Refrigerator Maintenance 101

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many are planning their holiday menus. This may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By cleaning out your refrigerator and making sure it is in working condition, you can alleviate that stress and make the season more enjoyable.

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We at want to help you do this so you can have the most relaxing holiday possible. Read on for an in-depth guide to fridge cleanliness and repair.

Cleaning the Refrigerator

While this task may seem simple enough, some are not as thorough with their fridge clean out as they ought to be. Be sure you are checking expiration dates for every item including condiments. Be brave and reach for that Tupperware at the back that is housing mysterious, fluffy leftovers – you can do it!

Once all the gunk is out, wipe down all surfaces. You may need to pull out all the remaining good food and set it aside for this part. If this step is going to take you a while, prepare an ice-filled cooler to temporarily keep your perishables cold.

Odor Control

Often, even after a deep cleaning, odors can linger in your refrigerator. Relax – there are simple do-it-yourself solutions to this that will only take you a moment to put in place!

Baking Soda

Pour an entire box of baking soda onto a baking sheet and place it into your refrigerator. Leave this sheet in the fridge (usually no more than a week) until the smell disappears.

To prevent future odors, keep an open box of baking soda in your fridge at all times. If you ever notice smells coming back, it’s probably time to replace this box with a new one.


One of the more unknown odor solution methods is bunched up newspaper. It works much the same way as baking soda; the carbon from the ink in the newspaper sucks moisture out of the air and into the paper.

Simply crumple-up some newspaper, spray them with a little bit of water, then set into the refrigerator for a few days.

Charcoal Briquettes

Since summer has just ended, many of you probably have some leftover charcoal briquettes laying around your home. These are also great for eliminating tough odors. Simply place 4-5 briquettes in a bowl and onto a shelf inside of your fridge. Any remaining smells should be gone in less than a week.

Efficiency Tune-Up

Now that your fridge smells and looks good as new, you should check to make sure it will continue to operate in peak condition. We have a few simple suggestions that anyone can accomplish:

    Clean the Condenser Coils & Fan

    Over time, you refrigerator’s condenser can become dirty, which directly effects how efficiently your unit runs. To clean this, you’ll first need to gain access to the condenser fan and coils. The condenser assembly is typically located behind a grille on the backside or front of your fridge. Once you’ve removed this grille, use a soft brush, vacuum, or air compressor to blow away the dust and dirt from both the coils and fan.

    Check the Door Seals

    If it’s been a while since you checked your refrigerator seals, it’s a smart idea to do this now. Use a dollar bill to test this by attempting to slide it between every inch of your door seals and the fridge. If the bill can slide between the seal, then the seal is not tight enough and should be replaced.

    Clear the Freezer Vents

    Believe it or not, the little vents in your freezer do serve a purpose! They help circulate cold air in the freezer, which you know, is necessary to help keep everything cold.

    This means that any food items, crumbs and ice will need to be removed from these vents on a regular basis. If you have a large ice buildup, either defrost your freezer or use a small ice pick to gently remove the excess ice.

    Set the Proper Temperature

    One of the main reasons your refrigerator is killing your electric bill is because it’s just simply not set to the correct temperature. Each time the compressor kicks on to make it cooler, you’re wasting more energy. Combat this by setting your refrigerator to between 36° F and 42° F and your freezer to between -5° F and +6° F.

While we can’t speak for everyone, we always feel better after a deep clean in any area of the house. Cleaning your refrigerator is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season in a productive (and often therapeutic) way. Be sure to check all your other appliances so you are ready to rock the holiday feasts that are growing closer with each passing day!

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