How do I get the most out of my fridge? Tips and Tricks

To get the most out of your fridge, you need to store your food properly, maintain the optimal temperature and humidity, clean it regularly, and use energy-saving tips. These simple steps can help you keep your food fresh, prevent spoilage and waste, save money on your electricity bills, and extend the lifespan of your fridge. In this article, we will explain how to do each of these things and why they are important.

Store your food properly

One of the most important things you can do to get the most out of your fridge is to store your food properly. This means following these guidelines:

  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs in separate containers or bags and store them on the bottom shelf of the fridge to prevent cross-contamination and dripping juices.
  • Store dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter, on the upper shelves of the fridge, where the temperature is more consistent and cooler.
  • Store fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawers, where you can adjust the humidity level to suit their needs. Generally, fruits need low humidity and vegetables need high humidity. Some fruits, such as apples, bananas, and tomatoes, produce ethylene gas, which can cause other fruits and vegetables to ripen faster and spoil. Keep these fruits away from other produce or store them outside the fridge.
  • Store leftovers and cooked foods in airtight containers and label them with the date. Use them within three to four days or freeze them for longer storage.
  • Store condiments, sauces, and jams on the door shelves, where the temperature is warmer and more suitable for these items.
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By storing your food properly, you can prevent bacteria growth, mold, and odors, and preserve the quality, flavor, and nutrition of your food.

Maintain the optimal temperature and humidity

Another key factor to get the most out of your fridge is to maintain the optimal temperature and humidity. This means setting your fridge to the recommended settings and checking them regularly with a thermometer. The ideal temperature for your fridge is between 35°F and 40°F, and the ideal humidity is between 30% and 40%. These settings can help you keep your food safe and fresh, and prevent frost buildup and ice crystals.

To maintain the optimal temperature and humidity, you should also avoid these common mistakes:

  • Don’t overfill your fridge, as this can block the air circulation and cause uneven cooling and warming.
  • Don’t open the fridge door too often or for too long, as this can let the cold air escape and the warm air enter, raising the temperature and lowering the humidity.
  • Don’t put hot or warm food in the fridge, as this can raise the temperature and increase the moisture. Let the food cool down first or use an ice bath to speed up the cooling process.
  • Don’t place your fridge near a heat source, such as a stove, oven, dishwasher, or window, as this can make your fridge work harder and use more energy.

By maintaining the optimal temperature and humidity, you can improve the efficiency and performance of your fridge, and reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Clean your fridge regularly

A third essential step to get the most out of your fridge is to clean it regularly. This means wiping down the shelves, drawers, and door seals with a mild soap and water solution or a vinegar and water solution every month or whenever you notice spills, stains, or crumbs. You should also remove any expired, spoiled, or unwanted food items and dispose of them properly. Cleaning your fridge can help you eliminate bacteria, mold, and odors, and create more space and organization for your food.

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In addition to cleaning the inside of your fridge, you should also clean the outside and the back of your fridge. This means dusting off the top and the sides of your fridge with a damp cloth or a microfiber duster every few weeks or whenever you notice dust accumulation. You should also vacuum or brush the coils and the fan at the back of your fridge every six months or more often if you have pets or live in a dusty area. Cleaning the outside and the back of your fridge can help you remove dust, dirt, and pet hair, and improve the airflow and ventilation of your fridge.

By cleaning your fridge regularly, you can enhance the appearance and hygiene of your fridge, and prevent potential problems and repairs.

Use energy-saving tips

A final important tip to get the most out of your fridge is to use energy-saving tips. This means following these suggestions:

  • Choose an Energy Star certified fridge, which can use up to 40% less energy than a standard model.
  • Replace your old fridge with a new one, if it is more than 10 years old, as newer models are more energy-efficient and have better features and functions.
  • Adjust the thermostat of your fridge according to the season and the ambient temperature, as you may need to lower it in the winter and raise it in the summer to maintain the optimal temperature.
  • Use the power-saving or vacation mode of your fridge, if it has one, when you are away from home for a long time or when you don’t need to use the fridge.
  • Unplug your fridge, if possible, when you are moving or renovating your home, as this can save you energy and prevent damage to your fridge.
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By using energy-saving tips, you can lower your electricity bills, reduce your environmental impact, and prolong the life of your fridge.

Conclusion

Getting the most out of your fridge is not difficult, if you follow these simple steps: store your food properly, maintain the optimal temperature and humidity, clean your fridge regularly, and use energy-saving tips. These steps can help you keep your food fresh, prevent spoilage and waste, save money on your electricity bills, and extend the lifespan of your fridge. Try them today and see the difference for yourself!