The fool-proof way of cleaning your fridge



It’s that time of year where you need to clean your fridge before Thanksgiving (photo by Dicky Jiang from Unsplash)

“Mom, can you grab some ketchup for me?”

You open the fridge to grab some ketchup, but you can’t remember where you placed it. While pushing aside some expired condiments, you find a container with some earthy green substance in it. Strange, you think. I don’t remember buying guacamole. Only this wasn’t guac: it stored some unknown substance covered in a blanket of mold.

If you’re finding mysterious containers with foods from the past, then you know it’s time to purge your fridge.

Today (November 15) is Clean Your Fridge Day. You’re probably thinking of those leftovers you meant to toss, but never did. Or maybe you forgot about something there. No matter the issue, today is the day to clean out your fridge.




How to clean your fridge step by step:

  1. Take everything out. Yes, remove everything from the fridge. It will be harder to clean if you just leave everything in there. You need a clean slate to wipe down the surfaces of the fridge. Place your fridge items either on your table or counter before you start cleaning.
  2. Once you’ve removed everything, now search through your items and toss everything that expired. No need to sniff it, just toss it if the expiration date has already passed. If you have old containers with moldy or gross leftovers, you can either toss the containers altogether and buy new ones or if you’re brave enough, wear a mask and clean them out. 
  3. With either a damp rag or paper towel, wash down every surface with warm water and dish soap or a cleaning solution. 
  4. Wash the fridge drawers. Depending on how big your drawers are, you can just wash them in the sink.
  5. Place a deodorizer such as baking soda in the door or on the corner of your fridge. This will help absorb any potential odors in your fridge. 
  6. Wipe down all bottles and items before putting them back in the fridge. Make sure any condiment bottles are closed and all sticky drips are wiped off. Check the cap for mold and wipe away any dried bits. This will prevent any future leaks and keep your fridge cleaner.
  7. Put everything back in the fridge. Start with condiment bottles, then produce in the drawers, dairy, meat, drinks, and other items back in the fridge.
  8. Empty out the freezer using the same methods mentioned above.
  9. Clean out the ice cube tray. If applicable, clean out the ice cube maker and let your freezer make new ice.
  10. Wipe down the freezer, using the same methods you used to clean the fridge.
  11. Discard old ice in the sink and wash any ice cube trays.
  12. Once everything is clean, wipe down each item before placing them back in the freezer.

Time-saving tips for the next “deep clean”:

  • Clean your fridge once a month
  • Clean your fridge BEFORE grocery shopping or when it is at its emptiest
  • Before you take out the trash, go through your fridge and toss anything that expired or is going bad
  • Jot down any leftovers or expiring foods that need to be finished using the Famtastic App
  • Bring leftovers with you for lunch or make a leftovers buffet for dinner











The Happy HomeMaker

New York Times Article

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