The Best Way to Clean Out Your Refrigerator
We clean our kitchens from top to bottom often. The countertops are wiped down, the dishes are cleaned, and the stovetop is scrubbed—but what about the place that stores our food? Once the fridge doors are closed, we typically forget to look inside to see if it is clean. Odds are, it’s been a while since you last cleaned it out. Take about 30 minutes out of your day every month to give your fridge the cleaning it deserves.
- Take Out All Food: Pull everything in the fridge out onto the countertops. This is a good time to check the expiration dates on condiments, jars of sauce, and checking produce for freshness. Toss anything that doesn’t pass the smell test. Have a notepad near you so you can write down a grocery list of things that you want to replace. Try to keep everything organized on the countertops to make restocking the fridge easy.
- Remove Shelves and Wash: Take out all of the drawers and shelves that you can. Have a sink of warm soapy water ready for them to soak in. For added disinfectant, add in a capful of bleach. These shelves hold countless pounds of raw meat for months on end. It’s important that you have confidence that these shelves are truly germ free. Use a scrub brush or sponge to clean the front and back of the surface.
- Wipe Down the Rest With Disinfectant: For the walls and door, use a mixture of warm water, bleach, and soap. Take a washcloth or sponge and dunk it in this solution to disinfect the entire fridge. Scrub out stuck on sauces and food residue. Refresh your cleaning mixture if it becomes too dirty. It may seem excessive to do the sides, but remember that germs are everywhere. Just because you don’t see anything doesn’t mean there isn’t harmful bacteria lingering. Don’t let germs and mildew take hold in the place that you store all of your perishables.
- Replace Shelves and Dry: You’ve already washed your shelves and drawers, and have them sitting in a place to dry. Take a towel to dry the remaining areas off. Dry off any other spots in the door and surfaces in the fridge. Carefully replace all of the shelves and drawers to their right location. Take this time to consider restructuring the fridge. You can move shelves up and down levels to better accommodate your storage needs.
- Wipe Down Each Item and Place it Back in an Organized Space: Before you start putting everything back in its place, take your washcloth or sponge, and using the same solution, give each container a good wipe down. Make sure to get any drips down the side of the jar, and especially clean the bottoms. File everything back in according to usage, size, and how frequently you reach for it.
Once you have everything back in its place, you’ll find that you have even more room than you realized. You’ll be confident when you pull out a jar that it is still good, and you’ll know where everything is located. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the food that you are serving your family isn’t contaminated from old germs lingering in your house.