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Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Fresh: Cleaning Tips and Tricks

March 3, 2024
Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Fresh: Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Having a clean and fresh fridge and freezer is important for food safety and reducing food waste. A few simple cleaning habits can go a long way in maintaining a hygienic environment. In this article, I share my best tips for keeping your fridge and freezer clean.

Regularly Wipe Down Shelves and Drawers

Spills and drips can accumulate quickly. I make it a habit to wipe down the shelves and drawers in my fridge once a week using a soft cloth, warm water, and a mild detergent. This removes any sticky messes or residue buildup. For glass shelves, I use a vinegar and water solution to help kill bacteria and leave a streak-free shine.

Deep Clean the Interior Every Few Months

Over time, odor and gunk can still build up inside a fridge and freezer. Every 3-4 months, I empty my appliances and give them a deep clean. First, I remove all shelves, drawers, and bins and hand wash them with hot soapy water. Then, I use a soft brush and baking soda paste to gently scrub the interior walls, being careful not to damage the lining. A rinse with a vinegar and water solution helps sanitize and remove bad smells.

Keep Foods in Airtight Containers

Uncovered foods release moisture and odors, causing faster spoilage. I store all my fridge and freezer items in airtight containers. Glass and plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work great for produce, leftovers, sauces, cheese, and more. I label each container with the contents and date. This prevents mystery science projects growing inside my fridge!

Organize Similar Items Together

Keeping foods organized helps maximize space and visibility. I group fruits and veggies in the high-humidity crisper drawers. Raw meats are always on the bottom shelf to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods. And I keep condiments, jars, and bottles on the door for easy access. A bit of organization goes a long way in keeping items visible and preventing waste.

Empty Out Perishables Before Vacations

Leaving town? Don’t let your fridge spoil everything inside! Before extended trips, I take out any perishable foods that may go bad while I’m away. Items like fresh produce, eggs, milk, and leftovers get used up or donated. For longer vacations, I unplug the fridge, prop doors open, and leave baking soda boxes inside to absorb odors. This mini cleanout prevents mold, mildew, and nasty surprises when I get home!

Replace Old Foods with Fresh Ones

First in, first out is the rule with fridge shelves and freezer bins. I follow the FIFO (first-in, first-out) method by moving older items to the front and loading new foods in the back. This ensures the older stuff gets used before it spoils. I also freeze foods like bread, meat, and produce before they expire so nothing gets wasted.

Clean Out the Fridge Before Grocery Shopping

Get into the habit of tidying up your fridge before buying more food. I always take time to toss expired items and clean spills right before my weekly grocery trip. Checking for what I already have prevents me from overbuying similar items. And I can plan meals around foods that need to be eaten soon. A quick pre-shop fridge purge saves money and reduces waste!

Address Spills Right Away

Promptly wiping drips and leaks prevents staining and smells. I don’t let spills sit in the fridge or freezer – those can get grimy fast! If anything leaks or drips, I clean it ASAP using paper towels and an all-purpose cleaner or baking soda paste. This takes just seconds but makes a huge difference in keeping shelves and bins fresh.

With some routine cleaning sessions, organization, and food storage tips, maintaining a clean fridge and freezer is easy. Having good habits in place saves time and effort down the road. And the reward is extending food freshness, reducing waste, and promoting food safety for my family. What tips do you rely on to keep your refrigerator and freezer sparkling clean? Let me know your best tricks!

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