Content Summary

A clean mini fridge also reduces the risk of food contamination, and it helps prolong the lifespan of your appliance. It requires regular cleaning to ensure that it's operating effectively, efficiently and hygienically.

In this guide, we'll show you how to clean a whole fridge, from top to bottom, including how to clean a mini fridge with mold, how to clean a mini fridge that smells, how to clean a mini fridge with a freezer, and how to clean the mini fridge drip tray. You will find the cleaning process below.

1. Gather Your Tools & Ingredients

You'll need the following tools and ingredients:

  • Warm water
  • Mild dish soap or vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Soft cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Gloves
  • A bucket
  • (Old) toothbrush or small brush
  • Dust mask (optional)
  • You can opt for a commercial cleaning solution specifically designed for refrigerators

2. Unplug & Empty Your Mini Fridge

  • Unplug your mini fridge from the power source.
  • Empty all the contents. Dispose of any expired or rotten food.
  • Remove any detachable parts such as shelves and drawers.

3. Clean The Interior

Now that your mini fridge is unplugged and empty, it’s time to clean the interior.

  • Start by using a damp sponge or cloth to wipe down all surfaces.
  • Use warm water and soap or vinegar to wipe down the walls, shelves, drawers and other removable parts.
  • If there are any tough stains or spills, use a baking soda (2 spoonful) and hot water (1 quart) mixture, get a clean cloth and an old toothbrush and use the mix to scrub the area.
  • Simply wipe down everything a final time with a clean dry cloth or paper towels.
  • Once the interior is clean, let it dry thoroughly before putting everything back in.

4. Clean The Exterior

  • Start by wiping down the outside with a soft cloth rinsed with hot soapy water or a vinegar solution.
  • Pay close attention to the fridge door handle and other areas where dirt and grime may have accumulated.
  • If there are any stubborn stains, use a mixture of baking soda and water (see Clean the Interior) to scrub the area.
  • Rinse everything with clean water and dry the exterior with a towel.

5. Clean The Drip Tray

The drip tray is located at the bottom of the mini fridge and collects water that condenses on the cooling coils.

  • Remove the drip tray and empty any contents.
  • Wash and clean the tray with warm water and mild dish soap.
  • You can also use a toothbrush to scrub away any stubborn stains.
  • Dry everything thoroughly before putting it back in.

6. Clean The Freezer

To clean a mini fridge with a freezer compartment, you'll need to defrost it first.

  • Remove the contents.
  • Leave the door open for a few hours until the ice melts.
  • Wipe down the shelves and walls with a sponge or cloth.
  • Use a solution of warm water and mild soap or vinegar to remove any stubborn stains.
  • Dry everything thoroughly before plugging the fridge back in.
Need detailed instructions with different ways to defrost your fridge? Check out our blog post on this guide.

Deep Cleaning The Fridge

How To Clean A Mini Fridge That Smells

  • If your mini fridge has a funky odor, first remove any spoiled food or drinks.
  • Mix equal parts warm water and vinegar.
  • Use it to wipe down the inside of the fridge.
  • Use a solution of hot water (1 quart) and baking soda (2 tablespoons), to clean the interior of the mini fridge thoroughly. Use a clean cloth to completely dry the fridge.
  • You can also place an open box of baking soda inside the fridge to absorb any remaining odor.

How To Clean A Mini Fridge With Mold

  • If you notice mold inside the mini fridge, it's time for a deep clean.
  • Mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and use it to wipe down all surfaces.
  • Let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping it down with a clean cloth or a sponge.
  • Clean all the surfaces inside the fridge.
  • Once you've removed the mold, rinse the surfaces with warm water.
  • You may need to repeat the process a few times until the odor or mold is completely gone.
  • Dry everything thoroughly.

Cleaning A Fridge FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions we get about cleaning a mini fridge:

How often should you clean your mini fridge?

You should give it a deep clean every 3-4 months. This helps to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime, or mold. It's important to clean and maintain your fridge regularly. If you notice any bad odors, spills, or stains, it's best to clean them immediately.

What happens if you don't clean your fridge?

If you don't clean your mini fridge, dirt and grime can accumulate. This causes the appliance to work harder than normal which leads to higher energy consumption and can even cause it to break down. 

Moreover, an uncleaned fridge is more prone to food contamination or the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Can you wash a mini fridge?

You can wash a mini fridge. It's important to unplug the appliance before cleaning it. Use warm water and mild dish soap to wipe down the exterior and interior. Pay close attention to any spills, stains, or buildup of dirt and grime.

Can you hose down a mini fridge?

You should not hose down a mini fridge as this could damage the appliance and its internal components. First, unplug it. Then, use a damp cloth, sponge, or soft brush to clean it.

Can you vacuum inside a fridge?

You can vacuum the exterior of a fridge but not the interior. Vacuuming inside the fridge could damage the refrigerator's seal and make it less energy efficient.

Can I use antibacterial wipes in fridge?

You can use antibacterial wipes to clean the exterior of a mini fridge, but you should not use them inside. Wipes may contain chemicals that could damage the fridge's seal. Instead, use a solution of warm water and mild dish soap or vinegar to clean the interior.

Does a lemon get rid of a smelly fridge?

Lemons can help to get rid of bad odors in your mini fridge. Cut a lemon in half and place it inside the fridge to absorb any remaining odors. You should also clean the fridge with a solution of warm water and baking soda or vinegar.

How long should I leave the fridge open after cleaning?

You should leave the fridge open for at least 10-15 minutes after cleaning. This allows time for the interior to fully dry and prevents any buildup of moisture.

What should you not clean a fridge with?

You should not use bleach, abrasive cleaners, or sharp objects to clean your mini fridge as they could damage the appliance.

How do I keep my fridge mold free?

To keep your mini fridge mold-free, it's important to clean the appliance regularly and remove spoiled food or drinks immediately. Additionally, place a box of baking soda inside the fridge or use a dehumidifier to absorb any excess moisture.

Tips & Tricks

  • Always unplug the appliance before cleaning it.
  • Don't use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners to clean the fridge.
  • Use a damp cloth or sponge with warm water and mild dish soap.
  • Place an open box of baking soda inside the fridge to absorb odors.
  • Clean spills, stains, or buildup of dirt and grime immediately.
  • Use gloves and a dust mask when necessary, and dry everything thoroughly to avoid mold and mildew buildup.
how to clean EXTREMELY MOLDY refrigerator | Live Free

A mini fridge is a convenient appliance to have in your home or office. It’s perfect for storing drinks, snacks, and vegetables. Take a look at our recommended affordable mini-fridges if you require an extra appliance for your household.

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We’ve picked 6 compact refrigerators that are under $200, offer a decent capacity of larger than 2 cubic feet, great cooling capabilities, and energy efficiency for the price. Check them out!

Overall, it's important to take good care of your mini fridge and clean it regularly for an excellent performance. By following these simple steps, you can keep your mini fridge smelling fresh and looking clean.

A clean mini fridge is not only hygienic but also helps your appliance work optimally and efficiently.

Happy cooling!

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