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A plan for keeping your refrigerator clean

Man and girl looking inside Samsung refrigerator

Refrigerators need love too. Your refrigerator keeps your drinks cold and your food fresh. So you should do your best to keep your fridge fresh and clean. That means not leaving fishy leftovers from last week in there. Check out these cleaning tips and tricks to make sure your refrigerator feels the love and stays odor free.

Clean up immediately after a spill

Don't wait! Clean spills as soon as they happen.

That puddle of coffee creamer will never be easier to clean than it is right now, and it's the best way to prevent odors and bacteria from setting up shop in your fridge. Use a clean, microfiber cloth. If necessary, use a damp cloth with mild detergent. Make sure you dry the area when you're done.

You'll thank yourself later when your fridge stays nice and tidy.

Hand wearing yellow glove using blue cloth to clean an empty refrigerator shelf

Deodorize as soon as there is a smell

So you left some fish or ground beef in the fridge a little too long and now it reeks. Throw out the rotten meat and get it out of your house. Move fast and we should be able to get the fridge back to smelling decent in no time. 

  1. If the offender was on a shelf or in a drawer, remove it and wash it in warm, soapy water.

  2. Sprinkle baking soda on a pan, a plate, whatever you have and place it in the fridge for 24 hours.

  3. To help the baking soda, sprinkle some ground coffee on another plate and place it in the fridge for 24 hours.

  4. Slice an orange and leave it in a bowl in the fridge to ensure that a fresh smell will stay behind.

odor in the refirgerator

Check for expired items daily

The best approach to daily maintenance for your fridge is to throw out expired items. These are the largest sources of odors. And if left for too long, they can leave a lasting odor even after the item is removed. If it looks or smells like something you're never going to eat, toss it. You don't want that smell taking over your fridge or other food.

Dump your unused ice every other week

We've all left unsealed ice cream in the freezer for too long. It's still ice cream, but at that point it's more ice than it is cream. Along those same lines, you should toss out ice occassionally, even if it never gets dispensed. This keeps the ice fresh, just like that unsealed carton of ice cream. If you don't do this, the ice clumps together and may even take on a freezer burned flavor. So take time every every other week to dump the ice so the ice maker can make a fresh batch. 

Six ice cubes that are beginning to melt

And here's a pro tip if you have a garbage disposal: dump the spare ice along with a few lemon wedges into the sink and grind it down to keep your disposal clean and smelling fresh.

Check for spills, crumbs, or other messes once a month

Every month it's a good idea to give your fridge a once-over, looking for any spills or crumbs which may have been missed or forgotten. If you don't see anything, great! Save a more thorough cleaning for later. But if you do see something to clean, now's a good time to take care of the most obvious stuff.

Use a clean, microfiber cloth, and if necessary, a damp cloth with mild detergent, and be sure to thoroughly dry everything when you're done. You can use this on the outside of the refrigerator too, unless it's stainless steel, but more on that in a second. Family Hub models even have a Clean Screen mode (available in the Settings menu) that helps you clean the touchscreen panel without accidentally using it.

If the outside of your refrigerator is stainless steel, use a stainless steel cleaner or polish like Bar Keepers Friend, and a soft clean cloth. Make sure to wipe along the grain of the surface.

Change the water filter every 6 months

You'll know your water filter needs to be replaced when water dispenses very slowly, but is perfectly fine with the filter removed.

Even before reaching that point, it's a good idea to just replace the filter every six months, like clockwork. If you remember to reset the indicator each time, it will remind you when six months is up!

Oh, and be sure to always use Samsung brand filters. Using anything else could damage your fridge.

Three Samsung brand water filters

The refrigerator includes a water filter indicator which runs on a six month timer. The filter is rated for an average of 300 gallons, which is about how much an average household uses in 6 months, but this can vary depending on how hard the water is.

Deep clean your fridge once a year

All right, it's spring (or whenever), and cleaning season is here. Yearly deep cleaning is the minimum recommendation for your fridge. As usual, keep that clean, microfiber cloth handy, or a damp cloth with mild detergent for the tougher areas.

To perform a thorough cleaning, first remove all the shelves, drawers and bins. Clean between and behind them, and wipe down the rubber seals as well. Make sure everything is completely dry before you put it all back in.

A hand holding a blue cloth against the outside of a black refrigerator

Next, raise the leveling legs so you can pull the fridge out. (You may need to unplug it to pull it out enough to get behind it.) Clean behind and underneath the fridge, and brush any dust off the back. Once you are done cleaning the outside, plug the fridge back in and slide it into place. Be sure to lower the leveling legs again after moving it back.

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