Homemade Vanilla Fridge Wipe

Vanilla fridge wipe is a household cleaning product that I first discovered as an undergraduate in Western Australia. It’s a food-safe disinfectant that also smells delicious, which helped to make housework just that tiny bit more tolerable. To my dismay, when I moved back to Singapore, I discovered that it wasn’t sold here. And because it’s highly flammable, I couldn’t purchase it in Australia and take it home with me either! Fortuitously, some years later, I chanced upon a recipe for homemade vanilla fridge wipe in Donna Hay Magazine (in Issue 17, to be precise). Since then, I’ve been happily whipping it up at home.

While I wouldn’t use this homemade vanilla fridge wipe as a primary cleaning solution (rubbing alcohol won’t kill all microorganisms), I like to use it to keep the inside of my fridge smelling nice. I also mist my clean ice cream machine bowl with some of it, let it evaporate, then churn my ice cream in it. Similarly, I use it on my clean kitchen counter top just before I knead bread or pasta dough on it. In other words, I use it as my final line of defence. But mostly, it works best as a fridge deodorant.

You can find rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit (usually isopropyl or ethyl alcohol solutions—the stuff that is used to disinfect your skin before you get an injection) in most pharmacies. Be aware that it is highly flammable (so, keep it away from open flames) and while it does contain alcohol, it should not be drunk. I use synthetic vanilla flavouring in my vanilla fridge wipe because the real stuff is way too expensive to use in this manner. I’ve also read that artificial vanilla has a more intense scent anyway, which makes it the preferable option when preparing vanilla fridge wipe!

About Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is Aun's better half and for many years, the secret Editor behind this blog known to readers simply as S. Su-Lyn is an obsessive cook and critical eater whose two favourite pastimes are spending time with her three kids and spending time in the kitchen. She looks forward to combining the two in the years to come.


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12 October 2012


Sounds like a decent product.

I hate when you move somewhere new and can’t get the old stuff that you like.

Interesting about how highly flammable this is. Better be careful if you’ve got a burner on (that’s cooking something) while you’re also cooking.

Dear Jenny, yes it’s a little frustrating to not find your preferred products in a new city when you’re a creature of habit 🙂

I don’t know exactly how flammable this mixture is given that it is diluted with water, and rubbing alcohol itself isn’t pure alcohol. But yes, my point is that it should be used with caution when close to open flames. It’s worth noting that the kind of alcohol used in manufacturing rubbing alcohol is also a common ingredient in many household cleaning products because it cuts through grease effectively.

This vanilla fridge wipe is also great for wiping down telephones.

Dearest S, the very fact that you care enough to make your own vanilla scented wipedown spray is one of the many reasons you are a domestic goddess nonpareil. Many moons ago, I remember being totally awed and inspired and plain blown away when you mentioned this fabulous concoction…

Dearest J, you are too sweet. As you can see, it’s super simple. No superpowers required.

We all just try our best to keep all the balls in the air as best we can. That’s why I figure it’s important to share all the recipes I’ve found particularly useful through the blog!

I’ll rustle up a batch of this for you.

This is such a gem, S! I have been wondering what is the best way to clean my waffle and sandwich makers. Thank you for sharing, as always!

Hi San, you’re most welcome. I’d never thought of using it to clean my waffle iron. Hmm, it would get the grease off it for sure, but it may be a bit of a pity since you want to season the surface so that it becomes as non-stick as possible.

Hi Siew Hwee, you can get it at most pharmacies. You’ll find it labeled as surgical spirit (or possibly cord spirit) at Guardian. I’ve also bought it labelled as rubbing alcohol at the pharmacy outside Meidi-ya.

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