So, bold up and dig in
If you are like most people you are going to find something unexpected and potentially even scary lurking in the dark corner of your refrigerator. Choose a day when your fridge as as empty as possible for your cleaning adventure.
Start at the Back
- Move your refrigerator away from the wall and unplug it. Use a shop vac or a coil brush to clean the dirt from the coils. This will help your refrigerator run as efficiently as possible.
- Sweep the floor behind the fridge and If you find a sticky mess, which is possible, use a solution made of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 warm water to scrub the area. Once the area is clean, be sure to dry it thoroughly.
Move to the Front
- Slide a coil brush under the toe grill or kick plate on the front of the fridge to remove dust from the grill. You can also remove the grill and soak it in a solution of half white vinegar and half warm water. A soft-bristled brush will help you remove any debris. Thoroughly dry the grill before putting it back on the fridge.
Seek and Toss
- Open up the fridge and place everything on the counter. Sort through all the contents and toss anything that looks or smells funny. Check all dates carefully, especially things that come from the back of the refrigerator.
- Take a quick picture of the inside of your empty fridge so that you can easily reassemble it when the time comes.
- Remove all of the drawers and shelves and wash them with a mixture of warm water, white vinegar and a squirt of dish soap. Allow these parts to air dry.
- Thoroughly wash the inside of your fridge with a chemical-free all purpose cleaner or the vinegar and water solution. Use a small bristled brush or even a toothbrush for hard to reach crevices including the rubber seal around the fridge door. Rinse the inside uses a moistened clean sponge.
- Once your shelves and drawers are dry, replace them, wiping away any remaining water on the inside of the fridge with a soft clean cloth.
- Reconfigure your shelves based on the food you are going to be storing over the holiday season. You may need to raise up some of the shelves to accommodate your food and beverages.
- Replace the contents of your fridge, carefully wiping down the outsides of any jars or containers that may be dirty or sticky.
- Place a clean box of baking soda, a small dish of dry coffee grounds or activated charcoal in the back of your fridge (do this monthly). This will help capture odors and keep your fridge smelling fresh.
- Plug your fridge back in and wipe down the front and sides. Don’t forget to clean the ice and water dispenser using a soft clean cloth sprayed with a small amount of vinegar and water.
Keeping Your Fridge Clean and Healthy
- Check your produce daily to be sure that it is still in good shape and not rotting.
- Check often for leaks or spills and clean them up immediately.
- Keep meats double wrapped or place them on a plate so that the juice does not leak.
- Wipe the doors and the edges of the fridge down frequently.
- Keep all leftovers labelled and faced-up.
- Change your water filter every two months.
Cleaning your fridge will make you feel so much more organized and ready for the great food and fun to come during the holiday season!