Why a Refrigerator Cleanout Is Important

Refrigerator Cleanout Woman Cleaning Refrigerator
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – RODNAE Productions

I don’t know too many people that love to unplug the refrigerator for a cleanout. However, it is one of those necessary chores that comes with owning one if you intend to ward off all chances of bacteria and mold from contaminating your food. In addition, tidying the refrigerator also helps organizing what foods you do have on hand or need to restock while also serving to save you more time when it comes to meal planning.

Some people tend to overstuff food inside the refrigerator. Even though you may have a spacious model, this is not the best idea, especially where you store your produce if you hope for it to stay fresh longer. The reason is that too much food can limit or even prevent air ventilation in the refrigerator causing the items to spoil sooner. In fact, eating food from a tainted refrigerator that was overstuffed could cause stomach issues like diarrhea.

An easy way to handle a refrigerator cleanout is starting daily just doing little things that only take a minute or two. For example, if you spill something like a few drops of milk from your milk pitcher or sauce while putting it back inside, then do wipe it away promptly instead of letting it remain until deep cleaning. This will prevent bacteria from growing and won’t be as hard cleaning that dried milk or crustier sauce later.

Something else to do daily, if you notice a product is expired when you pull it out to eat or cook with, then throw it out while it is in your hand instead of just returning it to the refrigerator. By the same token, if you discover an item that you were about to use soon is nearing expiration, then plan a meal around it can save you money by using the product in time instead of wasting it.

On a weekly basis, try rotating the food in your refrigerator by putting the new items you just bought toward the back and the older food up front. I do this all the time, especially for milk and dairy. This helps keep better track of those expiration dates of dairy that we use a lot of.

Monthly, I like to unplug and empty the contents of the refrigerator. This gives me a chance to examine and toss items, if I missed the expiration date or forgot a smaller item shoved in back before wiping all the food containers, the drawers, the shelves, freezer area, and walls of the refrigerator with dish detergent, a few tablespoons of vinegar and water.

Afterwards, I also tackle the door’s rubber gasket and wipe down outside of the refrigerator as well before drying, plugging in and returning all the food.

Though a refrigerator cleanout is not a fun task, it is simpler when you do daily and weekly upkeep that I mentioned that can definitely help you save time later. You also may want to read my earlier post of refrigerator food safety.


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