How Often Should I Clean My Refrigerator & Freezer?

A clean refrigerator and freezer are the unsung heroes of a healthy kitchen. Whether in a bustling commercial kitchen or a cozy home, regular cleaning is paramount for food safety, odor prevention and maintaining energy efficiency. Neglecting these essential appliances can lead to foodborne illnesses, unpleasant smells and increased energy consumption. Here, we uncover the importance of regular cleaning and maintenance, answering the question, “How often should I clean my refrigerator?”

The Importance of Regular Cleaning

The need for cleanliness is even more critical in a commercial kitchen setting, where food is prepared and stored in bulk. The accumulation of spills, expired items and overlooked messes can quickly escalate, posing serious health risks and compromising the quality of stored ingredients. Beyond hygiene concerns, an unclean refrigerator and freezer can strain energy resources, leading to higher utility bills and unnecessary waste.

Factors Influencing Cleaning Frequency

Several factors influence the answer to the question, “How often should I clean my fridge?” Usage patterns play a significant role. Busy kitchens may require more frequent cleaning compared to occasional use in residential settings. The types of food stored also matter; perishable items and liquids are more prone to spills and should be monitored closely.

Regularly eliminating expired items helps maintain a clutter-free and organized interior, facilitating easier cleaning routines. Additionally, it’s essential to clean behind and under your refrigerator periodically to prevent dust buildup and ensure proper airflow for efficient cooling.

  • How often should you clean under your refrigerator?Clean under your refrigerator at least every three to six months. Dust, dirt and pet hair can accumulate underneath, impeding airflow and causing your refrigerator to work harder. Regular cleaning prevents these issues, improves energy efficiency, and prolongs the lifespan of your appliance. 
  • How often should you clean behind your fridge?Clean behind your fridge at least twice a year. Dust and debris that piles behind the fridge can obstruct airflow, leading to decreased efficiency and potential mechanical issues. Cleaning ensures proper ventilation to improve energy efficiency and maintain optimal performance.

Make it a routine to move your refrigerator periodically and thoroughly clean the areas underneath and behind it to maintain optimal performance.

How Often Should I Clean My Freezer and Fridge?


For optimal freezer maintenance, a weekly wipe-down of shelves and surfaces is recommended. This simple task helps prevent the buildup of frost and ice, ensuring efficient cooling performance. Monthly deep cleaning sessions should include defrosting the freezer to remove ice accumulation and thoroughly sanitizing interior surfaces. Remember to unplug the freezer, remove all food items, and use mild detergent solutions for safe and effective cleaning.


Similarly, the refrigerator requires weekly attention to keep it in top condition. Wipe spills promptly to prevent odors and bacterial growth. Monthly tasks should include a thorough cleaning of shelves, drawers and door seals. Remove all contents, including removable parts, and clean them with warm, soapy water. Don’t forget to check the expiration dates and dispose of any expired or spoiled items to free space and maintain freshness.

Is it Time for a New Fridge or Freezer?

Regular refrigerator and freezer cleaning are non-negotiable aspects of maintaining a healthy kitchen environment. By following simple cleaning routines tailored to your usage patterns and storage needs, you can ensure food safety, prevent odors and prolong the lifespan of your appliances. Remember to include cleaning behind and under your refrigerator to maintain optimal performance and energy efficiency.

If your fridge or freezer just can’t keep up, it may be time to upgrade to something new. Explore  Iron Mountain Refrigeration’s selection for the most reliable and efficient cooling solutions.