I like stuff on my fridge - even though I'm a professional organizer, and I always tell clients who are staging their homes for resale that an uncluttered fridge is more appealing to buyers. In my defense, sometimes I just don't remember to do things unless I stick them to my fridge. And I have a niece and nephew whom I love (and who make lots of drawings for me)... and I wanted to display all my Christmas cards this year...
It was the Christmas cards that inspired me to clean my fridge. I wanted to take them down, and I figured while I was at it, I might as well do the whole thing.
The first step is to take everything OFF the fridge - including things on top (in my case, a wooden dish rack and a basket of brushes and scrubbies for dishwashing). While you're at it, organize what you've taken off so that you can put things away immediately.
These are the supplies you'll need to clean the outside of the fridge:
-baking soda (in a shaker can)
-vinegar (in a spray bottle)
-TSP (trisodium phosphate, which you can buy in crystal form at hardware or paint stores)
You may also want a bucket of warm water or a spray bottle of water, and you'll need some clean rags and possibly some brushes or toothbrushes for the nooks and crannies.
Start at the top of the fridge, wiping down all the outer surfaces. If there's a lot of dust on top, wipe it off with a dry rag first to get the worst of the dust, and then wipe again with a damp rag.
If there's a lot of greasy grime up there, mix up a TSP solution according to the directions on the carton. TSP is fantastic for greasy grime - it will wipe right off.
NOTE: When using TSP, be sure to wear gloves. It is a mild skin irritant, especially at high concentrations. And don't breathe in the dust from the crystals.
(The reason I use TSP is that it does a better job than most conventional cleaners like Fantasic and Mr. Clean, without the nasty scents and fumes.)
If there are scuff marks on the fridge, they should come off with a scrubbing of baking soda. Spray well with vinegar afterwards, to remove any powdery residue.
NOTE: If you use vinegar and you're going to put photographs or important papers back on the fridge after cleaning it, be sure to rinse well with plain water after using the vinegar, so that you don't get acid damage on the photos or papers.
The fridge handles will likely be grimy - especially if they are textured like mine. A TSP solution will again easily clean up any greasy grime. (This is where a toothbrush might also come in handy.)
If you have chrome handles (or a stainless steel fridge), TSP can clean off most of the greasy fingerprints or smudges. Just spray well with vinegar afterwards, and wipe dry with a clean rag to make the chrome or steel shine.
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