Nannies and Au Pairs: Are You Responsible for Cleaning Out the Fridge?

If in Doubt Throw it Out!

1. Throw away any food that is moldy, expired, or otherwise spoiled.

2. Take all removable parts out of the refrigerator, including shelves, wire racks, and drawers.

3. Fill the sink with warm, soapy water (use a mild dish soap). Never use harsh cleaners or scouring pads in or on the refrigerator.

4. Wipe any food matter out of the drawers.

5. Hand-wash the shelves, wire racks and drawers, then rinse them in warm water.

6. Let the shelves, wire racks, and drawers drain in a dish rack, on paper towels or on newspapers.

7. Remove any food matter from the bottom of the refrigerator.

8. Wash the inside of the refrigerator using a sponge or dishcloth and the warm, soapy water. Remember the compartments and door racks.

9. Rinse the inside of the refrigerator with a sponge or dishcloth and clean warm water.

10. For odor control, use a solution of 2 tbsp. baking soda to 1 quart warm water to wash the inside of the refrigerator. A solution of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon warm water is also effective; apply and rinse. A box of baking soda placed in the refrigerator will also cut down on odors.

11. Replace all shelves, wire racks, and drawers.

12. Wash the outside of the refrigerator and the gasket (rubber molding around the door) with warm, soapy water; rinse and wipe dry.

13. Return the food to the refrigerator, first wiping off any bottles or jars that are sticky.

Click here for reference.


  1. yes i rotate the food and clean out the fridgeHeatherGlen Ridge NJ

  2. I know so many nannies that complain about the condition of the fridges. That no one but the nanny ever throws out anything or anything spoiled. I used to feel that way too. But the parents spend so little time at home it's just instinctual for them to save left overs. The fact they never eat them isn't a reason to get upset. When it's ready to throw out just do it, IMO. No big deal to be complaining about.

  3. I've never been asked to clean a fridge at work. Sometimes it still has to be done. I hate being the only one to throw out leftovers but if I have some free time (not often)it's got to be done. If there's a big spill of course I wipe it up would be completely passive aggressive not to.

  4. My friends do complain this very thing. I just think since the parents are at work all day why shouldn't we clean the fridge if it needs it and we can do it? No, I wouldn't want it in my work agreement, but just do it if it needs it and be proactive and try to help the family.

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