7 steps to properly clean out your fridge

July 22, 2014

Be honest: You've been procrastinating cleaning your fridge for a long time. No judgment — it’s a big job. Here are some helpful hints to get through the task as quickly as possible and to break the cycle of refrigerator abuse.

7 steps to properly clean out your fridge

1. Put on music and rubber gloves

Every ugly chore goes faster if you have a groovy soundtrack playing that makes you feel like you’re someone else doing something wonderful.

  • Rubber gloves solidify this illusion, since no Hollywood A-lister would scrape soggy lettuce out of the crisper with bare hands.

2. Take the food out of the fridge

Before you tackle the actual cleaning, enjoy the fun part — separating the edible from the EWWWW! Be brutal in the culling process.

  • Did that jar of salsa move into the house with you? Chuck it.
  • Is that bottle of ketchup older than your child? Chuck it.
  • Do you even like kale? If you have to ask, chuck it.

Consider chucking whatever is in a plastic container, rinsing out the container, and tossing (recycling) it too. Even if you clean it, that plastic container will be a constant spaghetti-stained reminder of your uneaten left-over failures. Let it go.

3. Remove shelves and drawers

  • Take the drawers and shelves out of the fridge and hand-wash them in warm soapy water.
  • If the glass is still cold, don’t use hot water or you risk the glass cracking. Slowly rinse them with cold water and gradually increase the temperature. Or take the shelves out and let them warm on their own while you continue to tackle your food collection.
  • Avoid shoving everything in the dishwasher.

4. Clean the interior

  • Use a cloth or sponge.
  • Don’t use kitchen cleaners that will leave an odour in your fridge.
  • Use equal parts white vinegar and water and an old toothbrush to get in the crevices.

5. Put it all back together and feel like a cleaning superstar!

  • Be sure the shelves and drawers are dry before putting them back in place.
  • Organize your remaining food so you can see what’s left and what you need to shop for.

6. Go shopping

Nothing feels better than putting fresh new supplies in a sparkling clean fridge. And don’t forget to buy new containers.

7. Make a date

Set one day every two months as "Clean Out Your Fridge Day." Put that in your calendar and become a role model for all your friends.

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