Part 2 of 2: Keeping Your Refrigerator Clean and Tidy
1Do a seasonal (quarterly) pass through your refrigerator to keep it smelling fresh and looking good. Every three months, remove most or all of your food from the fridge and wipe all the surfaces with a baking soda or vinegar solution. Regular maintenance will save you time and energy in the future.
- This almost goes without saying, but if you notice a spill or stain in the fridge, try to clean it up quickly and remove the source of the stain. Spills or stains that aren't cleaned quickly can set and become harder to remove in the future.
2Use a homemade air freshener to absorb unpleasant smells and keep your fridge odor-free. Before food goes bad, and starts coating the inside of your fridge with regular blasts of malodor, it's time to act. Here's what you can equip your fridge with to combat these smells:
- A clean sock filled with activated charcoal — from an aquarium store, not from your bbq briquettes. The charcoal absorbs bad odors for up to three months.
- An opened box of baking soda. Baking soda is another expert odor absorber. Most baking soda packages say you should change your baking soda out every 30 days, but you can probably get away with 60 to 90 days of use before exchanging.
- Freshly ground coffee, placed in a small dish at the back of the fridge, also works very well at absorbing odors.
- Unscented chlorophyll cat litter is yet another odor buster. 1/2" kitty litter in a shallow pan at the back of the refrigerator should eliminate most offending smells.
3Scent your fridge to give it a subtle fragrance. This may not be for everyone, but some people might enjoy the subtle hint of vanilla, for example, when they open their refrigerator. The operating word in this whole step is "subtle." You probably don't want any fragrance to be overwhelming upon opening of the fridge. Like cologne or perfume, a nice "afterthought" is much more pleasant, especially coupled with food:
- Sprinkle a little vanilla extract, tea tree oil, or essence of lavender, lemon, or even bergamot in a cotton ball and place the cotton ball in a small dish at the back of the fridge. Exchange every couple of weeks.
4Crumple a piece of a brown paper bag into a ball and place it alongside fruits and veggies in the crisper for odor protection. A crumpled paper bag works wonders at removing smells in the crisper.