Since most of us probably aren't going to go as far as to live without a fridge, we should know how to keep up with ours to make the most of its energy use and to simply live healthier.
Everyone is guilty of leaving leftovers in the fridge well beyond their best before date, but with the New Year just around the corner it’s time to try to start anew. Below are tips on how to clean out the fridge--and keep it that way.
First of all, keeping your refrigerator and freezer properly defrosted (most will do this automatically now, thank goodness!) will help keep it clean AND make sure you're getting all the bang for your buck when it comes to energy usage.
Before starting a deep-clean on the fridge, be sure to turn the temperature control switch OFF. That way you won't be keeping the door open just to make the fridge work harder to cool it down.
Toss compostable items in the appropriate place, and rid yourself of moldy food. Of course, we hope to limit our food waste, so part of living with a clean fridge should be to cook (and eat) more efficiently. Keeping your prepared meals varied help get the leftovers out of the fridge and into your stomachs rather than the landfill. While cleaning out the fridge, take stock of what you're tossing, and see if you can alter your shopping and/or eating habits to prevent that.
Once you've got all the old stuff out, take stock of your remaining items. If you're going to take them all out to clean the fridge, it's a great chance to organize--that way, what you need will be exactly where you need it, and the door will be open for less time and you'll save energy!
Now that the fridge is empty you can clean the shelves and the inside of the fridge in its entirety. You can remove shelves and wash by hand with soapy water, but it also works to spray it down with vinegar. This will not only clean and disinfect the fridge, but it will also help stop odors in their tracks. If you don't already keep a container of baking soda in the fridge to fight odors, now's a great time to start.
Once it's bright and shiny, turn the temperature back and quickly marvel at your clean refrigerator. And try to keep it that way.