The Best Cleaner for Your Sub-Zero — Our Expert Advice

A while back we told you about the best cleaning products for your Wolf range and oven. Now we’d like to do the same for your Sub-Zero refrigerator or freezer.

As you might expect, many of the cleaners your California-based Box Appliance experts recommended for your Wolf also work beautifully for your Sub-Zero. Around here we love Lemon Pledge and use it on just about everything — even furniture. On your Sub-Zero’s exterior, whether stainless or platinum, wood, or enamel, Lemon Pledge helps preserve the finish while it adds a fresh lemony scent to your kitchen. Use a lint-free or microfiber cloth and a stainless steel cleaner to remove any food stains. Then apply a polish to maintain luster and protect the surface from future food stains. Always apply cleaner and polish in the same direction as the grain to avoid marring the finish.

For interior cleaning, gentle liquid detergents like Ivory, Dawn, Joy, etc. in water applied with a microfiber cloth or nonabrasive sponge will quickly remove spills and crumbs and leave behind a sanitary, grease-free surface. Here are the cleaners we suggested for your Wolf; Sub-Zero recommends them as well.

Like most of us, you’ve probably come across a dried, sticky glob of something mysterious on the bottom of your refrigerator from a spilled soft drink or dripping food storage container. It might be tempting to try to scrape the material off with a knife, or apply a harsh cleaner like bleach or ammonia. There’s an easier way, although it takes more time and patience than brute force.

Again using a solution of warm water and gentle detergent, place a wet cloth on top of the mess and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. Then wipe up the material that lifts easily, and apply another round of soaking to soften the remaining material and wipe again. For large dried spills this may take a third round of soaking. Any stubborn residue can be scrubbed a soft cloth and a paste of baking soda and water.

When cleaning your Sub-Zero, be sure never to use anything other than mild detergent on plastic parts and electrical components like lights. Bleach and even vinegar can damage plastic, so beware. Also be sure never to allow water (damp cloth is OK) to contact lights, control display, and wood components.

For a full cleaning of your refrigerator or freezer, remove the glass shelves and let them come to room temperature before cleaning to prevent cracking the cold glass under hot water. If the shelves fit in your dishwasher, go for it — they are fully dishwasher-safe. But be sure they have cooled from the dryer cycle before reinstalling in the cold refrigerator or freezer compartment.

We hope this never happens to you, but occasionally lengthy power outages or other emergencies such as flooding can allow growth of mold or mildew in the refrigerator cooling compartment. In such extreme cases (and only in extreme cases), Sub-Zero recommends wiping down the interior with a solution of 1:10 bleach/water in the affected areas. Again use a soft, lint-free cloth. Thoroughly rinse off the bleach solution and dry thoroughly before placing food in the compartment.

Finally, a cautionary note: You may have heard “As Seen on TV” ads for a sponge called Magic Eraser and wonder if it will perform its “miracles” on your Sub-Zero. While we have no doubt the product is a whiz for dispatching many tough jobs around the house, we don’t recommend using it on your fine appliances. Its abrasive surface can damage and possibly even strip the finish of your Sub-Zero, so it’s best to stick with the tried and true products we’ve recommended above.