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Why Vanilla and Vinegar Is a Refrigerator Cleaning Dynamic Duo

A refrigerator is organized and filled with drinks and produce in a kitchen.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Cleaning the refrigerator might be one of the worst tasks when it comes to kitchen cleaning. From taking all the food out to getting all those spilled bits off the shelving, it’s a pain. Somewhat shockingly, though, the answer is already in your pantry: vinegar and vanilla.

When you clean the fridge, a combination of vinegar, water, and vanilla extract can cut through dirt while leaving behind a pleasant scent.

No, we’re not saying that vanilla extract is the answer for a clean fridge. It’s not a cleaning agent at all. It’s simply to cover the scent of the vinegar. This clever hack comes from TikTok cleaning aficionado Chantel Mila.


In the lead up to Christmas I’ll be sharing simple ways to clean your home before holiday entertaining 🎄 starting with the fridge to make it clean + fresh for your festive food + drinks ♥️ #homehacks #hometips #cleaninghacks #fridgecleaning


In the video, Mila adds a cup of water, a 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and two tablespoons of vanilla extract to a spray bottle. Then, once her fridge is completely empty, the creator sprays the mixture onto her entire fridge and wipes down the shelves, walls, and drawers with a microfiber cloth. The result? A clean refrigerator that smells like vanilla.

HOOJO Refrigerator Organizer Bins

Once clean, keep your fridge organized.

Why does this work? Vinegar is made up of acetic acid which is able to break down grease and grim. That’s why it’s such a great cleaner for so many areas of your home. But let’s be honest. It stinks. That’s where the vanilla comes in. The water helps dilute the smell a bit, and the vanilla extract finishes it off.

If cleaning your refrigerator is on your to-do list, grab your spray bottle, some water, vinegar, and (cheap) vanilla extract, and get to work.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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