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Tips on How to Clean the Refrigerator in a Proper Way

Aug 17, 2007
Refrigerator also needs cleaning. Here are some tips on how to clean the refrigerator in a proper way.

DEFROST AUTOMATIC REFRIGERATORS. Whether operated by electricity, gas, or kerosene, they should be defrosted and cleaned before the frost on the evaporator is a quarter of an inch thick, if they are to function at peak efficiency. Some models defrost automatically, others need defrosting every week or ten days oftener if fluids are left uncovered in the food compartment. A thick accumulation of frost retards the cooling of foods and at the same time may increase the temperature of the food storage compartment even though the refrigerating system is working overtime.

REMOVE ICE TRAYS BEFORE DEFROSTING; this speeds the operation. Then make sure that the drip tray is empty and in place. Turn the control to "off" or "defrost" Never try to chip ice from the coils with a sharp instrument that might damage them, or pry ice trays loose with a knife. If the manufacturer recommends it, you can speed defrosting by keeping the ice trays filled with hot water. When all the frost has melted, empty the drip tray and remove the food, shelves, and glass or plastic accessories. Wrap frozen foods thickly with newspapers.

WASH THE COOLING UNIT inside and out, making sure that all the frost is gone. For this use a sponge squeezed out of warm water containing one tablespoon of baking soda for each quart of water. Using the same solution, wash all surfaces of the interior, including the inside of the door. If stains do not yield to the baking soda solution, squeeze out your sponge, dip it into dry baking soda, and rub the stain off. Wash the gasket (rubber or plastic seal) around the door with soap and water. Rubber gaskets especially must be kept clean and free of grease, which damages them. Rinse the cooling unit and all surfaces with clear warm water and wipe them dry.

WASH THE SHELVES, ice trays, and fruit and vegetable containers in hot suds in your sink; rinse, dry, and replace them. Ice trays of some models are coated at the factory with a special wax to facilitate the removal of ice cubes. Such trays should be washed with warm water so that the wax will remain. Never fill ice cube trays completely full; allow about a quarter of an inch for expansion.

THE OUTSIDE OF THE REFRIGERATOR should be kept clean at all times with suds made with a mild detergent or soap, or with one of the special cleaning waxes made for enameled surfaces. (See "Wax.") No harsh cleaning or scouring powders should be used on the outside or any part of a refrigerator.

CONDENSERS. About once every six months, sometimes oftener, depending upon the model, the condenser of an automatic refrigerator needs a little special attention. Disconnect the refrigerator before you attend to this. The condenser is located either in the motor compartment or at the back of the refrigerator, in which case you may need help. Its job is to release into the outside air heat taken from the food compartment, and it should be kept free of dust and lint to operate efficiently. Clean the fins with the dusting brush of your vacuum cleaner or with a stiff brush.

REFRIGERATORS WITH SEALED UNITS never need oiling; others do. If you do not have your manufacturer's instructions for such details you should write for them, giving the model number; or ask your dealer for advice.

Automatic refrigerator needs to be defrosted frequently. To speed the operation of the defrosting, remove the ice tray before defrosting. After making sure that the frost is gone, use a sponge squeezed of warm water containing baking soda to clean the refrigerator. Wash the shelves, ice tray and containers in hot suds. Clean the outside of the refrigerator using a mild soap or detergent. The condenser needs to be brushed out from the dust.
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