There are three main stages to a sparkling clean refrigerator: removing dirt, killing germs and deodorising the interior. Giving your fridge the once-over regularly, makes cleaning this kitchen essential far less of a headache. Here's how to get the job done quickly and efficiently...
- The best time to clean your fridge is when food stocks are fairly low. (Just before you do a big shop is a good plan).
- Throw out any food past its best in the refrigerator.
- Pick one shelf or drawer to clean at a time, so food on the other shelves can stay chilled.
- Place food items into a cool bag, preferably with some ice blocks to keep things chilled.
- Remove the first shelf and spray it with a disinfecting all-purpose cleaner, (glass cleaner won't do the job here). Wipe the shelf dry with paper towels, then place back in the fridge. Repeat this with the other shelves in your fridge.
- Clean the inside of your fridge and the door panel with an all-purpose cleaner too.
- To clean fridge drawers, pull them out of the fridge one at a time, remove any wilting vegetables that have seen better days, and place the drawer(s) in the sink. Fill the sink with warm water and a squirt of washing up liquid and soak the drawer(s) for 10 minutes. Rinse with fresh water and wipe dry with a towel.
- Clean the door seals of the fridge with mild soapy water.
- Check your fridge is set at the correct temperature (approximately 4°C), and return all food items.
- If you do the above regularly, food will stay fresher for longer, and your fridge is likely to last longer too.
KEEP YOUR FRIDGE HAPPY
- Check your fridge regularly for mouldy items and remove any you find. Rotting fruit and vegetables can cause other fresher items to start decomposing.
- Check the contents of your fridge regularly, to avoid waste.
- Don't overload your fridge - air needs to circulate freely.
- Follow food storage instructions on all packaged items.
- Keep your fridge neat inside when you put food back into the fridge, placing older foods at the front so you use them up first.
- Store raw meat and fish on the bottom shelf, so it can't drip onto other food. Meat juices dripping on surfaces not only creates a mess, but they can also be a health hazard when it comes to the spread of salmonella and E. coli. Remember, even if your fridge temperature is low, it doesn't prevent the growth of bacteria, or kill any bacteria that is already lurking there.
- Make sure you cover any leftovers and opened products with cling film or foil, or seal them in a container.
- Wipe spills as you notice them - don't leave them to fester.
- Clean the door seals and door handles of your fridge regularly. These are the bits that you touch the most, and can harbour the largest amount of bacteria.
- Keep some wet wipes handy when you're preparing raw meat, or wash your hands thoroughly before you head over to open the fridge. That way you minimize passing germs onto anyone else touching the fridge door.
- To keep your fridge smelling clean, a great trick is to place an open tub of baking soda inside your fridge. Change it every month as it will absorb most odours from your fridge. You can also try using coffee grounds to the same effect.
- Over-stocking your fridge can make it less energy efficient. Keep it uncluttered for a healthy fridge. Looking in your fridge to see what you've got, before you head off to the shops, will prevent you from over-buying.
- Use bicarbonate of soda to cut through tough grease and grime.
- Lemon juice is a great natural bleaching substance as well as a disinfectant.
- You can also use a slug of white vinegar in a spray bottle with some water, to cut through grease on glass.
- Use plastic containers to store food, to avoid using throw-away items like cling film and foil.
- Check that your fridge is set at the correct temperature (approximately 4°C), so it isn't using more energy that it has to.
FUENTE: Yahoo Lifestyle