How to Clean Fridge after Power Outage

Refrigerators are one of the important things in our house wherein food is stored. Ranging from milk to frozen items, everything is stored in the refrigerator. But sometimes the voltage becomes really high, thereby turning the fridge upside down. So, how to clean fridge? Well, cleaning the fridge is not a tedious task. But power outages can be risky. Heavy rains, storms, hurricanes, etc., can lead to such power outages. When a power outage happens, the food in the refrigerator and freezer are not powered by a generator. This brings food safety issues. Plenty of food in the fridge goes to waste after a power outage.

The first thing to remember if your fridge has suffered a power outage is never to taste food to check whether it is okay or not. If your power was out for a few hours and you didn’t open the fridge, then there are chances that the food is okay and edible. A refrigerator keeps the food cold for six to seven hours and the freezer keeps the food cold for 24 hours. If the doors are not opened, then the food will be safe to eat. But there are some things to keep in mind for a power outage. Here they are!

  • Do not open the refrigerator and freezer doors. Opening the doors will lead the cold air to escape, leading to food being rotten.
  • If you already know that the power is going to be out for an extended period of time, then you can get some ice. Dry ice keeps the food cold. Get fifty pounds of ice for doing this process. Also, remember not to touch dry ice with bare hands. Wear gloves and place the ice carefully on the food.
  • Use a refrigerator freezer thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Be it a fridge or a freezer, if the temperature is below forty degrees, then the food is safe to eat.
  • Check the food packages. If the food still contains ice crystals, then the food needs to be refrozen. Remember, if you refreeze the food, the quality will not be the same.
  • Keep all the foods together like a group to keep them colder for longer durations of time.
  • You can also keep food on ice in coolers.

So, you need to remember these key pointers if your fridge has a power outage. A power outage can happen due to any reason. Thus, it is essential to keep the foods and other edible material in check whether it is okay to have them or not. Now let us look at the foods that we can keep and the ones that we need to remove after a power outage.

Foods to Keep & Remove

  1. Discarded Foods

A power outage can lead to bacteria growth in foods if the temperature is above 40 degrees and the food has been left for more than two hours. Discard the following foods if there has been a power outage of four hours or more.

  • Raw, cooked, or leftover meat, poultry, fish, soft cheese, yogurt, eggs, pizza, pasta sauces, cut fruits, and vegetables.
  • Cream-based salad dressing and soups.
  • Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce held over for eight hours at a temperature of 50 degrees and above.
  • Dairy-based dips and fruits or vegetables that might have become slimy and spoiled.

  1. Foods to be Kept

Even after four hours, there are some foods that cannot be discarded. They are safe and edible. Here is the list for the same.

  • Ketchup, mustard, jams, jelly, and marinade. Foods with high salt and sugar content can be preserved. Remember that jellies and jams grow mold after 3-4 days. Discard the ones that are molded.
  • Butter
  • Hard and processed cheese.
  • Herbs, spices, flour, nuts, fresh bread, rolls, etc.
  • Whole fruits and vegetables that show no signs of decay.

So, the foods mentioned above in the list must be discarded and kept respectively. It is not good to eat bacteria-ridden foods. It is best to check the list before you go on tasting food. Never do that! Now let us look at some of the pointers that you need to remember while cleaning the fridge.

How to Clean Fridge

Once the power is restored, there is a certain way of cleaning the fridge. It is essential to clean the refrigerator to get rid of bad odors that might have caught up in the last 4-7 hours.

  • Dispose off spoiled and questionable food that you feel has rotten.
  • Remove crispers, ice trays, etc. Wash them thoroughly with hot water and detergent. Then rinse the trays with a sanitizing solution. Just add liquid chlorine bleach in some water and the sanitizing solution is ready. Wash the trays with this sanitizing solution to get them rid of the odor.
  • Wash the interior of the refrigerator and freezer with hot water and baking soda. Do not forget the doors and gasket. Baking soda is a mild cleanser that cleans without damaging anything. Rinse it later with a sanitizing solution.
  • After the washing and cleaning have been done, leave the door open for 15-20 minutes.

So, you can follow these steps regarding how to clean fridge. The refrigerator is one of the essential aspects of the household wherein every edible item is kept. The steps mentioned above will help in removing bad odor, thereby cleaning the fridge effectively and efficiently. Try out the steps mentioned above and tell us if they helped or not.


  1. What can I use to clean the fridge after a power outage?

You can follow the steps mentioned above to clean your fridge after a power outage. You must use baking soda to clean the fridge in order to get rid of food odor that might have caught up in a few hours.

  1. What is the safest way to get odor out of the fridge?

Use newspapers when you are arranging the fridge. Newspapers help in soaking the odor of foods, thereby leading to a neat and clean refrigerator.

  1. How can I clean rotten parts of food from the refrigerator?

To clean the dried food from the fridge, just mix vinegar and water. Vinegar is a gentle cleanser and is a sure-shot way of removing every kind of stain. With this solution, you can clean the fridge and bid goodbye to bad odor.

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