Things You Should Never Do When Cleaning the Fridge

Things You Should Never Do When Cleaning the Fridge

We know that no one ever wants to clean the fridge. You open it, and all its contents seem to stare back at you in a judgmental way. But if you must tackle this harrowing task, we must also warn you of some missteps to avoid. Get your mop and bucket ready as we explore the various things you should never do when cleaning the fridge!


Don’t Use a Knife

Using a knife may seem like the easiest way to clean any tough mess in your fridge, but it’s important to think twice before plunging in. Knives can nick and scratch the surfaces of refrigerator shelves, leaving behind permanent damage.

Stick with soft cloths or sponge-type cleaning brushes to ensure your fridge’s walls and shelving remain intact. If you have been using a knife, replace any scratched surfaces with enamel touch-up paint specifically designed for refrigerators. This material matches the paint used in manufacturing the product and brightens up those dings that are inevitable due to everyday wear and tear.

Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals

It’s essential to maintain a clean refrigerator, but when it comes to doing so, you need to be careful. Household cleaners like bleach can be dangerous and can even cause side effects when they come in contact with food. So what are some safe alternatives?

It’s best to start by turning off the power and removing all food items before beginning the cleaning process. Natural ingredients and cleaning tools can go a long way in ensuring that the inside of your refrigerator stays germ-free and spotless without having to employ harsh chemicals.

Some tips for effective fridge cleaning without harsh chemicals include:

  • Employing a microfiber cloth for wiping down surfaces;
  • Using a mixture of vinegar and water (1:1 ratio) to remove tough residues;
  • Using baking soda as an abrasive agent on tough spots;
  • Scrubbing away grime with damp sponges (which can later be sanitized);
  • Mixing lemon juice with water as a cleaner, disinfectant, and deodorizer; and
  • Spraying diluted hydrogen peroxide over shelves for antibacterial protection.

Don’t Use Hot Water

Using hot water when cleaning the interior of your refrigerator can cause serious damage and malfunction of your appliance. Hot water can easily cause seals to weaken or melt, and any cracks that form in the plastic surfaces of the interior will provide bacteria with a place to grow. This can damage food storage and threaten food safety.

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To ensure the longevity of your fridge and that it is cleaned properly for sanitary reasons, use lukewarm or cold water instead, as well as mild dish soap or all-natural cleaning solutions such as white vinegar. Hiring an expert cleaner for the job is also a good option to ensure the safety of your fridge.

Don’t Use a Power Washer

When cleaning the refrigerator, it’s important to remember that many of the materials used in their manufacturing are designed for functionality rather than durability. The appliance parts, like gaskets and seals, may be damaged if overly agitated or subjected to pressure or excessive water. To avoid this possibility, it is recommended that you clean your refrigerator with mild soap and a soft cloth or sponge instead of using a power washer or any other type of high-pressure tool. Doing so can help ensure that the proper working conditions are maintained, there are no leaks, and your appliances continue to last longer than expected.

Don’t Use a Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaners may be an effective way to clean and sanitize surfaces, however, when it comes to cleaning out your fridge, steam should definitely be avoided. The intense moisture generated by a steam cleaner can damage electrical components in the freezer and refrigerator, triggering malfunctioning and corrosion.

To avoid this risk, stick with damp cloths or wipes as your main cleaning tools inside the fridge. Additionally, it is important to keep the condenser coils (located near the back or bottom of the fridge and freezer) clean so that you can get optimal cooling performance. Use a vacuum cleaner to carefully remove caked-on lint or dust on these coils.

Don’t Use a Toothbrush

When it comes to cleaning your fridge, there are certain items you should never use. Chief among them is a toothbrush. While tempting because of its small size and ability to get into tight spaces, a toothbrush often has bristles that are too stiff for the interior surfaces of a fridge and can damage them. Instead, opt for soft cloths and sponges that won’t scratch your appliances or remove any protective coating on their surfaces.

Don’t Use a Razor

When you’re deep cleaning the refrigerator, it can be tempting to use sharp objects to scrape thick or caked-on grime. However, it is very important that you do not use a razor or other sharp objects inside your fridge. These tools could scratch the interior lining of your appliance, which could lead to bacterial growth and contamination.

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It’s possible to get a squeaky-clean fridge without turning to a razor blade. Instead of purchasing specialty cleaning products, a simple solution of water and white vinegar can help cut through dirt efficiently and safely. Apply an even layer of this solution with a soft cloth and gently wipe down surfaces in your fridge as needed.

For tougher stains inside the appliance, try sprinkling baking soda on them before wiping them away. You can also use a dry brush or vacuum attachment to rid the back corner of any dust build-up in hard-to-reach places.

Don’t Use a Metal Spatula

Using a metal spatula to clean the interior of your refrigerator can lead to serious damage, both to the surfaces of your fridge and possibly even its electrical components. Metal is a conductor of electricity and can cause damage if used within the confines of your refrigerator.

Spatulas made from plastic or wood are safe to use, as there is no risk of electric shock or other complications that could arise due to a metal spatula coming into contact with electrical contacts within the appliance.

Don’t Use a Wire Brush

One important item to keep in mind when cleaning your refrigerator is never to use a wire brush. Abrasive scrubbers have tough bristles that can scratch or even gouge the surfaces of plastic and porcelain. This will leave unsightly marks and provide an opportunity for bacteria and other germs to accumulate in the grooves, leading to potentially dangerous food contamination.

A better option for cleaning those hard-to-reach places in your fridge is a soft sponge or cloth soaked in warm water. Make sure not to use any outside cleaners as they may be good at removing stains and dirt, but they can also contain too harsh chemicals that can leave residues on surfaces that come into contact with food.


In conclusion, there are several important guidelines to keep in mind when cleaning a refrigerator. By avoiding the mistakes mentioned above, you can help keep your fridge clean and running efficiently. With a little bit of care and attention, you can maintain a healthy, safe refrigerator that will serve you for many years to come!