How Clean is your Fridge?
By the time you read this, Spring should have sprung and we are all getting round to essential cleaning in and around the home - which includes the fridge.
Many of us have already started the process of spring cleaning the home, and while we get stuck in removing all the dust bunnies and cobwebs, don't forget that your appliances also need a good cleaning. In this article, we offer some advice on cleaning out your fridge in preparation for all the hard work it has to cope with in the seasons ahead.
While some have the luxury of someone to clean for them, as someone who works at home and does most of the cleaning, it's a matter of finding the time between everything else to do a bit of cleaning here and there. I do try and stay on top of keeping the fridge clean, but there are some fridge cleaning tasks that tend to get overlooked. The tips offered below will help you know what needs to be done - and how often.
Clean and sanitize the door compartments
The fridge door generally contains the compartments for jars of food and sauces, your cartons of milk, and possibly a cold drink bottle or two. Spills in the door need to be cleaned up as soon as possible, but you should also remove the compartment trays now and then to give them a good soaking.
When putting everything back in the door compartments, have a clean cloth on hand to wipe down bottles and jars so they don't mess up all your hard work.
And don't forget to wipe down the door seals. The rubber seals around the door tend to collect sticky drips and crumbs from the fridge. Wipe these down with warm water and dishsoap on a regular basis.
Use a soft, clean cloth or sponge and a mix of white spirit vinegar and clean water to wash down the inside of a fridge.
Clean the inner section of the fridge
Your fridge gets used every day - several times a day, making this appliance one of the most used appliances in a kitchen. With so much use it's no wonder it gets dirty quickly, what with liquid spills, food drips and sticky stains. In a family home where everyone uses the fridge, it is recommended that you fridge be cleaned at least once a week and more so if something spills, drips or leaks inside the fridge and it starts to smelly a bit funky.
Remove the shelf trays and vegetable drawers at the bottom and wipe these down on a weekly basis, and definitely before you fill up the fridge with the weekly or monthly shopping. A good cleanout will also ensure expired items are removed before they start to smell bad.
A good way to clean out your fridge is to assess what needs to stay and what must go. Any and all foods past their expiration date need to be tossed into the bin, so have a bin bag handy for just in case.
Get into the habit of cleaning up spills as they occur. Use a soft damp cloth or sponge and wipe off before they become a sticky situation.
It's not inside. It's on... top!
When was the last time you cleaned the top of the fridge? So often, items get put up there and it soon becomes a dumping ground that collects dust and grime. A monthly sorting out and good clean will have this area looking good and you won't have to look at the mess ever again (if you keep it up).
While we're on the outside of the fridge, don't forget to wipe the exterior sides and around the bottom of the fridge. Many of us use a squeegee mop to clean floor tiles, and this tends to leave a line around the bottom of the appliances. Once again, make it a monthly task to wipe away any marks around the base of the fridge.
Turn to the dark side!
When was the last time your fridge was pulled out to clean behind and underneath. The coils at the back of a fridge collect dust over time, and this affects the efficiency. Have someone pull out the fridge so that you can wipe the coils clean and at the same time, clean the floor underneath the fridge.
When cleaning the coils, unplug the unit and use a soft every so slightly damp cloth or feather duster to remove the dust.
Good and Clean and Fresh. Tra La La!
Once the door is wiped clean of dirty fingerprints, it's like completing a DIY project; Once it's done I feel so chuffed that the fridge is now squeaky clean. If only it stayed that way. Ah well, such is life.