The fridge is one of those things that if you leave it a little too long, it starts to strike fear into your heart every time you open it. If you have a fridge where the vegetables are starting to take on a new life, and there’s an unopened yogurt at the back that might start to walk soon, then you know you’re well due for a deep clean. Once you have it cleaned, you’ll instantly feel better and will have a cleaner, healthier place for your food to live.
Step 1: Take stock
The first thing to do is to see what the damage is. Have a good look at each shelf and compartment, and assess how much you may need to throw out. Get a good size of bin liner ready and in a convenient place next to you as you start to throw everything out.
Step 2: Start eliminating
Once you have your bin ready and have a plan of attack, start throwing things out. If you look at something and aren’t sure, take this chance to get rid of it. Start by checking the expiry dates, and if they are past this date, throw it in the trash straight away. Once you’ve taken care of the obvious foodstuff that’s starting to grow strange little bits of mold, then move on to the items with longer expiration dates. If you find anything you haven’t used for more than three months, it’s time for it to go.
Step 3: Time to clean
Once you’ve thrown away anything that’s out of date or that you haven’t used recently, move the rest of the food you plan to keep to a side and start cleaning. Start by filling your sink with hot water and soap to clean the inside of the fridge. A great tip from Maid2Match is to take out all the shelves and drawers and clean these separately in the bathtub. These are generally quite large and can be challenging to clean in a standard-sized sink.
Once you’ve done an initial scrub, refresh your water and add some vinegar to it and give the whole thing a wipe down. This will kill off any bacteria and get you back to a fresh start. Finally, take a tea towel and dry off the inside of the fridge, ready for the drawers to be added back in. While you’re at it, give the whole front of the fridge a wipe off so that it’s squeaky clean both inside and out.
Step 4: Restock
With your fridge nice and clean, you can start adding your remaining food back in. Take this opportunity to organize where everything will live, with vegetables, meat, and dairy products separated, so you know exactly where to find them. You can then look at the food you threw out and go out and buy fresh stock so that you’re filled with joy, rather than dread next time you open the fridge door.