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When was the last time you gave your refrigerator a thorough cleaning? With busy lives and hectic schedules, it's easy for this important task to slip through the cracks. However, a clean and organized fridge not only looks better but also helps keep your food fresher for longer. Plus, it's an excellent opportunity to review your eating habits, minimize food waste, and adopt more sustainable practices. In this complete guide, we'll walk you through step-by-step how to deep clean, organize, and maintain your fridge, with additional tips on sustainability and waste reduction.

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Step 1: Prepare for the Clean-Out

  1. Schedule a Time: Choose a time when you have at least an hour to spare for a thorough clean-out.

  2. Gather Supplies: You'll need a cooler, warm soapy water, baking soda, vinegar, microfiber cloth, and an old toothbrush.

  3. Empty Your Fridge: Take everything out of the fridge and place it in the cooler to keep perishable items safe.

Step 2: Deep Clean the Interior

  1. Remove Shelves and Drawers: Take out shelves, drawers, and any other removable parts.

  2. Wash with Warm Soapy Water: Use warm soapy water to clean each shelf and drawer. Use a microfiber cloth or sponge for stubborn stains.

  3. Sanitize with Vinegar: Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray all surfaces. Let sit for a few minutes before wiping off.

  4. Scrub Seals and Edges: Use an old toothbrush dipped in soapy water to scrub seals and edges thoroughly.

Step 3: Organize and Restock

  1. Check Expiry Dates: Dispose of any expired or spoiled items.

  2. Group Like Items: Group similar items together, such as dairy, fruits, vegetables, etc.

  3. Use Transparent Storage Containers: Opt for transparent, airtight containers for better organization and visibility.

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Step 4: Promote Sustainability

  1. Minimize Plastic: Use reusable glass or stainless steel containers instead of plastic ones.

  2. Use Up Leftovers: Plan meals to use up leftover ingredients before they spoil.

  3. Label Containers: Labeling containers can reduce food waste by ensuring items are used before they expire.

  4. Keep a Shopping List: Keeping a shopping list can prevent overbuying and reduce food waste.

Step 5: Maintenance Tips

  1. Weekly Check-Ups: Take a few minutes each week to check for expired items or spills.

  2. Keep It Clean: Regularly wipe down spills and messes with a cloth or sponge.

  3. Monitor Temperature: Keep an eye on the temperature of your fridge and adjust it if necessary.

  4. Consider a Compost Bin: If you have the space, consider setting up a compost bin for organic waste.

By following these steps and adopting sustainable practices, you can keep your fridge clean, organized, and eco-friendly, which not only benefits your health and saves money but also contributes to a more sustainable future.