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Don’t Get Frosted by Your Fridge

April 28, 2011

fridge by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-SphereYour refrigerator is one of the most used appliances in your kitchen.  It is also one of the largest appliances and therefore could present a clean, tidy appearance, or a cluttered, disorganized one.

Not only does your fridge keep your food cold, but it also helps you stay organized for meal planning as well.  Tried and true, here are some hints that will help your refrigerator staying fresh, organized and a blessing to your family.

Buy a box of baking soda A single box of baking soda used for eliminating odors will last you for about three months.  Be sure to write in marker the day you open and put the soda in your fridge for two reasons:  1.)  So you will know when to replace it, and 2.) so you won’t use it in your baking accidentally.  Simply leaving the box open in your refrigerator can help kill odors and you’ll find that by making a paste of baking soda and water, you can scrub out most stains.

Take your vegetables out of the plastic bags.  It’s interesting to me that vegetables will brown and wilt a lot faster if they stay in the original plastic bags you bring them home in from the store.  If you take them out and put them into the clean crisper bins or if you prefer the fancy veggie saving bags that are available now, you’ll find that this keeps them green and strong a lot longer.  The next step is not to forget about them in the fridge!  Be sure to write your vegetable side dishes down on your menu planner so they won’t go bad out of sight.

Regularly check your condimentsNext to vegetables, condiments can also turn without your noticing.  Sometimes, just when you need them for some cooking, you’ll find stinky mayo or “stuff ” floating in your lemon juice.  YUCK!  A routine check of the back shelves of your refrigerator will stop you from getting any nasty surprises when you reach for the ranch dressing or cream cheese.  To stay organized, choose a date you’ll remember and check the condiments on that day every month.  (Or better yet, train your tween to do it!)

Eternal vigilanceMake sure that the minute that you notice a spill or a stain that you try to tackle it.  Just like the fresh veggies disappear once the refrigerator door is closed, so can icky messes.  Make sure that to clean the entire fridge thoroughly at least once every 6 weeks.  (Or every other time you check your condiment dates.)  Thoroughly means you’ll remove the drawers and the bins (because this is where bacteria and stains like to hide) and clean with warm, soapy water.  A word to the wise, never put meat products in locations over fresh vegetables.  If the meat leaks, your fresh produce is then ruined, too.

Routine maintenance.  Preferably, perform  a perfunctory cleansing with a clean damp towel at least every week.  Don’t forget the outside or the handles as this is a popular breeding place for germs.

What tips and tricks do you use to keep up with your refrigerator maintenance?

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