Appliance hygiene is a big issue and it has been in the news recently concerning the dangers of bacteria forming in washing machines due to people washing at lower temperatures. But your washing machine isn’t the only appliance that needs to be cleaned and maintained regularly. This is the first of a series of posts we will be publishing to provide some simple tips for ensuring your appliances are hygienically clean.
This week we look at what can be done to make sure your fridge is in tip top condition. You should make cleaning the fridge part of your weekly routine and get into the habit of tossing out wilted produce, storing opened food in sealed containers and regular wiping out the fridge inners, door and removable parts like shelves and salad draws. If you don’t you are only making your fridge a haven for bacteria!
How to tackle fridge shelves and draws…
To clean the detachable components of the fridge like the bottle holder and shelves you can simply remove them from the fridge and wash them in warm soapy water and then rinse them thoroughly.
While these are drying, you have the perfect opportunity to tackle the inside of the fridge. To do this you can use a fridge cleaner product such as Wellco Professional Fridge Cleaner or you can make up a cleaning formula using two teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda for every litre of warm water. Whichever option you choose be sure to give the inside of the fridge a comprehensive wipe, making sure you get into all the creases and corners.
Don’t forget to do the fridge front and door handle as these can also be a home for germs! Depending on the finish of your fridge you may find it beneficial to use a stainless steel cleaner or similar product to ensure your fridge is smudge-free.
While the content of your fridge has been removed, it is worth taking the time to check that nothing has blocked the condenser drain hole on the fridge. The drain hole is located on the inside back of your fridge. When working correctly moisture runs down the back of the fridge, collecting in a gulley before passing through the drain hole and evaporating away.
The drain hole can easily become blocked by crumbs of food. This stops the water draining away and can lead to unpleasant odours. Alternatively, it can cause water to collect at the bottom of fridge or in the salad draws. To prevent this you should clear the drain hole regularly using a specially designed defrost tool. Watch our video: ‘How to prevent water collecting at the bottom of your fridge’
Cleaning the fridge door seal…
The rubber door seal or gasket also needs to be cleaned thoroughly to stop it becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. You may find it easier to do this with an old toothbrush.
At the same time you can check that the gasket is providing a tight enough seal between the fridge and door. Over time fridge door seals can deteriorate. A loose or worn door gasket is less effective at sealing in the cold and means your fridge needs to work harder to maintain the temperature – which can add to your bills!
To check that your door seal is working properly you can place a bank note against the seal and close the door. If the note falls away the door seal isn’t working effectively and needs to tightened or replaced.
Don’t waste energy…
Just like a slack door seal, if you allow dust to build up on the cooling element at the back of your fridge it can cause it to work less efficiently and add to your utility bills. Several times a year you should pull out the fridge and vacuum the coils.
Remember if you need to replace any missing or broken bits on your fridge you will find a fantastic selection of fridge spares at BuySpares.