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Clean & Deodorize Your Refrigerator Naturally

I have to admit, today’s post wasn’t supposed to be about a homemade cleaner at all. But, as is often the case with me, I got distracted by something and plans changed. :-) It’s not really my fault though (never mind, it totally is!) The nice people at MasonJars.com sent me several different caps for mason jars to try and I was so enamored with the spray nozzle cap that I decided a homemade cleaner was in order!

I looked around my house for some inspiration and determined that the thing most in need of a good cleaning was the inside of my refrigerator! OY! Starting with the hamburger I had thawed in the refrigerator that leaked, moving on to the orange juice spill that never got entirely wiped up, and several other messes in between, I had my work cut out for me.

I started with one of my most trusted and effective cleaning ingredients….vinegar. Since I’ve had success with the cleaning power of heated vinegar in both my Tub & Shower Magic and when cleaning my microwave, that’s what I went with for this cleaner recipe.

Chemical-Free Refrigerator Cleaner


Add two parts hot water and one part vinegar to a glass spray bottle, then add the lemon essential oil.

Spray mixture inside the fridge, let sit for a minute or two, and wipe with a damp cloth.

The hot water and vinegar will not only loosen stuck on food, but will also help to eliminate undesirable odors. The lemon EO helps sanitize and leaves a clean, fresh smell!

By the way, this will work wonderfully in your microwave too. Or you can try THIS safe and simple method from a previous post.

refrigerator cleaner

Either way, let the SPRING CLEANING BEGIN! 

mason jar caps

For more information on the mason jar caps, go to MasonJars.com. Unfortunately I don’t see the spray nozzles on their website currently, maybe we’ll just have to be patient!

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  • I’m a little late to the party, so to speak, but I made up a small batch of this cleaner yesterday and I HAD to write and give my testimonial, if you will. My mom’s refrigerator had an odor, I would imagine because it hadn’t been cleaned out completely since it was new a few years ago. Generally she keeps it cleaned out, but there was a span of time last year where she was in the hospital and then a rehab facility for 5 months, and during that time, not everything was discovered and thrown away. Yuck! So, I found Jillee’s recipe for the fridge cleaner and thought I’d try it. I am beyond impressed with this stuff! So, Mom and I decided to try it on other things in her kitchen, including the linoleum floor! Before I left her house yesterday, I made another bottle of cleaner for her, and she called me last night to get the proportions for another bottle!

    Thank you Jillee, for helping to make cleaning FUN!

  • Customer service at reCap kindly refunded my shipping charges since I had a large enough lid order. I’m looking forward to receiving my two sets of pink lids, one regular mouth and one wide mouth. They are for a gift for someone who likes pink and has an immaculately organized kitchen. Thanks Jillee and thanks reCap!

  • An update about my order of pink lids. I qualified for free shipping but in their return email they told me I had to have an account set up first. Very misleading so beware! I’m still working on them though to get the shipping refunded. I’ll let you know.

  • Took way too long for these items to get to market.
    As a side note–I hate the puddles made from anything that defrosts in the refrigerator. My solution, anything that must defrost is placed inside a casserole dish first. The dish is then goes in the DW.

  • I just ordered the set of four pink regular mouth lids and set of four pink large mouth lids. I hope I receive the free shipping, I had to email customer service.

  • I have loved mason jars for years, now arthritis makes them too heavy when full….but it’s nice that the lids fit their smaller jars! I’ve been making my own with the top from salt containers and a ring – making my own pour lids..but I only use about 1 container of salt every 2 years…LOL

    • I make my own by using the screw type lids that are on most OJ cartons these days. I wash them up & sanitize them and then let them dry completely. So long as the smell of OJ is gone they are good to use. I have had no trouble using them to dispense dry goods. Sugar is super easy to measure or refill the sugar bowl. They work great for rice too I mostly use them with 1/2 gal jars.

  • What a coincidence that I cleaned my fridge this morning w/this mixture:) I was wondering about making cleaners w/essential oils: there has never been a mention of using a glass jar. However, it is a warning when consuming water w/essential oils it should be done from glass. Should same precaution be taken for homemade cleaners?

    • Hi Andrea! If you are planning to leave the cleaner in the jar for very long then I would use glass. But if you’re going to use it all right away then you could put it in a plastic jar.

  • Hi Jillee,

    Love the caps for mason jars. I visited the mason jar web site and when I couldn’t find the spray lids either. I did a search (upper right corner) and you can order the spray lids, without the jar($7.00) and with lotion in the jar w/spray lids ($20.00) Hope this helps….keep up the good work.

  • I am ready to get rid of all bought products to go clean. I appreciate this great idea of vinegar and lemon oil. I am even more excited about the spray attachment to mason jars.
    What other recipes do you have for laundry soaps, etc.?

  • As a substitute for the lemon EO, which I don’t have, I would add lemon peels or zest. I’m sure there is adequate fragrance and oil in the peels/zest.

  • I am so happy that the Mason Jar company is offering these lids.
    I have been using mayo jar lids so I don’t have to deal with the 2 part mason screw on lid and cap.

    I keep leftover soups etc. in mason jars in the fridge–since they can go in the microwave to re-heat.
    Also. since they are so cold, I do rinse them off in warm water first so they don’t have to heat up so long.

    I put candy, macaroni, etc in jars when I don’t use a whole container. Easy to see in the pantry when looking for something.

    Now, I will order some of the pourable lids to go with some of them.
    Thanks Jillee for letting us know about these great lids!

  • When I click the link the spray nozzle is the first thing that comes up…$7! These caps will def add a bunch of uses to mason jars! How cool. Thanks for the link.

  • Great timing! I need to clean out the fridge too. Yikes!
    I LOVE the spray lid and hope Mason sells it soon. I’m also going to look into their pourable lids. I have a bunch of wide mouth jars filled with my, err .. your.. powdered laundry soap recipe and a pourable lid would be absolutely perfect, especially with the vinegar softener.

      • If you follow her link to MasonJars.com, you can cluck on Caps across the top, then Adapta Caps on the left. The spray nozzle is in there for $7.00. Cheers!

      • Or “click” … Not sure what effect “clucking” would have but my iPad’s autocorrect seemed to think it was a possible approach ;)

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