Happy National Clean Your Refrigerator Day!
It may not be your favorite end of the year holiday, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the most important!
We’ve all been there. You open your refrigerator to be rudely greeted by an aroma that can be immediately described as either spoiled milk, or good cheese – Limburger comes to mind.
Over the year, your refrigerator is the appliance that keeps on giving. And if you put off annual cleaning of this workhorse, it will end up worse than you think.
With Thanksgiving and the December holiday season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to get prepared in advance of the holiday season and the inevitable mounds of leftovers you will be hoarding. So keep your food fresher and kitchen smelling the way it should with these five steps:
1.) Unplug and Lets Begin
Start out by unplugging the refrigerator and use a brush to remove dust from underneath. Unplugging also saves energy while you’re cleaning. If you would like to skip this part, just make sure the refrigerator door is closed in between steps!
2.) The Great Purge
Everything in your fridge must go! Throw out all old or expired food items and discard of all recyclable materials appropriately. Separate Tupperware and other items that need to be cleaned with those that can be placed back in the fridge. Use your counter to help organize similar things together to make life easier when putting them back.
3.) Don’t Forget to Scrub
Remove all shelves, drawers and anything else that isn’t tied down. Begin by washing all of the removed parts with a sponge and clean, soapy water. If you have larger drawers and are worried about spilling all over your kitchen floor, the bathtub is a great alternative. Rinse and set them aside to dry.
While everything is drying outside, use a multipurpose cleaner to scrub all parts of the inside of the refrigerator itself. Don’t miss a spot!
4.) Plug it in
We are down the home stretch; can you feel the excitement?! After you plug the fridge back in and replace all of the dried drawers, you can start to neatly re-organize all of your fresh food back into the fridge.
Wipe down the jars and bottles of condiments and dressings before putting them back with a damp cloth. This will ensure that your newly clean fridge will stay that way.
5.) Beauty Is On the Outside
The last step is giving a shine to the outside of the most used appliance in your kitchen. For enameled steel refrigerators, use a mulitsurface solution and paper towels. For stainless steel exteriors, a cloth with distilled white vinegar works best!
The old adage tells us the best defense is a good offense. So, in order to ensure that this job every National Clean Your Refrigerator Day is manageable, be diligent in your daily and weekly cleaning. Clean up all spills in the refrigerator as soon as they happen and throw out spoiled food immediately; do not let those decaying odor sit and fester.
This total cleaning process should take between a total of 20-30 minutes, but the satisfaction of keeping an organized fridge will last much longer!
Header image via Flickr user Richard Kelland