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How to Clean & Organize Your Refrigerator Like a Pro

How to Clean & Organize Your Refrigerator Like a Pro

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Keeping your fridge clean and organized is one of the key components to a healthy kitchen. A well-organized fridge not only saves you time and money, but it reduces food waste, and makes meal prep a breeze.

But it’s easy to let things get out of hand with spills, expired items, and disorganized shelves. So here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to cleaning and organizing your fridge like a pro.

1. Things You’ll Need

Before diving in, gather all the things you’ll need to make the process of cleaning and organizing your fridge more streamlined. Things you’ll need are:

2. Empty the Fridge

It’s important to remove all items from the fridge to clean it thoroughly. You don’t want anything obstructing your cleaning process.

Check expiration dates as you go, and discard anything expired or spoiled.

Wipe down every item with a damp microfiber cloth as you remove them from the fridge, paying attention to condiment lids and jars where residue can build up.

Place perishable items in the cooler to keep them cold during the cleaning process, and the other non-perishables on the countertop.

3. Remove Shelves and Drawers

The next step is to take out all removable shelves and drawers. This makes it easier to clean every nook and cranny.

Take care when removing glass shelving, and make sure anything that can be removed is.

4. Wash Shelves and Drawers

Fill either your kitchen sink or bathtub with warm, soapy water. Then using a scrubbing sponge, wash down each piece being careful not to break anything.

For stubborn spots, allow them to soak in the warm water for a few minutes and then use the plastic scraper

For any tricky corners or edges, use the toothbrush or small cleaning brush, and rinse thoroughly.

Wipe any plastic components with a dry microfiber cloth, and glass components with a glass microfiber cloth to get a polished finish.

5. Clean the Interior

Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe down the interior walls, ceiling, and floor of the fridge to remove any loose debris.

Dilute one tablespoon of all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle with one quart of water, and then spray the entire inside of the fridge thoroughly.

Then using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe down the surfaces, paying special attention to corners and seams where grime can accumulate.

For any stuck-on food, use the scraper or brush to dislodge the spots and then wipe over with the microfiber cloth.

6. Remove Stubborn Stains

If there are any tough stains in the fridge, make a paste using baking soda, the mild detergent, and water using ratio 6:3:1 and apply it directly to the stain. Allow it to sit for several minutes, and then use the scrubbing sponge to buff the stain away.

7. Dry the Interior

Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to wipe down all interior surfaces, ensuring they are completely dry. Then replace shelves and drawers back into the fridge.

Place an open container or box with baking soda on a shelf in the back of your fridge to neutralize odors.

8. Organize Your Food

When organizing your food, group similar items together before putting them back into the fridge. It might look something like this:

          • Milk and juice
          • Cheese, butter, margarine, and cold cuts
          • Eggs and yogurt
          • Raw meat and poultry
          • Condiments and sauces
          • Vegetables and fruit
          • Soda cans and beer
          • All medicines
          • Any leftovers

9. Use Proper Storage Techniques

Put your most-used items in the doors and at eye level for convenience.

Some items may need to be placed in the coolest part of the fridge, such as certain medicines, so use your own discretion here.

Then organize the rest of the items based on how often you use them. Here are some products and storage tips for most common fridge items.


Keep fresh produce in the crisper or humidity drawers at the bottom of your fridge to retain their freshness. You can even use produce bags to make food last even longer.

For produce that has been cut open, keep them in an airtight container to preserve them for longer and keep them front and center for easy access.


Keep fresh herbs on the top shelf and in view for convenience. Use a herb saver to keep your herbs fresher for longer and keep them neat and tidy in one place.


If you buy a lot of eggs, choose egg containers with lids so you can stack them. Or for more convenience get an egg dispenser. Keep these on the top or middle shelf.

Raw Meat and Poultry

Store raw meat and poultry in the bottom of the fridge and keep them in a container to prevent any contaminated spills. Remove the container and clean in warm soapy water each time you remove anything.

Soda Cans and Beer

Store soda cans and taller beverages in plastic containers on the bottom or middle shelf. This keeps them accessible, but doesn’t take up prime real estate in the fridge.

Loose Condiment Packets

Your favorite burger joint’s special sauce. Ketchup and mustard from the hotdog stand. Mini soy sauce vessels from the local sushi joint. If you’re a collector of condiment packets, get a hanging condiment holder or a condiment dispenser if you’ve got the space.

Cheese, Butter, Margarine, and Cold Cuts

If you don’t have another drawer in your fridge for these items, invest in storage drawers to keep them fresh and separate from other items.

If you do have a drawer for these in your fridge, get separate containers for:

        • Hard cheeses like cheddar and pecorino
        • Soft cheeses like brie and camembert
        • Sliced cheese
        • Cold cuts like ham and turkey
        • Bacon
        • Butter
        • Margarine

10. Maintain Regularly

To maintain a clean and healthy fridge, regularly check the contents and remove expired items. Wipe up spills immediately with a damp microfiber cloth to prevent them from becoming stubborn stains.

Always check the tops of condiment bottles and jars to remove any residue. There’s nothing worse than using ketchup or mustard when it’s got caked-on residue from months ago.

Dust the top of your refrigerator with a damp microfiber cloth. For stuck-on dust, spray liberally with your all-purpose cleaner first.

For non-stainless steel refrigerators, wipe the exterior of the fridge regularly with a damp microfiber cloth. You can also use your all-purpose spray.

For stainless steel refrigerators, use a damp microfiber followed by a glass microfiber cloth to polish the exterior every few days.

Maintenance is Key to a Clean and Organized Refrigerator

By following these steps, you can transform your fridge into a clean, organized, and efficient space. Not only will this make it easier to find what you need, but it will also help reduce food waste, saving you money and ensuring your ingredients stay fresh longer.

An organized fridge promotes better meal planning and preparation, making your time in the kitchen more enjoyable and less stressful. Plus, maintaining a tidy fridge can have positive effects on your overall well-being, as a clutter-free environment contributes to a more peaceful and productive mindset.

Embrace these simple steps and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained fridge that supports a healthier, more organized lifestyle.

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