Let’s face it – the majority of us at some point have had a dirty refrigerator. Who wants to own a kitchen appliance full of sticky stains and spoiled food? If left too long, you may run the risk of getting your refrigerator back to its like-new state. So just what is a person to do should they have a less than fresh fridge? Clean it!
Though the concept may sound a bit foreign to some, there is still hope for the cleaning illiterate. It doesn’t matter if you have a common refrigerator in a dorm or just one you use on your own; all refrigerators need to be cleaned and organized. Here are some universal tips on how to maintain your fridge along with some useful storage products.
Simple Tips to Keeping the Refrigerator Clean
- Always vow to clean up spills as soon as they happen. The longer you wait, the harder they become to clean.
- Keep your eye on expiration dates. Nothing is worse (and gross) than spending half a day weeding through spoiled and molded food. If you can, try to keep items with a shorter lifespan in the front of your shelves as a daily visual reminder (also allows for faster access). Once items are spoiled, quickly discard of them cleaning out any containers. Be sure to recycle all plastic containers.
- Store all items in an appropriate container. Covering plates of leftovers with simple plastic may do the job, but can let out odors within your fridge. Instead, opt for airtight containers that not only allow for better freshness, but help keep the aromas in your fridge neutral. Don’t forget to keep an eye on it’s edible quality.
- Schedule weekly and annual cleans. Make a point to stay ontop of things by creating a cleaning regimen.
On a weekly basis: Double check all shelves for spills and clean immediately. Wipe down all refrigerator doors and handles.
On an annual basis: Every refrigerator needs a deep cleaning once in a while. Unplug your refrigerator and store all contents in a cooler for the time being. Remove all shelves and drawers (if glass, allow to adjust to room temp to help prevent cracking while cleaning) and wash individually with non-fragrant and non-abrasive cleaners. Feel free to use a toothbrush for those hard-to-clean stains.
While the shelves and drawers are drying, give the inside of the refrigerator a good wash down with a non-abrasive cleaner that is odorless so foods won’t soak up the aroma. Also give the door seals a quick scrub. Be sure to place all shelves, drawers and food back in the refrigerator. You can also repeat the same steps for the freezer.
Note: Also be sure to occasionally check your removable drip pan (if applicable) that collects water underneath the refrigerator. Discard any existing water and wipe down thoroughly as they can grow mold.
Once you have cleaned your refrigerator, it is time to get it organized with a few goodies. The Container Store is a great resource for storage and organizing solutions throughout the home. Take a look at some items you should consider for your fridge.
- Fridge Binz – $7.99-$19.99
- Refrigerator Shelf & Bin Liner – $3.99
- Freezer Storage Basket – $5.99-$7.99
- Glass Refrigerator Pitcher – $6.99-$9.99
- Fridge Refresh – $6.99
- Beverage Can Dispenser – $5.99
- Erasable Food Storage Labels – $1.29-$9.99
- Egg Stay Fresh Container – $7.99
- Slimline Fridge Jugs – $8.99-$9.99
- Butter Stay Fresh Container – $1.49