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Can You Use Lysol to Clean a Refrigerator?

Container of Lysol wipes, can of Lysol spray, bottle of Clorox bleach and a green sponge.

When it comes to cleaning your fridge, there are two sides to the issue. On one side are the different home cleaning experts and manufacturers who say you should use only dishwashing liquid and water to clean your fridge.

Then on the other side of the issue, there are cleaning experts and partially Lysol itself who say you have more cleaning options than that. To find out who is right, just continue to read our article. It provides the right information to guide you to the right answer.


Can You Use Lysol to Clean a Fridge

Depending on who you listen to, you may have been cleaning your fridge wrong all these years. If you have been using Lysol, bleach, and other chemicals to disinfect and clean your fridge, both inside and out, you may be damaging your appliance.

According to the manufacturers’ warning sticker placed on some or most fridges you are not to use any cleaning agent, any stainless-steel cleaner, any bleach, and no abrasive sponges, pads, or cloths.

The reason the manufacturers give for these bans is that those items may damage the metal and the plastic construction materials used to make the fridge. These cleansers and cleaning tools can discolor the finish, crack, or scratch the metal or plastic parts.

The bad news is you cannot use vinegar either or baking soda and other natural products. Only dishwashing liquid and a soft cloth are allowed. Don’t forget the warm water.

There is Another Side to the Debate

Red stamp that reads "Do Not Use"

While manufacturers’ instructions are often good, those instructions are placed there to cover their collective butts. They do not want to expose themselves to faulty returns, complaints, or even bad lawsuits. So, they make their instructions as narrow and as rigid as possible.

This is the same reason why you see dry clean only on many fabrics that can be washed. The companies are not protecting you or your appliance, they are protecting their bottom line.

Then there is the success of alternative natural cleaning processes which have not done what is described on those warning stickers. These success stories provide lots of evidence that shows the manufacturers being overly cautious when it comes to cleaning their appliances.

Cleaning Agent Manufacturers Get in on the Debate

a variety of cleaning products in different colors in bottles and spray bottles.

We checked with Lysol and in their FAQ section, they talk about cleaning a fridge. They say that using their gentle cleansers or wipes, it is safe to use Lysol products to disinfect and clean the interior of your fridge. They just do not use those exact words.

Then we checked with some cleaning experts and they use a little bleach with a gallon of water to do the same chore. They have reported no negative results so far. They have also said that using Lysol is safe, but you need to watch out for the odor of that product. It can get strong.

To get rid of the odor they recommend using an open box of baking soda to absorb the smell.

The Main Concern for You

Man reaching into a fridge full of food for a vegetable.

While it may be safe to use vinegar, stainless steel cleaners, bleach, and Lysol to disinfect and clean your fridge, the main issue you have is when unpackaged foods touch those spots where you used the chemical cleaners.

The residue that is left behind can contaminate those foods and make them unhealthy for you and your family to eat. You may have to toss those food items out and spend more money replacing them.

This is a legitimate concern so if you do use chemicals, etc., to clean your fridge, make sure to rinse completely. Use multiple clean clothes to do the rinsing and drying to make sure you mop up all the chemical residue and rinse well.

As for the outside of the fridge, use soft sponges, towels, and non-abrasive cleansers.

Some Final Words

Woman looking for a late night snack in a fridge with both doors open.

We are not going to tell you which way to go. Instead, we will say for you to get all the facts first and then make up your mind. Sometimes the manufacturers are right and most of the time they are not.

Since we have already published articles telling you how to use natural cleansers to disinfect your fridge, and so on, you already know where we stand. It is your fridge, and you should take care of it as it is an expensive appliance.

However, experience is a good teacher and the many success stories out there tell you in this case the manufacturers may be in error. It will depend a lot on the materials used to create your fridge.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Yellow gloved hand holding the handle on a bottle of vinegar next to 3 bars of soap, baking soda in a bowl, an a yellow and blue sponge, all on a wooden table.

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