July 8, 2011

Once 'n Done TOTD: Clean Fridge

Clean out yo' fridge!
<br />
 Just exactly, how often do you clean your fridge? This question was posed via Twitter tweeter @JeByrdWise. In the past year, after having had food poison from eating out of my own kitchen, I decided that I had to begin to keep a more tidier fridge. Had I read the research conducted by Tennessee State University, Kansas State University and RTI International, maybe I would have cleaned my fridge monthly and kept it at a chilling 40 degrees.

It’s amazing to find out the places where germs can find their haven! Did you know that the bins and drawers where you keep your fruits, meats and vegetables are the #1 destination spot for germs? In addition, the crevices, nooks and crannies of your condiment bottles are far more crowded with bacteria than the glass shelves caked with milk. I mean just think about all the times you were cooking with meat and needed to grab something out of the fridge. Or, think about that bag of rotten tomatoes that festered and oozed. Even if you threw it away, the bacteria are still floating around despite the frigid temperature. Fridge bacterium can’t be defrosted!

That’s right, a change is coming! I would recommend deep cleaning your fridge once a month. A thorough cleaning – defined as emptying out the fridge, cleaning out the interior surfaces, removing the bins and shelves, and washing and drying them. Using a soft sponge, wipe down all surfaces with a solution of 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons baking (bicarbonate) soda; paying close attention to the door seals. Rinse then dry with a clean towel.

Now, of course I understand that this process could keep you from watching Basketball Wives as it could take anywhere between 20 minutes and…well, I don’t know how dirty your fridge is…but here are a few things you can do in between cleansing to expedite the monthly deep clean process:

© Keep your fridge at a cool 40 degrees, but not 33 degrees.
©Wipe down condiment jars after each use.
©Clean up spills immediately
©Wipe down shelves and hanging shelves once a week with Clorox wipes.
©Keep fresh fruit and meat no longer than one week.
©Place a box of baking soda in the bottom left shelf of the fridge door.
©Before taking the trash to the garbage, check the fridge for expiration dates.
©Buy what you need! If the item has a coupon for BOGO, but it can’t be frozen, buy the 1!

So, how often do you clean your fridge?

Sources: Improving your world; GetEmGirls; BoomerSurvive; About.com

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