The refrigerator is probably one of the most neglected items in the kitchen. Until we detect an unpleasant smell, we forget it needs any maintenance at all!

Yet, as one of the few appliances in our lives that genuinely has to be on all the time, a poorly-running fridge can make a significant dent in our electricity bill. Running properly, it costs less and keeps our products fresher and healthier…

The basics:

Keeping a fridge spill- and smell-free should be a kitchen priority. It’s always best to wipe up spills as they happen, rather than leaving them to dry out and stain.

Who wants to peel unknown yuck out of the fridge in a month, anyway?

Once a month, give the insides a quick wipe-out with a ½ and ½ mix of vinegar and water, too. Vinegar deters the growth of mildew.

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Wipe the seals – and be sure to get into the cracks, too- with a little soapy water. If you happen to notice a smell, place a small bowl of baking soda, kitty litter or coffee grounds in the fridge to soak up the stink.

Things to watch out for

With a little regular maintenance, your fridge will smell great and run well. There are a few things to look out for, however.

Firstly, your seals are a critical part of keeping the cold. If you notice your fridge isn’t sealing properly (you should hear the ‘slurp’ sound as you shut the door), call in a pro.

Poor seals waste cold and electricity. Likewise, watch out for an over-accumulation of ice at the back of the fridge. This can indicate either your temperature setting is too high, or a coolant leak.

With a little TLC, your fridge will last and last – and so will the food you store in it!