Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to clean the fridge

This weekend I was cranky! Actually, I spent the last few days trying to be UN-cranky. Guess what I did while I was in a temper. Why, yes, I did stamp my feet and snap at my kids, but I'm talking about after that.

After I let everyone have a piece of my mind I cleaned out my fridge.

Not your average run of the mill wipe down some of the shelves cleaning. It was a DEEP cleaning. A cleaning which my fridge has never seen. Well, not from me, anyway.

The very first thing I did was open up a clean trash bag.

Then I filled it up.

With probably 30 pounds of food.

Wanna know what I found? Sure you do! Here is a partial list:
  • an unopened pedialyte that expired 2 years ago
  • a fuzzy package. YIKES! The whole thing went into my bag
  • all of my lost containers
  • 2 egg salads
  • 3 dishes of black beans...
Wanna know HOW I cleaned the fridge afterwards? Sure you do!

This may seem like common knowledge, but I'll write it with the hopes that maybe I may inspire just one person out there to clean out their own fridge.

When I started I had a minimum amount of food in the fridge. Then I followed these steps.
  • Start at the top. Its always best to work from the top down. If you start at the bottom you'll probably create crumbs when you're on top!
  • Empty your current shelf. Even when you clean your fridge out you still have some things in there that'll need to be temporarily moved around.
  • Take your shelf out of the fridge. This allows your fridge to stay cool and for you to find a comfortable spot to work in. If your shelves do not come out, make sure you let the refrigerator rest for at least 10 minutes between cleanings.
  • Tools required are simple. I had a bowl with soapy water and a rag. I kept my scraper handy - this was an essential tool, so please read about it! I also kept a kitchen towel handy to dry things.
  • Don't cut corners. Take your time thoroughly cleaning each shelf, drawer and wall. I couldn't believe how disgusting some areas of my fridge were!
  • Categorize. When everything is clean, you now have the liberty to set your fridge up the way you want to. Condiments in one section, drinks in another. You really only need one section for leftovers and it shouldn't stay full!
  • Soak rags in vinegar. I don't know how yours will be, but my rags needed a good cleaning themselves! I covered them in vinegar overnight then washed them in the morning.
  • Don't stop in the middle. If you start it, make sure to finish that very same day! I started cleaning my fridge around 5 pm (dinner time!) I worked for 2 hours, then we went out to eat dinner. When the kids were in bed I finished up.
My after pictures are of very poor quality, but I'll show them to you anyway. Please share yours with me if you clean out your fridge!


erinne said...

definitely going to have to open my refrigerator and see what i can do with it. hopefully i will find a missing container or two!

Keli said...

i just did this the other day. when we first bought our house, the fridge was COVERED in mold. it was so gross, I promised my fridge would never get the chance to look like that again!! I scrub it down often. :)

1000+1 said...

I hope you didn't sniff the egg salad, or the smell of sulphur would stuck in your olfactory forever :)
I haven't deep clean mine yet since it's only few month old, but I'm wiping it down every now and then, especially the condiments shelves.
May I add a tip for the crispers I read once somewhere—line the bottom of a clean crisper with few layers of newspaper and then with a layer of paper towel to keep the moisture that speeds up the rotting process away from your fresh produce. It works!

Michelle said...

erinne~ let me know what you find!

Sharizat~ I think I will use your advice. Thanks

Keli~ Yikes! Mold is a scary word to hear!