Here’s how often you should really clean your fridge

As one of the most commonly used appliances in your kitchen, the fridge takes a beating. Food gets spilled, leftovers get forgotten and half bottles of condiments start to take over every shelf—but not anymore, because here’s where you should store your ketchup. Read on to find out how often you should clean your fridge, plus our best tips for a pristine icebox.

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These cleaning hacks will change your life
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These cleaning hacks will change your life

Dryer balls are the ultimate way to fight static 

Not only are dryer balls the perfect way to incorporate scents into your laundry (we love Grove's Sleep Essential Oil Blend!), but they're also incredibly effective at fighting static. 

According to Alex Crane, a product development lead at Grove, you can either attach one or two safety pins to your wool dryer balls or roll up aluminum foil to include alongside the dryer balls in your dryer. They both act as a lightning rod to help reduce the electricity building up in the dryer. 

The perfect bathtub cleaner 

Spray Grove’s Tub & Tile Cleaner on top of Bon Ami and let the mixture sit for three to five minutes to make tub cleaning easier. The miracle ingredients packed in Bon Ami act as a gentle yet effective abrasive to make your tub looking spankin' new.  

Use soaked cotton balls to block odors

Even if you think you're pretty responsible about taking out the trash, there's only so much that can be done about the pervading odors. To help mask these foul smells, Crane suggests soaking a few cotton balls in your favorite essential oils and tossing them at the bottom of your trash can. 

Use a cheesecloth to polish sterling silver 

Chu-Min Lee, who also oversees product development at Grove, let us in on one of the company's favorite and most versatile products: Cheesecloths.

Not only are the washable cloths perfect for polishing sterling silver without leaving scratches or marks, they can protect plants from getting cold, says Lee. 

Grove's customers also use the cloths as a strainer, baking, to steep tea, for cooking and for crafts.

Shop our favorite cheesecloths here.

Get rid of stains with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide might be the miracle solution you've been looking for. It's a great eraser when it comes to stains, but only on white clothing! 

Lemon juice also works as a great natural bleaching agent. Lay clothing doused in lemon juice outside in the sun, which will help speed up the stain-removal process. 

The best way to clean your enamel cast iron

Enamel cast irons are notoriously difficult to clean, but baking soda is a convenient and time-saving solution for the cookware. Simply mix the baking soda, which acts as an abrasive, with water, and you've got yourself an all natural and homemade solution. 

Use this homemade concoction to ward off ants 

According to Crane, peppermint oil is a great and natural way to keep those persistent ants away. Mix in 15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil with water into a 16-ounce spray bottle, and spray on surfaces where those ants are prone to showing up. 

Ants apparently hate the smell of the plant, which many say has been effective for bug control. 

Make an all-natural vegetable cleaner

Mix one part white vinegar and three parts water to create an all natural, homemade vegetable cleaner. Vinegar acts as an effective way to rid vegetables and other produce of harmful bacteria. Water helps dilute the solution, so the vinegar doesn't affect the taste of the produce! 

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What to clean daily/weekly

  • To avoid yucky surfaces and bad smells, wipe down the trays and drawers of the fridge at least weekly. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of removing old food and wiping down the interior of your fridge before grocery shopping each week. If your fridge still smells funky, it’s probably from these 10 foods in your fridge that are already expired.
  • Try to clean up spills daily. Any splashes or drips should be wiped with a damp cloth or sponge as soon as they happen; otherwise, you’re left with a sticky residue that’s just going to get harder to remove the longer it sits.
  • Clean the exterior of your fridge every couple of days. Use your favorite cleaner to remove finger smudges and other spots, paying close attention to the door handles.

What to clean occasionally

  • The top of the fridge. This area sometimes becomes a dumping ground for random items and a dust bunny haven.
  • Underneath the fridge. At least once every couple of months, have someone help you pull the fridge away from the wall. You’ll be surprised to see how dirty the flooring can get that’s hidden underneath your unit. Give it a good sweep and mop before putting the fridge back in place.
  • The door seals. The rubber door seals collect crumbs and spills. Wipe the area with a washcloth dampened with hot water and dish soap, then dry thoroughly.

Deep cleaning tips

It’s a good idea to deep clean your fridge at least every couple of months. Here are a few tips to help the project along.

  1. Treat your fridge as you would a messy closet—which means the first step is emptying it entirely to fully assess what can stay and what must go. You should absolutely toss these 13 foods you should never, ever eat past the expiration date. If you’re worried about spoiling, you can throw the most perishable items in an ice cooler or even in the freezer while you work.
     
  2. Wipe down the trays and drawers with a sponge and soapy water. Any parts that are removable can be scrubbed in the sink. For particularly sticky messes, try using a magic eraser. When everything is clean, do a final wipe down with a spray bottle full of diluted vinegar. It will disinfect without adding any harmful chemicals to your food storage area.
     
  3. Put the food back in the fridge. Go through every item and discard anything past the expiration date or any leftovers containers that you can no longer identify. (Yuck!) Wipe down bottles and jars to remove any residue before returning them. By the way, here’s the right way to organize your fridge.
     
  4. Clean the dust coils. Over time, the condenser coils on your fridge can collect dust and debris and will keep your fridge from running efficiently. The coils are usually located under the refrigerator behind the base grille, on the back of the refrigerator or on the top of the refrigerator. Unplug the unit, and use a coil brush or a vacuum attachment to wipe away dust, dirt and pet hair. A coil brush is a long, flexible bristled brush that can fit into small hard-to-reach crevices, and can be purchased at any hardware store.

The post Here’s How Often You Should REALLY Clean Your Fridge appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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