We all have that plate of leftovers, expired foods, or minor spills somewhere in our refrigerator. It’s especially easy to forget about cleaning after a grocery shopping trip when the new foods go in, and the old get pushed further back in the fridge. But keeping your fridge clean is important and will help keep your food fresh and safe while eliminating unpleasant sights and odors. Here’s how to keep your refrigerator in top condition:
Clean your refrigerator at least once a month to remove any spills or residue from food and drinks. Use warm water and mild soap to wipe down the shelves, drawers, and interior walls. If you don’t mind the scent, dilute one part water with one part white vinegar to remove the tougher stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they can leave behind a residue that may contaminate your food.
Organize Your Food
Proper organization is key to keeping your refrigerator clean and fresh. Store foods in airtight containers and if you want to take it a step further, label them with the date they were opened. This will help you keep track of when food is approaching its expiration date and prevent spoilage.
Remove Spills Immediately
If you notice a spill, it's always best to clean it up as soon as possible to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Wipe up the spill with a damp cloth, and then clean the affected area with a mild soap solution.
Keep the Temperature in Check
The temperature inside your refrigerator should be between 33°F and 40°F. This will help to slow down the growth of bacteria and keep your food fresh for longer. Remember to check the temperature regularly and adjust it if needed.
Remove Expired Food
Remember to regularly check your fridge for expired foods or old leftovers to toss. Removing expired foods will not only free up space in your refrigerator, but also reduce the chance of food borne illnesses. If you notice any signs of mold, remove the item to avoid mold from spreading to other foods and throughout your fridge.
Clean the Exterior
After cleaning the interior of your refrigerator, spend some time cleaning the exterior as well. Dust, grime, and food can accumulate on the exterior, especially around your fridge’s handles. Use a soft cloth and mild soap to wipe down the surface. If you have a stainless steel fridge, make sure you follow the recommendations provided by the manufacturer.