This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Clorox. All opinions are 100% mine.
I don’t know about your refrigerator, but after the holidays mine can always use some attention. It never fails that not all of the leftovers get eaten and the containers of green beans, potatoes and jello salad get pushed to the back. Plus, everyone has been home from school and work, shuffling things here, there and everywhere and the inside of your fridge turns into mass chaos. After everyone’s schedules have returned back to normal and the holiday décor is stored away, it’s the perfect time to deep clean your fridge. Believe it or not, this task can take you less than an hour and after a little bit of time, elbow grease and decision making (what to put where!), you can step back and be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Are you ready? Let’s do this.
Gather your supplies
The supplies you use depends on how bad your refrigerator is. If your refrigerator is in serious need of cleaning, I suggest gathering:
- Paper towels or old rags
- A bucket of warm soapy water
- Trash bags
If your shelves aren’t in need of a good soaking, but just need to be wiped down, you can use a product such as Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers. I like this product because the texture of the wipes is perfect for scrubbing any stuck on food, plus they’re more absorbent and nice and thick. It also takes care of wiping out germs, dirt, grease and anything else that’s made its home in your fridge. I also keep these wipes around for weekly wiping down of the refrigerator shelves, the outside of the refrigerator and the kitchen counters.
During cold and flu season, I like to go around the entire house with a container of Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers and wipe down light switches, door handles, faucets and the toilet bowl handles. Since they wipe out 99% of germs, these little wipes are a germ-killing mom’s best friend. The wipes are available at Target. When I was there the other day, I grabbed several containers because I use them quite a bit, and my youngest son wanted to take one with him to school to wipe down his desk area.
Take everything out of the fridge
The easiest way to really clean a fridge is to start with a clean slate. Empty the entire contents of the refrigerator, checking expiration dates and throwing items out as you go. Any containers with leftovers that are past their prime should be emptied and placed in a sink full of warm water.
Remove all shelves and drawers
By removing the shelves and drawers, it makes it easier to clean them, as well as to get in those little crevices in your fridge. I would suggest letting the glass shelves heat up a bit before wiping them down or soaking them in warm water. I’ve heard more than my fair share of horror stories of glass shelves cracking. Wouldn’t that make for a fun day?! To make this as easy as possible, place an old towel on the kitchen floor and lay the shelves and drawers on top of it to clean. This is the perfect time to break out those Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers and disinfect the shelves and drawers. It has such a nice clean scent too, which is a nice added bonus. I love opening my refrigerator and being greeted with a clean smell, instead of an unpleasant one.
Wipe down the doors and the inside of the fridge
While the shelves and drawers are drying, this is the perfect time to wipe down the outside of your fridge, as well as the inside. Use some wipes to disinfect both the inside and outside, getting rid of food drips or food stains that seem to accumulate.
Put everything back
When the shelves and drawers are dry, put them back in your fridge. Next, it’s time to put the food back in. This is my favorite part! I like to designate each shelf with a certain theme and use containers to corral things like on-the-go snacks and lunch making essentials. But that’s for another post!
In my fridge, the top shelf is for normal items like milk, juice, water and wine that needs to be chilled. The second shelf is dairy, where I store eggs, yogurt, certain cheeses, etc. The third shelf I like to designate for leftovers and snack foods. By assigning one shelf as the “leftover” shelf, that chicken casserole and yummy soup you made tend to not be forgotten as easily. But when leftovers are all over the place, they get pushed to the back and turn into neat little science experiments.
This is also a good time to wipe down bottles of food to get rid of germs and stickiness, like ketchup bottles, that bottle of special mustard you used once and chocolate syrup.
Tackle the freezer
Did you think I forgot about the freezer? No way! Most freezers are way easier to clean than the fridge section and don’t require quite as much maintenance.
Remove everything from the freezer and discard anything that is past its expiration date. (Or that ham hock from three years ago you swore you would use to make soup.) Also get rid of items that are covered in ice crystals, a sign of freezer burn.
Wipe down the inside of the freezer, making sure to get rid of crumbs that spilled out because someone’s child didn’t close up the bag of chicken nuggets very well.
Check your ice situation and make sure there aren’t large clumps in your ice machine (if you have one) or if you need to fill more ice trays.
Put everything back in the freezer
Again, I like to get each shelf a “theme”. One shelf is just for meats, one for veggies, and one for fruits…you get the idea.
Now, open your refrigerator and admire your handy work. It feels good right?! By keeping this organized, it will save you time and money. Have you ever bought something you thought you were out of, only to come home and find it three days later in the fridge? Yeah, me neither. Ha! We once had three, yes three, bottles of pickles in the fridge. And I’m the only one that eats them!
Having a clean fridge is a sanity saver, a money saver and a time saver. It’s definitely worth doing and adding to your cleaning to-do list.