Stop Cringing When You Look in the Fridge and Follow these Helpful Hints for Cleaning It
The refrigerator is easily the most used appliance in the kitchen, and the most neglected when it comes to cleaning. How often have you noticed crusted-on spills, drips, and glops, but merely closed the door, putting off the cleaning for another day? Or maybe you’ve placed other food items on top of the messes, so that you don’t have to be reminded of cleaning. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that your fridge should be cleaned at least biannually, if not quarterly. And it’s much easier than you’d think.
Whether you have a side-by-side, a French-door model, a traditional freezer top/ fridge bottom, or the inverse (freezer bottom/ fridge top), the cleaning is performed the same way. The first thing you must do is take everything out. This is the perfect time to check dates on condiments and other items, and toss what’s expired. Take a look at any leftovers that may have been lurking too long as well.
To clean, start at the bottom of the fridge. This is typically where the produce drawers are located. Pull the drawers out, and wipe down with a warm soapy cloth. Some people prefer to use multipurpose sprays, but they’re not food-safe; use a spray bottle containing equal parts of water and vinegar instead to ensure that you don’t toxify surfaces. Rinse thoroughly in the sink, and dry with a hand towel. Before returning them, wipe down both the shelf that sits atop the drawer and the bottom surface of the fridge interior with a soapy cloth. Instead of dish soap, you could also use a solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda in one quart of hot tap water. This will clean and help eliminate odors. Be sure to wipe dry all the surfaces with a clean cloth, then replace the drawers.
Repeat these steps with the rest of the shelves. You may decide to remove the shelves and give them a good scrub in the sink. Use a Scrigit Scraper™ to remove stubborn foods and to clean along the edges. Once the shelves are clean, wipe down the walls, back, and top of the fridge interior with the soap or baking soda solutions before putting the shelves back in place.
Last but not least, remove the shelving containers on the door and clean thoroughly. Wipe down the entire door. Make sure to also clean along the insulated rubber gaskets on the top and side of each door to remove any crumbs and grime.
You can repeat these steps with the freezer as well, though most freezers tend to stay fairly clean. If you find that you need to give it a good wipe down, make sure to remove all food and turn up the thermostat to keep the cleaning solution from freezing on the surfaces. Remove any ice trays, or if you have an ice maker, turn it off and remove all sitting ice. Give your freezer at least 15 minutes to warm up. Do not use soap to clean! Use only the hot water and baking soda solution or the vinegar solution to wipe down the shelves, bins, walls, top, and bottom. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. Check the dates on all food and toss expired items. Turn the freezer back to 0° and allow it to get to temperature before restocking.
For some additional tips on organizing your fridge, look here.Share on
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