We all have one, and it’s often the largest appliance in our homes. It’s sometimes the noisiest too! Still, what would we do without our beloved refrigerators? We don’t even think about it that much, but the fridge changed life as we know it.
Refrigerators also reflect our personalities. If you’re neat and organized, your fridge probably is too. If you’re a bit distracted, your fridge might be a mess, and that’s okay, as long as you don’t let it affect your health.
Dirty refrigerators are more common than you think, so don’t feel bad for a second. Instead, read on and learn about the risks of having a dirty fridge and how to clean the appliance most effectively. Here’s fridge cleaning 101.
The first thing that you should worry about when not cleaning your fridge often is uninvited guests. Mold and bacteria are common in dirty fridges, and they might lead to serious health concerns.
And then there’s the space beneath your fridge; this is heaven for creepy crawlers, including roaches and whatnot. If you consider that the fridge and surrounding cupboards are where you store your food, you’ll surely agree you want insects and bacteria as far away as possible.
It goes without saying this goes for the rest of your house as well; A clean environment keeps you safe from pests and insects. The fridge, though, although rarely home to anything larger than unicellular bacteria, is also a risk factor, so let’s keep it clean! There’s another reason why you want a clean refrigerator, food contamination.
A dirty fridge is often also a disorganized one, and that means that you might have food containers in there that you don’t even remember what their contents are. Your fridge’s temperature is low enough to keep bacterial and fungal growth low, but food does go bad in the refrigerator, and it contaminates any other food around it.
Remember to store cooked food on the top shelves and raw food on the bottom to prevent nasty dripping from ruining your food. And throw away everything that’s been there for more than a week. The secret here is not overcrowding the fridge and keeping it organized — even if that means you need to label everything.
Cross-contamination is the leading cause of getting an upset stomach and food poisoning. It’s never what you ate, but what was stored around it, what leads to bacterial contamination.
An Overcrowded Fridge
This leads us to point three. Overcrowding your refrigerator not only prevents you from keeping it clean and organized, but it also makes your fridge work overtime — the temperature in a crowded fridge is never optimal. And just a few degrees above the recommended temperature are enough to encourage fungi and bacteria to thrive.
If you buy too much stuff, considering purchasing a larger fridge. That, of course, is always never the solution; instead, throw away stuff that you’re not going to eat anymore and don’t buy more than what you need!
An overcrowded fridge is always a dirty fridge and one that doesn’t even preserve food adequately. Why risk it? Get yourself a set of air-tight containers and get some organizing done. The hard work will be rewarded. There’s nothing more satisfying than opening your refrigerator and seeing it spotless and tidy.
So, How to Clean Your Fridge?
Step one, empty the fridge and throw out everything that looks off. You can’t just clean around the stuff; you must remove everything to clean the shelves and drawers perfectly. This is also a great time to start planning your new layout — organization is critical, and what better than starting with an empty fridge?
Step two, take out the shelves and drawers. Any movable part should be removed and washed in the sink with odorless soap. You might want to disinfect them too. Then, wait until everything is dried perfectly before assembling the fridge back together. Did you know most refrigerators allow for custom shelving? Adjust the height of every shelf — there’s no reason you should stick to the original layout.
Step three, store the food neatly, label stuff to know what’s in every container, and assign a place for every type of food. Veggies in the bottom, followed by raw meat and cooked food on top. Leave the door for water bottles and sauces.
There You Go! A Spotless Fridge
Clean your refrigerator at least once a month and be thorough. This matters, so don’t overlook your monthly fridge cleaning. In a way, it’s somewhat fun and immensely satisfying! Go ahead and see if your fridge is as clean as it should be!