The best thing to clean the inside of a fridge is a mixture of one part baking soda and seven parts water. This natural solution is effective, safe, and cheap. It can remove stains, odors, and bacteria from your fridge without leaving any harmful residues or scents. In this article, you’ll learn how to use baking soda and water to clean your fridge, as well as some other tips and tricks to keep your fridge fresh and organized.
Why you should clean your fridge regularly
Cleaning your fridge is not only a matter of hygiene, but also of health. A dirty fridge can harbor harmful germs and spoil your food faster. According to the USDA, bacteria can grow rapidly in the refrigerator at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. Some of these bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, can cause foodborne illnesses that can be serious or even fatal.
Cleaning your fridge regularly can also help you save money and reduce food waste. A clean fridge can improve the efficiency and lifespan of your appliance, lowering your energy bills and repair costs. A clean fridge can also help you keep track of what you have and what you need, preventing you from buying unnecessary or duplicate items. According to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans waste about 25% of the food they buy, costing them an average of $1,800 per year.
How to clean your fridge with baking soda and water
Baking soda and water is a simple and effective way to clean your fridge. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can loosen and remove dirt and grime. It also neutralizes odors and kills bacteria by creating an alkaline environment. Water is a universal solvent that can dissolve and rinse away any residues. Here are the steps to follow:
- Turn off the refrigerator. If you can’t easily move the fridge or access the plug, turn off the circuit breaker that serves the refrigerator. This will prevent any electrical hazards and save energy while you clean.
- Empty the refrigerator completely of all items, including condiments, boxes of baking soda, and more. Put perishables such as opened cartons of milk in a cooler and leave other items on the counter. Do not leave the food out for more than an hour. Inventory the food and throw out old leftovers and expired foods. Compost old produce and recycle containers when possible. Take out the trash with the old food right away.
- Take out all of the removable shelves and drawers. You can clean them more thoroughly when they’re outside the fridge, and this gives you better access to clean the refrigerator’s interior.
- Mix one cup of baking soda with seven cups of warm water in a large bowl or bucket. Stir well until the baking soda dissolves. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar for extra cleaning power and a fresh scent.
- Spray the inside of the fridge with the baking soda and water solution, concentrating on soiled areas, and let it soak in. You can use a spray bottle or a cloth dipped in the solution. Avoid spraying any electrical components or vents.
- Wash the removed shelves and drawers with warm soapy water and a sponge or cloth. Rinse to make sure no traces of soap remain. Dry them with a towel or let them air dry.
- Wipe the inside of the fridge with a clean cloth or sponge, starting from the top and working your way down. Scrub any stubborn stains or spills with a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush. Rinse the cloth or sponge frequently and wring out any excess water.
- Dry the inside of the fridge with a dry cloth or paper towels. Make sure there is no moisture left that could promote mold growth or rust.
- Put the shelves and drawers back in place and adjust them to your preference. Refill the fridge with the food items you kept, organizing them by category and expiration date. You can use bins and containers to corral items and labels to identify them.
- Turn the refrigerator back on and check the temperature. It should be set at 40°F or below to keep your food safe and fresh.
How to maintain your fridge cleanliness and freshness
Cleaning your fridge with baking soda and water is a good way to deep clean your fridge once in a while, but you should also follow some routine maintenance tips to keep your fridge clean and fresh all the time. Here are some suggestions:
- Wipe up any spills or leaks as soon as they happen. This will prevent them from spreading and staining your fridge.
- Check your fridge for any spoiled or expired food at least once a week. Throw away anything that looks or smells bad, or that has passed its use-by date.
- Store your food properly in sealed containers or bags. This will prevent cross-contamination and odor transfer. Use clear containers or labels to see what’s inside and how long it’s been there.
- Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood on the bottom shelf or in a separate drawer. This will prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods and causing food poisoning.
- Keep fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawers. This will help them retain their moisture and freshness. Some fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas, which can speed up the ripening and spoiling of other produce. Keep ethylene-producing items, such as apples, bananas, and tomatoes, away from ethylene-sensitive items, such as broccoli, lettuce, and cucumbers.
- Keep an open box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors. Replace it every three months or when it loses its effectiveness. You can also use activated charcoal, coffee grounds, or vanilla extract as natural deodorizers.
- Clean the exterior of the fridge with a damp cloth and a mild cleaner. Pay attention to the door handles, seals, and hinges, where dirt and bacteria can accumulate. Polish the surface with a dry cloth to make it shine.
- Clean the condenser coils and the drip pan at the back or bottom of the fridge. These parts can collect dust and debris, which can affect the performance and efficiency of your fridge. Unplug the fridge and use a vacuum cleaner or a brush to remove the dust. Clean the drip pan with warm soapy water and rinse well. Plug the fridge back in and make sure it’s working properly.
Cleaning your fridge with baking soda and water is a simple and effective way to keep your fridge clean and fresh. It can also help you save money, reduce food waste, and prevent foodborne illnesses. By following the steps and tips in this article, you can enjoy a fridge that looks good, smells good, and works well. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family who might benefit from it. Happy cleaning!