How to Get Rid of Bacteria in Freezers


Whether your freezer is a standalone unit or one that is part of a refrigerator, good care and maintenance will keep it running smoothly. While the freezer can keep your food from spoiling for a long time, bacteria can still be present. If there was a power disruption, bacteria from raw, thawed meat may contaminate your freezer. When you clean out your freezer, you should go the extra step and disinfect it as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponge or towel
  • 3/4 cup chlorine bleach
  • 1 gallon water
  • Spray bottle
  • 1/2 gallon soapy warm water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket with warm water
  • Remove all items from the freezer and discard items with freezer burn or excess frost buildup. Store the other items in a cooler.

  • Unplug your freezer. If necessary, defrost.

  • Remove all bins, ice trays and racks and place them in the sink to be cleaned separately.

  • Fill the spray bottle with a solution of 3/4 cup chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of water. Store remaining solution for future use.

  • Pre-wash and wipe down the insides of the freezer, from top to bottom, with a towel or sponge and soapy warm water, removing any particles or debris.

  • Spray the disinfecting solution inside the freezer, covering all surfaces. Allow the solution to sit for 5 minutes.

  • Rinse well with warm water and allow to air dry.

  • Clean and dry the racks and bins. Place them in the freezer.

  • Plug in the freezer. Wait several hours before placing your frozen items in the freezer.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you need to defrost your freezer, do it safely with a towel that's been soaked in hot water. The hot water will help melt and break down the ice.

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  • Photo Credit TV and freezer image by Mediagfx from
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