This All-Natural DIY Spray Will Make Cleaning Your Fridge as Effortless as Can Be

published Feb 9, 2022
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Hand pulling out a drawer/bin in a refrigerator. The bin is full of condiments (catsup, mustard, hot sauce, etc)
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Styling: Tom Hoerup

You’re supposed to clean the inside of your refrigerator every three to six months, but let’s be honest — you’re probably overdue for a clean. I know I am. 

Chantel Mila of @mama_mila_au on Instagram regularly shares clever styling, organizing, and cleaning hacks, and her recipe for a DIY fridge spray has us ready to put on cleaning gloves and get it done. The Instagram reel showcasing the fridge-cleaning hack plays Britney Spears’s “Gimme More” for some added motivation: you better work!

First, put together the cleaning mix in a spray bottle. Pour in 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. The clear white vanilla extract Mila used caught my attention, as I’ve only ever seen brown vanilla extract, but Mila wrote that using brown-colored vanilla extract also works. Additionally, if you don’t love the smell of vanilla, she listed lemon essential oil as an alternative. In the caption, Mila noted that the cleaning mix has a shelf life of about three months. In addition to cutting through any spills or stuck-on messes, this spray is supposed to make your fridge smell good too.

Once you have your spray mixture ready, it’s time to clear out your fridge. This is a good time to throw out that box of takeout you’ve forgotten about and any other foods that are past their prime. (Side note, if you find yourself throwing out fresh fruits and veggies, check out our hacks to help waste less produce.) Spray the mixture all over the shelves and drawers, put on a pair of rubber gloves, and scrub away. Wipe down your fridge with paper towels or a cloth to ensure all the surfaces are dry. Put the food back into the fridge and voilà — a shiny, clean fridge that smells like a vanilla daydream. Set a calendar alert to remind yourself to do it again in a few months to get on a regular cleaning schedule.