28 Low-Effort Ways To Actually Help Keep Your Fridge Clean And Organized

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For your own stunning before and after.

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1.

Empty everything out (especially if you haven’t in a while!) then wipe down the inside of the door, the shelves, and the drawers with an all-purpose cleaner so you can start with a completely clean slate.


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I mean, maybe you clean up small spills and crumbs as they happen and are in a good weekly habit of tossing anything that’s gone bad. Which, great! But if you haven’t recently, wiping down the inside of your fridge is probably a good idea.

Puracy’s Natural Multi-Surface cleaner is non-toxic and all of its cleaning ingredients are plant-based; you can get a pack of two of the green tea and lime scent from Amazon for $11.98.

2.

If they fit, you can also probably wash your fridge shelves in the dishwasher. Just avoid the heat dry cycle if there are any plastic parts, and make sure to let everything come to room temperature before starting the cycle.


Beko / giphy.com / beko.co.uk

If they’re cold right out of the fridge and you hit them with hot water, they could crack! Also, if they have any LED lights on them, the dishwasher’s probably best avoided. If you’re not sure, check your fridge’s user manual. (You can also 100% wash all your shelves by hand in the sink with dish soap and a sponge; don’t forget the hot water caveat though!)

3.

Banish any lingering unpleasant odors with a charcoal purifier. All you have to do is set on a shelf and let it work its stench-absorbing magic.


Amazon

Or attempt to hang it on the included suction cup hook, obvs.

Promising review: “I simply love this thing. I had leftover and perishable things in my fridge before I left for business trip and when I came back it smelled so bad. I cleaned the trays and everything, but it was no use! Finally I decided to order this Moso thing. And OMG, the next day everything was back to normal. Wow! It’s magic. Only thing, the sticky hook doesn’t stick very well, otherwise it’s a great product. Must buy!” —Simardeep Singh Kochar

Get a pack of two on Amazon for $14.95.

4.

When you put everything away again, store it according to your refrigerator’s ~zones~, because different parts of the fridge will have slightly different temperatures and humidity levels.

5.

Cover your shelves with nonadhesive liners so if there’s a major spill, you can pull out and clean the liner instead of the entire piece of glass.


Amazon, amazon.com

You will still have to move all your products out to pull the liner off, though. No real way around that!

Promising review: “I love these! I have a side-by-side fridge so I have to trim a little off to fit. They keep the fridge shelves clean. The color is light enough it brightens the inside and doesn’t make it dark. They can be washed with soap and water. Or throw them away if there was a sticky spill and you are feeling lazy.” —Melissa hill

Get a pack of four 17-inch x 11-inch pieces on Amazon for $8.99 (available in blue, pink, green, or multicolor).

6.

You can also try covering them in Press ‘n’ Seal wrap, then tossing it if you discover a cemented-on sticky spot.

7.

Easily access everything you have stashed at the very back of each of your shelves with a set of pull-out storage bins. They’re also simple to pull out and clean in case of a leak or spill because they a) will contain the mess and b) are much easier to wash than the entire shelf.


Amazon

They’re not dishwasher-safe, though.

Promising review: “Not only are these great quality — sturdy, easy to fill, easy to access — but using three of them has transformed my refrigerator into an organized space. One really helped with my freezer as well. I am so happy with them that I bought a second set, and though I haven’t used it yet, I’m looking forward to being able to find things and keep them under control in the pantry.” —Marcia Purse

Get the four-piece set on Amazon for $29.99.

8.

If you have a particularly narrow shelf or a tiny fridge, a dual-sided bin can work wonders to make every last square inch of storage space accessible and functional.


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I have something similar in my small New York studio fridge; I store jams, jellies, and other condiments on one side, and cheeses and deli stuff on the other. Without it, I’d definitely forget anything that got pushed to that far back corner!

Promising review: “Love this piece, fits very nicely in a couple of places on my fridge and freezer shelves. A great organizer and space saver for bottles, cans, bags and otherwise non-stackable goods. It has a solid grip in-wall handle; you can fill it with cans and bottles, pull it off shelf and it will stay solid. There are little feet on the bottom keep it from slipping on glass or on wire shelves. Unlike some plastic containers, this will break if you throw it. It is hard acrylic, but heavy enough I would image it would take a brick wall to do so.” —Amazon Frequent Flyer

Get it on Amazon for $15.44.

9.

And apply decals to your most-used bins so everyone who opens your fridge knows where to find everything and where to put things away.


FairyDustDecals / Etsy

Get the pack of eight words from FairyDustDecals on Etsy for $14.50+ (available in five sizes and many colors. Each pack includes labels for fruits, vegetables, eggs, butter, yogurt, sauces, condiments, and cheese. If you have specific words you want, you can probably message the seller for something custom, too!)

10.

Designate one bin as an “Eat Me First” box to help reduce food waste and to create a one-stop spot to double check for what may need to be thrown away.

11.

And, whether you have kids or simply want to snack a little healthier yourself, keep pre-portioned snacks in another easy-access bin.

12.

Never forget about those condiments stashed in the back again — put them all on a lazy Susan, and your favorite kimchi will only be a quick spin away from your roommate’s hot sauce.


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Promising review: “This product is perfect for organizing almost anything! I bought one to contain my dish soap, hand soap, and counter cleaner by my kitchen sink so the area doesn’t look cluttered. It’s the perfect height — low enough to be able to pull a bottle out easily but high enough to contain them and not risk knocking anything over. I also like the clear design, allowing you to see through, and that it spins easily.” —RM

Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

13.

Quit throwing away moldy strawberries and wilted spinach (and cleaning up the aftermath it leaves on your shelves) by storing them in filtered containers that will genuinely keep everything fresh for almost two weeks.


Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

I’ve been using these pretty much constantly since March 2018 — except for when they’re in the dishwasher — and I can’t even begin to guess how much money they’ve saved and food waste they’ve prevented!

Promising review: “Oh-my-gosh, they work! I went on a 10-day trip to visit my mom and left my husband home with asparagus, strawberries, and spinach in the containers. He ate some of all of them, but there was plenty left when I got back and they were in perfect condition! I couldn’t believe it! These will save us a lot of money not throwing away food because we couldn’t get through it fast enough. (We shop at Costco and get large containers of produce.) These are TOTALLY worth getting and I will be getting a few more sizes. Excellent product!!!” —Elizabeth Walter

Get a three-pack on Amazon for $27.52 (one 6.3 cup/strawberry-size container and two 17.3 cup/lettuce-size containers).

14.

Repurpose the bottom half of an empty cardboard egg carton so all of your mostly-empty condiments and bottles stay ready to use at any given moment.

15.

Then once they’re 98% empty, scrape out all the last bits with a mini spatula so you can enjoy every bite of food you paid for. That lets you immediately recycle the container, instead of putting it back in the fridge mostly-empty.


instagram.com, Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

Besides food jars, these reach into even the deepest corners of makeup bottles, face washes, and lotions so you never have to toss any actual product again, just the packaging.

Promising review: “I used the Spatty when my makeup was almost gone and ended up getting enough makeup out of the bottle that it lasted another four weeks. If I didn’t have the Spatty, the makeup bottle would have been in the trash a month earlier. The Spatty Daddy also works so well in mayo, mustard, and ketchup jars and bottles. Well worth every penny. Thank you, love it!!!!” —Michelle Green

Get the set of two — one with a 6-inch handle, and another with a 12-inch handle (for different tasks!) — on Amazon for $11.99 (available in two colors).

And yes, they actually work, like, really well — here’s our Spatty Daddy review.

16.

Divvy up your wide produce drawer with expandable organizers so you can kiss your days of digging for the parsley beneath a pile of carrots goodbye.

17.

Avoid cross-contamination by storing your raw meat and fish in its very own bin or drawer, away from everything else.


Faith Durand / thekitchn.com

If your fridge has a drawer labeled “meat”, it stays colder than any other drawer, which can make your steaks, bacon, and chicken last longer before you cook ’em!

From The Kitchn.

18.

Save part of a package of bacon in this sealing saver, so you can easily peel off and cook just a few pieces at a time.


Amazon

Some reviewers say it’s a little short, depending on the bacon you get, but that if you take the bacon out of the original package it can easily squish in.

Promising review: “This item is perfect for its intended purpose. I buy Oscar Mayer bacon and the whole slab of bacon fits in just fine with no scrunching (you do have to take it out of the package, of course!) The lid closes securely and has unique dual tabs in opposite corners to make it very easy to open (you push down on one part of the tab for leverage and lift up on the other. Do this with both corners at once and voila, the cover pops off). What’s more, it is adorable, even cuter than the picture.” —operaforbeginnersdotblog

Get it on Amazon for $12.99.

19.

Package all your meal prep or last night’s leftovers in super transparent, shatter-resistant, leak-proof, air-tight containers so you know exactly what you have on hand in a single glance.


Amazon

These heavy-duty plastic containers are microwave-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe. They even have little vents you can open so you can microwave them with the lid on, preventing splatters!

Promising review: “I’m pleased with the performance of these glass-like plastic containers. They’re great for meal prep, freezing and microwaving. Even microwaved tomato sauce doesn’t stain these. The clip-on lids mean there’s no spilling or leaking despite frequent drops. The extremely tight seal may be tough for hands which are more arthritic than mine. Many sizes available. I can heartily recommend these.” —HollyShort

Get a five-container set from Amazon for $15.29.

For more about why these are so great, read my colleague Yi’s Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers review!

20.

Transform the side of one shelf into a miniature wine chiller with a sturdy stacking rack.


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Promising review: “This product really helps store wines that are too tall to store upright. It works for other tall containers too. My family frequently uses one of the racks for storing 32oz bottles of smoothies. They are easy to clean and stack very securely.” —J. Smith

Get the set of two from Amazon for $15.99.

21.

And easily monitor your supply of beer, seltzer, or soda with this crystal-clear can holder — the cans will always roll to the front, making them easy to grab.


Amazon

The lidded top lets you take advantage of all of the vertical space above the cans, but pops off for easy loading. Each one holds nine cans, but they also easily stack on one another. Side note: if you don’t have an ice maker, one genius reviewer repurposed theirs for ice cube storage!

Promising review: “Nice and sturdy. Looks so much better than a case of sodas. The shelf on top sits loosely but does not slide around. It is not as long as a fridge pack of sodas. Only holds nine cans.” —viciousterra

Get it on Amazon for $16.99.

22.

Or get a single organizer that efficiently stacks basically any kind of bottle you happen to have at the moment, including soda/seltzer/beer cans, beer bottles, (reusable) water bottles, and wine…and all of them at once, if that’s what you need.


The Grommet

I mean, you probably don’t want to stack a bunch of wine bottles on *top* of a bunch of beer bottles — put the heavy stuff at the bottom — but you get the picture!

Promising reviews: “Works great, looks good too and keeps everything nice and tidy. Works and looks better than the other clear ones. Excellent purchase!” —Cornelia L

“I have a small, cheap refrigerator that came with wire racks and it was always a pain to try and stand cans of soda or bottles of water on the racks because they just fell over. I bought this and now all my sodas and waters are neatly stacked on one side and not rolling all over my refrigerator! Highly recommend!”” —Kimberly

Get it from The Grommet for $6.95 or Amazon for $13.89.

23.

Close up partly-finished wine bottles with a vacuum sealer that both keeps your wine fresh and makes it easy to stash that bottle on its side in your fridge.


Amazon

I’ve used one of these for years, and so have my parents; all you do is quickly wet one of the included rubber stoppers under running water, stick it in the bottle, then use the pump to suck out the air that’s between the cork and the rest of your wine. When it’s done, it makes an audible “click-click!” noise. Then you can lay the wine on its side without any fear of leaks!

Promising review: “Wow! I have had this for about five months now — it works great! I drink red wine quite a bit and almost always leave a glass or two in the bottle. Prior to buying this, that glass or two was basically vinegar within one or two days (depending on the type of wine). If you have a half bottle or more remaining, this pump will keep that half bottle tasting like it was just opened for three or four more days. If you have about one glass left in the bottle, expect this pump to keep the wine good for a day or two.” —Red

Get it on Amazon for $11.89+ (two colors available).

24.

Take full advantage of any magnetic surfaces on the inside of your fridge by attaching magnets to the bottom of small plastic containers.

25.

Pledge (with the help of an old T-shirt) cleans and polishes your stainless-steel in a single, quick, satisfying step.


thediygirl.com

I’ve cleaned a couple of different stainless-steel fridges this way, and it does really work! You simply let the Pledge dry, then buff off in circles; I find it helpful to put down a towel while you spray it, otherwise your floors might become a slip-n-slide. From The DIY Girl.

Get a pack of four cans of Pledge on Amazon for $14.04.

26.

Or if you prefer to wipe down your stainless daily or weekly, opt for a spray cleaner that’ll have your fridge shining in less than a minute. All you have to do is spritz it a few times, then wipe down with the included microfiber cloth.


Amazon

Promising review: “Perfect cleaner for my new Whirlpool stainless appliances. It also seems to make it a bit fingerprint resistant as well. Since I cleaned my fridge down a month ago, I haven’t had to do it again yet. I’m sure if I had kids it’d be a little different, but this stuff is where it’s at. I’ve tried cheaper big-box store cleaners and they all take a lot of arm work to get the haze of the initial product to wipe off.” —William Blake Fisher

Get it on Amazon for $16.97.

27.

If you find it terribly annoying that you have to constantly wipe down the fridge’s door handles — why can’t the people you live with not resist opening and closing it with sticky fingers??? — consider some machine-washable handle wraps.


Amazon

They use Velcro to secure down the back, and are a cinch to put on or remove. And they’ll look sleeker than the dirty stainless!

Promising review: “I was tired of cleaning all the stainless-steel handles on my kitchen appliances. With these covers I’m able to open/close the doors on my fridge, microwave, oven etc. without leaving stains. In the washer they go; I make sure the Velcro is closed and put the covers in a washing net to prevent them from getting stuck on clothes.” —Watership Down

Get the set of two on Amazon for $6.99+ (available in five sizes) or a similar style in black for $11.90.

28.

Depending on your model, brushing off your refrigerator coils could help it use less power to keep your food cold, saving you money in the long run.


frugallyblonde.com

Now, *some* modern refrigerator coils don’t need cleaning, but most fridges do! Check your user manual to see. And all you need is your vacuum, a long brush (like this one, $11.04 on Amazon), and someone to help you move your fridge. From Frugally Blonde.

Now if only you had a magic spell that would instantly teach everyone you live with to keep everything sparkling!

Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


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The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

Make your life even tidier. Check out the best all-natural cleaning products for your home, the best bathroom cleaning products, organization products perfect for neat freaks, and, of course, our ultimate guide to cleaning every single room in your house.

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