Now Is the Perfect Time to Do This Very Important Summer Cleaning Task

published Jun 4, 2022
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Summer is coming, and we all know what that means: stocking up on all the frozen treats like key lime Popsicles, homemade blueberry ice cream, bags of seasonal frozen fruit, and more icy treasures. But does your freezer have room for any of it? 

If your answer is no, now is the perfect time to clean out your freezer. Making space for frozen goodies is probably the best motivation we’ve ever heard of to purge, clean, and organize!

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Here’s what you’ll need.

  • A cooler
  • A hot water and vinegar solution in a spray bottle 
  • A rag
  • Paper towels 
  • Dish towel 

To purge and clean your freezer, follow these five simple steps:

1. Empty out the entire contents of your freezer.

First, turn off or unplug your freezer. If possible, you can also set your freezer setting to low. Working quickly, toss expired items, freezer-burned items, and mystery items, too. Then, put the remaining foods in your cooler while you clean the freezer out.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

2. Wash removable parts in warm water and soap.

Detach any removable parts of your freezer, such as shelves or the ice tray, so that you can wash them separately. Wash each piece with soapy, warm water.

3. Wipe the freezer down.

Wipe up any crumbs or other loose debris (like pieces of packaging, etc.). Spray any messy spills with the hot water and vinegar solution, and wipe everything with a rag. Don’t forget the door and the surrounding seal.

4. Treat stubborn areas.

For really stubborn spills, cover with a paper towel, spray, and then allow the wet paper towel to soften the mess before wiping it up. Dry the inside thoroughly with paper towels or a dish towel. 

5. Place your frozen food back into the freezer.

Work on putting your frozen food back in the freezer, keeping a few organizing tips in mind. (And don’t forget to leave space for those incoming sweet treats!)

  • Take note of expiration dates, stocking the newest items in back and moving older items to the front.
  • Store items vertically whenever possible so you can see and access everything easily. 
  • Freeze items, such as chicken stock or ground beef, in usable portions. Then, freeze them flat in a freezer storage bag.
  • Label everything with the contents and the date, so you never have to guess what’s inside. A grease pencil is great for this. 
  • Use magazine holders and bins to create zones. Assign a category of food for each organizer, and it’ll make finding exactly what you’re looking for easy!

How do you clean your freezer in preparation for summer? Tell us your tips in the comments below.