How to clean a fridge – fast!

With grossness (hello old tupperware) comes great satisfaction. Rubber gloves, ready, go

Fridge Cleaning

Before you start, cleaning the fridge and all its shelves and compartments can feel like a mammoth task – and there’s always something else you need to do. But regular cleaning doesn’t have to be a big time commitment, and the best kind of fridge is always going to be a clean fridge. Read our ultimate busy person’s guide to getting your fridge spick and span in a flash, and get the job out of the way in just thirty minutes!

How to clean your fridge quickly: 4 golden rules

Operation Clean Fridge is a team effort, so it shouldn’t take more than half an hour – even if you’re dealing with the grubbiest of fridges – as long as you get the whole household involved.

  • The best time to clean the fridge is when it’s relatively empty. The less food you have to take out or work around, the better. Treat this as an opportunity to clear out items like that one jar of mystery paste that you bought for a specific recipe and never used again.
  • Enlist a partner, family member or friend to help you. If you scrub the removable parts while your partner cleans inside the fridge, the job will get done in half the time. If you have kids, it could be a great opportunity for them to learn about different types of food and how to organise them.
  • Use kitchen paper to wipe down surfaces speedily. Don’t waste precious time rinsing out an increasingly grungy sponge – a few sheets from a high-quality, absorbent kitchen roll like Plenty can help you work faster.


Use a kitchen paper that’s strong even when soaked through. Plenty paper towels are wringable, and they’ll even withstand scrubbing. Try The Extra Big One for extra-large, durable sheets that are perfect for bigger household tasks.

  • Clean a little, but often. Keep your future fridge maintenance sessions brief by mopping up spills with kitchen paper as they happen, and making time every week to use up or dispose of any items that are starting to look unhealthy … or alive.


A quick eco-friendly tip: Fridges are designed to stay at around the same temperature, meaning they use more power if the door is left open and the cold air starts to escape. If yours doesn’t have removable shelves, think about unplugging or turning off the mains while you clean the fridge.

Ready to find out how to clean a fridge like lightning? Let’s get started.

How to clean a refrigerator in 30 minutes

First, the equipment. This is what you’ll need to clean a fridge:

What you’ll need

Okay, start the clock! Here’s how to clean inside a fridge thoroughly, and quickly, and even have some fun while you’re doing it:

  1. Take everything out of the fridge. As you go, dispose of anything that’s past its best.
  2. Place the remaining contents of the fridge on the kitchen table. Wipe up the bases of mucky jars and storage containers with some moistened paper towels. Now is a great opportunity to reorganise your fridge, so arrange your food on the kitchen table in the following groups to put back afterwards:
    • Raw meat, fish, and poultry. These items will need to go back on the bottom shelf once you’re done.
    • Fruit and veg. Destined for the produce drawer, above the meat.
    • Awkwardly tall bottles and jars. The ones that keep you playing regular games of fridge Tetris. There’s usually only a few places these items can go. Group them together so you can put them back in first.
    If your shelves are removable, it’s time to take them out. Fill any produce drawers or door inserts up with warm water and washing up liquid, and scrub off any dirt. Rinse them well before leaving them upside-down to air-dry while you clean inside the fridge. Spray shelves with all-purpose cleaner, and wipe down with a Plenty paper towel.
  3. Take your all-purpose cleaner and apply it to the inside of the fridge. Then take a sheet or two of kitchen paper (choose one that is strong when wet, like Plenty, so that it holds together even when the going gets tough) and wipe down the inside surfaces (including the inside door), starting at the top. Fridge corners and shelf brackets are the easiest to miss, so don’t forget to show them some love.
  4. Dry off the shelves and drawers and put them back in the fridge, followed by the food. And you’re done! Congratulations on your beautiful, clean fridge. Now for the oven

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