How to clean your fridge in 9 easy steps (AKA what Martha Stewart never told you)

In the April edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine, Martha demonstrated the proper way to clean a dirty stove. The only problem? The stove she was scouring was already really clean to begin with. So today I wanted to show you how to clean a REALLY dirty appliance. My refrigerator. Martha Stewart, take note.

Step One. Gather the necessary supplies.

Step Two. Brace yourself. Make sure all small children are far away from the door when you open it, lest falling objects strike them and render them unconscious.

Step Three. Take a deep breath and repeat, “it’s just a kitchen appliance, it’s just a kitchen appliance” until you feel your heart rate return to normal. If that doesn’t do the trick, you might need to get a half price Frappuccino.

Step Four. Remove the first shelf and its contents.

Step Five. Clean the shelf, and inspect the food items for expiration dates.

Houston! We have a problem!


Step Six. Take time out to pat yourself on the back for the progress you’ve begun to make. Your mother would be proud!

Step Seven. Next it’s time to throw out any UFO (unidentified furry object).

Step Eight. Clean up the chocolate pudding that you just knocked over. Whoopsies.

Step Nine. Stand back and admire your work! You really have that domestic touch, don’t you?

There you have it. One spotless fridge in 9 easy steps. I don’t think Martha could’ve done it any better, do you?

PS. Ms. Stewart, if you are reading this and like what you see, you can email me at thecouponproject at hotmail dot com. Sure, I’d be happy to share my knowledge with your Martha Stewart Living readers and inspire them to achieve domestic greatness.


    • arussell says

      That reminds me. I think I have leftovers from Thanksgiving in my fridge in the garage. I’m so scared, I just pretend it’s not there…

      • SarahL says

        Ha :) Those few days when I can get my husband to do the dishes for me, that’s when I clean out my fridge :) I can’t stand mold. or scary dishes lol! Luckily it doesn’t bother him and he’ll do them!

  1. Janine says

    That was hilarious! I have found a few items from a bygone era too and it’s embarrassing even if I am the only one who sees it! ha!

    • arussell says

      I think I was more shocked than anything! 2007??!!! That bottle has an older expiration date than my daughter’s age! By more than a year!

  2. says

    Awesome! I just happened to clean out my fridge last night too, lol. It’s crazy…you think you have so much in there, only to find out that half of it is garbage.

    Ps. SOOOO glad that I am not the only one who forgets about the Thanksgiving leftovers πŸ˜‰

  3. Michelle McAninch says

    Thank you! I’m going to show your post to my husband tonight to prove to him I really am normal! :)

  4. Evon says

    ROFL!! OMG! UFO! I think I have some of that in my cheese drawer!

    I do exactly what you did about once a year or when we get a major spill.

  5. Keri says

    Ok, I don’t feel so bad anymore! :) My shark steamer is my favorite thing with an icky appliance, no icky cleaners to smell and no scrubbing!

  6. Jen says

    Don’t you just love a clean fridge?
    A little over a month ago, we returned from a long weekend to find that our fridge door had been left open the whole time. We had to THROW OUT EVERYTHING!
    I cried. But now I have a really clean fridge.

  7. says

    Nice job!
    It’s so helpful to see that I am not the only one with a dirty fridge. Some days I feel so out of control, like there is no way I can ever catch up with all the chores. And I don’t even have kids! I don’t know how you guys with kids keep a clean house – it’s hard enough with just two people.

    • arussell says

      Uh….my house isn’t clean! LOL!!

      Sections of it are. For instance, my kitchen is *mostly* clean and my son’s bedroom and my bedroom are *mostly* clean. But don’t you dare look at my bathrooms or daughter’s bedroom!

  8. robin says


    I always ask myself that same question. I think as I get older my priorities keep changing and dusting is NOT that high on my list :) anymore, unfortunately since we have a cat, a smoker and live in MN so windows have been closed for the last 6 months. It’s kind of like the bathroom, if there were just females in the house I wouldn’t mind. I make my husband leave the house when I do it because I get madder and madder as I clean it. I came from a family of 6 females and 1 male and never saw anything like I do now. My husband grew up with mostly males in his house, so you can imagine what those bathrooms looked like, yuck.

    Awesome job Angela and I feel better to know I’m not the only one who has expired items in the house. Last month I cleaned out cake mixes and found some from 2007.

    • Evon says


      I just HAD to comment on this. When my hubby and I were dating, he and his roommate NEVER cleaned the bathroom. I stayed there one night and tried a shower the next day. Ew! I had to wash my feet in the sink afterwards because the bathtub drained so slowly. We are talking 6″ of standing water after a shower. I got dressed, told DH that we were NOT going out and where the hell is the nearest grocery store? One gallon of extra strength drain opener, one bottle of CLR (for the shower head that barely worked) some heavy duty soap scum remover and two scrub brushes later, I could take a proper shower. Talk about a bachelor pad…

      And I”m not going into the stories about the kitchen sink…

  9. Maija says

    My co-worker introduced me to the term meat-cake; if you can’t tell if it’s meat or cake, it’s time to throw it out! haha

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  11. Melissa says

    I think we have the same fridge – and I was not a big fan (I hated it actually) until I moved the deli tray a little bit above the deli tray – just a few inches, large enough to store a plate, casserole dish or pizza box and then moved the milk to the door. I feel like I have a lot more storage, it’s easier to see where things are, and easier to keep clean.

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