Standing tall in your kitchen is one of the most essential and hardest working home appliance. Yes, we’re talking about the refrigerator or otherwise called the fridge. Refrigerators deal with constant spills, various odours and storage of various foods. They run 24 hours, 7 days a week and they never get a rest! Just like any other home appliances, they require sanitary maintenance to keep your food fresh and bacteria-free!
Wipe Spills Immediately
On a daily basis, ensure spills are wiped off immediately before they dry in the fridge for hours (or even days!). These will create unpleasant smells circulating in your fridge, make surfaces sticky and will make it harder to clean! In addition, make it a point to wipe off any stains from jam jars, salad dressing bottles, sauce containers, condiments and so on before storing them in the fridge.
Look Out For Leaky Items
Check for products which tend to leak – place defrosting meats or berries on a rimmed plate. Refrigerators do not accord well with liquid spills and spoilage!
Keep Odours At Bay
Regular maintenance includes storing leftovers in airtight containers to prevent any odours. In the case of strong odours, spread baking soda onto a box or rimmed baking sheet. Leave it inside with the door closed and any smells will eventually fade away!
Clean Its Exterior
On a weekly basis, clean the exterior of your fridge. Wipe doors, handles, and the top of the refrigerator with a cloth dampened with dishwashing liquid and water - or my personal favourite, an all-purpose lemon cleaner. Their natural acidity contains anti-bacterial properties which helps sanitise your fridge, and eliminate any malodourous odours! Keep your fridge zesty and lemony-fresh! In addition, be attentive to the nooks and crannies of your handles which tend to be sticky from fingerprints! Being OCD here will work in your favour.
Give Your Fridge A Detox
On a monthly basis, the interior part of your fridge requires a deeper cleanse. Turn off the power of your fridge at the circuit breaker or fuse box and empty the fridge contents into a cooler. Keep in mind, your fridge is always turned on to keep your food fresh! It is important to turn off their power for a durable appliance.
With regards to giving your fridge a ‘detox’, wipe the interior with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 4 cups of water or a multi-purpose enzyme cleaner. Rinse with a damp cloth, and dry with a clean towel. Do not use any dishwashing soap or detergent as it will leave a scent which may be absorbed by the food.
For any dry stains or residue, apply baking soda solution with a wet towel and soak until residue starts to soften to wipe off (up to approximately 10-15 minutes). Reapply if necessary. Take time to clean each level and section thoroughly. Make sure they dry completing before storing the contents back into the fridge.
Food Safety Measures
Now that your fridge is squeaky clean, there are certain measures to prevent your contents from foodborne bacterial contamination.
- Place meats and poultry in containers or zip lock bags to prevent their oils or juices from spilling onto other foods.
- Keep fruits and vegetables in separate drawers from meats and poultry to avoid cross-contamination.
- Store perishable foods in the back of the fridge instead of the cabinets!
Now that your fridge is clean inside out, we leave you with some food for thought. What’s inside your fridge? Do they tick the boxes of what’s considered healthy and nutritious (tip: read their labels before purchasing). Cheers to clean fridges and wholesome eating!