a dirty refrigerator — especially one containing old food — is prone to harboring odors and possibly dangerous bacteria. Second, a clean refrigerator operates more efficiently, helping you save energy and lower your electric bills. Third, you can save money by avoiding the hassle of replacing dirty parts or having to buy a new refrigerator after something breaks. Cleaning a refrigerator is a relatively simple process, and maintaining your refrigerator properly can keep it running well and help prolong its life.
Despite being refrigerated, most foods have a finite shelf life, and leftovers should usually be eaten or thrown away within a few days. The longer they are kept in the refrigerator, the more likely food items are to become rotten and grow bacteria, emitting unpleasant odors and leading to potentially hazardous health conditions. To clean a refrigerator effectively, keep in mind that hidden crevices and other parts that get wet can contain mold or mildew.
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When you clean a refrigerator, it can also help you save energy and money because clean refrigerators do not have to work as hard to keep food cold. For instance, keeping condenser coils free of dirt and dust helps them conduct heat away from the refrigerator's inside, which is what ultimately keeps it cool. Keeping all of the refrigerator's components in good working order is difficult to do when they are dirty, thus increasing the likelihood of having to replace expensive parts, or worse, the whole unit.
You should clean a refrigerator's exterior regularly, as well as the interior. The outside should be wiped down when you notice any dust or other grime. One of the most important refrigerator cleaning tips is to unplug and move the refrigerator in order to maximize your ability to clean hard-to-reach areas. The refrigerator's condenser coils can be cleaned by brushing them off and then vacuuming them if they are very dusty. You can then wipe down the rest of the outside of the refrigerator with a spray cleanser or soap and water.
To clean a refrigerator on the inside, you can use a mild detergent like dish soap, or a baking soda and water solution; many people prefer this option because they don't have to rinse it. After removing and washing the shelves and drawers, let them air dry, or dry them with a towel, and then replace them. While the bins and shelves are out of the refrigerator, you can remove all food items and discard those that are expired or otherwise inedible. A good rule of thumb is to empty the old contents weekly and include them with your outgoing trash. When cleaning inside a refrigerator, don't forget the icemaker, if you have one, as well as any small spaces such as the door shelves and butter drawer.