The refrigerator is an appliance that is used very often in every home. A quality refrigerator should be able to last a lifetime, but even a good fridge needs a little tender love and care now and then. In order to keep your fridge in good working order, a proper cleaning every once in a while is needed. In this post we are going to go through some of the easy things you can do to maintain your fridge.
Drips and Spills:
One of the biggest causes of odour is drips and spills. While to some it may seem obvious, cleaning up spills immediately without letting them dry will help immensely in keeping a clean fridge. Once spills dry they become much harder to clean and produce greater odour. Depending on the substance that spills, the shelf of your refrigerator may also become sticky and tacky when it dries, making Tupperware, condiment containers, or fruits and vegetables stick to it. A good way to combat spills and drips is by making sure all lids are properly sealed before returning containers to the fridge, as well as choosing plastic containers with lids for leftover foods rather than plastic bags or containers without lids.
Fruits and vegetables are delicious, healthy, and nutritious, however, once they have gone bad they become smelly, mushy, and rotten. Rotten fruits or vegetables in the crisper can become wet and mushy and seep over everything else in the crisper ruining the rest of the contents of the crisper. This is money down the drain so to speak. Furthermore, yanking on sticky drawers that won’t open can damage crispers, possibly causing injury to you or your fridge. A good way to eat your fruits and veggies before they spoil is to make a meal plan prior to shopping and only purchase those foods that you know will be eaten in that time. If all your fruits and veggies can’t be eaten, check on them daily so you can throw them out before you’ll need to throw away anything touching the fuzzy mould they could turn into.
It is also recommended that doors and the exterior be cleaned down weekly with water and dish soap. While this will clean and keep the exterior polished and looking good, it will also give you time to pay attention to squeaky hinges and any leaks or spills you missed during the week. Remember to get in the seals of the door where crumbs and dust can collect, an old toothbrush can come in handy for this.
A Full Fridge Clean:
It is recommended that you seasonally empty a refrigerator (putting the contents in a cooler). Remove the shelves and drawers, and clean the inside as well as the shelves and drawers. Use a nonabrasive cleaning solution or unscented soap for cleaning so that there is no lingering smell from the cleaner. For anything that has been caked on or is hard to remove, soak in the nonabrasive solution or the unscented soap with water for 10-20 minutes and the stain should rub off easily.
If there is an issue with a lingering odour in your fridge, even after you’ve cleaned it, there are many things you can use to attempt to get rid of the odour. While some of these might just cover or mask the odour they might still be useful to try. There are many products on the market you can purchase that contain baking soda, but an open container of baking soda alone is an inexpensive way to greatly diminish the odor. Position the box to minimize the possibility of a spill or try taping thin gauze or the tip of a clean old nylon stocking around the open top of the box to provide a bit of extra insurance against a mess in the event of a spill. If you are going to be away for a few days and won’t be needing to access your refrigerator, spread coffee grounds on parchment paper atop a cookie sheet and place it on a shelf in your fridge. Eventually the coffee smell will absorb the odour and the coffee smell itself will disperse.
By keeping up these best practices you can keep your fridge in good working order. How often do you clean your fridge? What’s the grossest thing you have found? Let me know in the comments below!