5 Best Fridge Cleaner Products
These fridge cleaners and expert tips will help clean, sanitize, and polish the interior and exterior of your refrigerator.
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Cleaning your refrigerator might not be fun, but regular fridge cleanings using a good fridge cleaner are crucial for a variety of reasons. “Overall, regularly cleaning your refrigerator is essential for maintaining a healthy and organized kitchen, preventing food waste and reducing energy bills,” says Alicia Sokolowski, president and co-CEO of Aspen Clean.
In terms of food safety, “A clean refrigerator helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria (like salmonella, E. coli and listeria and other germs) and reduces the risk of foodborne illness,” she says. “Bacteria can grow on food spills, spoiled food and other debris in your refrigerator, so it’s important to keep it clean.” There may even be items you should toss right now from your refrigerator.
Also, a clean refrigerator helps keep your food fresh for longer. “When spills and debris are left to accumulate, they can cause odors that can transfer to other food items in your fridge, affecting their quality and taste,” she says.
It can also help you save energy as a clean refrigerator runs more efficiently, reducing energy bills. “When the coils and vents of your refrigerator are clogged with dirt and debris, it has to work harder to maintain the safest temperature, using more energy in the process,” says Sokolowski. Not cleaning the internal mechanics can also shorten the lifespan of even the best refrigerator.
While you can clean your fridge naturally using warm water, white vinegar, lemon or natural dish soap, there are also other fridge cleaners that can help get the job done efficiently. Here are five of the best fridge cleaners that’ll have your fridge looking practically brand new.
Best Fridge Cleaner Products
Best overall fridge cleaner
AspenClean All-Purpose Cleaner
Sokolowski only recommends using a natural, all-purpose cleaner for the inside of the fridge due to the fact that you are cleaning surfaces that touch food. It is no surprise she recommends AspenClean All-Purpose Cleaner, one of the most natural products on the market.
Like other AspenClean products, this effective cleaner has an A rating by the EWG and is one of a few all-purpose cleaners to earn their “verified” badges. “The typical commercial (fridge) cleaners are full of nasty and toxic chemicals that are very bad for your health,” she explains. Not only is it great as a fridge cleaner for wiping down the inside of your appliance, but you can use it as an eco-friendly cleaning product everywhere else in the home, even on surfaces touched by pets and babies.
- One of the most natural, all-purpose cleaners on the market, verified by EWG
- Users love the subtle but fresh smell
- Only available on the AspenClean website
Best budget fridge cleaner
Grove All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate
This all-natural Grove Co. cleaner concentrate is safe to use all over your home, including the inside and outside of your fridge. These tiny bottles of concentrate mix easily with water in a glass spray bottle, eliminating plastic bottle waste. All orders are sent in recycled packaging, making it a great eco-friendly option. “It does a great job without chemical smells! I love that it doesn’t need rinsing and there is no sticky residue. It cleans very well,” writes one reviewer.
Choose from multiple scents, including a citrus-rosemary, lavender, lemon and eucalyptus and an unscented version as well. Each bottle of solution will cost just $4 after you make the initial investment of a glass bottle.
- Only $4 a bottle
- Safe to use on the interior and exterior of the fridge
- Great scents
- Requires a glass spray bottle
Best cleaner for stainless steel fridges
Therapy Clean Stainless Steel Cleaner
This multitasking stainless steel cleaner from Therapy Clean is wildly popular on Amazon with over 17,000 reviews and a 4.6-star average rating. The all-natural, plant-based cleaner has coconut oil as one of its main ingredients and smells amazing with a subtle hint of lavender. It’s safe to use on all traditional and black stainless steel including appliances, grills, sinks, refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, range hoods and trash cans.
While it isn’t cheap, reviewers maintain the value is impressive. “It cleans surfaces and removes fingerprints, water stains and overall gunk. Then, it buffs whatever the surface to a sparkling shine that remains several days after treatment,” writes Jason P., one of the many 5-star reviewers.
Expert tip: You can really clean your stainless steel fridge well by applying the product with a microfiber cleaning cloth, as the one included.
- Cleans and polishes stainless steel surfaces
- Smells great
- Comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth
- 17,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.6-star average
- Higher price point
- Only cleans the exterior of the fridge
Best fridge cleaner on Amazon
Aunt Fannie’s All-Purpose Cleaning Vinegar
As Sokolowski mentions, you can use vinegar and soap to clean your refrigerator. Aunt Fannie’s scented cleaning vinegar enhanced with essential oils is one of the best cleaning supplies on Amazon if you don’t love the smell of traditional vinegar. The all-natural solution, available in eucalyptus, lemon and lavender scents, has been endorsed by the Environmental Working Group and is incredibly safe even for food surfaces.
“This cleaner is the best I’ve found if you want to use non-toxic cleaners. Smells great, works great, I love it,” writes verified purchaser Michaela Hughes. Finding inexpensive cleaning products that work like magic can be difficult, but Aunt Fannie’s proves to be a great choice for cleaning your fridge.
- All-natural, non-toxic, and endorsed by EPA
- Available in a variety of scents
- 3,000 Amazon ratings and a 4.5-star average
- Some reviewers find the price a tad high
Best fridge deodorizer
Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh Air Filters
Now that you have cleaned your refrigerator, keep it smelling fresh with these clever fridge filters, which “work better than the baking soda in a box,” reviewer Debby claims.
Equipped with suction cups, stick them anywhere in the fridge to keep your fridge smelling great and food tasting fresh. After 30 days, the replacement indicator will inform you when it needs to be replaced. “It took a couple of days, but it totally absorbed the awful smell my mini fridge had after I defrosted and forgot to remove the meat from the freezer section,” writes Katy F., another one of the many five-star reviewers on Amazon.
- Helps keep your fridge smelling fresh and food tasting fresh for longer
- Won’t spill like a box of baking soda
- Indicator signals when it is time to replace
- 2,700 Amazon ratings and a 4.6-star average
- Need to be replaced every 30 days
- Pricier than a box of baking soda
What to consider when buying fridge cleaner
When buying a fridge cleaner, Sokolowski encourages opting for more natural products. Also, if you have a stainless steel fridge, you might have to invest in two products: One for the interior and another for the exterior. Finally, consider investing in a product that keeps your fridge smelling fresh after you clean it out.
Types of fridge cleaners
- Exterior fridge cleaner: Those who have stainless steel refrigerators shouldn’t use the same cleaner on the exterior of the fridge as inside. Make sure to use a stainless steel-safe cleaner when wiping down the outside.
- Interior fridge cleaner: All-purpose cleaners can clean and sanitize the interior of a fridge, eliminating bacteria.
- Fridge deodorizer: Some people keep a box of baking soda somewhere in the fridge to keep it smelling fresh, but a fridge deodorizer is a great alternative.
How we found the best fridge cleaners
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
What’s the best way to clean a fridge?
Sokolowski suggests the following steps to clean a refrigerator.
Empty the fridge: Take out all the food and remove the shelves and crisper drawers. Put all the food you want to keep in a cooler while cleaning your fridge. Don’t forget to turn off your fridge.
Discard expired or spoiled food: Check the expiration dates of your food items and discard any expired food or ones that have gone bad.
Clean the interior: Spray your solution onto the interior surfaces of the fridge, including the walls and every shelf and drawer you can’t take off. Use a clean microfiber cloth or sponge to wipe down the surfaces, paying special attention to any spills or stains. Rinse the cloth or sponge in warm water and wring it out often.
Wash the shelves and drawers: Use the same solution or warm soapy water (use natural dish soap) and a sponge to wash the shelves and drawers in your sink. Rinse them with warm water and dry them thoroughly.
Clean the exterior: Spray an exterior cleaning solution onto the exterior of the fridge. This includes the door, handles and any other surfaces. Wipe down the surfaces with a clean microfiber cloth or sponge. Always go with the direction of the grain if you are cleaning stainless steel.
Replace the food: Once the interior and exterior of the fridge are dry, replace the shelves, drawers and food items.
Do I need to turn off the fridge before cleaning?
Sokolowski recommends turning the fridge off prior to cleaning for many reasons. The first is safety, which is a common kitchen cleaning mistake. “If the fridge is still plugged in, there’s a risk of electrocution if any water or cleaning solution gets into the electrical components,” she says.
The second is efficiency. “When the fridge is turned off, the cooling elements aren’t working, making cleaning easier. The absence of cooling also allows any condensation or moisture to dry completely before you return food to the fridge,” she adds. Also, turning off the fridge makes it easier to thoroughly clean every part of the fridge, “including hard-to-reach areas that may be blocked when the fridge is full and turned on,” she says.
Finally, it can also save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. “Unplugging your fridge while you clean it ensures you’re not wasting energy on a fridge that doesn’t need to be on,” she notes.
How often should a fridge be cleaned?
According to Sokolowski, you should plan on deep cleaning your fridge every three to four months. “The single most important appliance in your home, your fridge, deserves respect and consistent upkeep.” However, you may want to clean it more often if you notice spills or stains or if strong odors are coming from your refrigerator.
Also, keep in mind that the frequency of cleaning your fridge may vary based on individual usage and habits. “For example, if you store a lot of fresh produce or meat, you may need to clean your fridge more frequently to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria,” she concludes.
- Alicia Sokolowski, president and co-CEO of Aspen Clean.
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