How to Clean & Disinfect Your Refrigerator in 20 Minutes

How to Clean & Disinfect Your Refrigerator in 20 Minutes

How to Clean & Disinfect Your Refrigerator in 20 Minutes

Cleaning your refrigerator is probably not on your cleaning list and so its one of those once, maybe twice, a year jobs you put off until you can no longer stand it.


I’m guilty of this as well because it was about once a year I used to do a deep clean of the fridge. It was usually leading up to the holidays when I need to purge of extras that have built up in the fridge and are taking up valuable real estate where our turkey or leftovers need to squeeze in.


With our new house and new top double-door refrigerator, I’ve actually cleaned the fridge twice in six months and must admit that I love not having any cement-like spills on shelves and expired vegetables that smell a bit too ripe.


We’ve even cut down our number of condiments and always seem to have extra fridge space for take-out or lots of leftovers.


The best part? It only takes 20-minutes for me to complete clean and clean out the fridge.


Stuck on how to properly clean your fridge? Here are my four steps to cleaning out the fridge that will leave you better organized and with a brand-new looking refrigerator!



  1. Take everything out of the fridge, including shelves, bins, drawers and side storage. Set everything on the counter nearby until the fridge is completely empty.
  2. Toss anything that is expired or moldy and especially fruits and vegetables that are past being ripe and are turning, or have already turned mushy. Don’t think you’ll dig into that container of hummus again, toss that too!
  3. Combine any of the same condiments or dressings into one container if you have more than one jar, such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and salad dressing. The purpose is to eliminate any extra containers you have in the fridge that are taking up valuable space.
  4. In the freezer, any meats or vegetables that have accumulated freezer burn and were either improperly stored or stored for too long, need to be tossed.



  1. Remove the drawers and let them soak in warm water and soap in the sink. After you’ve finished all the following steps and they’ve sat for a couple minutes, scrub them clean. Make sure they’re completely dry before you put them back into the refrigerator.
  2. Wipe down all of the shelves (the top and underneath) with a multi-purpose spray and dry them.
  3. Remove side storage bins if they come out of the fridge and rinse.
  4. Scrub away any spills and grime on the walls of the fridge and freezer.



  1. Put all the food back into the refrigerator; organizing contents by produce, meats, freezer items, condiments, beverages and so on.
  2. If you use storage containers for organizing for little kids, make sure these bins are labeled and organized for them to understand the organization process as well.
  3. Make sure your drawers are set to the proper humidity to keep food fresh longer.



  1. Make sure you clean the outside of fridge too by wiping down the surfaces, handles and inside doors with a multipurpose spray.
  2. If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, a multi-purpose spray may leave smudges or cloudy spots. You might want to wipe down with a multi-purpose disinfecting spray first and then follow up with a stainless steel appliance polish.



  1. Clean your fridge once a month and it’ll make the entire cleaning process faster than say, if you only did it twice a year. You’ll have less mess to clean and tough spills to scrub.
  2. Wait to clean your refrigerator until right before you go grocery shopping and when your fridge is at its emptiest. You’ll not only have a better idea of extra items you might need to pick up at the store next time (or ones that have expired such as condiments), but your fridge will be sparkling clean for all the new groceries you buy.


Voila! Now you have a clean and new looking fridge in 20 minutes or less. The more often you add cleaning out and cleaning up the refrigerator to your schedule, the faster and easier it will be to stay on top of expired food, spills and keeping everything looking polished and organized.


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  • Helen Stauffer says:

    This takes a lot loner than 20 minutes! I’ve done it many times.

    • Corinne says:

      Hi Helen. I got nervous that you thought it took more than 20 minutes so call me crazy, but I cleaned out our fridge again and it was right at 20 minutes start-to-finish. The key is to do it before you go grocery shopping so your fridge isn’t full and to do it regularly (I do ours every 3-4 weeks) so that there isn’t much build up of tough gunk to clean. If something spills in the fridge, I don’t want to clean it up either. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Beth says:

    i just did mine according to your directions. woooohooo 17 minutes. 😀 i had a bucket of really hot soapy water near by for the rubber around the door. 😀 i just didnt do the freezer and i looked at it oh! i am so ashamed and i am so doing it. lolololol thank you so much for the pointers 😀


I’m Corinne, a Mom to three active little kids, including twins. I love coffee at any time of the day, believe afternoon naps are essential, am working hard at creating a meditation practice and filing our family life with experiences, not things.