If you're having a hard time finding last night's leftovers, odds are pretty good that your refrigerator is officially stuffed, aching to be freed of its engorged state.
No matter how hard you try - even among the most fastidious of kitchen cleaners - the fridge always seems to be a vessel that gets cluttered, evidenced by all manner of condiments, half-drunken bottles of water, soda pop cans and takeout items you couldn't finish. The more packed these chill zones are, the harder it is to find what you're looking for. And that's not even taking into consideration the spills that are bound to happen.
So the next time you're home from work, make cleaning out your fridge a priority. Here's how you can go about it - and also keep it orderly for as long as possible.
1. Clear everything out. Make room for a space on the counter top so you can take out everything that's in the refrigerator. It's pretty tough to clean when you have everything but the kitchen sink in your way.
2. Spray and wipe up spills. Now that you don't have anything to get in your way, you'll likely notice more than a few spills and stains that have developed since the last time you cleaned the fridge. Simply spray an all-purpose cleaner on the stains, letting caked-on messes soak before you wipe it all up. If you'd prefer a homemade cleaner, HGTV has some tips on how to make your cleaning concoction.
3. Examine food before putting things back. Whether it's browned heads of broccoli or moldy pasta from dinners gone by, you're likely to find something in the fridge that's gone far past its "best used by" dateline. If anything appears or smells like its spoiled, toss it in the trash, as consuming them can leave people sick if you're not careful. Moving forward, you may also want to start putting dates on leftovers, noting on Tupperware when something was served or when produce was purchased. This can help ward off those nasty smells that emanate from rotting food.
4. Clean as you go. Cleaning out a fridge can take awhile, which is why this is a chore that's often put off. So if you want to avoid future refrigeration purges, keep tabs on what's going into and out of the fridge on a daily basis. For example, if no one eats the leftovers after a few days, toss it out. Similarly, if something spills, mop it up immediately so that it doesn't leave a stain.
The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.
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