Cleaning refrigerator shelves might seem like an easy, straightforward process, but there are still a few things that you would have to keep in mind to achieve the best possible result.
Once you have taken the shelves out, ideally, you should allow them to come to room temperature. Only after that, you’d be able to safely wash them in hot, soapy water. To disinfect the shelves, use a white vinegar solution. Finally, don’t put any food items back on the shelves until you clean them as well.
Want to find out how to get rid of even of the most stubborn spills? Then keep on reading.
- Empty your refrigerator. You can put all the food items on the counter while you clean.
- Take out the shelves.
- Wash the shelves by hand with warm, soapy water and dry them with a clean towel.
- If one of the food items in your fridge had gone bad, then you might want to disinfect the shelves, not just wash them. The germs from the recalled products can easily spread all over the fridge, if the item was not kept in a sealed container.
- To sanitize the shelves, mix a gallon of water with a tablespoon of liquid bleach. Wipe the shelves with this solution and then rinse them with warm, soapy water.
- Dry the shelves with a clean towel one last time and put them back into the fridge.
- Don’t forget to place all the food inside the fridge as soon as you finish cleaning as the products should not be left on the counter for more than 2 hours.
By the way, if you want to quickly freshen up your shelves without deep cleaning them, you can simply wipe them down with a vinegar and water solution. This is a natural antibacterial surface cleanser.
Avoid using any harsh chemicals as the residual chemical particles and odors might end up contaminating your food.
Tips on Cleaning Refrigerator Shelves
- If your shelves are made out of glass, make sure that you’re not using hot water on them. An extra hot cleaning solution can make the glass crack. If you’re planning on using hot water, then allow the shelves to come to room temperature first.
You can also unplug the fridge and let the shelves slightly warm up inside the actual appliance.
- The chances are high that all the jars, containers, and cartons that you store in the fridge are not squeaky clean. So, before returning these items onto your clean shelves, wipe the bottoms of the products and clean any drips on the sides.
- Don’t forget to clean not only the top and bottom parts of the shelves but also the edges. If some bits of gunk are too hard-to-reach, then use a toothpick. Simply run it along the edges of the shelves.
- If there are some caked-on spills or grime on the shelves that you can’t remove with soapy water, go for a vinegar solution. This is a great natural alternative to chemical cleaners.
Mix a cup of white vinegar with a cup of warm water and use the solution to wipe down the shelves. You can also pour the mixture into a spray bottle if you want. After that, rinse the shelves with water and dry them with a fiber cloth.
- If you have run out of vinegar, you can use baking soda for the stubborn stains instead. Mix a bit of water with baking soda to create a paste-like substance, rub it over the stain, and leave it on the caked-on food for about 10 minutes. Then simply wipe the natural cleaner off.
- If you have a dishwasher that can fit the shelves, then you should definitely use the appliance to give the shelves a nice clean – it’s convenient and, in a lot of cases, a lot more effective than hand-washing.
Do make sure, however, that the shelves are dishwasher-safe.
Shelves with integrated LED lighting can’t be put inside a dishwasher. But the majority of plastic and glass shelves can be washed on a normal cycle. Just make sure that the shelves have had a chance to come to room temperature.
Now you know how to clean your refrigerator shelves. This whole process shouldn’t take you longer than 20 minutes or so. And it would be amazing if you could deep clean your refrigerator in such a way every 3-4 months.