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A Clean Refrigerator

After a few months of being way too busy, my refrigerator was downright scary.  I definitely had few science experiments tucked in the back!  I could hardly wait to have some time to dig in and get it cleaned out.

  1. Start by taking out all of the food from the main shelves.  Remove the shelves completely and set them aside.  Also remove the drawers.  That way the main part of the refrigerator is empty.  Using a hot soapy dishcloth, wipe down the sides, top and bottom of the refrigerator.
  2. If there are odors, fill a container with hot water and add a tablespoon of baking soda to your water and a dash of lemon extract as a rinse to wipe down the refrigerator again.
  3. Then go through the food, checking the dates and in my case throw out my science experiments.  I wipe down any messy bottles, and group like things together.
  4. Now that my glass shelves and drawers aren’t quite so cold, I wash them in the sink with soapy water.  If you have any sticky oil spills, sprinkle a little baking soda and scrub gently.  It should come right off.  Dry the shelves and drawers and replace them back in the refrigerator.
  5. Replace all the food, grouping like foods together.
  6. Next I start on the condiments in the shelves on inside of my door.  Follow the same process and remove the food, then remove the shelf.  If they don’t remove, just wash them on the spot with a hot soapy dishcloth.  There a usually a few oily rings on these shelves so I sprinkle baking soda over the spill to make it easy to clean.  Wipe down the inside door and replace the clean shelves.
  7. Next wipe down the condiments bottles and place them back, grouping like things together again: salad dressings go together (yes, I have a scary number of of them!) , hot sauces on one shelf, etc.
  8. Then I place a small container of baking soda at the back for odors.  And stand back to admire.

Now I am ready to go grocery shopping.  Speaking of… it’s a good idea to quickly go through the refrigerator once a week and throw out any old food just before going grocery shopping.  It’s also a great time to quickly wipe the shelves and any spills.

And a few more tips:

  • About every six months pull out your refrigerator, unplug it and clean the coils.  The coils will either be located on the bottom (usually with a cover plate) or on the back.  Remove the plate and use a vacuum wand to remove the dust.  If you haven’t cleaned your coils for a long time, there may be oily sticky build up, so use soapy water with a bit of baking soda.  I just sprinkle a little baking soda right on my dishcloth.   This will improve the energy efficiency of your refrigerator and save energy and money.
  • Don’t forget to have a Sharpie pen the kitchen to mark the date of foods when you open them, this really helps me to be aware of what I need to use up before it goes bad.
  • Another good tip for cleaning under your refrigerator, without pulling it out, is to use a yard stick with an old stocking pulled around it.  You can slide it under, and use it to swipe out the dust bunnies.

Next up for me, it’s time to deep clean the freezer…

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