The Refrigerator Maintenance Task You've Been Overlooking

Some people love to clean while others completely despise it. For many, it takes an event like having people over or an odor they just can't seem to find to push them over the edge to clean up a little more than usual. Whether you've decided it's time for a GQ-recommended deep clean or it is part of your weekly cleaning schedule, most people have removed everything from the refrigerator and given it a proper wipe down. After this, you take a step back from your refrigerator and look at it all sparkling clean; job well done! Well, not exactly.

That slight odor might not be completely gone, or your water might taste slightly stale; you chalk it up to being something else –- a problem for another day. The solution, however, is simpler than you may think and something most don't even know about. Our refrigerators are kept clean by filters, and these filters work hard, filling up eventually with gunk (yuck!), and have to be replaced. Many remember to clean their stove or oven, but we can't forget about our refrigerators!

Clean those filters!

Most modern-day refrigerators can have two types of filters: air filters and water filters. Air filters help keep the odor in your refrigerator fresh by deodorizing any smell from decaying food, as well as preventing the growth of germs and microbes by circulating air through the food compartments. As you use your refrigerator, the filter will begin to have a build-up of filth and will be less efficient over time (via Kitchen Cuddle). So, to be sure to reduce that odor and keep the air in the refrigerator fresh and circulating, be sure to replace your air filter when needed.

Water filters, on the other hand, are on most refrigerators that produce water or ice. These water filters remove contaminants such as lead and chlorine, which lead to bad smells or tastes. To function properly, these filters should usually be replaced twice per year (via Consumer Reports). None of us want a smelly refrigerator or nasty water, so be sure to change your filters! Kitchn recommends checking the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific refrigerator. In addition, they advise you to set reminders to change them when the time comes for a replacement.