Here's How Often You Need To Clean Your Refrigerator

While you may give your refrigerator a wipe down from time to time or tidy it up when you're running out of room to store all your condiments, have you ever wondered how often you really need to clean it out?

As GQ reported, while those semi-frequent wipe-downs and spot cleaning can happen whenever you need them to, you should deep clean it every three to four months. And that doesn't just mean wiping every shelf — it means really giving it a thorough cleaning.

As Well + Good recommended, for that deep clean every three to four months, you want to completely remove all the items in your fridge. Because of that, this isn't the type of deep clean you can chip away at all day long — you don't want those items to be left out longer than two hours, so you want to work relatively quickly. While removing everything, you can also evaluate the contents and toss anything that shouldn't go back into the cleaned fridge.

Then, with a blank slate, you can take out all the drawers and shelves, and wash both of them as well as the interior of the fridge with your cleaning solution of choice. Real Simple recommended a hot water and dish soap mixture for cleaning and a solution that features a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water for a sanitizing rinse. Additionally, every six months, you'll want to vacuum out anything from the fridge grille, as per Molly Maid.

How to keep your fridge tidy in between deep cleans

Between those deep cleans, you'll make things a lot easier on yourself if you incorporate a few easy habits.

First of all, as CNet recommended, consider using baskets or lining your drawers or shelves. It makes it much easier to tidy things up, especially if spills occur. It can be helpful to keep a few extra tools near your fridge as well, such as dry-erase markers and a dry erase board. That way, you can jot down when certain leftovers have been put in the fridge — that way, you'll never be left guessing whether something is safe to eat or not, and you'll remember to throw things out before they start to stink up your refrigerator.

You can also incorporate a few extra steps into your routine, as Simple Most suggested. For example, if you do your household's main grocery shop weekly, before heading to the store, spend a few minutes looking through your refrigerator and throwing out anything that's old or has gone bad. This will make things a whole lot easier when it's time to doing your quarterly deep clean, as you won't be sorting through a bunch of old items.

And, of course, pop a box of baking soda in the refrigerator to keep those pesky odors at bay, as per The Spruce — it's a simple solution, and it requires changing every three months or so, which perfectly aligns with a quarterly deep clean.