Clean and organize your refrigerator

An organized and clean refrigerator means less searching for food so writing a grocery list and meal prep is faster and less food and money is wasted. Your risk of foodborne illness is also lower because foods will stay colder, there is less risk of spoilage, and raw meats will not drip on to other foods.

Steps for Cleaning a Refrigeratorrefrigerator
  1. Remove everything. Discard old or spoiled food.  
  2. Perishable food should be placed in a cooler to keep it cold.
  3. Remove shelves and drawers; wash with hot soapy water, rinse with clean water, and dry.
  4. Wipe inside interior and bottom of refrigerator.
  5. Make sure the refrigerator temperature is between 34-40 degrees Fahrenheit so the food is safe to eat.
  6. Replace shelves and drawers.
  7. As you return the food to the refrigerator, wipe off the jars and containers.
  8. Wipe exterior of refrigerator, remove dust and lint from front grill. Clean condenser coils to remove dirt and lint.
Organizing Refrigerator Shelves
  • Fruits and vegetables go in the crisper drawers.
  • Deli meats and cheeses go in the deli drawer.
  • Raw meats go on a plate on the lowest shelf, so they do not drip onto other foods.
  • Milk and eggs go in the back of the refrigerator, so they stay coldest.
  • Leftovers should be labeled with their name and the date and can be grouped together on a shelf. Put the oldest leftovers in the front as a reminder to use them first.
  • Sauces and condiments go in the door.
Maintenance Steps
  • Wipe up spills in the refrigerator with hot, soapy water when they happen.
  • Clean the refrigerator regularly to reduce food odors.
  • Remove spoiled foods immediately so decay cannot pass to other foods.
  • Check the temperature of the refrigerator or freezer. Refrigerator/freezer thermometers can be purchased at hardware and big box stores.



Watch a video on How to Organize your Fridge.

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