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By: Chloe McGovern
A new year brings a fresh start to a lot of aspects of our lives; it is a great time to reset and rejuvenate. A fresh start can be symbolic with a good cleaning, so why not start with your refrigerator? Your refrigerator is an essential part of keeping your food safe, and it does not get cleaned often enough as a thank you for all the work it does. Left unclean, your fridge could become the perfect incubator for pathogens to survive and contaminate other food. So now is the perfect time to clean it in preparation for another year of feeding your loved ones.
So... How do you clean it?
The first step is to take all your food out of the fridge and place it in an ice chest. This is a fantastic opportunity to throw out expired food or month-old leftovers that have been pushed to the back. Once you take the food out of the refrigerator it is recommended that it stays out of the refrigerator for at most 2 hours. Cleaning your fridge should not take 2 hours but set a timer so you do not forget about the food!
The second step is to remove all the detachable parts like shelves or drawers. Wash these removable parts with hot, soapy water and a sponge. Be careful with cold glass and hot water. As the water warms up, warm up the glass so the temperature difference does not break the glass. Next, you are going to dry these parts with a clean towel.
The third step is to wipe the inside of the empty refrigerator with hot, soapy water. Follow this with clean water and a towel to wipe the soap off and dry the inside. The inside includes the door and any non-removable parts.
For an additional step, you can mix 1 tablespoon of liquid bleach and a gallon of water to create a sanitizing solution. With a clean sponge, wipe down just the removable parts. Let these parts dry outside of the fridge. Bleach solution should not be applied directly to the inside of the fridge.
The last step in your refrigerator cleaning is putting the shelves and drawers back into your nice and clean refrigerator and placing your food back in its home!
Weekly or monthly wipe downs with disinfecting wipes, or right after a spill, prevents these deep cleanings and the upkeeping of your appliances from being a drag. Your refrigerator deserves a deep cleaning every 3-4 months, so show your most important appliance the love it deserves.
The recommendations made in this blog are from the U.S. Center for Disease Control. More information from them can be found here:
Graduate Research Assistant at the Master’s Level