What’s the best way to clean your refrigerator and how often should you do it? Why it is even important? Well, despite the low temperatures, microorganisms can still multiply, especially if the fridge temperature is not set correctly. If you’re unsure of how to clean your fridge – perhaps you’re worried about damaging the appliance by using the wrong cleaning products – read on for the best way to clean your fridge.
How often should you clean your fridge?
Refrigerators will inevitably get a little messy – jam gets stuck to one of the shelves and juice or milk spills into the door shelving. Yet, even if your fridge isn’t visibly dirty, we still recommend that you clean it every four weeks or so because, after all, you’re storing fresh food here!
Before we share any cleaning tips, one thing we will say is getting into a routine is a solid foundation for a fridge that gleams and sparkles all year round! So set a date for every 4 weeks for a cleanliness check-up and add it to your calendar, whether physical or digital having a reminder and a form of accountability will make a big difference.
Cleaning your refrigerator doesn’t require a huge amount of expertise and, you’ll be pleased to hear, you don’t need expensive refrigerator cleaners or disinfectants because warm water with a little washing-up liquid is quite sufficient.
Preparing to clean your fridge
First, give some thought to getting your appliance ready for cleaning – run down food stocks and arrange for remaining foods to be temporarily stored in a cold bag with cold packs or in the fridge of a friendly neighbour!
Remember, always switch off the refrigerator and unplug it from the mains for safety reasons before you set to with your cloth. If your appliance is freestanding, pull it slightly forwards or sideways and then use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust from underneath it and from the large, black condenser coils at the back, unless your appliance is a newer model such as BluPerformance.
If you have a fridge-freezer without NoFrost or a refrigerator with a freezer compartment you should leave it to defrost for several hours before you clean it out.
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Cleaning the fittings
Take out and, where possible, dismantle all removable parts such as the shelves, drawers or partitions. Clean these individual fittings in the sink using warm water with a little washing-up liquid or pH-neutral detergent. Use a damp cloth to clean the telescopic rails. The grease on the tracks is required for lubrication and should not be removed. Use a cotton cloth to dry the parts.
Cleaning the interior of your fridge
The best way to clean the interior is with a microfibre cloth, warm water and a little washing-up liquid or pH-neutral detergent.
Using expensive specialist cleaners or disinfectants is not necessary when cleaning refrigerators; warm water and washing-up liquid are quite sufficient.
After cleaning, wipe out the interior using clean water and dry it with a cloth. It’s not uncommon for household advice websites to suggest cleaning your refrigerator with vinegar: we strongly advise you not to do this as vinegar can sometimes corrode plastics. You should also avoid using scouring pads, abrasive sponges and other aggressive cleaning agents and aids. It is far more important to simply clean your appliance regularly. You can’t actually go far wrong when cleaning your fridge but, to be on the safe side, here are a few things you should avoid:
- Do not use steam cleaners
- Do not use concentrated detergents
- Do not use scourers, abrasive sponges or steel wool
- Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaning agents that contain sand, chloride or acid
- Do not damage or remove the rating plate found on the interior
- Do not allow cleaning water to enter the drainage channel, the ventilation grills or the electrical parts
Cleaning the outside of your fridge
Suitable cleaning of the outside of your appliance depends on the material from which it is made.
Assuming you own a Liebherr appliance:
Plastic exteriors: Clean with a little lukewarm water and washing-up liquid.
Stainless steel doors with SmartSteel and BlackSteel: These must be treated with particular care. Wipe them with a soft, clean cloth or micro-fibre cloth. If it is necessary to remove tough dirt use a little water or a pH-neutral cleaner. Please note: You must not use stainless steel cleaner on SmartSteel surfaces as this can damage the SmartSteel finish.
Stainless steel door/panels: If a stainless steel door or side panels are dirty, clean them using Liebherr stainless steel cleaner (product no. 8409 022 (250 ml)). Apply the cleaner to a soft, cotton cloth and clean in the direction of the grain. Afterwards, use lukewarm water to remove any cleaning agent residue and then re-seal the dry surface with Liebherr stainless steel polish (product no. 8409 028 (50 ml) or product no. 8409 030 (250 ml)). Again, work in the direction of the grain. Both the stainless steel cleaner and the stainless steel polish can be purchased from specialist retailers or our spare parts sales team.
Painted side panels: Wipe with a soft, clean cloth. In the event of tough dirt, use a little water or a pH neutral detergent.
Once all parts are clean and dry, plug in the appliance and switch it back on. Where appropriate, engage the SuperFrost function so that your appliance reaches its desired temperature quickly. Once the appliance is sufficiently cold, put your food back into it. You can now enjoy a clean appliance and a sense of security as you store and prepare your fresh food!