I think to clean your refrigerator is THE most important chore of them ALL! And that is saying something in my own personal long list of Kitchen coverage I have shared this month in this blog..... I couldn't imagine not being able to see all my options in foods and what needs to be cooked up first. I have a rotation in frozen meats thawing slowly out till ready to cook in a natural defrosting way. I have a certain place for everything so when I think to myself "I need eggs.." I know where to go instantly like a gracefully dance when I usually am still waking up for the day.
It is THE most important place to keep clean because it hold ALL your perishables, if any bacteria or germs get into your food while laying in the dirty frig for days then often it will explain why you get sick later on. I find the American culture to be over run with bottles of sauces and dressings, condiments may have chemicals to hold their unnatural colors forever but they DO go BAD after a couple of years. I find it best if I am not using that bottle of sauce or syrup for a few months to simply toss it until needed again which is actually never now. People who throw stuff in these place need to plan ahead for a bit of natural defrosting, meat thaws out into a bowl or dish can save your veggie from contamination of blood drips into the drawer below. MOLD is the biggest enemy for food in a refrigerator. People think it's safe in there from the heat but then that long lost or forgotten lemon is now a green powder puff on your shelf of items YIKES!
(Also NO citrus in the frig please, it has a natural protection to keep the fruit inside safe and ripens naturally on the counter. In fact putting citrus in the cool temps will ruin it faster and take away those good sugars. perhaps that is for another helpful post about storing foods)
So for best tip I can give on your refrigerator is use ALL foods up inside then wipe it out before you go buy more foods. NO dirt, NO green dust or mold on ANYTHING in your frig!
To DEEP clean;
Step 1. Empty the whole refrigerator from top to bottom. Take out everything in the side door and stack shelving aside with storage drawers out.
Step 2. Wash everything in soapy hot water, all the shelving and produce drawers set aside on clean towels to dry. Then use wet wash rags with some baking soda on tough spots in the frig from top to bottom. At the end of washing, wiping and scrubbing the inside quickly I have a big dry towel to polish up the inside all the way to the floor to dry everything up. I set a small open bowl of baking soda as a deodorizer inside to help with any leftover food smells.
Step 3. I clean every bottle of spices, sauces or dressing. I make sure the butter sticks get set back inside right away and the refrigerator doors are scrubbed down from inside out.
Step 4. I put everything back inside shelving, drawers and remaining foods. This is a fast pace moving cleaning project as I don't unplug the power so the leftover foods need to stay chilled. Once everything is back in place the wide open clean empty look inspires me to go grocery shopping once again!
Step 5. A clean kitchen is nice and very much needed BUT a clean refrigerator is FAR more important to your good health and anyone else who will eat from it! Be Smart and Be Strong once a week in doing these steps will protect everything you cook and you will also be proud that nothing is ever lost nor becoming a science project for disease control!