There are few things quite as disgusting as a fridge so messy that things get lost in the back and start turning into penicillin.
And unlike other jobs we do around our home, such as washing laundry or making the bathroom sink sparkle, this is a job that actually stays done for more than 2.3 seconds. Which, for me at least, makes it a pretty satisfying task.
Here are some tips to help you have a fridge that makes you smile.
- Choose a cleaning solution: There are countless things you could use to clean your fridge, and what you choose will depend on the state of your fridge. Here are the guidelines I use.
- If there is mold, I use warm water with a little bit of bleach
- If there is stuck on ickyness, I use warm water with a mild dish soap
- If the fridge is pretty clean but could just use a wiping out and freshening, i use warm water mixed with some baking soda.
- Remove all the food from your fridge and put the highly perishable things like meat and milk in a cooler while you clean. Less perishable things like fruits and veggies will be fine on the counter.
- Starting at the top and working down, wipe all surfaces with the cleaning solution of your choice. Then rinse using fresh warm water. Dry with a rag.
- Don't forget to clean the rubber gasket around the door too.
- Check the dates on items as you put them back in your fridge. Throw out anything that is past it's prime.
- Put like foods together on the same shelf.
- The conventional wisdom is to put raw meats at the bottom of your fridge so that they can't contaminate other foods. I'm not in the habit of putting messy dripping chunks of poorly packaged raw meat in my fridge, so I don't really see the value of this. If you get it, feel free to explain it to me. In the meantime, my meat goes in the deli drawer.
- Line your produce drawers with paper towels to help keep them clean longer.
- Baskets are great problem solvers!
- My kids tend to push and shove and impale each other in the mornings trying to get their preferred flavor of yogurt. So I've taken the yogurt containers out of that cardboard sleeve that always ends up empty at the back of my fridge taking up space and snapped them apart into individual cups and placed them in a basket. Problem solved.
- Do you get the same sandwich ingredients out every day to assemble packed lunches? Why not pile those things in a basket?!
- Do you often serve garden salads with a choice of dressings? Place all your salad dressings in an attractive basket with a handle so you can place the whole thing on the table at dinner time and put them all away with one trip to the fridge when you're done!
- If you turned off or unplugged your fridge while cleaning it, don't forget to turn it back on when you're done! If I had a carton of spoiled cream for every time I've forgotten that....
- Put half a slightly squeezed lemon or lime in a polka dot bowl to keep everything smelling fresh. (okay, it doesn't have to be a polka dot bowl...but it's better if it is!)
- Note: This is not intended to be a comprehensive description of how to care for your fridge. Please read your manual.
Do you have any great tips or ideas I missed?