Posted on February 9th, 2022
Let’s face it: At some point, most of us have left bottles of expired condiments in the fridge door, forgotten to throw away leftovers, or neglected to wipe out the vegetable drawer. Unlike other areas of the home, it’s easy to ignore the mess that’s tucked away inside the refrigerator – but that doesn’t mean a dirty fridge is without consequences. Without regular cleaning, the fridge becomes the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli. In fact, in one study, researchers found that the average vegetable drawer contains 7,850 bacteria units per square centimeter when the safe limit is between 0 and 10. This bacteria is easily transferred onto fresh groceries, which increases your family’s risk of food poisoning. Get the help of a local cleaning company in Edmond, Oklahoma to avoid this happening.
The most common reason why Americans fail to clean their refrigerators out more than once or twice a year is, of course, lack of time. When it’s a struggle just to keep the living areas of your home tidy, deep-cleaning the fridge – with its many compartments – can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to cope: Contacting our maids in Oklahoma for basic housekeeping services can lighten your weekly chore load, freeing up time to keep your fridge organized and hygienic. (Along with attending to other little details, like cleaning your coffee maker). You can also use the five tips below to clean your fridge more efficiently, so the task feels less burdensome.
5 Steps to Clean Your Refrigerator In Under 30 Minutes
- Take everything out of the fridge.
First, set aside two spaces in your kitchen: One area for items that need to be emptied out and washed, like tupperware containers housing old leftovers, and one area for items that will be put back into the fridge later. Then, empty the kitchen garbage can (if it’s close to being full) to make it easier to dispose of food waste and expired items.
Start emptying out the fridge, working in sections from the top shelf to the bottom drawers. Put expired items directly in the trash as you find them and put everything else in its designated area. (Note that items due to expire within a day or two should also be thrown out unless you plan to consume them by the following day.) When you’re done, transfer plastic containers that need to be cleaned to the kitchen counter so you don’t get them confused with items that need to go back in the fridge.
- Wipe down condiment containers, jars, etc.
Because bacteria from a dirty fridge inevitably gets transferred to items stored inside it, it’s important to take a moment to wipe down your milk carton, condiment bottles, jars, and so on. Dip a cleaning rag in a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and hot water, wring out excess moisture, then quickly wipe down the bottoms and sides of hard containers.
- Clean the inside of the refrigerator.
Start by taking the removable parts (i.e., the shelves and drawers) out of your fridge. Then, spray down the interior with a solution of water and white vinegar, or the antibacterial cleaning spray of your choice. Let the solution work its magic on tough stains and grime while you immerse the shelves and drawers in a sink full of hot, soapy water. Scrub these parts with a cleaning sponge, then set them aside to dry.
Next, wipe out the inside of the fridge with a damp microfiber cloth, making sure you completely remove any sticky areas and stains. Microfiber cloths are the best choice for cleaning the fridge because they’re excellent grease removers, but they’re gentle enough that they won’t scuff the finish inside your fridge. (Wondering how microfiber cloths clean so effectively? Check out our guide to how microfiber cloths work.)
When you’re done, dry the fridge drawers and shelves and reinsert them. If your fridge sees a lot of heavy use or frequent spills (which is common in households with children), you may want to install drawer and shelf liners to make cleanup easier. If there’s a spill, you can simply take out the liner, wash it, and stick it back down, rather than removing the entire shelf or drawer.
- Return items to the fridge.
Finally, you’re ready to put everything back in the fridge. Remember that different areas of the fridge are temperature-calibrated to store certain items, so it’s important to put everything back in its proper place. Put vegetables in the vegetable crisper, fruit in the fruit drawer, dairy products on the middle shelf, and condiments and soda cans inside the fridge door. If you’re storing thawed meat in the refrigerator, make sure it’s placed on the bottom shelf, as this is the coldest part of the fridge. The top shelf can be used for items that don’t spoil easily, like leftovers and jugs of juice.
- Empty out and wash reusable containers.
To prevent unpleasant odors from forming in your kitchen, make sure you dispose of the contents inside reusable plastic containers that need to be washed immediately after you clean the fridge. Scrape the contents directly into the garbage can (or garbage disposal), then place the containers in the dishwasher. Food that’s left out at room temperature rapidly grows mold and bacteria, so it’s crucial that you don’t skip this step.
Need Cleaning Help? Contact HappyCleans in Oklahoma City
If your New Year’s resolutions include making your home a cleaner, brighter, and more pleasant place to live, we can help. Our team of licensed, bonded maids in Oklahoma City provide affordable, flexible cleaning services that can be adjusted to fit your budget and schedule, making cleaning truly stress-free. Contact our team of domestic cleaners today to arrange your first appointment – we’re confident you’ll love your home’s tidy new look when you arrive home from your day out in Shannon Miller Park.