Can You Put Refrigerator Drawers And Shelves In The Dishwasher?

Cleaning the inside of your refrigerator can be difficult. You have to move food out of the way. Plus, those shelves and drawers can get really sticky and gross. If you're planning on giving your fridge a deep cleaning, you're probably looking for an easier way to clean these pieces. Can you put these parts of the refrigerator inside the dishwasher for cleaning? We've done the research and can tell you the answer!

Most refrigerator drawers and shelves are dishwasher safe! You can wash most plastic and glass shelving on your dishwasher's normal cycle.

However, you need to make sure that your shelves don't have any sort of under-shelf lighting. The LED components are not dishwasher safe. You'll need to wash these shelves by hand.

Getting the inner components of your refrigerator and freezer clean doesn't have to be a hassle. Keep reading to learn more about how to clean the inside of the fridge, how often you should be cleaning it, and more!

A black refrigerator inside a white kitchen with aluminum cabinets and a cupboards, Can You Put Refrigerator Drawers And Shelves In The Dishwasher?

Dishwasher Method

Refrigerator shelves and interior areas are made of various types of plastic or glass. The kind of plastic varies. However, you'll usually find ABS, polypropylene, or polystyrene used in the appliance's interior.

Polypropylene and polystyrene are identified by the numbers 5 and 6 within a recycling symbol. Plastics in this category are considered safe for dishwasher use. ABS is a thermoplastic polymer. This material has excellent heat-resistant properties and is also considered dishwasher safe.

A refrigerator containing lots of food and other essentials

Keep in mind that high temperatures can cause the plastic to warp inside a dishwasher. Always be sure that your plastic is made from a material with a higher melting point.

If you have glass refrigerator shelves, you don't have to worry as much. As long as there's no under-shelf lighting, your glass shelves and drawers will be dishwasher safe. With that said, it's always best to double-check your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations.

Removing Drawers

Interior of an empty refrigerator

Clean out your refrigerator of food and other items. To remove your drawers, you'll want to open them until they stop moving. Then, you should lift slightly and continue pulling.

While this method is the most common, it's not the only way to remove refrigerator drawers. If you're having trouble, check to see if any screws prevent the drawer's removal.

Some Samsung models also require you to push a button to remove the shelves. Check your refrigerator manual for detailed instructions on removing your crisper drawers!

Door Drawers/Bins

Removing the door drawers and bins is an easy process. You should firmly grasp the container and carefully push it up. Then, you can pull the drawer completely out.

Removing Shelves

You'll also need to remove the shelves of your appliance. This is done by carefully lifting the shelf. You'll also need to tilt the shelf slightly as you lift. Once you've gotten the shelf off its supports, you can pull it out of the refrigerator.

Check out this video to see the process:

You may need to open your refrigerator door wider if the shelves don't easily slide out. Certain LG model refrigerators require you to open the right-side door further. To do this, you'll need to lift the door up and then move it open more. This will allow you to pull your shelves out for easy cleaning.

Check this video out to see how it's done:

Correct Temperature

While it may be tempting to clean your refrigerator's drawers and shelves immediately, it's important to wait. Allow the pieces to reach room temperature before washing them by hand or in the dishwasher. Sudden temperature changes can cause your shelves to shatter or crack.

Read more: How Much Weight Can A Refrigerator Shelf Hold?

Loading Dishwasher

A refrigerator drawer with a fruits and vegetables label on it

Before you load the dishwasher, you should wipe away any crumbs. However, you don't need to prewash any stains. Most dishwashers are capable of cleaning them without it.

Now it's time to put the pieces into the dishwasher. Place heavy shelves around the outside edges of the bottom shelf. You can organize smaller drawers on the top shelf.

Be careful not to overload your dishwasher! This may mean that you'll need to run the appliance multiple times. It's also important to note that some drawers or shelves might not fit. In these cases, you'll have to handwash them.

Reinstall Into Refrigerator

After the dishwasher finishes, you'll need to wait for the shelves and drawers to reach room temperature before installing them. You should do this for the same reason you waited before cleaning them. The sudden decrease in temperature could cause your shelves to break.

While you wait for the removable pieces to cool, you can clean the inside of your fridge. Fill a spray bottle with hot, soapy water and use it in the appliance. You can also use a combination of baking soda and water or water and vinegar. Make sure the interior of your refrigerator is completely dry when you're done.

Once you're finished, you can reinstall all of your drawers and shelves. Start with the vegetable drawers or crispers. Then, put the shelves and door drawers back on. Don't forget to put back any screws that you needed to remove.

Washing By Hand

If you can't wash your refrigerator drawers and shelves inside your dishwasher, then you'll have to wash them by hand. You should still remove all the pieces you can from inside the refrigerator. Then, wait for them to reach room temperature.

Then, it's time to clean them. The CDC recommends that you clean your drawers and shelves with hot soapy water. You can use a regular sponge for cleaning these pieces. Once clean, you should dry everything with a microfiber cloth or towel.

Before putting the removable pieces back, you should allow them to reach room temperature. Now is also the time to clean the inside of your fridge. After doing that, you can reinstall the shelves and drawers.

How Do You Keep Fridge Drawers Clean?

An opened drawer of a refrigerator filled with vegetables and other peas

Cleaning the inside of a refrigerator can be tedious work. Fortunately, it's possible to keep your fridge cleaner with less work from you. One of the easiest ways to keep those shelves and drawers clean is to use shelf liners.

Shelf liners will protect your glass shelves from accidental cracks and spills. Many products are washable, but there are disposable options as well. You can also use a liner in your vegetable drawer!

Read more: What Is The Best Glue For Refrigerator Plastic?

Another option is to use a paper towel as a liner.

Check out these washable shelf liners on Amazon.

Check out this sponge material liner on Amazon.

Can You Use Clorox Wipes To Clean The Inside Of Your Fridge?

Yes, you can use products like Clorox, Lysol, or bleach on the inside of your refrigerator. If you do use chemicals to clean, always be careful not to touch your food with it. Try limiting these products to use on small spills.

Should You Turn Your Fridge Off When Cleaning It?

Shelves and drawers inside a refrigerator

If you're going to be giving your fridge a deep cleaning, you may want to unplug it. You'll waste less electricity and won't have to worry about closing the doors quickly. Keeping the power off is also safer if you're planning on cleaning the refrigerator's coils.

How Often Should You Clean Your Refrigerator?

You should spot clean your refrigerator as needed. This appliance also requires a deep cleaning once every three to four months.

Refrigerators can be breeding grounds for bacteria and germs. Not cleaning your fridge properly can result in salmonella or listeria growing and contaminating your food.

In Closing

A black refrigerator inside a white kitchen with aluminum cabinets and a cupboards

The refrigerator is the most common household appliance. It's essential to know how to take care of this device. In order to make deep cleaning more manageable, you can clean most glass and plastic refrigerator shelves and drawers in the dishwasher! However, it's best to check your owner's manual for the best cleaning method.

For more cleaning tips, take a look at this post: How To Clean Inside A Microwave [A Complete Guide]

For more refrigerator information, you should read: Should A Refrigerator Run All The Time?

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