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Can You Use Vinegar or Baking Soda to Clean Your Fridge?

Keeping the refrigerator clean is part of keeping our families healthy. But when it comes to cleaning around food, does it matter what you use to clean the refrigerator? Can you use vinegar or baking soda to clean your fridge?

You can use vinegar or baking soda to clean your fridge. Baking soda will break down hard, stuck-on grime, and will neutralize any odors inside the refrigerator. Vinegar is naturally acidic so it will break down grease and oil and naturally disinfect surfaces inside the refrigerator.

Female cleaning inside of refrigerator

It is a common misconception that we need chemicals to clean, disinfect, and sanitize surfaces. There are natural alternatives that present no risk of allergies or negative food interactions- vinegar and baking soda.

Before you start cleaning your refrigerator, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

Safety First

First, to safely clean your refrigerator, either unplug the refrigerator or turn off the cooling mechanism inside the refrigerator. You do not want the refrigerator trying to cool the inside of the refrigerator while the doors are open, putting great strain on the refrigerator.

Remove all of the items inside the refrigerator and keep them in a cooler. It’s very important to keep food cold. You don’t want to go through the process of cleaning your refrigerator only to get food poisoning from your food.


Keep a trash bin nearby and make sure the kitchen sink is empty. As you pull food out of the refrigerator, throw away any expired food or any leftovers that have been forgotten.

If you’re able, go ahead and pull out the shelves and drawers and get them soaking if there are sticky substances on them. Place them in a bath of warm, soapy water or spray the especially sticky areas with vinegar and let it sit while you clean the rest of the refrigerator.

Can You Clean Your Refrigerator With Vinegar?

Glass bottle of white vinegar

Vinegar has been touted as a miracle liquid. It does everything from making healthy salad dressings to getting rid of dandruff. But can you clean your refrigerator with vinegar?

You can clean your refrigerator with vinegar. Mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water. You can use the mixture in a spray bottle for quick jobs or spray on hard, sticky spots and let it sit until softened. Use a soft, damp cloth to remove the food.

Vinegar has become so popular in household cleaning that many popular chemical cleaning products are using vinegar as a main ingredient. But if you don’t want any chemicals lingering inside your refrigerator, just stick with the vinegar and water solution.

Because vinegar is naturally acidic, it breaks down those hard, sticky condiments bits on the door and shelves. It also kills bacteria and mold.

Lightly spray the vinegar mixture all over the inside of the refrigerator and then wipe down with a clean rag. The vinegar will dissipate quickly, so don’t worry about it always smelling like a salad inside your refrigerator.

Can You Clean Your Refrigerator With Baking Soda?

Glass bottle of baking soda

You want to clean your refrigerator, but you don’t want a strong chemical smell to linger. Can you clean your refrigerator with baking soda?

You can clean your refrigerator with baking soda. Mix baking soda with water to form a paste and use a sponge or toothbrush to remove sticky substances. Baking soda can also be used on its own to absorb any lingering odors from food.

Baking soda is one of nature’s best tools when it comes to cleaning. It cleans and neutralizes odors. And there is no risk of any allergic reactions to chemicals or scents.

When it comes to cleaning your refrigerator top to bottom, mix 2 Tablespoons of baking soda in 1-quart of hot water. Use a soft cloth to wipe everything.

One extra benefit to using baking soda when cleaning your refrigerator is that it will remove rust stains you may have around the door or the drawers. Make a simple paste of baking soda and water and let it set on the stains for a few minutes.

You can also leave baking soda inside the refrigerator to work as an odor neutralizer. Just leave some in an open container. The baking soda should be thrown out after a few days.

Can You Use Both Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean Your Fridge?

Confused female with question marks floating above head

Can you use both vinegar and baking soda to clean your fridge? The answer might surprise you.

You can use both vinegar and baking soda to clean your fridge, but selectively. Combining vinegar and baking soda together will create a fizzy reaction that will break down hard, sticky messes. Baking soda will help to neutralize odors.

Because vinegar is naturally acidic, put a little vinegar on any spots of hard, gunky food. Let the acid work to break the food down. Next, add baking soda on top of the vinegar, forming a fizzy paste. Scrub the paste to remove the stuck-on food.

Both vinegar and baking soda have excellent cleaning properties but when combined, the benefits do not last very long. Once the fizzy reaction from adding vinegar and baking soda together dies down, there is no further benefit to using the mixture.

What Vinegar to Use to Clean a Refrigerator?

Confused male with hands up in the air

You head to the store to pick up vinegar so you can clean your refrigerator. But which kind of vinegar do you use?

Generally speaking, you can use any type of vinegar to clean your refrigerator but white distilled vinegar is the most preferred choice. White vinegar is clear in color, has a less offensive odor than the other types of vinegar on the market, and is a more affordable option.

It is amazing how many different types of vinegar are available. There is malt vinegar, sherry vinegar, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and white vinegar. Even industrial strength vinegar.

With so many choices out there, how do you know which one to use for cleaning your refrigerator?

You may have noticed vinegar labeled as ‘Cleaning Vinegar’ but whether or not you use it is up to you. The two differences between ‘Cleaning Vinegar’ and regular white distilled vinegar is price and acidity.

‘Cleaning Vinegar’ is usually marketed as being 6% acidic – that’s only 1 percent more than white vinegar. The price difference speaks for itself.

Apple cider vinegar is more famously known for its ‘mother’ and associated health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is more acidic than white vinegar, but you are paying more money for something that doesn’t have any added cleaning benefits.

Use the white vinegar for cleaning and save the apple cider vinegar for your salad or detox drink.

Other kinds of vinegar on the market are acidic enough to clean your refrigerator but their darker color could cause staining of some surfaces and may also leave a stronger scent than regular distilled white vinegar.

Depending on where you live and what is available in your area, you may also come across industrial or agricultural vinegar. This vinegar is much more acidic than white distilled vinegar. It comes in at 20% or higher.

This type of vinegar can be dangerous if not used correctly. It is best used for killing weeds, not germs. It will kill germs but it may also eat through parts of your refrigerator and is especially harmful to you if you are not properly protected.

Once again, the best option for cleaning is white distilled vinegar.

How Much Vinegar to Clean Refrigerator?

Cleaning gloves, sponge, spray bottle

You have your vinegar picked out and are ready to start cleaning. How much vinegar do you use to clean your refrigerator?

As a general rule, use equal parts vinegar and water to clean your refrigerator. A gentler solution is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. If you find the vinegar scent is still too strong, add a little more water or add an essential oil such as lemon or orange.

When mixing water and vinegar, you always want to make sure the amount of vinegar is more than the amount of water. Diluting the vinegar too much will remove the acidity which is crucial to clean your refrigerator.

How to Clean Inside of Refrigerator With Vinegar

Wiping down inside of fridge

You finally have your vinegar solution mixed and ready to go. How do you clean the inside of your refrigerator with vinegar?

To clean the inside of your refrigerator with vinegar, first start by removing all the food contents, shelves, and drawers. Spray some of the vinegar solution all over the inside of the refrigerator. Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes on any hard, sticky spots.

Because vinegar doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients and it is also diluted with water, once you wipe the vinegar off with a soft cloth, there is no need to follow up with another damp cloth unless you feel the vinegar scent is still too strong.

How to Clean Outside of Refrigerator With Vinegar

Cleaning outside fridge door

Cleaning the outside of the refrigerator is just as important as cleaning the inside. Can you clean the outside of the refrigerator with vinegar?

You can clean the outside of the refrigerator with vinegar if the solution is diluted. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, do a test spot to make sure the vinegar does not damage the finish.

When cleaning the outside of a stainless steel refrigerator, be sure to wipe in the same direction as the grain. Going against the grain will not necessarily scratch the steel but it can increase the depth of the natural grooves in the grain, making it more visible over time.

If the outside of the refrigerator is particularly grimy, add a dash of dish soap to your vinegar mixture to cut through the grease. Be sure to use a separate damp cloth to wipe any soap residue off.

How to Clean Refrigerator With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Guy getting ready to clean refrigerator

You’ve learned you can clean your refrigerator with vinegar and with baking soda. Can you mix these two ingredients to clean your refrigerator?

You can clean your refrigerator with vinegar and baking soda. The fizzy reaction created when these two ingredients are combined together makes it a great cleaner to remove hard, sticky substances. Let the mixture soak on the trouble areas before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Combining vinegar and baking soda should be done carefully. If you mix the two together too quickly, you will have a nice little volcano in your kitchen and will end up cleaning more than just your refrigerator.

While combining these two ingredients together does work, using them separately makes them a better cleaning solution. The reason for this is that once the fizzy reaction has died down, there is not much of a chemical reaction afterward.

For particularly sticky areas, put undiluted vinegar on the spot and let the acidity from the vinegar go to work breaking down the gunk. After a few minutes, sprinkle some baking soda on the vinegar to create a fizzy reaction, further breaking down the gunk.

Once the fizzy reaction has calmed down, wipe away the mess with a clean, damp cloth. You can also use this mixture on any rust or stained areas inside the refrigerator.

How to Clean Refrigerator Ice Maker With Vinegar

Wiping refrigerator door

Do the ice cubes from your refrigerator have a taste or odor to them? It may be time to clean your ice maker.

You can clean your refrigerator ice maker with vinegar. Vinegar’s high acid content destroys bacteria, mold, and mineral deposits. Mix 2 cups vinegar to 1 cup water. If the ice maker has a moldy smell, add lemon oil to the vinegar mixture.

To start cleaning, you will first need to turn off the ice maker, either with the rod or another setting on your model of refrigerator. Dump out the ice bucket.

Use hot water to melt any ice that may be stuck in the ice bucket and then wipe the bucket dry. Spray the vinegar mixture all over the inside of the ice maker. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes then rinse with warm water.

Turn on the ice maker. You will want the ice maker to run through a couple of cycles before you use any of the ice – you want the vinegar to be thoroughly removed from the ice maker.

This content is owned by Wabi Sabi Group and was first published on Apr 25, 2022..

The ice maker should be cleaned at least every six months. If you use your ice maker frequently or live in an area with hard water, you may need to clean the ice maker a couple of times a year. This will not only keep the ice fresh, but it will also help to prolong your ice maker’s life.

How to Clean Refrigerator Water Line With Vinegar

Female cleaning kitchen fridge door

Does the water from your refrigerator taste moldy? It may be time to flush the waterline. Bacteria has set up in the waterline and it needs to be cleaned before it makes you and your loved ones sick.

You will need these items to clean the refrigerator line:

  • Handheld pump sprayer (from your local hardware store)
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Five-gallon bucket
  • Towel
  • Size 13 wrench or vise grip
  • Masking tape
  • Cup
  • New water filter

Now that you have everything ready, the following steps will walk you through how to clean the refrigerator water line.

Step 1: Turn off the water running to the refrigerator.

Step 2: Pull the refrigerator out from the wall so that you can easily reach the waterline.

Step 3: Put the bucket underneath the waterline and disconnect the water line from the refrigerator.

Step 4: Pour equal parts of distilled vinegar and warm water into the pump sprayer.

Step 5: Attach the pump sprayer to the refrigerator water line, securing each end with masking tape.

Step 6: Pump enough vinegar through the water line so that when the water dispenser is pressed, vinegar comes out.

This article was first published on Apr 25, 2022 by Wabi Sabi Group..

Step 7: Cycle the vinegar through several times and then let the vinegar sit in the water line for at least 30 minutes.

Step 8: After 30 minutes, reconnect the water lines and flush water through the dispenser.

Step 9: Once the water is running clean and is free of vinegar, replace the water filter and flush clean water through again.

It is good maintenance to flush the waterline at least once a year. If you live in an area with hard water, you should flush the line more frequently. Be sure to also change the water filter regularly,

It is recommended to change the water filter every 3 months. But, again, if you live in an area with hard water or if your water dispenser gets a lot of use, you may need to change the filter more frequently.

To clean the refrigerator water line with vinegar, mix 1 gallon of warm water and 1 cup of vinegar. Use a pump sprayer attached to the refrigerator water line and pump the vinegar solution through the line until it comes out of the water dispenser. Let the mixture sit in the water line for 30 minutes.

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WabiSabi Group is the owner of this article and was published on Apr 25, 2022 and last modified on .

What Can I Use to Clean My Refrigerator?