When it comes to appliances, your office fridge is the one that’s always subject to food spills, stains and sticky fingerprints. A clean fridge is a happy one, and it’s the cornerstone of food storage in your kitchen office, so knowing how to keep your fridge clean in the workplace is a must for any business!
In this article, we’re going to share how to clean your fridge in the workplace like a pro for a deep and satisfying clean.
The best way to clean an office fridge
Before sharing our tips for cleaning your fridge, our recommendation is to always defrost the fridge before cleaning it to achieve the best results. Why? If the refrigerator is still running, all the condensation on the fridge walls will interfere with the charge of microfiber cloths, which will reduce the effectiveness in terms of debris, grime, and picking up dirt.
Also, try to avoid contaminating food with your cleaning products, especially if you have young children crawling around whilst cleaning. We know how the snack cravings get with our little ones! With that being said, it is very simple to get a sparkling fresh office fridge in under an hour, so have a look at our easy to follow step-by-step guide below in office fridge cleaning.
Tidy up your office fridge
First of all, start by going through the fridge and removing any food items that are spoiled, rotten, or past their expiration date. Make sure to empty it, as bacteria can multiply at room temperature very quickly, so put all the dairy products, meat and any other food that must be kept refrigerated in bags (the best choice would be to use cool bags packed with pre-chilled cool bag blocks).
A top trick to keep in mind is to throw away any food that has gone off without thinking that “you’ll eat it later”! Bin any food that is clearly past its due date or anything that is past its use-by date. All the food you intend to keep can be placed on a counter, away from your workspace to avoid clutter, but don’t leave it out for longer than 2 hours.
Remove all the shelves and salad drawers
Now you are ready to go ahead and remove all the shelving and drawers all at once. We know that the best-case scenarios are the ones in which you can clean a new fridge before use, as there is much less work, but stick with us, and you will see that your next hour dedicated to cleaning the office fridge will be well worth it!
If you’re having a bit of difficulty with any of the removable fridge components, consult the owners manual or the manufacturer for further guidance and information. Take out all the glass or plastic drawers and shelves and leave them somewhere in the temperature room to prevent any cracking or glass steaming from happening. Then, wash the shelves and the salad crispers if you have any with washing-up liquid and hot water, or a special cleaning solution, but make sure it contains as least chemicals as possible, as your drawers, and the inside components of your fridge will get in contact with your food.
Another small tip from us is to use a toothpick to remove any food residue that might have been collected between the shelf surface and the shelf surround. Rinse everything thoroughly with clean water, and let them dry naturally on a drainer, or dry them with a clean tea towel.
Choose your cleaning products and utensils
When thinking about what to clean the fridge with, our obvious recommendation would be to use a special fridge cleaning spray.
However, when it comes to knowing what to use to clean the office fridge, the easiest choice would be a basic all-purpose cleaner, together with microfiber cloths for a basic clean. If the refrigerator has grease or grime build-up, you can use a degreaser or warm soapy water, which should do the trick in removing all the dirt. An important thing to remember is to rinse off any residual cleansers with a clean wet cloth. A well-known method amongst homeowners is cleaning the office fridge with bicarbonate of soda. Simply mix two tablespoons of baking soda powder with hot water, apply it on a damp cloth, and start cleaning. This will clean as well as help to eliminate any foul odours. However, don’t use soap or detergent when cleaning the fridge, as they can leave behind a scent that will get absorbed into the food.
Clean the fridge interior & any other surfaces
Now shift your attention to the interior of the fridge. Try to avoid hot water at this point as it can raise the refrigerator’s temperature, which will significantly delay how quickly you can get your food back inside.
The safest way to clean the office fridge is with cold water or vinegar, another old school trick. White vinegar has acid that can break down grease and grime, and if mixed with water in a spray bottle, it becomes a food-safe cleaner that is perfect for any gunk that might have accumulated on the refrigerator shelves or fridge doors. Make sure you pay particular attention to the grooves on the sides of the fridge interior where the shelves rest, as these can be a real hot spot for dirt. If you find any dirt, you can remove it using a cotton bud, which is also very useful for fiddly places. And the last step at this stage is to dry the inside of the fridge thoroughly with paper towels or clean towels.
Moving on, the best way to clean and disinfect a fridge door handle is by using an all-purpose cleaner spray and a cloth, making sure that no fingerprints or dirt gets missed. Don’t overlook areas outside the fridge as well, such as the door surround, as their germs can build up through frequent contact with your hands. For any food crumbs collected in the folds of the freezer door seal, use a stiff washing-up brush and simply dislodge them.
Organise and put the food back in the fridge
Now simply replace the sleeves and salad crisper drawers. If you have a fridge thermometer, make sure to wait until the temperature inside falls to at least 5 degrees Celsius or below before putting all your food back inside. In case you have a fast-cool function fridge, you are lucky! Use it to speed up the cooling process, and start re-organising all your food. Our recommendation is to wipe off the base of all the bottles and containers with a clean cloth to avoid transferring any grim or bacteria back into the fridge. At this point, you might start asking yourself, “do I need this chutney from last year’s Easter party?”. The answer will most probably be no, so throw away all that is no longer needed and make some room for a new fresh apple pie or something savoury that you can enjoy in your lunch breaks.
And last but not least, we have a small checklist that will help you keep your office fridge clean and tidy for longer:
- Wipe any spills immediately
- Don’t store in anything that sticks or that is saucy
- Keep all the bottle and jar lids on to avoid odours from circulating
- Throw away all the food that has gone bad
- Give the fridge doors and handles a good weekly wipe, using damp cloths and mild dishwashing liquid and water
- Store any leftover food in separate food containers
As you can tell by now, it is essential to clean your office fridge regularly to prevent the build-up of mould from condensation or from risking food contaminations due to items that have gone off. Also, keeping the fridge clean and organised at all times will help you to keep track of food stores so you can use them before they get spoiled, so no more milk going off from now on, leaving you with empty afternoon teas or coffees! If you enjoyed this article, you might want to have a look at our other blogs on how to clean your garbage disposal and communal kitchen rules and cleaning for a harmonious workplace for more valuable tips and tricks.
When it comes to providing commercial kitchen cleaning services in Leicester and the Midlands, Ace Cleaning has been working with clients of all sizes for many years. Our kitchen cleaning services can be fully tailored to your needs, and we can visit your premises and advise on the best options for you. If you want to find out more, please get in touch with us for a FREE evaluation, or simply give us a call on 0116 255 1955, and one of our experienced and friendly team members will get back to you as soon as possible with their best support and advice.