We all love the look of stainless steel refrigerators—until they’re plastered with greasy, grimy fingerprints. Inside, the problem is less about shine than it is about fragrance, namely foul food odors that linger long after the food is gone. And then there are the sticky shelves. Fortunately, you can green clean your refrigerator safely and effectively using environmentally safe cleaning products you make yourself.
Green clean your refrigerator’s exterior
Commercial surface cleaners can run upwards of $10 a bottle, especially those designed specifically for stainless steel appliances. Commercially sold green cleaners are no cheaper. Try this solution instead: Add a few drops of a natural dishwashing liquid such as Mrs. Meyer’s ($4.50 for 16 ounces) or Method ($4 for 25 ounces) to warm water. Use the solution to wipe away refrigerator fingerprints, remembering to follow the steel’s natural grain.
Green clean your refrigerator’s inside
To green clean the interior of your refrigerator, whip up a batch of non-toxic solution by combining equal parts vinegar and tap water. To boost the solution’s cleaning power, warm it in a glass bowl in the microwave. At $4 for a 64-ounce jug of food-grade vinegar, you can mix up big batches for just pennies. In contrast, commercial green cleaner like Seventh Generation sells for about $5.
Keep the inside smelling fresh
You can’t top good old baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, for absorbing nasty food odors. The naturally occurring substance in baking soda neutralizes the odor-causing acids in the air, rather than simply mask them. At about a buck a box, it’s tough to beat. Save money by buying the baking soda in bulk. You should plan on swapping out the box every three months.