Cleaning is a hassle, and very few of us love to do it. But it doesn’t have to be as much of a chore as you might think. Better your kitchen cleaning routine with this easy, six-step process for National Clean Out Your Fridge Day, observed every November 15.

1. Unplug the Fridge

Cleaning out the refrigerator won’t take all day, but you will be leaving the door open for long periods of time, which naturally allows cold air to escape. It’s best to unplug it while you clean to save energy (and keep your fingers from getting too cold).

2. Remove All Food and Drawers

yellow gloved hand wipes down empty fridge with ragOnce the fridge is unplugged, take out all drawers, ice trays, food items, and anything else that you want cleaned or out of the way for cleaning. You may want to temporarily store highly perishable foods like meat, dairy, and eggs in a cooler.

3. Make a Cleaner

There are plenty of effective cleaning sprays available for purchase, but you’ll be amazed by how well you can clean your fridge with vinegar and baking soda. Making a cleaner from scratch isn’t as hard as it sounds and will save you a trip to the store. This solution can also be used to clean the exterior of a stainless steel fridge.

4. Wipe Everything Down

woman spraying fridge with cleanerApply your cleaning product or the vinegar and baking soda solution to a sponge or rag and wipe down the interior of the fridge. Be sure to touch up the hard-to-reach places as well as any apparatuses visible once the drawers have been removed since these areas see little regular attention. Afterward, make space in your sink to scrub out the drawers, and set them aside to dry.

5. Clean the Outside of the Fridge

Once you have finished with the interior, use the rag and cleaning solution to wipe down the sides, doors, and handles. Stainless steel refrigerators are often smudged with fingerprints, so be sure to buff these and any watermarks out with a dry rag afterward. If you feel comfortable moving the fridge, slide it over to sweep up the dust and dirt underneath.

Using a toothbrush, clean your condenser coils. Without regular cleaning, the condenser coils on your refrigerator can become impeded or even damaged over time. To locate your condenser coils, refer to your refrigerator’s manual. Don’t fret if you don’t have it handy; most modern appliances have a digital manual online.

6. Refill the Fridge and Plug It Back In

With your fridge spotless and your coils clean, replace the drawers and plug in the power cable. Depending on how long the fridge has been unplugged, you may want to wait for it to cool back down before restocking perishable items. It is also a good idea to check expiration dates as you place your food back in to make sure that you are not restocking your refrigerator with anything that will soon spoil.

Cleaning is a chore, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Follow this simple, six-step approach to cleaning out your fridge for quick and easy success on National Clean Out Your Fridge Day.