At the end of a medium or long term house sit you better give the fridge a scrub to make sure it's odour free and clean for the owners. If you haven't got much experience cleaning fridges, you may want to follow my fridge cleaning routine:
- Unplug the fridge. (Unless you've got lots of fresh food left that has to go back in asap and / or you don't mind the beeping noises the fridge will start making if you leave the door open for too long)
- Take all the food out, check the expiry dates and put everything that's still fresh in a supermarket cooler bag.
- Discard any expired and/or dodgy products.
- Carefully take out shelves and drawers. Give them a good wash with soapy water (use dish washing liquid, not harsh chemicals!).
- Rinse well with water or water with some baking soda added. (2-3 tablespoons of baking soda / 500ml)
- Wash the inside of the fridge with soapy water. Rinse with water with baking soda. Make sure you reach all the corners. Don't forget the rubbery seals (and its grooves) and the upper and bottom side of the door.
- Wipe everything dry with a clean rag or towel and insert the shelves and drawers back in the fridge.
- Switch the fridge back on on the right temperature setting so you the food can go back in. Make sure you give bottles and jars a good wipe first as they can get sticky.
- Carefully clean the outside of the fridge with an appropriate product. For stainless steel fridges use a special stainless steel cleaner. Only use paper towel or soft sponges so you don't make any scratches!
- Vacuum clean the 'grill' underneath the fridge to remove the dust.
- If you leave an open packet of baking soda in the fridge, it will absorb any future odors.
- At the end of your house sit, you could do some basic grocery shopping for the home owners so they don't come back to an empty fridge.
TIP: If you make a little list upon arrival in the house of what's left in the fridge and which brands, it's easy to restock with the products the owners actually use.
At least you'll know whether they use skimmed milk or full cream milk etc.
The owners will appreciate your thoughtfullness.
Congrats! The fridge is now clean!