Let's try to give some advice on how to clean the refrigerator in two respects. The first is internal hygiene, which is essential for food safety, which we recommend using simple and natural detergents. The second concerns external cleaning, especially the dust on the coil, which is important because it affects the electricity consumption of the refrigerator.
How to clean the refrigerator inside
When we talk about the refrigerator we mean the machine to which we entrust fresh food in order to prolong its conservation until the moment of consumption. It is not just a question of preserving the fragrance of foods, but above all of protecting them from environmental contamination. Remember that cleaning the fridge is a matter of health, not just of the palate.
Low temperatures serve to slow down the natural process of food spoilage and the proliferation of bacteria. However, fresh foods absorb the air while they are in the fridge and it is good that that air is not chemically polluted. It must be cold enough to block bacteria, but clean!
This explains why synthetic detergents are to be avoided when cleaning the refrigerator. They would settle on walls and shelves and pollute the food. Better to replace them with 'natural detergents' such as white vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate. Which are some of the same active ingredients that you find in supermarket detergents, only made more aggressive by other substances that can be avoided.
Vinegar. Use the white one by soaking a cloth that you will pass all over the inside of the refrigerator. You can also soak the removable moving parts in a solution of water and vinegar, which you will then dry before putting back in place. Remember that a cup of white vinegar avoids bad smells and keeps insects away when you leave the fridge off for a long time with the door open.
Lemon juice. It is used like vinegar, but remember to filter it well before use; otherwise there will remain lint and halos. Being quite dense, it is better to dilute it with water; the cleaning and disinfecting power is preserved. Even the lemon peel keeps bad smells and insects away, but beware that at some point it rots and becomes covered with mold.
Sodium bicarbonate. The prince of natural cleaning in the kitchen is also good for the refrigerator. The correct dilution is a soup spoon of bicarbonate in half a liter of water. You can use it for the inside but also for the outside, as well as on other furniture and kitchen shelves. The baking soda absorbs bad smells, a cup can be left permanently on one of the shelves.
How to clean the refrigerator outside
For external surfaces in plastic and metal, bicarbonate diluted in water is fine. Ditto for the rubber seals, which you can rub with a soaked rag. But first remember to remove the dust with an antistatic cloth, the surface will be cleared and disinfected in this way.
The real problem on the outside is cleaning the condenser, that is, the coil on the back of the device. The accumulation of dust and, worse still, the formation of encrustations hamper the cooling of the refrigerator and increase the electricity consumption of the refrigerator.
Given that any operation on the fridge motor must be done after disconnecting the electricity (nothing happens for a few minutes), the ideal is to keep the coil clean using compressed air once a month, but the cans cost. Antistatic cloth and bicarbonate solution are fine here too.