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  • How To Disinfect Your Fridge Correctly So You're Sure Food Is Safe

    You need to clean your ref every three months and defrost your freezer once a year.
    by Rachel Perez .
How To Disinfect Your Fridge Correctly So You're Sure Food Is Safe
  • It’s even more crucial now during quarantine to keep your home functional. You want to make sure you have food stored at home so you can cook and feed your family for the long stretch. (Sure, you can have food delivered, too, occasionally, but it’s going to cost a lot if you do that often.)

    Keeping your refrigerator and freezer clean ensures they can function well and are energy-efficient, helping you lower your electricity consumption. You need to defrost your fridge at least once a year and clean your refrigerator every three months for optimum performance.

    How to clean your refrigerator and defrost your freezer

    It’s not rocket science to defrost your freezer or clean your refrigerator. In case you’re wondering, yes, even if your appliance manual boasts that you can skip defrosting, you should still do it periodically.

    Admittedly, cleaning the refrigerator and freezer is a little inconvenient since food storage depends on it being operational 24/7. To minimize the disruption in your daily life and accomplish the chore faster, do this when your freezer and refrigerator is almost empty. Here’s how according to RealLiving.com.ph:

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    1. Turn your freezer and refrigerator off and unplug the unit.

    You don’t want any electrical accidents that can render your appliance useless.

    2. Unload the contents of the freezer and refrigerator.

    For frozen items, you’ll need a cooler with ice to keep their temperatures down. For refrigerator items, it’s okay to keep them on your countertop. Use this opportunity to declutter your refrigerator. Throw out expired or soiled items. Transfer small amounts of food in large containers into smaller ones to save space.


    3. Take out all detachable shelves and drawers.

    Wash and scrub these down with soap and water. Avoid strongly scented soaps to avoid food from picking it up once you put them all back in the refrigerator. Wipe it dry with a clean towel.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also suggests using a disinfectant solution (one tablespoon bleach in one gallon of water) to wipe down shelves, drawers after cleaning with soap and water.

    4. Wipe down the inside of the freezer and refrigerator.

    You’d need to wait until the frost in your freezer melts before you wipe it down. An old trick to speed it up is by placing an electric fan in front of your open fridge or placing a pan of hot water inside to start thawing. No-frost refrigerators need only at least 30 to 45 minutes, which gives you time to tackle the detached shelves and drawers first.

    When you’re all set, take a damp sponge or a soft washcloth and wipe down the inside of your freezer and refrigerator. You can use hot, soapy water or spray all-purpose cleaner solution on your washcloth, but steer clear of strong chemicals. Work from top to bottom, and don’t forget to wipe the upper ceiling of your freezer and refrigerator, handles, and any drawers that cannot be removed.

    For stubborn stains, dip your sponge or washcloth in vinegar or lemon or baking soda and warm water solution and scrub them down. You can also spray the vinegar/lemon/baking soda and water solution on the stained areas and let it soak for a few minutes before scrubbing. It can also help eliminate unwanted odors.

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    Wipe down the outside of your refrigerator and freezer, too. After you're done, wipe it all dry with a clean towel. Then, leave the freezer and refrigerator doors open for another 30 minutes to an hour.

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    5. Put the shelves and drawers back in their places.

    After letting your ref and fridge sit open and empty for some time, you can now put back the items your need to store in it. Don’t just shove them all back in — this is an excellent time to organize the contents of your refrigerator.

    Keep food that you need to store longer or at lower temperatures at the back and place items that you frequently use in front. Group the same items together. Use clean, clear, stackable, air-tight containers, and label them accordingly with the date you place them inside. It will help you practice first-in, first-out, or consume the food that you set in storage first to avoid spoilage and wastage.

    Wipe food and drink containers with hot, soapy water before putting them back in, reminds the CDC.

    You can also post a list of items in the refrigerator and freezer on the door. Instruct the family to cross out anything they consume. This will help you know its contents and what you need to restock when you go on your next grocery run.

    6. Turn your refrigerator and freezer back on.

    Only turn your refrigerator and freezer back on after putting back all the food items that need to be stored in it. Leaving it on with the doors open when you’re restocking it will only consume more electricity.


    After cleaning, wash your hands with water and soap once you’ve finished cleaning and wipe down countertops and kitchen counters that held your ref and fridge items temporarily. Wash towels used to clean and dry them before reuse.

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