The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Cleaning the Refrigerator


If you have the Owner's Manual, follow the cleaning instructions. If you don't have the Manual, just follow these easy steps:


woman and open refrigerator(note: do this before going to the grocery store for your weekly shopping)

  1. Unplug the fridge and slide a coil brush under the unit’s kick plate to remove dust.
  2. Empty the contents of the entire fridge. Toss anything past its prime.
  3. Remove the drawers and scrub with a sponge, warm water and liquid dish soap.
  4. Spray the (now empty) interior with a multi-surface spray and wipe down the walls and each shelf. You can use an old toothbrush and cleanser to remove grime from the cracks.
  5. Plug the fridge back in and return the drawers and food while wiping down bottles and jars.
  6. Place a small box of baking soda in the door or in the back of the fridge to keep odors at bay.


  • Stainless steel Use a microfiber cloth and stainless steel surface spray, and rub in the direction of the grain.
  • Enameled steel Use a multi-surface spray and paper towels.

The above may seem like a once a year job, but the truth is, you can work towards keeping a clean fridge every day. Wipe up spills with a paper towel and warm water as they occur. (Or, you can use cleanser, but apply it to the paper towel first and not directly into a fridge full of food.) Keep baking soda in the fridge year round. And every week, do a quick purge of food that has expired or gone bad.


Learn More About Kitchen Cleaning