If the your refrigerator if the last thing in your home you really want to clean, you’re not alone. Don’t avoid it — it will make you feel great when the process is over. It takes less time than you may think, too. Here is a four-step process to make it quick and painless:
REMOVE all the items in the refrigerator. This is crucial. It’s hard to clean a refrigerator that has stuff still in it. So, when I say take out everything – that’s exactly what I mean. All the bottles, containers, cartons, and so on.
Throw away everything in your refrigerator that is expired or won’t get used before it spoils. This includes half-used jars of salad dressing you know you won’t use, old mustard bottles, etc. It should ALL get pitched. Store things you plan on keeping in coolers while you complete the next two steps.
Make it Shine
Next, give all the shelves and drawers in your refrigerator a thorough cleaning. You’ll want to be mindful about the cleaning products you use, and avoid anything with chemicals that can’t be ingested. Natural products like baking soda and vinegar are effective and safe to use around foods. You can also use a mild dish soap. Here is a comprehensive how-to video on how to clean your refrigerator properly:
Before putting things back in the fridge, have a clear-cut plan. Fruits should go in the low-humidity drawer (aka “the crisper), veggies in the high humidity drawer. Milk and eggs should go in the coldest part of your fridge. Jars and condiments should go in the door. When storing leftovers, it’s nice to have clear containers so you can see what’s inside. Those with square edges are great because they maximize space (like these Rubbermaid Containers). Don’t wash your veggies before you store them. The added moisture will cause them to spoil more quickly. If you do wash and prep veggies, store them in the middle shelf in a clear container so you don’t forget to use them up right away. Store meat in the coldest part of your fridge. Make sure there are no leaks or drips, as you could run the risk of cross-contamination with other foods. Deli meats and cheeses can go in the middle drawer.