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Maybe it’s time to add your refrigerator to the list of household tasks you do in a once-a-year spring cleaning. You might want to use rubber gloves while doing this job and keep the trash can handy. You’ll probably want to stock up on clean rags and paper towels as well.

For starters you should empty out the refrigerator completely and maybe store perishable food items in a cooler. This is also a great opportunity to throw away old food – like items you froze two years ago.

Once the refrigerator – and freezer — are empty it will be easier to pull your refrigerator away from the wall so you can clean behind it and under it. Study your owner’s manual a little bit so you can find out how to do the cleaning job successfully.

On the refrigerator itself, you want to clean the condenser coils located in back or underneath the unit. You can use a long-handled brush or a vacuum cleaner hose attachment for the job. This cleaning will help your refrigerator operate more successfully during the long summer months ahead.

Then use a cloth and a mild cleaning solution of water and a little bit of dish detergent to clean the gasket or rubber door seal on the refrigerator as well as all the drawers and walls inside your empty refrigerator. To get everything really clean, remove movable parts and drawers and wash them in the kitchen sink before putting them back.

Check out that gasket on the refrigerator to make sure it’s still in good shape; if not, you want to replace it because the gasket is an important part of your appliance. It helps keep warm air from seeping into the fridge.

While the refrigerator is empty, replace the filter for the ice maker or water dispenser. This is actually a job you need to do every six months.

You may want to put an open container of baking soda inside the refrigerator to absorb odors for the next couple of months.

Finally, move the refrigerator back into position and restock the shelves and freezer and relax.

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