Your refrigerator can be a bountiful source of fresh fruits and vegetables to fuel your healthy lifestyle — or it can be the place where produce goes to die, turning into unidentifiable toxic sludge in your bottom bins. Your once succulent peaches can turn your refrigerator into a smelly, disgusting hazard zone that has you running from the kitchen.
There are a number of things you can do before your refrigerator reaches this state so you don’t have to suit up in Hazmat gear to reclaim your kitchen. Here are a few tips for keeping your refrigerator clean and fresh so you can continue to see it as a source of fresh and nutritious foods:
Wipe Up Messes as They Happen
Don’t wait until your refrigerator becomes a crusty, smelly mess. When you spill a little juice or you drop some jelly, go ahead and wipe it up. Don’t wait until drips of egg yolk or chicken juice have created a sticky film on the bottom shelf, attracting crumbs and bit of produce. Just reach for a wet cloth as soon as you see these messes, and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble later.
Use Tightly Sealed Containers
You can limit the number of spills and messes you have by simply storing all your food in tightly sealed containers. Use plastic or glass tupperware with tight-fitting lids, or use sealable plastic bags. Not only will these keep your foods fresher longer, but they will also present spills and leakage, helping to keep your refrigerator clean and fresh.
Line the Shelves
Some spillage is inevitable in your refrigerator. You can make it easier to clean this up by lining your shelves with plastic wrap or paper towels. When you start to accumulate spills, leaks, or crumbs, you just pull up the lining and throw it out. It’s a lot easier than wiping or scrubbing down the shelves to get them clean. Just toss and replace with another liner.
Do a Weekly Inventory
Bad food has a way of spreading, making other food spoil faster and creating unsightly messes and smells in your refrigerator. Keep these messes to a minimum by performing a weekly inventory check and throwing out any food that is beginning to spoil or show signs of molding. Remember that food doesn’t have to smell bad or to have signs of growth to be spoiled. Be sure to check the dates on packaging and throw out any food that is beyond the expiration date.
Keep a Box of Baking Soda on the Shelf
This is an old trick that you’ve probably seen your grandmother or your mother use: Simply keep a fresh box of baking soda on the shelf of the refrigerator to kill odors and keep the refrigerator smelling fresh. The baking soda will draw in and neutralize bad odors. Just remember to change out the box every few months, or it will lose its effectiveness.
You don’t have to wait until your refrigerator starts to look like a science experiment gone awry before you decide to take charge and clean it up. Use these simple tips to keep your refrigerator clean and fresh almost effortlessly.
What do you do to keep your refrigerator fresh and clean? Share your tips in the comments!
About the author:Sarah Clare is a writer and oversees the site projectmanagementsoftware.com, where she has recently been researching bug tracking software. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys cooking and scrapbooking.