Recommended Sub-Zero Cleaner and Polish (and Other Refrigerator Cleaning Tips)

Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator with glass door

A Sub-Zero refrigerator is truly a beautiful appliance, whether stainless steel or panel ready, so it rewards regular cleaning. But it’s important to ensure you’re cleaning it correctly, as it would be a shame to damage the finish.

Cleaning Your Sub-Zero Exterior

Use a lint-free or microfiber cloth. Never use a product with an abrasive cleaning surface—it’s unnecessary and risks damaging the finish.

For cleaners and polish, you have plenty of choices, all of which will help maintain luster and protect the surface from future food stains.

  • Lemon Pledge – Surprising as it may sound, around here we love Lemon Pledge and use it on just about everything. Whether your Sub-Zero exterior is stainless steel, platinum, wood, or enamel, Lemon Pledge helps clean and preserve the finish while adding a fresh lemony scent to your kitchen.
  • Signature Polish – Sub-Zero and Wolf recommends Signature Polish as a stainless steel cleaner and polish, though it also works for panel ready models. Only issue is that Signature Polish is not as easy to come by as your other options. You can order it here.
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polishes – If you don’t feel like calling in for Signature Polish, plenty of stainless cleaners / polishes are available online or at home improvement outlets. Consider products from either 3M or Weiman.

To clean the exterior, follow the steps below:

  1. Apply the cleaner to the cloth, as applying directly on the appliance’s surface can leave streaks.
  2. Always apply cleaner and polish in the same direction as the grain to avoid marring the finish. Be sure to look for the grain on knobs and handles as well.
  3. Wipe down the appliance, keeping the cloth and cleaner in contact with the appliance surface to avoid streaking.

Cleaning Your Sub-Zero Interior

Continue to use a microfiber cloth or nonabrasive sponge on your Sub-Zero interior.

As a cleaning agent, use a gentle liquid detergent like Ivory, Dawn, Joy, etc. in water to quickly remove spills, crumbs and leave behind a sanitary, grease-free surface. When cleaning lights, the control display, or wood components, make sure the cloth is only damp. Never use anything other than mild detergent on plastic parts and electrical components like lights, as bleach and even vinegar can damage plastic.

Like most of us, you’ve may have come across a dried, sticky glob of something mysterious on the bottom of your refrigerator. It might be tempting to try to scrape the material off with a knife, or apply a harsh cleaner like bleach or ammonia, but there’s a less harmful way for your refrigerator, though it takes more time and patience than brute force.

For more intractable food stains and debris:

  1. Wet a cloth with a solution of warm water and gentle detergent, place it on top of the mess and let it sit for 15 minutes or so.
  2. Wipe up the material that lifts away easily.
  3. Repeat this process until much of the remaining material has been softened and removed. For large dried spills this may take three rounds of soaking.
  4. Any stubborn residue left over can then be scrubbed loose with a soft cloth and a paste of baking soda and water.

Deep Cleaning the Interior

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.

Want More Help?

Did you find another issue while cleaning your Sub-Zero appliance? Perhaps a light has burned out, ice has built up in the icemaker, or you’ve realized it’s time for your twice-yearly condenser cleaning.

If you are in our Southern California or Northern California service areas, don’t hesitate to reach out to Box Appliance to schedule Sub-Zero repair.

Own a Wolf appliance as well? Check out our blog for how to clean a Wolf oven.