How to clean your fridge

How to clean your fridge
PHOTO: Shutterstock.com

Your refrigerator is probably the only appliance at home that can never catch a break! Most people neglect to clean it, too. Keeping this kitchen workhouse sanitary is important, so as to ensure that food and groceries are kept fresh.

Step 1: Arm yourself with: a multipurpose cleaner spray, dishwashing liquid, a non-abrasive sponge, a washcloth, paper towels, and trash bags.

Step 2: Air out the fridge and get it ready for a serious scrub down. Take everything out and divide the contents into three categories: one for things that need cleaning out (such as reusable containers with stale food), another for things that will go back into the fridge, and the last for discarding (throw these straight into the trash bags).

10 foods you shouldn't keep in the fridge

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    They'll lose their flavour and firm texture in the fridge. The Huffington Post reported that the cold temperature damages the membranes inside the fruit walls, turning the tomatoes mealy, and obstructs the ripening process, which is when the tomatoes gain more flavour.

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    They'll also lose their flavour because their starch will be turned into sugar more quickly in the cold temperature.

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    They'll turn soft and mouldy. Store them in a cool, dry area where there's air circulation - but not together with your potatoes or they'll both rot more quickly, according to The Huffington Post.

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    Only refrigerate them if they're ripe - after which they can last up to about a week. For best results, store the whole fruit instead of one that's been cut open, to prevent it from turning brown.

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    They will start to sprout and may even turn mouldy or rubbery or both.

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    You might think it'll stay fresh for longer in the fridge, but it actually dries out more quickly. If it's sandwich bread, you can still freeze it while wrapped and retain the moisture. Let it thaw slowly and fully before consuming.

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    Honey never expires, so there's no need to keep it in the fridge, which will instead cause it to crystallise and harden.

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    Cooking oils such as olive oil and corn oil can easily thicken and resemble butter within a few minutes of being kept in the fridge, according to health site Healthy Diet Base.

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    They'll absorb and take on the odour in the fridge, which means they'll lose their aromatic flavour.

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    It'll wilt more quickly in the fridge, The Huffington Post reported, adding that the herb will also absorb the surrounding smells.

Step 3: Clean the contents. Next wipe up drips, leaks and the bottom of jars and cartons with a damp cloth. Make sure that whatever goes back into the fridge is clean, so you don't run the risk of reintroducing odours and mess.

Step 4: Clean the interiors by removing shelves and drawers, before spraying the inside of the fridge with cleaner, letting it soak into difficult stains. Wash these fixtures with warm soapy water and a sponge, and set aside to dry.

Wipe down the interior of the fridge with a damp cloth to remove any traces of cleaning product. Tackle hard-to-reach areas and crevices with a paper towel. Make sure to clean the fridge doors, too!

Step 5: Return shelving and contents. To prevent mould growth, make sure the removable shelving and drawers are totally dry before inserting them back into the fridge.

Tip: An open jar of baking soda, a dish of fresh ground coffee, or a clean sock filled with activated charcoal are some ways to absorb unpleasant smells. You can also crumple up balls of brown paper and place them with fruit and vegetables in the drawers to absorb smells and excess moisture.


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Clean out your fridge with these 7 quick steps

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    1. Unplug your refrigerator, and remove all items inside. Keep frozen goods for the meantime in a cooler. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

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    2. With a soft sponge and a gentle multipurpose cleanser, wipe down the shelves, doors, and handles. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

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    3. Wash removable parts in the sink, with soap and running water, and air-dry before returning.

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    4. Use a clean towel to wipe dry all surfaces. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

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    5. Sort through your refrigerator's contents and throw away expired goods. Clean down remaining up jars, bottles, and dishes from spills.

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    6. When putting back items into the refrigerator, organise them in a way that makes getting and returning them easy for everyone in your household. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

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    7. Keep it smelling fresh with this all-natural alternative: cut up an orange in half, completely scoop out the pulp, put the remaining orange rind in a bowl, sprinkle over with a couple tablespoons of sea salt, and pop it in the fridge. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

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