My mom told me that you can tell if a woman is a good housekeeper by how her kitchen and bathrooms, the most often-used places in the home–look.  If you missed it, you can read my article 9 Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Cleaner.

In the kitchen, the refrigerator is probably the appliance used most often.  In the morning, you get out your breakfast ingredients.  After breakfast, all leftovers go into the refrigerator again.  When lunch time comes, the same process is repeated, as it is at dinnertime.

The refrigerator is the key to good health.  Produce, eggs, meat, and other delicious and healthy meal ingredients are stored in there.  It allows you to purchase several days’ of food at one time instead of shopping for groceries daily.

If your refrigerator is not clean, your food can be contaminated, and the process of feeding your body becomes instead the way by which your body is poisoned.

1.  Clean up any spills immediately.  

In a perfect world, nothing would ever spill, but in the world where we live, spills happen.  If you clean them up immediately, they will be easier to clean and will not increase in size.  Who wants milk all over everything?

2.  Thaw meat in a plastic bag that closes completely. 

When raw meat thaws, it creates an undesirable mess that must be disinfected to avoid contaminating the other food in your refrigerator.

From my experience, let me emphasize to you the importance of that bag not having holes.  Yes, usually this plan works well for me, but unfortunately, my plastic bag failed me.

This is a great way to recycle any plastic bags while keeping your refrigerator cleaner and reducing the need to clean more.  Bags from nuts, vitamin mixes, and seeds work well for us (they have a zip-lock type closure).

3.  Schedule your refrigerator cleaning for the day before you purchase more food. 

It’s easiest to clean a nearly empty refrigerator because you will not need to place all the food in coolers while you clean.  It’s easier to wipe down shelves and drawers that nearly empty.

There are three advantages to cleaning your refrigerator the day before grocery shopping day.  First, you will be more likely do to the task.  To ensure that I do certain tasks, I need to make them easier, not harder. This is a way to make cleaning the refrigerator easier.  Second, it will take less time.

Third, you will not be putting fresh produce in a not-so-clean refrigerator.  Your clean refrigerator will be awaiting all the fresh produce!  Fourth, any leftovers lost in the back of your refrigerator will not turn into a science experiment.  🙂

4.  Clean the outside of your refrigerator daily. 

As I mentioned before, your refrigerator is used multiple times a day.  The handle is touched, and dust just naturally gathers on it.  After dinner when you are cleaning up the kitchen, wipe down your refrigerator and all appliances with hot, soapy water.  You don’t need to use a disinfectant.  The hot water will take care of that.  Don’t forget the top of the refrigerator.  🙂

5.  Place all leftovers in a dish with a tight cover. 

Doing this simple task will help to avoid spills and will keep your refrigerator smelling better.

6.  Use up, give away, or discard almost empty condiment containers. 

If you purchased a condiment that your family does not love, get rid of it.  Keeping clutter in your refrigerator will not help in keeping it clean.

7.  Keep bags closed.  

You don’t want flax seed, shredded cheese, yeast, or spinach all over your refrigerator.  Even the most careful person can spill these foods accidentally.  Use binder clips to keep these contents in their bags.  Alternatively, you can transfer things like yeast and flax seed to empty, clean spaghetti jars or Mason jars.

How do you keep your refrigerator clean?  Please share in the comments below!

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