When you are hungry, is there anything worse than opening up the fridge to a rancid smell? That appetite goes out the window in a heartbeat and the quest to find the source of the odor begins. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have had times when the source was enough to make me lose my appetite for the rest of the day. I think we are all guilty of forgetting something in the crisper drawer that has spoiled.
Most of the time, the cleanup is pretty easy and the smell is gone. However, there will be times when more care must be taken to remove the nasty smell from the fridge.
Do you know what the best way to ensure you never have spoiled food in the fridge is? Make it a part of your monthly habit to give the fridge a deep clean every month. Even if something goes bad, that little time between cleanings will not allow the fridge to get too bad. Besides, things are always get spilled or drip in the fridge, so a monthly cleaning is always a good idea.
The other benefit of deep cleaning the fridge once a month is that it forces you to empty the fridge out and check all of your expiration dates. I think you will be amazed at how often you are keeping things that are long past their expiration date but were still sitting in that fridge.
When you do the deep clean, pull out the entire inventory, then start pulling out the drawers and shelves. Some of these items may be able to fit into the dishwasher, but most of them are probably going to have to be cleaned by hand. When I do this, I usually just fill up my sink with hot soapy water and a little white vinegar, let them soak to loosen up any debris or sticky syrups, then wash and rinse.
For inside the fridge, you can use a solution of one cup of baking soda to one gallon of water. While you are cleaning everything, give the door gaskets a good wiping down. You may need to bleach these if there is any mold or mildew buildup on them. If you have a cooler, load up the food and allow the fridge to stay open for a full day so it can air dry (naturally, you should have it unplugged if this is the case).
One last thing… don’t forget to clean the coils on the back or undercarriage of the fridge when you are doing your deep clean. If dust builds up on the coils, the refrigerator will start to have a problem keeping temperature which could lead to food spoilage.