Refrigerator Health

You may be thinking, “WHAT???”, but do you know how healthy your refrigerator is? Do you have items in there that have been in there for weeks or even months? Do you wash the shelves and drawers to remove spills and crumbs? When was the last time you checked the expiration dates? Do you know how to properly store your food in the fridge?

Well, I’m here to help take all the guesswork out of keeping your refrigerator in tip-top shape.

cleaning refrigerator
refrigerator health

It’s a great idea to wash and sanitize the inside of your refrigerator on a regular basis. I try to do it weekly, but let’s face it, who has the time to do it every week? I now shoot for once a month.

Here are some easy steps:

  • Empty all the items and place them on a counter or table.
  • Take out all the shelves, drawers, and anything else that is removable.
  • Wash all the shelves and drawers by hand using hot soapy water. Tip: If you have glass shelves, don’t run them under hot water as they can crack. Let them come to room temperature before washing them.
  • Wipe the inside of the refrigerator with hot, soapy water and wipe again with a cloth using clean water to rinse off the soap.
  • Now comes the sanitizing part! Make a solution of 1 tablespoon liquid bleach to 1 gallon of water. Wipe everything down again using this solution. Make sure you clean everything with soap and water first!
  • Next, return the shelves and drawers. Now your fridge is ready to be re-stocked! Make sure you wipe down the food items before placing them in your clean refrigerator and check the expiration dates as you do this! If it’s past the date, toss it! Start a new grocery list and add that item to the list so you remember to purchase some more!

How to keep your fridge organized:

A well-organized fridge is a healthy fridge, for sure! It will save you time and money. If you know what’s inside your refrigerator, you become more efficient with mealtimes and grocery shopping. You will also have less waste since you are using exactly what you have in your fridge! This is great for your pocketbook!

  • Invest in some clear containers that will help categorize your items on the shelves. I’m looking at getting some of these containers soon! They will be great in the fridge, freezer, or pantry! I love it when you can get a set of these and you can mix and match with other items! Also, to keep your shelves clean and looking nice, try these mats! They are easy to clean and you wouldn’t necessarily have to take the shelves out to wash them! Just take the liners out, wash and put back in! Time saver for sure! (Note: these are affiliated links, I do get commissions when you buy them.)
  • Try and think about what your family reaches for the most. I know that my family drinks a lot of water, so I definitely want the water bottles or pitchers to be at eye level and within my reach!
  • When placing items on the shelves, consider some of these tips:
    • Milk should go on the back of the bottom shelf. I know a lot of people store them in the door, however, the temperature changes so much with the door opening, that it’s best to store these items towards the back of the refrigerator. You want the temperature to be consistent.
    • Eggs should also be stored in their original carton on the middle or on the top-shelf. They also need a consistent temperature.
    • If you have children, or heck if you just like to have snacks available for yourself, keep them at eye level so they can be grabbed easily and don’t make a mess.
    • Door items can include condiments, butter, soft cheeses, and processed jams and juices.
  • When you purchase new items, make sure you rotate the older items to the front so they will be used first. This is known as FIFO, “first in first out”. You don’t want to start using the new items while the older item reached the expiration date. Which then you will have to toss…
  • Some expiration dates on leftovers to keep in mind:
    • Fish should be tossed after 2 days
    • Other meat should be thrown out after 3 days
    • Veggies and grains will last up to 7 days
  • If in doubt, throw it out!

By having a clean, well organized refrigerator, you and your family will lead healthy lives.

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