How Often Should You Clean Out Your Fridge? More Often Than You Think

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How Often Should You Clean Out Your Fridge? More Often Than You Think

How Often Should You Clean Out Your Fridge? More Often Than You Think
You probably clean your stove and microwave frequently, if not daily, because spills are inevitable and spills can be all too visible. But you probably overlook another important kitchen appliance: Your refrigerator. 

It's just as important to keep your fridge clean, even if its interior makes it a bit more hidden. After all, the refrigerator is where you store the food you serve to yourself and others. Keeping it clean will help you keep your food and drinks safe. Below are some simple and effective tips for cleaning your refrigerator - and how often you should perform these tasks.

Wipe down the refrigerator handles and controls daily

Take the time to wipe down the handles of your refrigerator daily with a food-safe, antibacterial wipe. You should also wipe down the knobs or controls of water dispensers and ice machines daily.

Take care of spills immediately

If something spills in the refrigerator, you should clean it up immediately. It's important not to let spills and messes get out of control, or your refrigerator can easily become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. 

If you do have a spill, take a few minutes to wipe it up and make sure it hasn't spilled over and contaminated other food or drinks. Also, try to avoid accidents by storing your food in airtight, leak-proof containers. A good rule of thumb is to spot clean your refrigerator every time something spills or you see leftover food and drink.

Throw out expired and old food weekly

At the beginning of each week, go through the food in your refrigerator. Throw away old food and anything that has expired. Spoiled food can encourage bacteria growth and leave mold spores in your refrigerator. 

Not sure what's expired? Check every bottle and label for an expiration date. If you can't find an expiration date, play it safe and throw away anything you're not sure is fresh. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends throwing out not only old or recalled food, but also any food stored next to or touching it.

Do a basic cleaning of the refrigerator every quarter

Do a basic cleaning of your refrigerator every three to four months. To keep things simple, you can thoroughly clean your refrigerator at the beginning of each season. When doing a basic cleaning of your refrigerator, you will need to completely clean out all of the food and store it in a cooler. Many people try to use up most of the large food items in the refrigerator just before the basic cleaning, so they don't have to take out and replace a lot of food.

Be sure to read your refrigerator's manual so you know the best way to clean your unit. In most cases, first unplug or turn off the refrigerator. Then, remove all shelves and drawers, clean them thoroughly with hot soapy water or another cleaning agent, and then replace them. Thoroughly clean the walls of the refrigerator and all surfaces. Don't forget to clean the door and the inside top of the refrigerator as well.

Be sure to clean the ice maker and water dispenser

Many refrigerators today are equipped with ice makers and water dispensers. In this case, it's important to keep them clean so you can continue to enjoy germ-free ice or water. The ice maker or water dispenser is likely equipped with a water filter that you need to change regularly. Most need to be changed about every six months, according to Consumer Reports. However, be sure to read the manufacturer's recommendations in your refrigerator's owner's manual.

Was this article helpful? Yes -0 No -01 Posted by: 👨 Ralph L. Mulford
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