Of Beginnings and Beyond

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Refrigerator Rescue

Strange smells waft out every time you open the door and new life forms, suitable for the next science fair, are evolving from the backs of the shelves. Does this sound familiar? You've put it off long enough—it's time to clean the refrigerator! Regular cleaning keeps the fridge appealing, sanitary, and running more efficiently.

If you have it handy, pull out the owner's manual for your fridge. It can give you advice on how best to care for your appliance and may make specific cleaning product recommendations. If not, here's a general guide for cleaning, sanitizing, and organizing your refrigerator.

Starting Fresh

* If possible, clean before your next major grocery run; the emptier the fridge, the easier the task.

* Before you begin, assemble all the equipment and cleaning supplies you'll need. This will save time and energy (both yours and your refrigerator's).

* Have several coolers ready to store the food you remove from the refrigerator; you can pack the food in ice or use freezer packs to keep it fresh while you clean.

Running on Empty

* Running on Empty Begin removing items, shelf by shelf. As you do, inspect each item with your eyes and nose—does it look/smell fresh? Is its expiration date still in the future? Will it really get eaten, or is it just taking up space? If the answer to any question is "No," pitch it! Place anything you are keeping in coolers. Are you finding five different varieties of mustard in different places? Group them together in the cooler so you know what you have.

* As you remove items, make a list (this could be a good job for the kids). The list will be a great way to keep track of what you need (and don't need) at the grocery store. And all those delicious, unusual sauces and condiments that tend to get shoved to the back of the fridge are more likely to get used if you can actually remember you have them.

* After the fridge is empty, let the cleaning begin. Work from top to bottom to avoid drips on already cleaned sections.

A Clean Sweep

* Before you begin, unplug the refrigerator.

* Remove all shelves and bins. Wash in warm water and a mild detergent, such as Dawn®. It's important to use warm water as boiling or even very hot water may crack or melt plastic parts. And most manufacturers advise against using abrasives, scouring pads, spray-on cleaners, and concentrated bleach to avoid damage to the appliance. Don't miss the shelf supports. If they are especially sticky, use a toothbrush to scrub lightly around them.

* Use a solution of warm water and mild detergent to clean the interior (including the door) of the refrigerator. Clean the rubber seals (often referred to as gaskets) with mild suds.

From Inside Out

* Refrigerator Now that the interior of the fridge is sparkling and fresh, you can turn your attention to the exterior. Most door surface exteriors can also be washed with the solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and wipe dry to avoid smears and streaks (especially if you have a stainless finish). If you're feeling ambitious, use an appliance wax to seal and protect the finish (but only for synthetic paint surfaces—not porcelain enamel).

* Wipe down the top of the refrigerator with a dusting cloth such as Swiffer® to clean off dust and accumulated dirt.

* Clean the coils to keep your refrigerator running as efficiently as possible. But be careful because they are fragile and surfaces may be sharp. Consult your owner's manual for instructions specific to your model for cleaning the coils safely and carefully. If you can't find your manual, some appliance companies offer information on their websites or even the option to download a manual. And, it's always worth taking the time to request help via email.

Keep It Clean!
Now that your refrigerator is clean and smelling great, here are some tips to maintain all your hard work:

* It may sound obvious, but wipe up spills as soon as they happen. (Just remind yourself how much elbow grease it took to remove that three-month-old puddle of chocolate syrup from the bottom shelf!).

* Many interior plastic refrigerator parts absorb odors and stains very easily. Wrap foods that tend to stain or have strong smells tightly in plastic wrap. If you buy strawberries in an open-weave plastic basket, place the basket on a saucer before putting it in the fridge.

* Don't pack your fridge so full that air can't circulate freely among food items. It will run more efficiently, and you'll cut down on food spoilage and waste.

Now go relax with a cold lemonade and a good book. You deserve it. A very simple yet commonsense could also be use to have clean and great smelling refrigerator. Happy Cleaning and Enjoy!!!

Posted By:CarmelaSolon @ 7:20 AM

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