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Simple Tips for Keeping Your Refrigerator Clean and Safe

The refrigerator is typically the most-used appliance in a home, but it’s also one that can become dirty and downright unsafe without proper cleaning and maintenance. Leftovers and condiments stashed in the back of the fridge may be expired, spills can create odors and bacteria build-up, and surfaces can become covered in germs with daily use.

Here are some easy life hacks for keeping your fridge clean so that you can feel confident that the foods you eat and serve your family are safe and delicious.

Fridge Hacks to Fight Odor

Your fridge should be a place filled with delicious foods, not be a home for noxious odors that turn your stomach. One tried-and-true way to fight fridge odor is to place a box of baking soda inside to absorb odors. Activated charcoal is also great deodorizer to place in the fridge, and you can place two cups of these pellets in the refrigerator to absorb and reduce odors. Other life hacks to try for a stinky fridge include placing fresh coffee grounds in the fridge, placing fresh lemon wedges on your fridge shelves, and leaving an open cup of vinegar in your fridge.

Store Leftovers in a Visible Place

If you’ve recently gone out to eat at a restaurant or cooked a big meal, you may have leftovers in your fridge. Leftovers have a tendency to get pushed to the back of the fridge and out of sight. To prevent spoilage, store leftovers in a visible place at eye level in your fridge so they can be promptly eaten. As a general rule, get rid of old leftovers once per week to avoid food poisoning and make way for a new batch of groceries.

Prevent Expired Food with Labeling

Especially if you have a large refrigerator and multiple people using it in your kitchen, labeling can mean the difference between a clean fridge and an unclean fridge. Label and organize similar foods together, such as all meats in one place and all condiments in another spot. If you practice weekly meal planning, you can also label foods by the days of the week to ensure that foods that will expire first are consumed first.

Wipe Down Surfaces Regularly

Refrigerators tend to accumulate crumbs and other pieces of debris over time, and you can use a vacuum cleaner with a detail attachment to clean out drawers and tight corners. Always make sure to wipe up spills immediately after they occur in the fridge and ensure that no food residue (think sticky jars and drippy bottles) remains on the outside of containers. A good habit to get into is to wipe down all interior and exterior surfaces of your refrigerator at the end of the week when your grocery supply is most minimal.

Deep Clean Every Few Months

While regular wipe-downs are great for ongoing fridge cleanliness, you’ll also need to schedule in time for a deep fridge cleaning about once per season. Every three to four months, remove everything from your fridge and stash away perishable foods in a cooler. Toss out anything that has expired, soak drawers in warm and soapy water, and use a food-safe cleaning solution made with baking soda to scrub all surfaces. Once the drawers are clean and dry, return them to their proper places and place all of the fridge contents back in a more organized way.

If your kitchen could use a serious overall due to cleanliness concerns or just a much-needed style update, check out one of our New York showrooms to browse decorative kitchen supplies and plumbing equipment. You deserve a clean, safe, orderly, and stylish kitchen in your home, so don’t wait any longer to create the ultimate kitchen of your dreams!

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