How to Clean Refrigerator With Vinegar


Do you have vinegar at home and imagining the possible ways of how to clean refrigerator with vinegar?

I recently had to clean out my dorm fridge which I had left as it is in my hurry to get home when the Covid’19 pandemic began. I came back to my fridge turned off and the groceries inside had turned into black mold. Surely it ranks top on the most disgusting and the nastiest things I have ever cleaned.

 The smell was awful. The stench of the fungus in the vegetables and the sausages that had practically melted all contributed to heavily ugly odor that could easily make you nauseous. Thank god for surgical masks.

So, to clean it all out, I did some research and made a list of all the grocery items I needed to get to cleaning the fridge out and getting rid of the bad smell before I started using it again. Turns out vinegar is a strong team player when it comes to cleaning out bad odors and getting rid of stains.

This article is basically what I found out on the internet and what hacks worked for me. Most importantly we will learn about what are the multiple ways and of cleaning a refrigerator with vinegar.

Time to gather items for cleaning the refrigerator

Cleaning up a fridge daily does not take much time. Rather leaving it until the food is spoilt is what requires an effort. It doesn’t take a ton of elbow grease just some basic household items and you are good to go. Cleaning the clutter is the easy part. The real deal is when you must clean the month of spilled food and spoilt leftovers.

De-cluttering is also a significant step because where you would rather want to spend the time baking something delicious. You also need space in the fridge to store it. The ball is in your court. It’s time to act.

Before you begin, gather the following supplies:

  • A cloth for cleaning
  • Spray bottle
  • cleaning sponges
  • a bowl of warm water

Vinegar, water, and decent dish soap are all you need to refresh your fridge. Mixing three parts water with 1-part cleaning vinegar along with a dollop of dish soap can get back the shine that’s been missing. The three ingredients are enough to clean the whole fridge and make it shine like you just bought it.

Vinegar is a common household item that has multiple uses and most of them are related to cleaning. It is far more powerful than all the cleaning supplies that you find at the grocery store.

How to clean refrigerator with vinegar?

Step 1: Emptying the fridge

Start by eliminating everything out of the fridge. Throw away spoilt leftovers and anything that may have expired or seems useless. You could start by cleaning out the shelves on the door and work your way towards the main fridge cavity. Another thing you can do is clear it out all at once and then set it in an organized fashion. Throw away anything that seems spoilt or has crossed its expiration date.

Step 2: Removing the fridge’s accessories

Now that you have removed all the foodware from your fridge, you can now remove the shelves and drawers and wash them over in the sink. For the non-removable shelves and walls on the inside of the fridge, spray the vinegar solution that you made earlier and wipe it with a cleaning cloth.

Concentrate on the areas where there may be mold or fungus that wouldn’t budge. If you can’t get it out in the first go then spray the soiled area and leave it for some time. You can come back to it once you have cleaned the rest of the fridge. You can use the same spray or dish soap to clean refrigerator by removing the drawers and shelves.

Step 3: Cleaning the foodware

Once you’ve wiped out the fridge and are satisfied with your job. You can now use the cleaning cloth to clean out all the jars and bottles that may be sticky around the edges or may have leaked at some point. So, before you set them back give them a nice wipe and rearrange them in an organized fashion.

Make sure everything that goes back in the fridge is squeaky clean and is not expired or useless.

Step 4: Drying the fridge’s cavity

Dry the washed shelves with a kitchen towel and fix them back inside. Now you can place all the cleaned items in their respective areas. For an added effect you can label them as you place them back. You could also sort the shelf to a particular type of item. For example, I keep all my condiments on the door side shelves.

Pro tip: Keep everyday use items right in the front, so they are easier to access.

For future cleanings assign a spray bottle for this purpose and keep it handy for the weekly fridge maintenance. If you’re interested in some technical maintenance, then read our how-to article on fridge thermostats.

The vinegar solution works perfect when trying to make your fridge sparkle. Fridge liners are also available in the market, in case you want to spend a little extra on your fridge cleaning.

And now it’s time for some refrigerator FAQs.


Can I use white vinegar to clean my fridge?

It doesn’t matter what type of vinegar you use. However, it is preferred that you use white vinegar since it is the right pH to kill any microbes or bacteria and molds. Moreover, vinegar is non-toxic, and it also keeps the fridge fresh by overcoming any false odors once it has dried up. You don’t even need to rinse the vinegar out.

How to clean a fridge with vinegar and baking soda?

You could combine a quarter cup of baking soda with a tablespoon of dish soap and a cup of vinegar. Fill this mixture up in a spray bottle and give it a nice shake. Spray the mixture onto the surface of the fridge and scrub away any soiled areas.

Do you rinse after cleaning with vinegar?

For a rather spoiled area or spills and molds, you might have to rinse the vinegar out. However, if you are using dish soap along with the vinegar then use a damp cloth to prevent soap scum buildup.

Is it safe to mix vinegar and dish soap?

The combination of vinegar and dish soap is highly effective not only to make the fridge’s inside shine through but to clean up sticky and difficult stains as well. Dish soap is dense while vinegar is too runny but when combined they work extremely well in getting a cleaner fridge.

For future maintenance

It is extremely important to regularly clean out your fridge. Otherwise, the consequences of it may make you nauseous. The false odors and the fungus that ensues is extremely difficult to get rid of. It may eventually destroy the fridge surface and block the cooling vents. Therefore, frequent fridge maintenance physical or technical is extremely important if you want your fridge to last longer.

I know daily cleaning may sound too much because we all are lazy. However weekly cleanings are still possible. If that sounds too much, then try making it a part of your monthly kitchen reorganization. This will help you stay motivated to clean your fridge. Besides, it’s better to clean it occasionally rather than not doing it at all.

If you think your fridge may have run into some other issues because you forgot to clean it or something then here’s another guide to help you adjust your fridge’s temperature control.

If you want to transport your mini fridge to a new location, this guide will be helpful!

Rate your thought on this post

Immad Amir

Hey there, I'm Immad! I'm an SEO and appliance fanatic. Amna, my fiance, and I combined our interests and came up with RavvyReviews to help you all with our well-researched kitchen appliance reviews and foodie informative articles. We aim to learn more along the way and keep bringing you authentic trustworthy articles so all of us can have fun in the kitchen! We love interacting with you guys, do share yours thoughts in the comments. Get in touch with me through

Recent Updates

We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.
Privacy Policy